Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Food with Flavor Rings the Register

Food retailers flock to ‘premium’ niches the ilk of fast casual to garner industry press and Wall Street analyst approval.  While battling expanding waist-lines is the number one top-of-mind concern for consumer globally. Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ insists that “flavor is the number one attribute that drives product or concept adoption.” 

In a new forward looking study conducted by Mintel found that “56% of US consumers reference dieting in order to lose or maintain weight, most consumers prefer to count reps instead of calories (83%). When it comes to dieting, high-protein diets are the nation’s favorite. Forty percent of US consumers agree that food and drink products high in protein help users feel fuller longer, and 37% agree that protein assists with building muscle”

In addition, the study had several other finding: including transparency trumps ‘good for the environment” creating a platform for less additives and more authentic food for consumers. Mitel found that “nutrients on the plate is key heading into 2015, but consumers are concerned with the ingredients in each mouthful. 

Twenty-two percent of US grocery consumers would like to see improved labeling on packaging to help them easily identify healthier food products, and less than 38% trust what companies say on labels. Currently 80% of US consumers look for nutritional claims (i.e. vitamins, fiber) when buying food, while over one third (38%) look for products that are all natural.” 

 Mix and match grocerant niche meal components contribute to consumers ability to think they can cook as Mintel found “celebrity chefs’. Not much has changed in the past 50 years as life in many a home is centered around the kitchen, the morning grab-N-go, snack, dinner meal assembly the family while the kids do homework or drinks with the girls, everyone congregates in the kitchen. 

Mintel reported stated “26% of US consumers claim to have advanced cooking skills, up from 205 in 2012. Forty-one percent consider themselves to have intermediate skills. For this reason, cooking has evolved beyond a chore creating a market for products that cater to aspiring chefs by making home cooking easy, while still high quality.” That market is comprised of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meal grocerant niche components that can be found at C-stores, drug stores, liquor stores, restaurants, and legacy grocery store deli’s according to our own Grocerant Guru™. 

Here is how Mintel put it: “The rise of food-related television and media has inspired innovative home cooking in 2015. Consumers are embracing short-cuts that allow them to enjoy meal-time rather than ready-made substitutions,… Meal kits, ingredient delivery services and other products that encourage home chefs to make recipes their own have a welcome audience.”  Brands providing portability including online and mobile support to budding home cooks are going to continue to maintain or garner share. Food concept with a focus on authentic full flavors will continue to drive sales. 

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru™ at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.

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