We recently held our annual Food Summit, which was themed, “Winning the Moment.” The idea behind the theme is that every day consumers need to make decisions about eating, like what to eat, when to eat, where to eat, who is going to prepare it, and how it will be prepared. Throughout this decision-making journey there are inflection points when foodservice operators and manufacturers can win the moment.

So here’s the hook: To win the moment you first need to accept the fact that there are structural changes occurring that we don’t have control over — the aging population, decline in annual meal occasions, fewer women entering the workforce, and more meals eaten at home. These changes require acknowledgement and a new focus on growth that begins with identifying the winnable moments for your business.

Consider dinner for example. Americans consumed nearly 100 billion dinner meals last year with the vast majority of those being shared with others in the home.  Home preparation still dominates the dinner occasion, but increasingly consumers are turning to restaurants to help out. Close to half of dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared at home and items purchased ready-to-eat from a foodservice establishment. We forecast that blended meals, which include a restaurant or prepared food, will grow over the next five years. A winnable moment could be serving as a one-stop shop for an at home blended meal, which may be an offering of fresh items that can be prepared at home and ready-to-eat entrees. Lots of possibilities.

There are winnable moments for you throughout the day and to find them may require paradigm shifts and out-of-the-box thinking. I’m seeing amazing examples of foodservice operators and manufacturers like yourselves who are responding to their customers’ needs and wants by offering them creative solutions to their daily challenge of deciding what to eat. These innovators are winning the moment for their customers and their business.