The future of
the family dinner can be found within the Grocerant Niche. So what is a
Solutions® Grocerant Guru says this "Grocerant means any retail food item
that is Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat
prepared fresh. The word Grocerant is a result of the blurring of
the line between restaurants and grocery stores.
In reality a grocerant is where a consumer can find fresh
prepared food aimed at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat
fresh prepared meals or meal components that can be bundled into a meal and or
packaged for Take-Out, Take-Away, or To-Go.
Today, grocerant meals and meal components are found in liquor
stores, drug-stores (Walgreens), fast food restaurants, fast casual
restaurants, full-service restaurants, and restaurants inside grocery stores,
in legacy “deli” departments, furniture stores (Ikea), club stores (Costco) and
clothing stores from Tommy Bahama, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s.
When the Grocerant Guru
say’s retailer, it is broadly defining supermarkets, mass drug merchants,
C-Stores (convenience stores), Furniture stores, Club Stores, Clothing
retailers and fast food , fast casual restaurants and full service restaurants
selling fresh prepared food, and restaurant meals and meal components sold
TO-GO or delivery.
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
consumer wants to purchase meal components that they can bundle into a
customized family meal that will please everyone without spending time cooking.
consumers may traditionally think these items can be or are found in grocery
stores in the deli / lifestyle section, C-stores in the prepared food area and
prepackaged, ready to eat items and in restaurants under the To-go, takeout or
take away or delivery section of the menu or on the website. The retail
industry has expanded and is evolving to keep up with the demands of consumers
desire to save time, improve quality, increase family flavor profile, while
enabling personalization and family meal customization.
Examples of Grocerants
Restaurant examples are
McDonalds, Pret A Manger Burger King, Pizza Hut,
Papa Murphy's and Starbucks, each having a fresh Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat
fresh prepared food. In the Casual Dining sector Maggiano's Little Italy offers
a buy one take a 2nd home for free in their Classic Pastas menu
section, Olive Garden, Chili’s, Boston Market and Denny’s. That is to name but a few.
Drug Store examples Walgreens as a food destination yet Walgreens sells fresh
soft-serve yogurt, coffee, sandwiches, salads
and sushi at selected stores, so they are technically grocerants.
7 Eleven, Wawa, Sheetz, Sheetz, and
QuickChek, all of which sell fresh and prepared sandwiches, salads, beverages.
Clothing Stores Tommy
Bahama, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Brooks Brothers all have or are planning restaurants
selling fresh prepared food in-store. Fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat
food is garnering consumer favor in this sector. Expect to find more and more clothing
retailers entering the grocerant niche.
Furniture Stores & Liquor Store example Ikea sells over $ 2
Billion a year in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in its stores
(mostly meatballs-mash potatoes), Pinkies
in San Angelo, Texas this past holiday season even offered complete fresh
prepared full Turkey Dinners will all of the traditional side orders. All of the fresh prepared food is prepared on
site and sold To-Go.
Supermarket examples are Whole Foods, Trader-Joes, Central Market, and Wegmans
sell fresh prepared chicken, salads, sandwiches and most offer sushi and
beverages. Many are now opening in-store restaurants including fast food, full
service sit down and bars all offer fresh prepared To-Go as well.
The retail supermarket and convenience store sector have unique
grocerant challenges. Presentation of the Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh
prepared food is important. When you get a meal at a restaurant, the plate and
the food look great… let's call this "food for now". Many legacy
retailers are primarily selling "food for later" or take-out and
unless an item is a sandwich, the looks of Ready-2-Eat meals and snacks begin
Why is it so hard to package food to go? In the Hot food section
of the grocery store the food in most cases does not look appealing so our
expectations drop when we get it for Take-Away. That may be one reason that
many grocery stores are continue to open restaurants or “food courts” selling
made to order fresh sandwiches or Chinese take-out. In convenience stores like Wawa, the
Ready-2-Eat food looks great in the To-Go containers. Why? Because Wawa puts
the entire consumer food package together. They exert more control on the look
and feel of "food for later".
Around the world we are now seeing sections in department's
stores and kiosk in malls in Europe and Asia and airports around the world. The
items can range from entrees to side items and deserts. Some examples of items
range from fried chicken, mash potatoes, cream spinach, to liver and onions,
pizza, hot dogs, steak, prime rib, various casseroles (hot-dish) to salads,
side salads pie, cake and any single proportioned deserts. They can be picked
up at the specific unit, or delivered.
if you are 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 or you can learn more at Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or