Two-thirds of Americans say their weekend meals are their "reward" for getting through another week, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 general population Americans found 68% of people look forward to their weekend eats due to having a stressful week.
Two out of five (44%) said they eat better quality food on the weekends than they do during the weekdays. More than half (55%) of Americans believe eating can act as a form of therapy.
Commissioned by Screamin' Sicilian Pizza and conducted by OnePoll, the study found 59% feel too tired at the end of the day to actually cook anything.
Another 33% said they don't want to cook because they can never decide what to eat, while 31% just don't want to do dishes.
A major contributing factor is how stressed people feel. Forty-three percent feel pushed to their absolute limits by the time Friday comes around. Nearly as many (44%) feel so stressed, they'll count down the hours until the weekend.
Half of Americans value their weekends so much, they feel like they're wasted if they don't do something fun or just for their own enjoyment.
For 40% of people, what they buy at the grocery store directly correlates to how stressed they feel the previous week. Six in 10 shop for easy-to-prepare and pre-made meals for busy, stressful days ahead.
On average, Americans purchase four easy-to-prepare and pre-made meals per week.
And if they're feeling stressed or having a bad day, 49% will plan a special meal an average of three days in advance and will then look forward to sitting down and eating it.
"We know that the landscape has changed for all Americans. With many of us working from home the separation of work and home can become challenging. Everyone is looking for a quick and convenient meal solution. These items, like frozen pizzas or strombolis, take the stress out of what to make and provide a great tasting and filling meal that is ready in minutes." said Nick Fallucca, Chief Product & Innovation Officer for Palermo Villa, Inc.
While many don't like to cook, sitting down and eating is the best part of the day for 62% of Americans. Fifty-six percent of people especially look forward to dinner the most.
More than three in five (63%) believe sitting down for a meal gives them a much-needed mental break from the day. Over a third (37%) have weekly nights dedicated to certain foods.
When asked what meals they look forward to the most, 51% of respondents said they look forward to pizza. Meanwhile, 38% percent equally look forward to enjoying burgers and pasta and 34% look forward to barbeque.
Since they've been staying home more, people have been especially increasing their consumption of frozen foods. More than a quarter (27%) have eaten more frozen pizza than ever before.
Similarly, 23% of people have eaten more frozen TV dinners and frozen sandwich meals, while 10% have eaten more frozen vegetables.
A third (36%) of respondents said they work from home, and frozen foods have become their go-to meals.
Fifty-nine percent of remote workers have eaten more easy-to-prepare and pre-made meals for lunch than they otherwise would have. Two-thirds (67%) are only making lunch for themselves and therefore opt for something easy to make.
"Although more Americans are working from home, they don't always have the time to spare to make an elaborate meal for lunch. They are looking for something quick and convenient," said Nick Fallucca, Chief Product & Innovation Officer for Palermo Villa, Inc. "Frozen foods, like pizza or handheld strombolis, provide an option that is quick and microwavable, that not only tastes good but is filling as well. We believe things like premium ingredients and handheld options are vital to achieving this."
WHAT MEALS DO AMERICANS LOOK FORWARD TO THE MOST?
Asian foods 30%
French fries 29%
Fast food restaurant take out 26%
Mac n cheese 24%