Consumer migration from traditional meal venues too non-traditional fresh food venues has been fast. Bill Bishop Chief Architect, Brick Meets Click stated on a recent tour grocerant tour would our own Grocerant Guru that “the pace of change within the food service sector is accelerating and will continue to do so”.
So, when Sharon Olson, executive director of Y-Pulse stated that “Seventy-six percent of the college students we surveyed reported that they were purchasing food at convenience stores on campus as opposed to only 22% in the previous study (10 years ago),” no one at Foodservice Solutions® was surprised.
In a new study by Y-Pulse study found “that 75% of foodservice professionals now use social and digital media tools to engage their c-store and retail customers, compared to 32% in 2010.” With new messaging comes new customers.
Y-Pulse found “that the majority of on-campus convenience and retail stores are on Facebook, Twitter or a website to digitally connect with their consumers. The largest digital platform increase occurred with 72% of foodservice professionals using a website to engage their c-store and retail consumers, whereas only 33% reported using one in 2010.”
The Y-Pulse Study found:
- Top platforms that college and university foodservice professionals are using to connect with c-store and retail purchasers include Facebook (85%), Twitter (82%), a website (72%) and Instagram (54%).
- Top platforms students choose to obtain information about on-campus food options include Facebook (90%), Twitter (86%), a website (80%) and Instagram (60%).
- Ninety-three percent of students reported purchasing food on campus in 2015, a 26% increase since 2010.
- Sixty-nine percent of foodservice operators surveyed, whose responsibilities included the management of on-campus c-store and retail locations, believe they have a clear understanding of what they hope to accomplish in using social media for their operation, while only 37% felt that way in 2010.
Marketing messaging matters. What the team at Foodservice Solutions® got from this study was that Millennials are migrating just as fast as Baby Boomers are to grocerant niche mix and match bundled meal options and meal components. Success does leave clues and consumers are evolving where and how they buy Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food faster than ever before.