The undercurrents of change have been brewing for some time in the retail foodservice sector. Our Grocerant Guru™ has taken a look at what is brewing under the surface that you might have missed and identified those that will continue to evolve in 2015. Here is our list of 2015 undercurrents to watch:
1. Communal Dinning
The US Census fact finder tells us 50 percent of the US population over the age of 18 is single. Which led us to a The Hartman Group study finding 50% results of eating and drinking occasions take place when Americans are alone. Communal Dinning is fast becoming a social hub. Retailers that add more bar seating, Wi-Fi, big screen TV’s are driving this forward.
2. Delivering Everything Discounts
Amazon is testing restaurant food delivery, Starbucks and Panera plan to roll out delivery in 2015 and other quick-service concepts are sure to follow. Higher-end restaurants are offering catering and meal delivery, empowered by a number of tech-enabled third-party services that bundle menus from many operations. Watch for this area to grow driven by introduction to delivery discounts on bundled mix and match meals.
3. Authenticity Fresh, Local, Sustainable
Farm raised fist that is farmed near or in a city, fruits and vegetables that are local, in season are all considered by consumers as ‘better for you’. In Europe ‘ugly’ fruit has been featured and discounted in grocery aisles becoming a huge success. Consumers understand imperfection and embrace it, you should.
4. Value is the new Transparency
Albertson’s once bankrupt now part of Supervalu dropped its loyalty card and replaced it with competitive pricing driving both top line sales and bottom line profits. Long ago customers learned and understood what a lost leader was. Most legacy loyalty programs are simply reinforcing the fact that customers are being taken advantage by a big corporation. Social media is relevant not lost leaders.
5. Digital or Die
The first truly digital generation is here fully 85 percent of both Millennials and Gen Z search first online before buying according to Nielsen. Consumers today expect, demand, and drive early adoption. Marketing, messaging, and brand magic must be digital.
6. Share of Stomach vs Share of Segment
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ discovered, documented, detailed consumers desire for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food since 1991. Today consumers don’t say I want to go to a fast casual restaurant, full-service restaurant, C-store, Deli, or QSR. It’s about real time, real food, and discovery. Only legacy industry insiders talk segments, consumers simply want fresh food fast. Non-traditional locations of fresh food distribution will continue to garner Share of Stomach in 2015.