Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food is blurring the line between restaurants and grocery stores. I call these fresh prepared products Grocerant niche food. It is targeted at the time-starved consumers, not with ingredients to make from scratch rather with ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat meal components that can be bundled into a meal.
Just think about how you shop for most meal preparation needs. You might buy a rotisserie chicken, pick out something from a salad bar and maybe an appetizer at the deli service case. Those are components vs. buying uncooked chicken, a head of lettuce and then having to clean, cut, season and then season and spend time cooking.
Foodservice Solution® and defines the niche this way "Grocerant means any retail food item that is ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat prepared fresh. Currently these items can be found in grocery stores in the deli / lifestyle section, Convenience stores in the prepared food area and prepackaged, ready-2-eat items and in restaurants under the To-go, takeout or take away or delivery section of the menu or on the website and now at Chain Drug Stores Walgreens and Duane Reade."
What is Driving the Grocerant Trend
Its 4 PM: your customers are just beginning to think about what's for dinner. 81% of American consumers are unsure about what's for dinner. Time Starved Consumers are looking for high quality ready to eat foods and ready to heat meals. Today's time starved consumers want to purchase meal components, that they can bundle into a customized family meal that will please everyone without spending time cooking.