Thursday, October 29, 2020

Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh Food Packaged Sells


Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food Portioned, Portable, Product, with the right Placement, and Price continues to garner incremental customers within the foodservice retail space as COVID-19 continues to linger according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. 

Yes, those are the FIVE P’s of fresh food marketing first identified, quantified, and qualified by Foodservice Solutions®, Grocerant Guru® back in the day. What’s happening today to continue driving top line sales and bottom-line profits with the grocerant niche.  It’s simple the price of freedom has gone up. 

How so? According to the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., a majority of young adults (18- to 29-year-olds) in the U.S. live with one or both of their parents for the first time since the Great Depression. Freedom you say.  The ‘kids’ want to be away at school, at work, or play and parents thought they would be gone as well.  No one wants to cook from scratch or eat at the same time so discontent at home and at the dinner table is on the rise according to Johnson.

Here is the problem consumers want the ability to customize and order and personalize a meal. Thus, creating a quagmire for many retailers.  Tim Powell of Foodservice IP conducted some research and stated that "We are seeing more consumers opt for something prepackaged for safety reasons. "The thinking is the food handling by the staff is eliminated." Let’s see what else Powell found:

Foodservice IP has identified four customer mindsets developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with each one having different impacts on the foodservice category: 

1.       The Fearful: These consumers are terrified the virus will kill them or their loved ones, resent those who do not follow safety guidelines, and will not shop or visit a restaurant until a vaccine is found. Food handling concerns are also an issue when it comes to delivery.

2.       Cautionaries: These consumers realize the severity of the virus and will follow state and federal rules. Their use of takeout and delivery is minimal, and they'll make use of the drive-thru instead of entering the building.

3.       The Followers: They view the virus as an inconvenience but are not distraught about it, and will sometimes wear protective gear if the social context calls for it. It is common for them to order food for takeout, curbside and delivery.

4.       The Ambivalent: They throw caution to the wind, are unlikely to wear protective gear unless a retailer mandates it, and may resent others for taking the virus too seriously. Their behavior will return to normal once restaurant operations resume.

Here is the rub, according to the Grocerant Guru® every time a retailer converts a Grocerant Niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food item into a CPG product, consumers push back.  That said in the short- run packaging is more important than ever. It plays a significant role in how consumers rate their off-premise dining experiences. Fresh and Fast are still the number one and two attributes consumers are looking for in prepared food at 78.3% and 77.6% respectively according to recent Grocerant ScoreCards.

Now according to Anchor, noting that many people turned to social media during the COVID-19 crisis to both praise well-packaged food that looked and tasted good and to complain about poor experiences. Such voices will continue to be amplified as usage of takeout and delivery remains high.

Packaging for hot to-go food should include the following:

·         Leak-resistant, tight closures to avoid messy spills en route;

·         Special features to keep fried foods hot and crisp;

·         Reclosable bases and lids made with dishwasher-safe, reusable materials;

·         The ability to withstand temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit under a heat lamp or in the microwave; and

·         Capable of consumer reuse and being recycled after multiple use

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 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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