Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home Cooking, the new normal is grocerant ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food.

As long as multi- generational family’s gather for meals together, the demand for more divergent flavors will continue to permeate. Grocerant style food offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance.

Consumers have been exposed to a plethora of flavors and have not the time to master the skill of cooking each. This growing trend is empowering the consumer to establish new customs and traditions in eating better, more flavorful food. The Grocerant niche is about convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization.

What’s for dinner? If your cooking for an at home family meal for two, three, four, or five family members, chances are very good your buying several ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat food components. Grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants are all bundling fresh prepared meal components for the home cook. The home cook is responding, buying individualized components. Manufactures are rushing in with new menu items, packaging and portion sizes.

Grocerant niche food retailers have an understanding of the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables. Which is one of the main reasons that this nice continues to flourish during this period of economic disruption. The food value proposition equilibrium for the consumer today balances; better for you, flavor, and traditional products all blended into something with a twist.

In industry speak, differentiated does not mean different to the consumer it means familiar. That is where the Grocerant niche falls, it is consumer inspired, component driven and flavor familiar.

Alice May Brock said:”Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and cinnamon make it Greek, soy sauce makes it Chinese, garlic makes it good.” I say: grocerant meal components bundled and portable make a family meal, a happy meal!

Grocerants food retailers allow customers to select from Italian, French, Russian, Greek etc. and utilize the components at home any way they like. The new American meal can be a composite of any prepared food components including entrée’s, side dishes, sauces and deserts that the individual may want and they can mix and pair them any way as well. Our society is a composed for people from all over the world, with different cultures, traditions and flavor preferences. The new American meal is a melting pot of flavor and choice.

Prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat foods are now available for all and can be found at Convenience stores, Grocery stores, Restaurants, Mobile trucks all just waiting for the taking.

Foodservice branded and private label food manufactures are all vying for your attention. Ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat foods from swiss steak, meatloaf, baked salmon, rotisserie chicken, pizza and lasagna fresh prepared, portioned and portable in portions for one, two,, three or five are now available at most foodservice retail location. Most exciting is the opportunity for new start-up’s and regional manufactures to produce sustainable business built on local, fresh and unique flavor profiles. Legacy national brand manufactures are experiencing an increased consolidation and acquisition activities. They have taken there eye off the customer and increasing are missing many of the new points of grocerant food distribution.

Consumer are responding buying both private label and branded meal components in new food channels, experiencing new flavor profiles all the while individualizing the family meal. The foodservice industry is evolving with the consumer. For those companies looking for an opportunity for growth times have never been better.

Grocerants create happy meal times, by expanding the melting pot! In fresh prepared food, mix and match components and portability are required options. Understanding creating or identifying distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part is an area that the fresh prepared grocerant food companies are excelling.

With a different view of the industry and the consumer the grocerant niche is bring new light and needed growth to the retail food industry via redevelopment and deployment of new products. Grocerant specialist can work with you to identify distinctive differentiated food consumables.

Success leaves clues; transformational times require focus and experience with a qualitative edge. Grocerants ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food, should be the next step in your organizations success.

Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche. More about us: or leave a comment or question below. For more information on the success of the fresh prepared food niche Bing or Google: Steven Johnson Grocerants


  1. Please tell me where to purchase these ready-to-heat, ready-to-eat meals at in Chicago.

  2. You might try Walgreen's here is what they are offering in the Bay Area.

    Bay Area Walgreens' fresh food program rolls out
    Andrew S. Ross

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Sushi at Walgreens? Hai!

    Also, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, sandwiches and ready-to-heat meat loaf.

    The array of vittles, spotted at a Walgreens in San Francisco's Outer Richmond, is part of a Bay Area pilot program focused on "consumers looking for more healthy food alternatives," said Robert Elfinger, a spokesman for the Deerfield, Ill., drug store chain.

    "Our San Francisco area customers are already buying a lot of food in our stores, and there are requests for more product offerings," he said.

    In addition to the items listed above - and Walgreens' more traditional offerings, including candy, potato chips and soda - there'll be meats, wraps, soups "and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for tonight's meal," said Elfinger.

    The Outer Richmond store, which began stocking its fresh food shelves last week, is one of approximately 30 in the Bay Area where the pilot program will roll out through the summer.

    "As we learn from this initial test, we believe there's potential to expand this offering to more stores in the Bay Area," said Elfinger.

    In September, Walgreens started a pilot program in Chicago focusing on "food deserts" - neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores. "We made a commitment to seek solutions for offering these communities more fresh and healthy food options," said Mark Wagner, a Walgreens executive vice president, in announcing the Chicago program.

    After Walgreens took over the Duane Reade drug store chain in New York, it expanded Duane Reade's "delish" line of fresh food. There are plans to start similar programs in several hundred Walgreens stores nationwide.

    Apart from the health aspect - which has made some wonder why it continues to sell booze and cigarettes (except in San Francisco, where pharmacies are banned from selling the latter) - Walgreens is following in the footsteps of other major chain retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, which are getting into the fresh food business in a major way.

    "With our three fresh food pilot markets, we hope to give consumers more options and more reasons to visit our stores," said Elfinger.

    Location, location: Walgreens sent us a list of 13 stores in San Francisco that have either started the program or will do so by the end of June:

    -- North Beach: 1344 Stockton St.

    -- Financial District: 100 Sansome St., 116 New Montgomery, 275 Sacramento St.

    -- Union Square: 450 Powell St.

    -- Embarcadero/Downtown: 30 Market St., 456 Mission St.

    -- Civic Center: 1301 Market St.

    -- The Mission: 2690 Mission St., 3400 Cesar Chavez St.

    -- Bayview: 5300 Third St.

    -- Richmond: 25 Point Lobos Ave.

    -- Sunset: 3001 Taraval St.

    The two other Bay Area locations listed so far are at the Westlake Center in Daly City and in San Rafael, at 830 Third St.