Once reserved for soccer mom’s rushing from work to ballet practice, baseball games, and home Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food consumer acceptability is growing. Consumers today are looking for restaurant quality “better for you” fresh prepared food. What’s different is where consumers are finding both Heat-N-Eat and Ready-2-Eat fresh prepared food.
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ Steven Johnson has chronicled much of the success companies the ilk of Rutter’s, Sheetz, Wawa and 7 Eleven have found selling restaurant quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food that is “better for you” during industry presentations and within this blog now it seems everyone has taken notice.
During the 2013, National Association of Convenience Stores conference Wells Fargo industry analyst Bonnie Herzog stated that the convenience store sector is entering “a new era of growth and sophistication”. That sophistication is grounded in sales of fresh prepared restaurant quality “better for you” food. Regular readers of this blog know we agree 100% and we believe that the face of food sector retail is leadership will shift soon as well.
Foodservice Solutions® team continues to track the growing success of meal component bundling and from all accounts companies the ilk of Casey’s General Store, Wawa, and Sheetz are currently leading on that front but all others are taking notice and the entire sector is evolving faster than any other food retail sector including the retail drug store sector.
Herzog pointed out “We are encouraged by food industry innovation efforts and expect that the convenience channel, still small in terms of absolute contribution, can continue to deliver channel-leading rates of sales growth”. Today soccer families are finding restaurant quality food within the C-store sector.
Convenience stores innovative ways of incorporating Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing into branded messaging including bundling meal components and mix and match options have drawn focus from every other sector of food retailing. In fact the c-store channel was the only food channel to post positive growth in unit sales and dollar sales in 2012 compared to 2011 and the highest rate of growth for the past 5 years.
Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.