There has been a great deal of research supporting the benefits of families’ sitting down for the evening meal several times a week. Now one company, Barilla America, is stepping up to the plate with prize incentives for families that share dinner together, with a â€˜causeâ€™ angle benefiting Meals on Wheels.
To help encourage families to make the most of dinnertime, Barilla has teamed up with country music star Martina McBride and renowned chef Mario Batali to launch “Share the Table: The Barilla Family Dinner Project” and is inviting American families to make a promise to enhance their dinnertime experiences at www.ShareTheTable.com. Although most people recognize that eating dinner together is an important family activity, a new research study released today by Barilla reveals that American families want better quality dinnertime interactionsâ€”with greater conversation and with fewer distractionsâ€”as well as better meals that are created with more participation by family members.
The Barilla study, the first to explore the effects of family dinnertime on both adults and children, found that people who eat dinner together more frequently are more likely to be satisfied with every aspect of their lives. Despite the positive effect on their well-being, nearly six in 10 families agree that they don’t have as many opportunities to connect with their family or friends as they’d like. Primary obstacles include hectic work schedules, children’s schedules and a general lack of time.
But being physically together at the table doesn’t necessarily mean that families are “together.” The study shows that many families’ dining experiences aren’t offering the connection they crave. Seven in 10 (69%) report that some other activity competes with the typical family dinner, with watching television topping the list, and six in ten (58%) report some type of technology or entertainment-related distraction.
“Dinner is a time when everyone can come together, cook together, and share together in a truly unguarded atmosphere,” said Mario Batali, James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and author of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home. “I’m promising to keep dinnertime with my family free of outside distractions. And I’m encouraging all families to learn how getting everyone involved in preparing and enjoying dinner can make a positive difference in their lives.”
Families have a chance to win $5,000 dining room makeover
Barilla’s â€˜Share Your Dinnertime Momentsâ€™ promotion encourages families to submit photos, videos or blog posts demonstrating how they’re making dinner a more significant, fun and tasty occasion. All eligible entries will be entered for a chance to win multiple prizes, including a $5,000 dining-room makeover and a year’s supply of pasta and sauce.
Consumers who visit brickfish.sharethetable.com now through February 22 can select one of five key areas that best describe their family’s storyâ€”from decreasing distractions at the table to increasing family members’ participationâ€”and submit a photo, blog or video that demonstrates how they’ll improve their shared mealtime.
In addition to the dining room makeover Grand Prize, consumers can win cooking tools, Barilla products, and Target gift cards. Two runners-up will win $250 Target gift cards and the campaign’s â€˜Most Viralâ€™ winner will receive a $500 Target gift card and a year’s supply of pasta and sauce. Ten sweepstakes winners will also get prizes, including $100 Target gift cards.
Each dinner ‘pledge’ earns $1 donation to Meals On Wheels
For its Share the Table campaign, the company launched www.sharethetable.com website, which features over 700 recipes and 100 tips that can foster family unity. Currently, for every person who visits the site and pledges to share a meaningful dinner with family members, Barilla will contribute $1 to Meals on Wheels Association of America, up to $150,000.
For more insights and innovations check out CultureWavesÂ®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank â€“ events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life â€“ entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Trends.
Have you seen an innovative product that will impact our food lives in the future? Let us know at Editor.