Retail Foodservice

Best Practices to Draw in Consumers Feeding a Crowd

Grocery deli prepared foods
Photograph: Shutterstock

After more than a year of isolation, consumers are as eager as ever to make the most of holidays and celebrations in the coming months. This will mean an uptick in gatherings between families and friends, especially as the percentage of vaccinated consumers continues to increase and warm days make gathering outside a possibility.

Cooking for a crowd is no small feat, however, giving retailers a wide-open opportunity to offer convenient solutions. Supermarket foodservice is especially well equipped to help shoppers accommodate larger gatherings—and some key strategies can help retailers make the most of the occasion.

Optimize the menu

Bringing consumers hosting a gathering to the prepared foods section can be a boon to sales for a number of reasons: Not only will customers need to purchase a higher quantity of food, but they’ll likely keep an eye out for sides, appetizers and desserts that go well with their entree to complete their meal in one stop.

According to Technomic’s April 2021 Supermarket Foodservice Monitor, occasion-specific meal packages are seeing continued success at the grocerant, and the report emphasizes the importance of balancing seasonal and holiday promotions with the continued rollout of new menu items and LTOs. Retailers can encourage repeat purchases by maintaining a core menu of fan-favorite dishes while keeping seasonally appropriate offerings on rotation.

For example, grilled chicken, prepared salads and pasta dishes are great standbys for year-round sales, while seasonal fruit salads can make an appearance during the summer, and soups can take center stage during colder months. With both classic crowd-pleasers and fresh offerings on hand, retailers can be prepared to meet any consumer’s needs for any occasion.

Solutions that simplify

Expanding the menu is a balancing act, however, and retailers must keep efficiency in mind as they craft meal bundles and incorporate new offerings. A frequently changing menu can leave grocerant staff on a constant learning curve with new recipes, and calling for new ingredients can run the risk of increasing costs.

Quality prepared foods can provide a solution to all of the above. Seasoned entrees such as grilled chicken, shredded pork and beef au jus can be major timesavers, as can ready-to-eat sides, such as coleslaws, pasta salads and potato salads. Retailers seeking to save time and cut costs while still leaving room for customization can add a signature flair to precooked pastas, proteins and sauces for a handcrafted taste without the hassle.

As grocerants continue to cater to consumers’ changing needs and cravings, stocking the kitchen with convenient prepared foods and versatile ingredients can be a major help. Especially, when it comes to feeding a crowd, timesaving solutions are as necessary as ever—and products from Sandridge Foods Corporation can be a indispensable asset in any grocerant kitchen.

With a wide variety of ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat offerings for entrees, sides, desserts and everything in between, as well as a selection of prepared ingredients to encourage creativity in the kitchen, Sandridge is the grocerant’s one-stop shop for quality solutions that support sales for any occasion, any time of year. To learn more, visit

This post is sponsored by Sandridge Food Corporation