Monday, February 26, 2018

Why do Grocery Stores Continue to Stumble with Fresh Prepared Food

Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared has been the leading driver of top line sales and bottom line profits within every sector of retail foodservice for over 8 years yet grocery stores continue to stumble with it?  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® and his team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® understands why?  Do you?
Let’s look at the results from a recent survey of consumers on grocery store prepared food:
1.       When asked “What percentage of shoppers encounter incidences of failure in their grocer’s
prepared foods area when purchasing prepared chicken products? The Survey found 48%, which is a big number of miss-steps. 
2.       When asked to rate the meals that they picked-up at the grocery store deli they rated it a C, which we know does not drive repeat business.
3.       Of those who experience a problem in the prepared foods department, how many will stop shopping that retailer’s deli for a period of time?
4.       We were surprised that the number was only 38%, clearly most problems were resolved so I guess we found a bright spot. When asked What do real shoppers say about how to make a meal using products from the
grocer’s deli? The findings were a complete wake-up call consumers responded “We were lost – we didn’t know how to put the prepared foods together.”

Regular readers of this blog know that the line between food retail segments has become blurred in the minds-eye of the consumer.  Simply put grocerant offerings (the combination of grocery stores and restaurants) where consumer can buy food to eat while out and about or buy to take home).

Customer migration from the old cook from scratch and from sit-down restaurants combine to drive a shifting landscape we can expect many changes to the food and hospitality industry; it’s anticipated that by 2020, 70 per cent of restaurant businesses will be outside traditional walls, as customers migrate to prepared meals for home consumption.

Millennials in search of food discovery are leading the way for grocerant fresh prepared food as the seek out ethnic grocery store fresh prepared meals. These retail stores attract Millennials wanting to connect to their cultural roots and curious foodies interested in stepping outside their palate’s comfort zone all the while seeking authentic fresh food.

One thing is clear grocery stores must refresh service deli with true fresh prepare d food rather than continuing to try to make fresh prepared food a CPG product as they have done since 1997.  Cleary that has not worked as there are now 50% fewer traditional grocery stores today than just 12 years ago.

Consumers are not looking for innovation in new foods they are seeking authentic fresh food offering and currently the restaurant sector is doing a much beet job of that.  If success leaves clues and it does, grocery stores will need to not build restaurants but offer authentic fresh food faster in order to maintain market share.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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