Make It a Meal: How Digital Solutions Can Increase Basket Size

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This year, grocery sales surged following stay-at-home orders and restaurant dining room closures. Now, heading into 2021, predictions for food retail include increased demand for easy meal solutions. For retailers, that means there’s opportunity to increase basket size in two main ways: first, by offering grab-and-go meal kits that shoppers can simply bring home and serve (or bring home, heat and serve); and second, by tailoring in-store displays to showcase ways customers can turn one or two ingredients into a meal or by suggesting sides to go along with an entree.

Digital solutions can maximize the payoff potential of both strategies, especially with increased demand for online ordering and curbside pickup. Here’s how.

Grab-and-go options

When shoppers place online grocery orders, many may be looking for quick and convenient options that don’t involve much—or any—prep. For these consumers, showcasing ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat meal options can help boost basket size; shoppers may choose to order that ready-made meal instead of picking individual ingredients to make the meal from scratch (which may cost less than the prepared option).

When trying to encourage purchase of prepared options, retailers can use consumer data from previous orders to recommend certain choices. For instance, if consumers have previously ordered chicken, pasta and broccoli, perhaps one of the prepared meals suggested to them can include chicken alfredo pasta with broccoli. For consumers who haven’t shopped at the store enough to establish data patterns or information on previous orders, retailers can market top sellers or limited time offers.

“Make it a meal” inspiration

Another way that digital solutions can boost basket sizes with meal ideas is by offering inspiration and pre-made grocery lists for certain meals. For example, if a shopper adds ground beef to their online cart, a pop-up message suggesting ingredients to “make it a meal” can offer convenience and entice trial. A suggestion of tacos would show they’d need additional ingredients such as tortillas, tomatoes, lettuce and shredded cheese; a suggestion for burgers would show hamburger buns, sliced cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard, lettuce, onion and other burger toppings.

With a function like this, retailers can encourage consumers to buy all the groceries they need for a meal in one easy click. This also helps encourage purchase of sides: Retailers can add a “serve with” option that suggests sides shoppers can make with their entrees—think refried beans to go with tacos or frozen french fries to accompany burgers.

By suggesting different meal ideas and having those ingredients as a list ready to bulk-add to shoppers’ online grocery cart, retailers can help boost basket sizes every time consumers shop.

Digital solutions, such as those offered from Packyge, are designed to help stores succeed in this new landscape of online grocery ordering. With data showing there’s no sign of that slowing, it’s crucial for stores to be prepared. To learn more, visit

This post is sponsored by Packyge


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