Monday, September 30, 2013

Walgreens Up-Market Focuses on What’s for Dinner

Up-Market Walgreens new focus continues to expand the depth and direction Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food aka Grocerant niche meal components.  The grocerant niche is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable convenient meal solutions.

Targeted at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food components that are “better for you”, portable and portioned for one or two. Walgreens gets it and is positioning for a much larger share of the fresh food retailing dollar.  With less than 13% of household income allocated to food competition is you might say heating up!  At 4PM you may soon be picking up dinner on your way home from work at Walgreens.

In a programs rolled out from Boston to San Francisco, Los Angles to Chicago consumers can now find fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, sushi , sandwiches and Heat-N-Eat meat loaf. In addition Walgreens spokesman Robert Elifinger stated “ Our San Francisco area customers are already buying a lot of food in our stores, and there are requests for more product offerings," he said.

In addition to the items listed above - and Walgreens' more traditional offerings, including candy, potato chips and soda - there'll be meats, wraps, soups "and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for tonight's meal,"  Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal components are a hallmark of the grocerant niche.
With this new market test underway, Walgreens is now testing fresh food in New York via Duane-Reade, Chicago and the San Francisco bay area. For all of my regular readers you have heard it hear before but this trend is sweeping the country from coast to coast. 
These expanded points of distribution may well challenge many a legacy fresh food retailer including chain restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores for market share. Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.

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