Meijer is helping busy families serve up simple meals and snacks at home with a first-of-its-kind food solutions program in each of its 213 stores. Launched last month, Ready! For You is tailored to meet the tastes and lifestyles of busy families by providing recipe ideas, inspiration and savings opportunities in-store and online. Here are some details from Meijer’s Shari Steinbach.
Tell us a little about the Ready! For You program.
Ready! For You is a first-of-its-kind food solutions platform that saves parents time and provides solutions tailored to their family's tastes and lifestyle throughout the seasons. The program provides customers a way of finding affordable, delicious and quick-to-prepare meal and snack options throughout the store and is tailored to save busy families time by providing recipe ideas and inspiration. Ready! For You-branded meal displays are throughout the store conveniently pair food solution items together.
Displays are in meat department, grocery end-caps, frozen end-caps, refrigerated coolers, and coming soon to deli department.
What was the impetus for the program?
Meijer is adapting to fast-moving food trends and the preferences of families and millennial shoppers. We know that families are busier than ever and feeling squeezed for both time and money. This time of year, the shopper mindset is around getting back to a routine. Dinners are more structured, snacks become a 4th meal and breakfast needs to be quick, easy and sustaining - and they are looking for different ideas, tips and savings to explore what's fresh and new for their eating occasions.
Our research showed that one of the biggest hurdles that prevents families from cooking at home is finding new meal and snack ideas that are affordable, delicious and quick to prepare. For instance, 77% say that preparing meals gives them a feeling of accomplishment and their top frustration is not knowing what to make.
In addition, Millennials are trending toward a last-minute, more spontaneous approach to shopping meal-planning and are more likely than previous generations to build shopping trips around particular recipes, rather than take a peek in the pantry and restock staples.
Were dietitians involved in choosing healthy well-balanced meals?
Ready! For You combines multiple manufacturer products into affordable meal solutions, and ties together manufacturers in ways they hadn't foreseen, which provides potential additional sales beyond their plans. Our dietitian team provides healthy ingredient ideas and simple serving suggestions for the recipes so the meal idea is easy, affordable and healthier. The RDs also promote the program and recipes through their regular media segments, social media, and community events.
What are three other benefits of the Ready! For Your program?
Sunday sampling demos, so shoppers have the opportunity to taste what's on display. This way they know exactly what they are getting.
Online, Meijer is creating videos with quick and simple food ideas and sharing a steady cadence of breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe ideas on Pinterest.
Families will also enjoy the affordable solutions as the average cost of a Ready! For You meal is between $12 and $15; and provides portions to feed a family of four. In addition, ingredients for each Ready! For You meal are always part of our weekly promotions/sale offers and customers can also get discounts when they buy multiple items, which can save an additional 15/20 % off.
How are shoppers responding to the program?
Early response has been good and customers love the weekly demos and sampling.
As a retail dietitian what makes you most excited about the initiative?
Making it easier for families to enjoy meals together at home.
Anything else we should know?
We are looking to expand into other areas of store - including deli, fresh produce, and seafood. More information on the Ready! For You program can be found at Meijer.com/ReadyForYou.
About Shari Steinbach
For the past 23 years Shari Steinbach has worked as a registered dietitian (RD) in the grocery industry and has served as the Healthy Living Manager for Meijer, in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 2003. In Shari’s role, she manages consumer health communication, community events, nutrition programs, and solution selling strategies with a team of four other dietitians.