With the lines beginning to blur between restaurant and grocery, delivery is also seeing a change as grocers try to compete with restaurants.
Before the pandemic, there was a clearer divide. But post-pandemic, the grocery space is rapidly changing. Traditionally built upon a grab-and-go model, grocers are expanding their delivery, forcing the spotlight away from restaurants and on to grocery.
Grocery delivery gained 5.4 points of share in the third quarter versus last year, according to a Brick Meets Click/Mercatus Grocery Shopping Survey fielded in September.
“A major trend that has emerged from the pandemic is shoppers are looking for fresher, healthier, more convenient options at their grocery store,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI—The Food Industry Association. “Food retailers have absorbed this feedback and are making great strides to create both online and in-person shopping destinations that cater to shoppers’ evolving tastes.”
Chicago-based Dom’s Kitchen & Market has created its two stores as grocery-restaurant hybrids.
“We’re trying to blend the lines between the kitchen and the market,” Jay Owen, co-founder and chairman at Dom's Kitchen & Market told WGB. “We’re seeing that steadily increase and we think that at maturity we’re probably more like 40% in terms of foodservice.”
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocer Meijer is also looking to compete with restaurants with its new line of heat-and-eat meals. The retailer's Crafted Market lines offer restaurant-style meals in 5 minutes or less at home, minus the restaurant prices.
"We have a long history of centering convenience and quality in our deli experience for our customers, so expanding our ready-to-heat options just makes sense," Marlys Roberts, Meijer merchandising director of deli and bakery, said in a statement.