According to GfK Insights for “U.S. consumers today, innovation means basically one thing: convenience. In a recent GfK Roper Reports study, almost eight in 10 people (78 percent) said innovation is about finding faster ways of doing things; slightly less felt it was about finding “easier” ways. All other possible answers scored at least 30 percentage points behind. U.S. consumers seem to have an insatiable desire for cutting corners and they expect the companies they do business with to rise to the occasion.”
Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food saves consumer time. In fact a U.S. Labor Department study found working parents with children have about an hour a day for meal preparation and consumption — and that includes breakfast and dinner. That’s not much time and one of the key drivers of the rapid consumer adoption of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared mix and match meal components.
The current evolution is being driven by hand held marketing (smart phones). Today we have “High-speed Internet connections both at home and on the road. Smart phones have forever changed consumer expectations. Consumers “need for speed” has been transferred to the brick-and-mortar world, raising the bar for service and reducing the amount of time customers are willing to spend in a given store.
Today consumers are looking food, food solutions, in the palm of their hand. This is creating a since of urgency to please and intense completion between retailers like never before. GfK found they keys that consumer consider very important today they are:
1. Know me: Remember not only what they purchase, but where, so you can guide them to the closest store and alert them to promotions only on products they buy.
2. Listen to me: Solicit and act upon their feedback. If you don’t give social media mavens an outlet for feedback, they will create one. It can be as simple as a “How did we do?” text after their purchase or an invitation to a quick mobile survey.
3. Reward me: Shoppers’ expectations of loyalty programs continue to escalate beyond the manufacturer-funded promotions they get now. Cash discounts for frequent visits, checking in on social media, submitting a Yelp review or just trying a new product all can be managed to drive trips, share of wallet and unpaid media visibility.
Above all retailers must not forget that your food must taste good first. That said consumers will reward you if you remember that the retail food price, value, service equilibrium is dynamic not static and your company should be as well.