When shoppers head into a convenience store or grocery store to find meals for their families, they aren’t always looking for the newest or trendiest dishes. Instead it turns out that comfort foods are what customers frequently seek out when picking up a meal to go.
Meals that offer the nostalgia of comfort foods, such as barbecue options, are a surefire hit for retail foodservice at c-stores and grocery stores. Add these familiar options as well as new twists on classic dishes to the lineup and you’re sure to see shoppers respond favorably.
Comfort food entrees
According to Technomic’s 2017 Center of the Plate: Beef and Pork report, barbecue pork is the most preferred pork entree on restaurant menus, so it stands to reason that consumers favor these options in a more convenient space, too. Additionally, 44% of younger consumers and 32% of older consumers say they view pork as a comfort food. In response, consider menuing Gold Finger Braised Ribs—braised, smoked ribs slathered with Sweet Baby Ray’s Golden Mustard Barbecue Sauce—or opt for a double dose of comfort-food tastiness by offering Barbecue-tine: French fries, sweet potato fries or waffle fries topped with pulled pork and sauced with Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce, cheese curds, coleslaw and scallions.
Another comfort food favorite? Fried chicken. Easily adaptable to retail foodservice (thanks to heating trays and other technology made to keep hot foods fresh on the hot bar), fried chicken makes a perfect option for c-stores and grocery. Find success serving typical fried chicken, or entice customers looking for something a bit different by offering a honey hot chicken waffle cone, which combines spicy chicken (chicken tenders tossed in Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Hot Wing Sauce & Glaze) with cooling coleslaw in a sweet, crisp waffle cone.
Flavorful barbecue sides
Foods that feature barbecue flavors that are gaining popularity include macaroni and cheese (up 38% year over year, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor), brisket (up 18%) and baked bean sides (up 9%). Macaroni and cheese in particular is a great addition to retail foodservice offerings, as 50% of younger consumers say they are likely to purchase it, according to Technomic’s2017 Starters, Small Plates & Sides report. To add a crowd-pleasing twist, top macaroni and cheese sides with barbecue pulled pork or brisket for extra flavor.
When it comes to incorporating baked beans, it’s easy to entice customers by offering a dish like Cowboy Beans on your menu. Made with pinto beans, Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce, brisket and spices, Cowboy Beans offer hungry consumers a dose of both baked beans and brisket in one convenient side.
For shoppers on-the-go looking for comfort food favorites, barbecue pork, fried chicken, mac and cheese and baked beans are all excellent options. By preparing these comfort food classics with unique barbecue sauces and glazes, retailers can offer something new and familiar all at once, and shoppers get exactly the best of both worlds.
Sweet Baby Ray’s sauces and glazes are perfect for updating the menu and adding delicious flavor to creative and tasty dishes. Find out more about the bold flavors shoppers can enjoy at https://www.sbrfoodservice.com/news-and-offers/comfort-foods.
This post is sponsored by Ken's Foods Inc.