Retail Foodservice Through the Shopper’s Eyes
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
The fourth annual Power of Foodservice 2019 study was conducted this year by 210 Analytics and commissioned by the Food Marketing Institute. The study takes a deep dive into retail deli and prepared foods to understand the opportunities along with consumer habits, preferences and trends. The survey specifically sought to determine shopper interests, attitudes and actions surrounding these categories. With foodservice being a key growth area for retailers, it is vital that retail dietitians stay on top of prepared food trends and consumer behaviors. Here are 10 important takeaways from the study:
- Deli-prepared foods are a key area of differentiation for grocery retailers.
It is an important area of growth with opportunities for increasing trips and transaction size.
- Over 85% of shoppers want their stores to offer more variety and flavor options for prepared foods.
Rotating items will help avoid menu fatigue and increase trips.
- Surveyed shoppers prepare meals at home an average of 4.5 meals in a typical week, with declines seen across most demographics.
Cross merchandise prepared meal components that can help customers save time putting dinner on the table.
- A strong foodservice reputation can build traffic beyond primary shoppers but many customers may not be aware of program offerings.
Provide signage, intercom messaging, social media outreach and ad copy so your prepared food is on shoppers’ radar.
- Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in dinner decisions.
Focus on search optimization and develop a regular social presence so your store is a routine consideration at mealtime.
- If you want to win with lunch sales, speed is the name of the game.
Ensure customers can get in and out of your store quickly.
- 65% of shoppers give emphasis to healthy choices when ordering from retail foodservice. Help your stores provide information, education and a healthy assortment of options.
- Grab-and-go options and cuisine variety is preferred.
Create unique dish, flavor, brand, cuisine, chef or health differentiators that help create a strong foodservice reputation and elevate top-of-mind awareness.
- Package functionality trumps sustainability for the majority of consumers surveyed.
As the environment grows as a shopper concern, offer choice and communicate your solutions.
Consider the many ways your expertise and skills can help drive awareness and sales within your deli and prepared foods departments to meet these shopper needs.