Thursday, October 8, 2020

Why Do Grocery Stores Fresh-Takeout Look more like Yesterday


While many grocery stores have remodeled and made the grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food the welcome mat / ‘centerpieces of the in-store shopping experience’. Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® ask why have many of the remodeled stores and most of the legacy stores continue to treat grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food as if it were a legacy CPG product?

Regular readers of this blog understand “consumers do not want to cook from scratch’.  Ok, yes some do most however will cook from scratch on the ‘weekends’ 83.1% according to the most recent Grocerant ScoreCard.

Johnson continues the recent Grocerant ScoreCards found 88.7% of consumers bought Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food because it was Fresh. With 86.4% of consumers saying they were seeking a specific Flavor, 82.6 % believe it is restaurant quality and 77.2% were buying because it was a Fast Meal. 

The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) has emphasized the importance of creating a dynamic in-store experience for shoppers leveraging fresh foods. To help educate the IDDBA members and the industry, they teamed up with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) on a series of webinars that delved into this issue, from a case manufacturer, retailer and culinary viewpoint. Among the trends and suggestions shared by panelists representing the aforementioned groups were:

·         Modifying existing hot and salad bars to better accommodate pre-packaged and grab-and-go products, including the use of risers, sneeze-guard extensions or complete removal of sneeze guards, removing pans and divider bars from the cold wells, and installing hot tiles.

·         Offer packaged do-it-yourself meal kits and/or pre-packaged items sold individually to create meals at homes. Consider seasonal themes and products used to create them, such as summertime grilling.

·         Convert all or part of the bar into a made-to-order service area, whereby associates can take orders and deliver the meal container hands-free via an attached chute.

·         The customer will determine the future of salad and hot food bars, based on their shopping habits and comfort levels.

·         Continue to focus on the benefits of packaged items while thinking of other creative ways to utilize the bars.

·         Devote half of the bars to pre-packaged items and the other half to bulk items.

·         More single-serve, packaged options.

After reading that one thing is clear.  They should have asked outsiders not insiders.  The reason most grocery store delis look like yesterday rather than today or tomorrow is that all they know and tomorrow who they asked.  How about asking the customers?  Success does leave clue and one clue we have all learned is doing what you have always done and doing it the same way does not is not the formula for tomorrow.  

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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