Regular followers of this blog know that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits within all sectors of retail foodservice according to recent Nielsen data and Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
2017 Consumer Expenditures Study found Five key areas specifically caught our attention, and underscore deeper consumer motivations that will only continue to impact the competitive landscape in 2017 and beyond they are:
1. Fresh produce and proteins continue to account for the majority of supermarket growth, while categories dominated by canned/shelved/boxed items are struggling. As consumers continue to gravitate to “real foods” and easy-to-understand ingredient lists, this trend will continue. Making different choices with key center store items while simultaneously driving private brands will be necessary to capitalize on this trend.
2. Health perception is reality, and health-driven categories are growing (fresh, organic, healthy snacks), while products with perceived compromises lag. Meeting shoppers’ demand for a health “intellectual alibi” is critical, but overstepping on maximum health credentials will not pay dividends.
3. Alcohol and party foods won out over pantry-filling items last year, a continuation of the consumer’s appetite for new “experiences.” Supermarkets that note this need, and assort and merchandise around events/parties/celebrations, will enjoy a warm reception from consumers.
4. What used to be a need for convenience has evolved into demand for instant gratification on the go (e.g., meal kits or cereals), continuing to win out over time-intensive foods tied to a place. Many supermarkets are quickly moving to this offering, but being first to market with convenient products, highlighting prepared offerings and even innovating private-brand packaging to be ever more convenient will all add marks in the “W” column.
5. Interestingly, categories driven by small/ new brands are driving growth, while those categories dominated by national brands are often in decline. While some might argue the correlation with the less loyal Millennial population, the trend is more pervasive than that, and consumers, as noted above, are fundamentally seeking new experiences, new products and new brands with which to foster relationships they can be proud of. Investing to prominently display new brands and products ensures that retailers are seen as on the leading edge as well.
Steven Johnson our own Grocerant Guru® has understood that new non-traditional avenues of fresh food distribution have been opening up over the course of the past five years. All new avenues of fresh food distribution are experienced expanding customer trial and some have had very successful customer adoption. Is your company garnering new customers? Do you know what food retail attributes are most attractive to consumers today? Does your brand look more like yesterday than tomorrow?
Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us is the global leader in grocerant niche business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities. Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation? Want one? Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us