Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food will be at the intersection of creating an educated, elevated, engaging family meal in 2023. Food retailers including restaurants, convenience stores, grocery service delis and dollar stores will all be competing for a larger share of stomach in this sector driving down prices while saving consumers time in 2023.
According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, stated, “Price, Portability, Palate pleasing, will be the drivers of success in within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food space throughout 2023.”
The price of food will also be top of mind in the new year, with shoppers looking for extreme flavors, nostalgic foods, global cuisines and more. Holistic health and wellness will also rate highly for consumers, especially as Mintel found that 78% believe healthful eating is important for their emotional well-being. Expect shoppers to seek out products that support cognition and focus, stress and sleep, and mood.
Grocery industry executives still remark at how the food-at-home trend has continued well beyond the pandemic, and many think it has now reached the point of behavior change among consumers. That is, consumers—many of whom continue to work remotely—like what grocery stores have to offer for their daily meals and find the value appealing. This sentiment is likely to strengthen as supermarkets boost their deli grab-and-go and foodservice offerings and food-at-home price inflation relaxes, providing consumers a strong option to the high pricing at restaurants.
Frictionless shopping, MFCs among hot technologies.
You can’t give new-year predictions without naming leading technologies. Here are two. Next year, more shoppers will expect to be able to skip the checkout line at chain grocery stores (and convenience stores) through frictionless payment systems such as scan-and-go, smart shopping carts and solutions like Amazon’s Just Walk Out. Also, expect more food retailers to roll out automated micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) to support elevated online grocery demand and help build e-commerce profitability.
Value grocers add market share.
The trust that value-focused grocery chains built up with consumers amid high inflation will continue to pay dividends in 2023 in the form of more market share. Even with inflation easing up, food shoppers liked what they saw from these grocers—not just in terms of value, but also selection, quality and convenience—and will keep them in their grocery shopping mix.
One of 2022’s big labor stories was the sudden success unions found in organizing Starbucks and a number of small quick-service chains. Among the developments we’re likely to see in the new year is a shift in organized labor’s attention to full-service brands, with priority given to combating the tip credit.
Washington, D.C., has already lost the concession to full-service operators, and a Michigan court is deliberating right now on whether that state’s credit will be scuttled, too.
But that’s just the beginning. Republicans’ control of the U.S. House of Representatives makes the possibility of killing the credit on a national basis unlikely, but expect to see considerable activity on the state, county and municipal level.
Additionally, 41% of consumers are choosing low- to no-alcohol drinks to be healthier, according to Mintel sober bars study. There’s only a handful of completely alcohol-free bars now, but as sober socialization gains popularity, especially among Gen Z consumers, more of these will pop up. They serve inventive drinks made with alcohol-free spirits, and offer games, events and other fun activities to entice guests. There already are shops that sell only zero-proof spirits, beer and wine. The team at Foodservice Solutions® says don’t invest in one of these as the life span will be short. Why, existing outlet’s will be quick to invite a new set of consumers to avoid the ‘veto’ vote.
Don’t over reach. 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 participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter
In 2023 Are You Building a
Share of Stomach?