Friday, May 13, 2011

Food retailing caught between confluence of the economy and gas prices.

Bonnie Riggs, senior NPD restaurant industry analyst and author of The Changing Consumer Mindset: What it Means to the Restaurant Industry. Riggs is noted for her timeliness and accuracy on restaurant trends and predictions.

Riggs found “Three-fourths (76 percent) of the consumers surveyed for the study fall into the cautious, controlled spender group, which include adults in all demographic groups but skew toward the unemployed, less affluent, and retirees. These consumers are still reducing restaurant visits, trading down, and ordering fewer items. While these consumers anticipate that they will be less restrictive with their restaurant visits when the economy recovers, they do not expect the economy to recover any time soon.

A smaller group of the respondents (24 percent) appear relatively unaffected by the recession. They are optimistic in general and have been less inclined to moderate their restaurant behavior, although this group did trade down in segment visits since 2007. They cross all demographic groups but are more likely to be employed and live in affluent households.

There is considerable disparity between the views of optimists and controlled spenders regarding enticement to visit restaurants more often, Optimists place much more importance on service and a relaxing atmosphere than controlled spenders, who are more concerned with price and value.”

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food continues to do well as do those companies focusing on the grocerant niche. It’s clear in order for the entire food retail industry to regain customer and momentum the economy / unemployment rate must drop and gasoline price must do the same.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit, or Facebook Steven

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