Friday, June 5, 2015

Consumers Continue Eating-Out While Eating-In

Is your boomer CMO’s holding your brand to a psychological mindset of yesterday’s brand positioning in a world of today's contemporized consumers?  When thinking “What’s for Dinner” recent research by Foodservice Solutions® found 86 percent of consumers at 1PM have no idea at all what is for dinner and 65 percent of consumers at 5PM still do not know “What’s for Dinner”.  Thus the rise of the Grocerant Niche all companies selling fresh prepared food for Eating In or Eating Out are now direct competition for legacy restaurants customers while challenging legacy grocery stores models. They appear to be winning.

According to data reported by TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence through The Restaurant Industry Snapshot “The main concern since the recession has been the declining guest counts of the restaurant industry as a whole. Same-store traffic declined 2.3 percent in May, a 0.8-percent decrease from April. Instead, rising average checks are driving sales growth” NOT CUSTOMERS.  There has not been a year over year increase in customer counts since the recession began. 

So Just what is Grocerant?

In reality a grocerant is where a consumer can find fresh prepared food aimed at the time-starved consumer that is either Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat.  Consumer consider fresh prepared meals or meal components that can be bundled into a meal and or packaged for Take-Out, Take-Away, or To-Go as ‘better for you’ according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals and meal components are found in a plethora of new non-traditional locations including 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.  

Eating Out by Eating In?

Take-Out and Take-Away Options Threaten legacy business models menu items have been around so long that consumer simply take them for granted. Millennials are on a quest for personal discovery… looking past the once obvious choice. The result is an opportunity for a new business that is new business models selling fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. 

With the increased presents of the 65 inch HDTV in home today Foodservice Solutions®  research find “The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome” is a key driver in shifting consumer food consumption patterns.

Millennial’s Drive Change but Maybe not the Change Restaurants are Looking For

Even with an increase in foodservice spending  which was up 3 percent for the year ended April 2015, The NPD Group found that “ he increased spending did not equate to a rise in foodservice visits, which were flat for the period”.  Still no customer count growth for restaurants.

The NPD report went on to say “Young adults are typically the heaviest restaurant visitors, but since the Great Recession, millennials have cut back dramatically on their visits and spending at restaurants. Millennials ate eight more meals at home last year compared to the prior year, while all others ate one additional meal at home.”

Here is some disconcerting news from NPD “Older millennials, aged 25-34, who are more likely to have families, have cut back the most on restaurant visits, making 50 fewer visits per person per year over the past several years. Younger millennials, aged 18-24, made 33 fewer visits per person per year in 2014 than they made in 2007.”

The battle for share of stomach continues to evolve and today many legacy restaurant, grocery store, and C-store chain Boomer CEO’s are in a quagmire of stewardship. Unwilling to dramatically redesign; concept footprint, menu items, or points of distribution they are saddled with “canned” concepts  better suited for the golden age of the food industry rather than today.

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ stated “Brand protectionism is fast fading away and giving ground to a fresh prepared grocerant evolution. That evolution is required for long term brand survival. Consumers are dynamic not static and brands must be as well.”

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  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 participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

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