Grocers Feeling the Heat From Restaurants in Prepared Foods
With the economy showing some recovery, consumers are purchasing fewer prepared meals from supermarkets, according to a study from Technomic.
According to the study, 38 percent of today’s consumers say they purchase retailer meal solutions (RMS) from traditional supermarkets each week compared to 42 percent who said the same in 2010.
"These consumers may be reversing the patterns they set a couple of years ago by heading back to restaurants," says Darren Tristano, VP of Technomic. "For retailers to gain or maintain their share of foodservice dollars, they’ll need to clearly stand out from restaurants, especially since our data shows that consumers’ expectations are rising for the taste, quality, freshness and appearance of retailer prepared foods."
Some findings from the study:
- Some of the top RMS menu trends include signature fried snacks, more variety for vegetable sides, higher-quality pizzas, a distinct specialty focus for sandwiches and burgers, and a move toward ethnic flavors.
- Opportunities exist for retailers to leverage their customization options to compete with restaurants; only 38 percent of consumers agree that retail prepared foods allow for more customization than food purchased from a restaurant.
- Though half of consumers think the quality of prepared foods has greatly improved since 2010, nearly two-fifths call for more name-brand foods that typically denote a higher quality perception.
- More than two-fifths of consumers who purchase RMS at least once a month (43 percent) say they do so four or more times per month, meaning they purchase RMS at least once a week.
Technomic based its on findings from a survey of 1,500 consumers as well as an analysis of menu profiles from 20 supermarkets.
- Retailers Must Differentiate from Restaurants, says Technomic – Technomic
- Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report – Technomic
Is an improving economy the main reason behind Technomic’s findings that consumers are buying fewer prepared meals from supermarkets? What steps should grocers be taking to increase the appeal of their prepared foods offerings?