A report by 210 Analytics is a realistic assessment of where supermarkets’ prepared foods departments and grocerants are flourishing, and also missing some opportunities.
Here are some of the top takeaways:
- The number of home-prepared dinners is decreasing, and where retail foodservice should benefit, it is not.
- The average number of home-prepared dinners dropped to 4.6 meals per week, showing declines across demographics. However, with retail foodservice visits flat and unit sales down, restaurants are the main beneficiary of these declines. Whereas young millennials are the least likely to cook, the presence of children appears to be a turning point for millennials to eat at home more often. Older millennials overindex for retail foodservice and present a big growth opportunity.
- Seven in 10 shoppers emphasize healthy, nutritious choices when ordering from retail foodservice or restaurants.
- Healthful eating strategies differ by population group, but switching to better-for-you alternatives is the most frequently employed tactic for health-focused shoppers and foodservice regulars. While 68% of shoppers believe sufficient information to make educated decisions is available in general, many would appreciate additional tools in the deli/prepared foods department, led by healthier ingredients (85%), clean-label items (83%) and in-store health and nutrition information/education (71%).
- Shoppers’ top ways of learning about a grocery store’s retail foodservice offering are in-store, but key targets shop less often. In-store signage and personal observation/experience are the prime ways in which shoppers learn about a store’s foodservice offerings. Both require in-store presence and far exceed the reach of out-of-store vehicles such as websites, apps or social media. This is the underlying reason for prime target consumers who cook less, but also shop less, to bypass retail foodservice. These consumers need other in- and out-of-store triggers to drive purchases, with awareness and variety being two major drivers.
The top conclusion from 210 Analytics is that retail foodservice needs to be marketed and run like a restaurant, be on Yelp, be on highway signage and be very visible both inside and outside the store, because the battle to win is outside the store.