In the United States Millennials are attracted to large urban cities mostly seeking jobs, thus creating higher demand for housing, and a ‘new’ lifestyle. The same thing is taking place around the world in Thailand the growth of a rising urban middle-class is driving demand for convenience specifically demand for packaged convenient food from Convenience stores.
Demand for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is growing continuously in Thailand on the back of changing lifestyles in the kingdom. As an ever greater share of the population lives in the condominiums of Bangkok's sprawling suburbs, as rural areas turn into industrial clusters, as traffic jams worsen and more family members work outside, demand for more convenient packaged food options is rising. Here are some numbers from Euromonitor International:
1. The retail value of ready-to-eat meals is forecast to grow this year by 10% year-on-year to THB7.4bn (US$210.5m).
2. The success of ready-to-eat in Thailand is closely linked to the success of convenience stores, of which there are by now close to 30,000, or a ratio of about one store for every 5,500 people.
Pichaya Poonlarp, an assistant professor at Chiang Mai University's faculty of agro-industry, sounding a lot like Foodserivce Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson stated "There's no time for cooking, so pre-cooked products, frozen meals and sterilised product are in the convenience stores all over the areas in Thailand," …As each menu is either in frozen or in sterilised form, consumers can buy and ask the store staff to warm them using the microwave."
Poonlarp continued naming some of the top selling items in Thialand including “stir-fried chicken with mint leaves over rice, fried rice, wonton soup, stir-fried garlic and pepper pork over rice, stir-fried rice noodle and curry over rice as the most popular ready-to-eat meals sold in Thailand's convenience stores.”
Poonlarp also noted “US-style fast foods such as hamburgers and pizzas are popular among children and teenagers, whereas the 15-50 age bracket displays more fondness of Japanese-style ready-to-eat meals, such as sushi and noodle soups.”
Tunyarut JinKarn, head of the department of packaging and materials technology at Bangkok's Kasetsart University's faculty of agro-industry, argues the strength of Thailand's convenience store channel is a grave threat to the fast food sector, from hamburger outlets to traditional street foods. "Ready-to-eat prices are acceptable, so that ready-to-eat competes with fast food head-on on price," JinKarn explains. "But unlike the fast food sector, ready-to-eat companies like CPF are constantly launching new ready-to-eat meals on the back of robust R&D efforts, and promote them through TV, Internet and leaflets."
Well it would appear that Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive retail foodservice growth globally. The threat to the fast food sector and the restaurant sector over all can be validated by declining year over year customer count numbers that the restaurant sector in the United States continues to post. Those numbers negative or flat numbers can be reversed, replaced, or revitalized with integration of Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru’s Five P’s of Grocerant Marketing.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information
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