How Convenient, Family-Friendly Meal Solutions Drive Sales

Parents are always keen on time-saving solutions, especially when it comes to answering the question of “What’s for dinner?” Now that many consumers have resumed their pre-pandemic commuting routines and many children have returned to in-person schooling, the call for quick dinnertime solutions is as strong as ever.

However, meal priorities have seen a shift. In addition to wanting foods that are fast to get on the table and convenient on-the-go options, consumers also want foods that are high-quality, wholesome, filling and cost-effective. For consumers who want an easy lunch or dinner that doesn’t involve a stop at the drive-thru, quick-prep products from the supermarket can provide an excellent solution. These insights are driving innovation and product line extensions from leading center store brands like Idahoan Foods.

Consumers turn to the center store

Currently, demand for consumer packaged goods, or CPGs, is greater than it was at the beginning of the pandemic—even after the bulk-buying trend has eased back. According to a report from Consumer Brands Association, consumer demand for packaged goods in Q3 2021 increased 8.3% YOY and 1.8% over the second quarter—totaling more than $1.7 billion in demand.

And in the supermarket, bigger brands have been outpacing the rest in terms of growth — data from IRI and Boston Consulting Group found that national CPG brands took market share from private labels during 2021.

Idahoan Grocery Store

For retailers, these market shifts indicate two shopper priorities: As shoppers gravitate toward the center store, they’re seeking more shelf-stable foods to keep in the house — and they’re looking for brands they recognize and trust as they shop the aisles.

Classic dishes reign supreme

Shoppers buying for their families want affordable, high-quality meal solutions that are both kid-friendly and that appeal to adults.

Unsurprisingly, potato dishes rank high among crowd pleasers. According to Statista, 78% of consumers say they would consider purchasing mashed potatoes from retailers at least occasionally for lunch or dinner, making them one of the most in-demand side dishes in the store.

Quick-prep side dishes, in particular, became a hot commodity during the pandemic as affordable, convenient, shelf-stable foods took center stage — and the demand is likely to remain elevated even after pandemic-related changes to the market begin to fade out, especially for busy parents.

Idahoan Foods offers a wide range of Fresh-DriedTM Mashed Potato products that always start with 100% real Idaho® potatoes from local growers. The company washes, peels, boils and mashes them before removing the water through a proprietary process that helps consumers put delicious, real mashed potatoes on the table in just five minutes. Consumers just add hot water to enjoy mashed potatoes in an array of crave-worthy flavors — including Buttery Homestyle®, Four Cheese, Roasted Garlic and Loaded Baked® Mashed Potatoes.

Idahoan Foods offers many of its Flavored Mashed products in a variety of formats, including standard four serving packages, family sized packages and single serving cups.

The single-serving format – a rapidly growing priority for the brand – brings all the things consumers love about Idahoan Fresh-DriedTM Mashed potato products and turns the convenience factor up a notch with a portable, microwave-ready package. With no artificial flavors or synthetic colors, they offer a wholesome, filling meal solution parents can feel great about serving.

The cups are also easily customizable. Adding a few other favorite ingredients can quickly turn them into a meal, like in Idahoan’s recipes for Buttery Homestyle® Mashed Potatoes with Brisket and BBQ Sauce or Loaded Baked®  with BBQ Chicken.

Homestyle Brisket

To learn more about Idahoan’s offerings, visit

This post is sponsored by Idahoan Foods