Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Disruption Grocerant Fresh Food Fuels Dinner

Once again, success does leave clues and how and where consumers obtain dinner is a key driver of grocerant niche growth and foodservice channel migration according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

The Debate

Cook dinner, eat at a restaurant, pick-up a prepared meal and take it home, or order a meal or have grocerant niche fresh prepared meal components delivered. 2021 Grocerant ScoreCard found that at noon there are 82.3% of consumers that do not know what’s for dinner.  The same report found that at 4 PM 61.1% of consumers still do not know what they are going to have for dinner. 

The undercurrents of demographic change continue to drive the uncertainty according to Johnson fully 47.0% of Americans over the age of 18 are single and the need to cooking from scratch and planning for them is simply not top-of-mind.  In fact, our ScoreCards indicate that for singles fully 76.2% top choice is ‘where to pick up dinner’.

The Choice Cook or Up-Pick-Up Meal Components

Where to buy fresh food has evolved. Consumers today have a plethora of choices for when it comes to dinner.  Traditionally consumers would buy food at a grocery store and cook from scratch but that was 1950-1970 and then the undercurrents of change began with an abundance of great restaurant choice and increasing fresh prepared food options at grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores. All driven by increasing time constraints on consumers combined with an increased lack of cooking skill set for new international flavor profiles consumers have become accustom.

Internal research by Albertsons revealed that 80% of its customers say they want meal kits in stores, according to Pat Brown, the chain’s vice president of strategic business initiatives, in an interview with CNBC. He also said that 85% of online meal subscribers want an in-store option. Albertsons bought meal kit pioneer Plated last fall and is currently rolling the line out to stores nationwide.

Hello fresh has followed suit and is now offering its meal kits at 581 Giant Food Stop & Shop grocery stores.  Johnson reminds us that those meal kits are for customers that want to cook at home and do dishes.  It’s important to note that those meal kits in grocery stores are competing with the service deli where rotisserie chicken and many other fresh prepared meal components are being sold and many are being sold for less than the cost of the meal kit.  

Bain & Co. estimates meal kit sales are “$3.7 billion annually” our Grocerant Guru® reminds us that number is like a cup of water in the Pacific Ocean. Nielsen states that meal kit spending is growing ‘more than three times as fast as other channels’ which might be more important number.

Restaurants & C-stores

Remember that 47.0% of all Americans over the age of 18 are single, and fast-food drive thru restaurants specifically offer fast fresh food fast that is portable and priced very competitively has become a compelling option for what’s for dinner. Fast casual restaurants along with full-service restaurants are increasingly offing delivery, pick-up or third-party food delivery to compete with the drive-thru. 

The National Association of Convenience stores as regular readers of this blog know has tested their own meal kits in stores. C-stores have a decided advantage to restaurants and grocery stores according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant ScoreCards.  That advantage identified by 81.9% of respondents was the ability to mix & match meal components. Speed of service was second with 73.5% of consumers saying it was faster than either a restaurant or a grocery store.

Food Manufacturing Conundrum

Manufactures the ilk of Kraft-Hines, Campbell’s Soup, Tyson, Smucker’s, General Mills, and Unilever all must rethink how they are selling food.  Rethink where food is being bought? Most important food manufactures must reinvest in who is today’s consumers. Food manufactures must ask themselves do our products look more like yesterday than tomorrow.

So just what is your New Electricity? Success does leave clues  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email:

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