Friday, April 19, 2024

Convenience Stores Elevated Fresh Foods Sales Success Crushing Blow for Grocery Deli’s


At the intersection of growth fresh food sales specifically Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat prepared food the convenience store sector is simply trouncing the grocery store sector.  In fact, Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated, grocery stores should be embarrassed by the way the convenience store sector and garnered share of stomach by simply focusing on the eating habits of our evolving consumer.”

As the Grocerant Guru®, I've always championed the grocery store deli as a delicious and convenient option for busy shoppers. But let's face the facts, folks – convenience stores are giving the grocery store deli a run for their money. On top of that restaurant takeout food growth is simply another point of market share capitulation by grocery stores.  

Here's the skinny: Convenience store foodservice sales are booming, with prepared foods making up a whopping 33.9% of their in-store gross profits. That's a bigger slice of the pie than grocery store delis can claim these days.

Why the shift? Convenience stores are winning on three fronts:

1.        Speed and Simplicity: They excel at grab-and-go options. Think hot dogs rolling on a warmer, pre-made salads, and single-serve beverages – perfect for time-pressed customers.

2.        Value for Money: Convenience stores often undercut grocery stores on price, especially for prepared food items. Their lower labor costs and focus on pre-made options allow them to offer competitive pricing.

3.        Adapting to Trends: Convenience stores are constantly innovating. They're offering healthier options like fruit cups and yogurt parfaits alongside classic favorites. Plus, many feature hot food options that rival fast food joints.

But fret not, grocery stores are still too large to just fade away! They still have the upper hand in several areas:

1.        Variety: Grocery store delis offer a wider selection, with options to cater to different dietary needs and preferences. From gourmet cheeses to organic salads, we can provide a more customized experience.

2.        Quality: We can often boast fresher ingredients and higher quality preparation compared to convenience stores that rely heavily on pre-made items.

3.        Synergy with Grocery Shopping: The deli is a natural pitstop during a grocery shopping trip. Customers can grab a meal to go while picking up groceries for the week.

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Here's a few ways that grocery stores could bounce back: They need to up their deli game! Focus in on:

1.        Fresh, Appealing Displays: Make delis look vibrant and appetizing.

2.        Shorter Wait Times: Streamline service to compete with the speedy nature of convenience stores.

3.        Innovative Offerings: Feature unique, chef-inspired dishes that can't be found at the corner store.

4.        Highlighting Quality: Showcase the fresh ingredients and culinary expertise that goes into deli offerings.

By combining the customer focused touchpoints including; convenience, price, and quality the grocery store deli can reclaim a place as a destination for grab-and-go meals. It's time to make the deli aisle a destination, not an afterthought.

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday than tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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