It can be easy for retailers to fixate on price or some other consumer need—e.g., convenience—and too narrowly focus their marketing and merchandising on how the retailer meets that need. But that fails to recognize the wide-ranging interests and priorities of consumers even within a single, likely overgeneralized demographic group.

“The ‘let’s just hit it down the middle’ approach is not going to work” in 2023, Parker says.

For example, notes Parker, just as consumers at all income levels don’t always base their basket decisions on price alone, not all consumers want no-prep, heat-and-eat meals—or at least, not every night.

“I think that fresh has tremendously benefited from people being home more in the past three years, and there are very interesting households that are really good at cooking,” she says. “Their everyday weekday meal could be very different from their weekend or holiday meal … the devil is in the details. Do you understand those consumers?”