Using the tagline “Fast food the way it should be,” three-store, Dayton, Ohio-based Dorothy Lane Market is raising the bar on retail foodservice with its Gourmet Takeaway, which features fresh deli main dishes and sides made in store every day.
“Variety and personalization are really important, and supermarkets have an advantage in this arena because they allow shoppers to customize a protein with sides and build the meal that they want,” says Eric Richard, education coordinator for the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association, Madison, Wis.
Dorothy Lane is doing just that. Shoppers can choose from a menu of a la carte entrees and sides or build a Dinner Deal that includes an entree and two sides for $8, $10 or $12. At its Washington Square and Oakwood locations, Dorothy Lane shoppers can pick up a What’s for Dinner bag featuring fresh-cooked veggies, an entree and a side dish.
What taste profiles are resonating with today’s consumer when it comes to supermarket side dishes and beyond?
“Overall, we’re seeing a lot more interest in Asian and Hispanic side dishes. People want more hot and spicy dishes, as well as sweet and hot,” says Richard, who points to a recent study indicating that 71% of millennials and 55% of boomers enjoy spicy foods.
What’s more, Richard says, many demographics are eager to try new tastes. Global flavors including Asian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, African and more are attracting customers of all ages. That also goes for unusual herbs and spices, pesto, mint, fennel, piri peppers and harissa, a Maghrebi hot chili pepper paste.