Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® has focused on time starved consumers since 1991 and one thing that continues to highlight the continued growth of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is consumers continued increase in time saving fresh prepared Heat-N-Eat meal options.
In new research from Nielsen Perishables Group showed that the “deli is playing an over-sized role in best-in-class retailers — top fresh retailers make their delis dining destinations in which deli entrees have a key role to play.”
Nielsen found that “during the latest 52 weeks ending Feb. 27, 2016, average deli dollar and volume sales (per store per week) increased 5.8% and 3.9%, respectively, driven by sales increases in deli prepared foods. Deli prepared foods increased average dollar sales 6.7% and increased average volume sales 2% during this time.” Here are some interesting facts:
1. Ninety-six percent of U.S. households already purchase deli prepared foods, but the number of households purchasing deli prepared entrees is closer to 70%, leaving plenty of room for growth.
2. During the latest 52 weeks, deli prepared entrees was the third-highest selling variety within deli prepared foods behind deli prepared chicken and deli salads, posting average sales of $1,706 per store per week.
3. The category also posted strong growth, up 7.4% in dollar sales and 5.3% in volume sales. The average retail price of deli entrees was $4.74, an increase of just 2% compared to the previous year.
4. Top deli entrees beyond the “hot bar” included pasta entrees, followed by franks and dinner sausages, and beef entrees. Pasta entrees posted average dollar sales of $238 per store per week, an increase of 3.3% compared to the previous year.
5. Franks and dinner sausage entrees (which includes products like corn dogs, smoked, Polish and Italian sausage) posted solid growth over the previous year, up 6.2% in average dollar sales to $152 per store per week, and up 3.4% in average volume sales.
6. Beef entrees was the most significant driver of category growth during this period, up an impressive 33.1% in average dollar sales to $146 per store per week, and up 33.9% in average volume sales. Growth drivers within beef entrees included meatloaf, meatballs and even steak. Mexican entrees and Asian entrees also posted solid dollar growth during this time, up 6.9% and 8.2% respectively.
Consumer demand for mix and match meal component offerings with the ‘dinner protein’ entrée as front and center item points to incremental consumer adoption to the grocerant niche according to Foodservice Solutions® team. Looking A Customer Ahead is key when consumer focused meal solutions for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with portability are being offered. Success does leave clues and grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is a success clue for all food retailers.