Food customer migration continues to be the undercurrent driving fast growing fresh food sales, retail format experimentation, new non-traditional points of fresh food distribution. Foodservice Solutions® found that 81% of consumers do not know what they are going to have for dinner at 4PM on any given day.
McDonald’s drive-thru works for many, Pizza Huts delivery woks for others, Burger King now delivers, and KFC has a bucket just waiting for the taking. Hold on restaurants are not the only answer. Grocery stores the ilk of Whole Foods have gone way beyond offering deli sliced meat.
Whole Foods has reported that sales of prepared foods including salads, soups, pizza, barbecue, sushi, burgers, roasted corn, roasted peppers and depending on location ethnic food, and season specials. In fact Whole Foods has consistently reported that 19+ percent of sales are now attributed to fresh prepared food. Whole Foods is not alone, Wegman’s, Safeway, Publix, SuperMax and H.E.B. all are extending fresh food sales.
Non-traditional outlets including Ikea report sales of 228 Million dollars in fresh prepared food sales in the U.S. alone. Ikea sells Swedish meatballs, mash potatoes, salads and even offers a $0.99 breakfast. Costco reports that restaurant sales (near it registers) exceed $1 Billion and year worldwide and are profitable. That makes Costco one of the top 50 restaurants in sales in the country.
Non-traditional continues to expand it may be non-traditional in the minds eye of brand marketers but not consumers. San Angelo, Texas based Pinkies liquor store has no inside or outside tables yet is finding success selling grab-N-go meals including chef prepared including brisket, pork tenderloin, spinach soufflé, herb-roasted potatoes, Cajun chicken strip sandwiches.
Convenience stores continue to expand in fresh food as well. Wawa, Rutters, Sheetz continue to expand fresh food offerings while building same store sales and opening location in new regions and states. It was just last year that Nations Restaurant News awarded Sheetz with one of its coveted “Golden Chain” awards.
When asked who will win in this battle for share of stomach? Dinner Dinners Dilemma Where to Get Dinner it is clear that for now it will be the consumer.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions. His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant