Driving Sales & Wellbeing with Meal Planning

Driving Sales & Wellbeing with Meal Planning

March 30, 2022
Shari Steinbach
TrendsCommunicationsRetail Industry Insights

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Over the past few years, consumers have been cooking at home more than ever, which, despite the circumstances, has been good news. Research shows that people who regularly eat home-cooked meals have healthier diets and they also save money and time. Keep your customer’s home cooking habits strong and drive sales for your stores by helping shoppers advance their meal planning skills with these educational ideas.

  • Highlight time and money savings. While planning meals sounds like a time-consuming event, consumers will actually save time in the long run as it avoids excessive shopping trips. In addition, by knowing what the weekly menu entails, shoppers can do some meal prep ahead when time allows. Consumers will also save money as they’ll be purchasing ingredients they will actually use and won’t have the need to run out for expensive restaurant meals.
  • Provide realistic meal planning tips. Suggest a simple meal planning strategy to shoppers with step-by-step guidance. For example, checking their kitchen for items that need to be used up, considering which nights need to be quick “assembly” meals, planning for leftovers, using a cook once, eat twice recipe and the creation of a departmental grocery list of needs.
  • Encourage Stocking up on Healthy Meal Building Blocks. A strategically stocked pantry always means that a simple meal is doable even on the busiest of nights. Create a social media video showcasing healthy meal building blocks such as canned seafood, nuts, jarred sauces, pasta and rice, canned beans, canned tomatoes and other vegetables, frozen fruits and veggies, seasonings, cheeses, etc. Showcase a few easy meal ideas along with your private brand staple items to help shoppers save money.
  • Help consumers invest in the right tools. To pull off most meals, basic kitchen tools such as knives, a cutting board, pots and skillets, and a mixing bowl are fine. But a few extra small appliances can help consumers save time and make cooking easier and more enjoyable. A multi-cooker, which is a pressure cooker, slow cooker and more, is a compact appliance that can make meal prep quick and cleanup easy. Show customers how to use this for cooking soups, risotto, meat, grains, hard-boiled eggs, dried beans and more. Other appliances may include a food processor or toaster oven.
  • Promote Store Services. Make a list of the many services your stores provide to help consumers prepare healthy meals at home more easily. These services may include online shopping, seasonal menu and recipe ideas, grocery delivery, value-added produce and meat products, prepared food items, special diet resources and more.