A grocerant is a hybrid of grocery store and restaurant. Grocerants offer freshly prepared, ready-2-eat, or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food for takeout or for inside a store setting. For example, a grocerant can be the fast-casual cafe, a fast food restaurant with a drive-thru, a grocery store deli or a grocery prepared meal section filled with meal kits or prepared meal components, or the freshly made, grab-and-go offerings of a convenience store.
There is a blurring the line between restaurants and grocery stores in the minds-eye of the consumer today. However, grocerants offer the appeal of freshly prepared foods in a convenient setting. A grocerant is an opportunity to pick up a meal you don't have to cook yourself, and therefore is an attractive option for a lot of people. In fact, three in four consumers would rather dine out with family and friends than stay in and cook, according to the National Restaurant Association. Let’s look at some additional facts:
1. Recent Grocerant ScoreCards found 81.1% of consumers don’t know what’s for dinner at Noon, and 61.1 don’t know what’ s for dinner at 4PM %.
- Roughly 63.7% of consumers purchase prepared food items from a retail location at least three times a month.
- 79.6% all dinners have at least 1 grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal component and 66.6% have two meal components.
- When asked if they wanted to cook dinner from scratch or assemble dinner from fresh meal components 91.3 % of Gen Z chose assemble from Fresh Prepared Meal Components and Millennials 83.4% chose meal components.
- Seventy-three percent of retail prepared food purchases are taken to go
- Prepared food purchases are frequently a planned purchase among 61.2% of shoppers, while 40.9% of shoppers said they buy prepared foods on impulse. Dinner has the highest amount of prepared food buys with 81.7% of respondents making purchases for that meal, while lunch comes in at 76.9% and breakfast at 61.4%.
- 57.8% of consumers would like to add Alcohol to a dinner order
In a Battle for Share of Stomach
Customer Relevance Matters
A grocerant may take stocked items and use them to create meals in Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat packaging, or it may create meals from a separate store of ingredients.
Many typical grocery stores sell grab-and-go prepared foods. Companies the ilk of Central Market, Safeway, Giant Eagle, Publix, and Kroger, for example, all sell freshly prepared rotisserie chickens, salads, and sandwiches, and most also offer sushi and beverages, too.
Convenience stores are now excelling at selling fresh Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal components or meals; such as 7-Eleven, Wawa, Sheetz, and QuickChek also sell fresh and prepared sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and some locations offer dine-in seating.
Many grocerants include alcohol sales in their business model, including a selection of wine, beer, and cocktails as an added draw.
Whole Foods, typically known for its groceries, provides "Grab-and-Gourmet" prepared meals in addition to rotisserie chickens and catering platters. But at some locations, you'll find food courts, or food halls, featuring local beer and a variety of dine-in or take-out options, many showcasing local "Friends of Whole Foods" chefs. Visitors to its flagship food hall and cocktail bar at its Tyson's Corners, Virginia, location might find counter service, seating, and self-serve wine in addition to a specialty donut maker, Japanese pub, and superfood smoothie bar.
There are also sections in department stores and kiosks in malls that offer ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat options, including entrees, soups, sides, or faster options like pizza and hot dogs. Generally, these items can be picked up or delivered.
Not only is there variety as to where to find a grocerant, but the grocerants themselves may have different themes. The grocery chain Wegmans offers its Market Café as a spot to pick up quick bites such as sushi, pizza, sandwiches, and salads. But it offers additional restaurants, too. Next Door by Wegmans offers healthy, chef-prepared foods using organic and sustainable ingredients from their store, while Amore by Wegmans provides classic Italian dishes and wine. The Burger Bar by Wegmans sells burgers and fries for take-out or delivery.
Further blending grocery stores and restaurants are premade meal delivery services such as Freshly or Daily Harvest. These businesses provide subscription plans that deliver prepared meals to your door; all you need to do is heat and eat. Other business models provide the ingredients and recipe cards for you to make your own meals. Blue Apron, for example, ships you the ingredients for the meal you choose, and you prepare it.
Grocerants are a hybrid of grocery store and restaurant aka any food retailer that sells fresh prepared meals and meal components that can be mixed and matched into a perfect family meal without the need for cooking from scratch. They typically sell grab-and-go meals or sometimes even offer sit-down dining and table service.
On a side note; Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® received a US Trademark for the word Grocerant in 1998, subsequently gave it up to become the ‘Grocerant Guru®’. Today Foodservice Solutions® retail consultancy is the global leader within the grocerant niche.
Simply put today a grocerant is anywhere a consumer can find fresh prepared food positioned, placed, and priced for the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals or meal components that can be bundled into a meal and or packaged for Take-Out, Take-Away, or To-Go.
For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions. His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869
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