Monday, March 27, 2023

What's Simple for Dinner Grocerant Meals and Meal Components


Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive customer migration looking for a simple-solutions to the age-old question What’s for Dinner.

Steven Johnson speaking last week at the annual Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Summit laid out some facts that can help food retailers from every sector better understand the demand for simple meals fast.  Johnson stated that 83.6% of all restaurant meals in 2022 are purchased from a fast-food outlet or drive-thru, simple meals fast.

So, how do Americans decide what to have for dinner when they want to go out to eat? The most common ways that people find somewhere to eat are on Google (76%), through word-of-mouth recommendations (64%), on Yelp (39%), and on social media (30%).

When asked where Americans get dinner, most (77%) commonly eat at home or cook for themselves. 50% say they regularly get takeout or pick up, 31% say they go to restaurants, and 3% say they use a meal subscription box.

39% of consumers say they’re loyal to certain retailers because of specific prepared foods. 35% of retail foodservice consumers wait two to three hours to eat their food, and 21% wait 24 hours or more, according to Technomic’s U.S. Retail Foodservice report

No. 1 factor that consumers say would prompt them to purchase from retail foodservice is that the food looks good, and 27% of consumers say that fresher grab-and-go options would encourage them to make repeat purchases from a store’s prepared foods section. No. 1 breakfast item is a breakfast sandwich/wrap, with 42% of consumers saying they’d purchase.

Consumer Trend Report, 92% of consumers said they expected to maintain or increase their purchases of grab-and-go items in the near future

Grocery stores are capitulating customers to nontraditional fresh food channels of distribution.  They need help and FreshRealm just might be the company to help them.

According to FreshRealm, “persisting inflation coupled with work-from-home flexibility means consumers are eating at home more than ever across all day parts. Nearly 40% of Americans are opting for one to three prepared or semi-prepared breakfast and lunch options each week,1 and almost a quarter of shopper’s report paying more frequent visits to the fresh meals section of their grocery stores since the pandemic began. With consumers seeking at-home meal options that are fresh, delicious and convenient, retailers have an opportunity to capture valuable share-of-stomach with fresh prepared meal offerings.

So, as retailers look to capitalize on evolving consumer behavior by expanding their fresh prepared meal offerings, a deterrent may be skyrocketing labor costs and decreasing labor availability. In-house assembly requires costly labor commitments from employees across functions and levels—from store teams that assemble, package and stock meals; to planners that develop and source innovative recipes; to marketers that merchandise offerings across channels. Cost aside, with labor shortages continuing to plague the grocery industry, an undertaking that demands such heavy labor involvement may not be feasible.

Third-party partners present a compellingly cost-effective savings opportunity for grocery retailers facing the high-cost barriers of expanding fresh prepared meal offerings. A recent cost model comparison from FreshRealm found that retailers can save up to 40% when they choose to source fully prepared ready-to-cook and ready-to-heat meals from a third-party partner rather than assemble in-house. And the cost savings doesn’t stop with retailers—the Suggested Retail Price for the FreshRealm meal was 17% less than the meal made in-house, bringing cost relief to shoppers conflicted with the struggle of rising food costs, too. Retailers can then provide more variety and lower costs to consumers while driving foot traffic.

With the company’s wide array of fresh ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, and ready-to-cook private label and branded meal solutions, Fresh Realm is uniquely positioned to offer a personalized solution that addresses every retailer and consumer need. 

Ready to start saving? FreshRealm is working with grocers nationwide to create fresh prepared meal in-store destinations. Visit for a full look at the company’s range of ready-to-heat, ready-to-cook and meal kit solutions that are helping retailers and consumers save when they need it most.”

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideas look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how our Grocerant Guru® 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 one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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