Grocery shoppers express demand for expanded value deals, nutritional options and convenient choices
Arlington, VA – FMI – The Food Industry Association today released its Power of Foodservice at Retail 2022 report, evealing key insights into consumer demand for foodservice at retail. This report comes at a critical time when a quarter of shoppers (25%) are purchasing more grocery foodservice items than a year ago, surpassing dollar and unit sales volume from last year and 2019. The analysis suggests that food retailers can compete for consumers’ food dollars by maximizing value, nutrition and convenience, while clearly communicating these benefits to consumers.
“It’s our opportunity to put grocery foodservice on the map,” says FMI’s vice president of fresh foods, Rick Stein. “At a time when consumers are rethinking where to put their food dollars, retailers need to demonstrate the value of grocery foodservice and exceed expectations. The Power of Foodservice at Retail 2022 report provides a detailed roadmap on where retailers can supercharge segment success.”
Appeal to the Cost-Conscious Shopper
As inflation continues to affect Americans’ budgets, shoppers are preparing more meals at home – focusing on weekly meal planning and scratch cooking. Fifty-three percent say grocery foodservice items are a good value compared to eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout. Retailers are well-positioned to capitalize on consumer needs by supporting shoppers’ meal planning through targeted strategies, like suggesting different meal themes by day, expanding the variety of meal bundles and total meal solutions and promoting meal components for specific dishes.
Bring Nutritional Benefits to the Fore
A growing number of shoppers are ranking nutritional value highly when considering foodservice options. Fifty-eight percent of consumers are interested in vegetables or other healthy options, but only slightly more than a third (36%) are very satisfied with the nutrition levels of current foodservice offerings. Consumers suggest retailers can satisfy their palates by reducing the number of fried foods and adding more plant-based options. The study also finds grocers can attract shoppers to new and existing nutritious options by promoting them on in-store signage, printed circulars, store apps and social media channels.
Convenience is Key to Capturing Customers
To compete for the away-from-home dollar, the report reveals retailers should consider adopting restaurant-style amenities. For example, 50% of shoppers say the ability to order grocery foodservice items in advance through a mobile app or website and pickup at an inside pre-order station is appealing. Drive through lanes (48%); a separate checkout in the foodservice area (44%); delivery by the grocery store (42%); and outside pickup stations (38%) are other potential offerings to attract grocery shoppers to foodservice.
Stein noted, “Retailers have a compelling story to tell about the many ways foodservice delivers on value, nutrition and convenience, but the analysis also suggests something’s missing: Shoppers are craving a new menu. They want our industry to regularly evaluate cuisines and seek their feedback.”
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