Restaurant, Grocery store, and Convenience store shoppers are on the move looking for grocerant niche fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat better-for-you food. Customer migration from brand to brand in what Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson calls the “trying trials fresh food fast have created a platform of success for most chain convenience stores”
Gone are the days when consumers went to convenience stores as a last resort destination to purchase tasty but unhealthy snacks and drinks. Today consumers are increasingly, finding healthy and better-for-you products at convenience stores are exploring to stay competitive offering grocerant niche ‘better-for-you’ fresh prepared food.
Recently The Hartman Group pointed out that most Americans want to improve the quality of their live through diet. This culture shift is nothing new except this time millennials seemingly are taking it very seriously. The fact that restaurants are not evolving very fast and the grocery sector thinks that fried chicken is fresh fast food that is ’better-for-you’ has created a platform of opportunity for the convenience store sector.
Kwik Trip’s dietitian Erica Flint stated "Healthy and better-for-you are very broad terms and mean something different to each of our guests,….As is the case with anything, different health trends pop up with guests looking for items that align with those ideals."
Since most consumers visit convenience stores for a ‘small bite, quick meal, or fill-in meal’ according to our own Grocerant Guru®. It becomes incumbent upon convenience store retailers to offer snacks that are healthier as well. So just what does ‘better-for-you’ mean today?
Greg O'Neal, vice president of marketing for Thanasi Foods makers of “simple, healthy snacks that taste anything but simple” — consumers in search of better-for-you items are most interested in the following set of attributes:
Real Food: "There is definitely a movement toward real, rather than artificial; foods with transparent ingredient labels," O'Neal said.
Protein: Demand for high-protein food is on the rise, with 50 percent of Americans actively looking for it in the foods they buy and consume.
Craft: The term doesn't just apply to products found in a beer cave. When it comes to snacks and other food, consumers are also looking for more craft and less mass-produced products. "What happened in craft beer is happening in snack food for sure," he said.
Snacking as Meal Replacement: The trend of snacks as a meal replacement instead of a meal supplement is on the rise . Large, full meals are being replaced by smaller portions to help consumers eat less and eat on the go. This ties in with the increased demand for protein, as meat-based proteins make a good meal replacement.
Low/No Sugar: More people are discovering how much sugar can hide in otherwise healthy snacks and cutting back on their sugar consumption.
Success does leave clues and today integrating authentic ‘better-for-you’ food into menu’s, product mix, and marketing are keys to success that for all food retailers. Simultaneously retailers must be cognizant that consumer’s desire for fresh food fast and portable is increasing in importance. Today C-stores are doing a better job of that than restaurants and grocery stores.
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 participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.