The undercurrents of evolving consumer shopping behavior, availability of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food, time-starved consumers, and lack of appropriate cooking skill-set combined with the fact no one wants to do dishes or empty the dishwasher create what Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru calls “the emerging Grocerant Tsunami”. Where legacy food retailers will either adapt or get left behind at an accelerated rate.
The retail grocery sector has seen the collapses / demise of A &P, Albertson’s, and now Safeway go from industry leaders too regional players dependent on SNAP program to maintain any respectful volume numbers.
Dollar stores have simply cherry picked products from the “center store” leaving legacy grocery stores in footprint malaise. Seemingly unwilling to invest in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and the staffing levels that it requires creates and expanding opportunity for non-traditional fresh prepared food retailers.
So What’s for Dinner?
At 4 PM a full 62% of American consumers still don’t know according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson. Consumer discontinuity with the food sector is driven in large part by new entrants the likes of retailer Harry & David for 80 years selling fresh fruit as a business gift, then direct to consumer fresh fruit and gifts. Continually evolving this year Harry & David is offering an Easter Brunch Meal just Heat-N-Eat, Pinkies Liquor stores, a traditional liquor stores updated and retrofitted with in store kitchens now offering fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food daily for To-Go only (Pinkies has no tables inside or out), and Walgreens Up-Market stores offering fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food.
Dinner a Paradox of Choice?
When face with all the options what’s for dinner consumers are simply overwhelmed. Think about it. Is cooking from scratch the first choice for consumers not incentivized with government SNAP benefits? Whole Foods offers extensive Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food options. In fact 35% of Whole Food sales and 40% of profits come from Whole Foods Grocerant Niche fresh prepared food options.
Restaurants are a great second choice for consumers when asked What’s for Dinner? However as regular readers of this blog know the restaurant veto in increasing numbers and is a result of “The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome” according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru. The result can be seen in the stagnating restaurant sector year over year sales and customer count numbers. Once leading companies the ilk of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Chili’s, Bennigans, Quiznos, and Sbarro all face similar fates if they do not react to undercurrents of retail food consumer discontinuity.
Is Convenience What’s for Dinner?
When Casey’s General Stores a convenience store chain with 1,700+ stores started selling fresh prepared pizza it took off as did Casey’s same store sales. However when Casey’s added delivery they became a leading choice of What’s for Dinner in many markets. Rutter’s Farm Stores, Wawa and Sheetz all leading C-stores all increasingly moving successfully from Coffee and Breakfast stop too successful lunch and increasingly the all are the solution for consumers looking for What’s for Dinner.
Success Does Leave Clues.
At the intersection of consumers, technology, Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food are new points of fresh food distribution. If legacy food retailers want to maintain or garner market share they much evolve as fast or faster than the competition and consumers or risk capitulating brand equity, market share and consumer relevance. Outside eyes can provide insights driving Top Line Sales and Bottom Line Profits. Today, restaurants, C-stores, Drug Stores, Grocery Stores, and Liquor Stores are all targeting consumers that are Ready-2-Eat. It’s 4 PM where is your customer buying dinner tonight?
Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant