Sunday, July 17, 2022

Battling Restaurant and Grocery Food Inflation Who is Winning


Stuck with two bad choices when it comes to What’s for Dinner. It’s at the intersection of food inflation and not eating we find the two choices. Choice one, stay home and cook or do dishes. Choice two go out to a restaurant and pay a lot more.  No one seems happy with the choice according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Let’s look at the most recent news. Inflation for food at home climbed to 12.2% year over year in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Grocery prices rose 1% and 12.2% over the past 12 months. Consumers are noticing and complaining.

Now the restaurant sector menu prices hit a fresh 40-year high in June, according to new federal data released. Regular readers of this blog know consumers are not going to stop eating.  However, they are going to go shop around even more. 

New research from Popmenu’s found some answers I am sure that all of you will find as interesting as I did.  Here let’s take a look:

“In the midst of inflation, soaring energy and food costs and talks of a potential recession, restaurant meals remain a staple in consumer diets. On average, 40% of individual or family food budgets is spent on restaurants each month, according to Popmenu’s nationwide survey of 1,002 consumers in May 2022. When ordering online, one-third (33%) of consumers spend $50 or more per order, on average.

Despite lingering concerns around the pandemic, more consumers are transitioning from delivery or takeout only to on-premise dining: 45% of consumers eat in restaurant dining rooms at least twice a week.

As budgets tighten, consumers said they are more likely to pull back on other purchases such as new clothes, travel and gym memberships before reducing their restaurant spending:

·         New clothes – 44% of consumers

·         Travel – 42% 

·         Gym membership – 33% 

·         Ride services (Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc) – 33% 

·         Streaming subscriptions (Netflix, Peacock, Hulu, Prime Video, etc) – 30% 

·         Other entertainment (movies, sports events, concerts) – 29% 

·         Personal grooming (hair/nail salon) – 27% 

 In a Battle For Share of Stomach

Price Matters

While the convenience and taste of professionally cooked cuisine certainly influence the reliance on restaurant dining, cost is also a factor. In a Q1 2022 study of 1,000 U.S. consumers, Popmenu found that 29% of consumers said that it’s cheaper to order from restaurants than buy all the items needed to cook a meal; 27% said it costs roughly the same…without all the work. 

Another reason why consumers enjoy restaurant dining is the special moments that often occur, whether planned or unplanned. In Popmenu’s May 2022 survey, consumers reported experiencing the following at restaurants: 

·         Reunited with family and friends – 47% 

·         Made a new friend – 36% 

·         Met spouse or significant other – 26% 

·         Watched favorite team win a national championship – 25% 

·         Landed a job – 20% 

·         Signed a business deal – 18% 

Brendan Sweeney, CEO and Co-founder of Popmenu, stated, “Restaurants play an important role in everyday life, from making meals to making memories,” says. “While consumers are keeping a closer eye on economic trends and their overall spending, restaurant dining continues to account for a significant portion of their food budgets each month. Where they ultimately choose to spend their dollars is, in part, influenced by how much the restaurant is keeping consumers engaged through digital outreach and how frictionless the overall experience is both online and on-premise. Quality, convenience and value are top of mind.”

Popmenu conducted a nationwide, anonymous survey of 1,002 U.S. consumers, ages 18 and older, from May 20 to May 21, 2022.

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 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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