Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Has Restaurant Quality Grocery and C-store Food Extended Restaurant Discontinuity?

When NPD restaurant research industry icon Bonnie Riggs, in a press release announced new data that found: "The lines between retail foodservice and QSRs are blurring for consumers, and these channel s are competing for visits from consumers looking for a quick meal or snack. The Riggs stated “Consumers use QSRs, convenience, and grocery stores interchangeably for fast food, particularly when they find the same quality and variety," That is devastating news for the restaurant sector.  

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® has regularly posted on this blog as our followers know that consumer consider many C-store and grocery Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat menu items as good as or better than those found in the restaurant sector.  Until very recently many in the restaurant sector denied either the C-store or grocery store fresh food sectors were direct competitors.  

The NPD Group's QSR Plus Retail Market Monitor a daily tracker that monitors awareness, trial, and usage for QSR operators in major markets and nationally found that “the number of prepared-food purchases made at retail outlets (c-stores and supermarkets) per customer beginning March 2015 through June 2015 period is more than six visits higher than those made to QSRs in an average 4-week period. The new data validates that c-store threat that NPD reported in 2013.” Clearly this is an ongoing problem for restaurants. 

It’s all about numbers and the most important number is that customer place an equal rating on food quality at all three (Restaurants, C-stores, and Grocery prepared food).  Foodservice Solutions® can assist any retailer that wants to drive sales in the Grocerant niche with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Are you ready to look ‘A Customer Ahead?’

Today, there are over 155,024 C-stores in the U.S., according to trade group NACS while traditional Supermarkets number nearly 37,350. According to NPD's Spring 2015 Census, there are 6,092 independent burger QSRs and 45,555 chain burger QSRs. So burger restaurants are outnumbered by C-store competitors. 

According to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® the ability to mix and match bundle fresh prepared meal components is the one key drive of top line growth and bottom line profits for both the grocery sector and c-store sector.  

So, what are consumers buying at c-stores according to NPD? “They outsell restaurants on purchases of coffee, snacks, breakfast foods, soft drinks, and Mexican foods. Many of these purchases are in conjunction with fuel buys. Between meals and in afternoons--dayparts restaurants have been slow to go after--c-stores are winning the battle for consumer snack dollars, too. Supermarkets hold a high share of purchases of chicken, side dishes, and salads.” Are you ready to win the ‘battle for share of stomach’?

Success does leave clues.  Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing the same way?  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 participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us

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