Competitive Shift: Retail into Foodservice - US - May 2015
“Food retailers have gained traction in the freshly prepared meals category by providing foods that are of high quality, healthy, and competitively priced. Further, they have renovated stores and spaces to highlight their offerings, making these products easy for consumers to find and purchase. Foodservice operators need to focus on promoting their healthy offerings, snack foods. and convenience, in order to compete. Working on efficiencies to cut down on wait times and offering a wide variety of menu items also will help appeal to busy consumers looking to save money and time by purchasing ready-made foods.”
– Julia Gallo-Torres, Sr. Foodservice Analyst
This report answers the following key questions:
- What can restaurants do to capture more of the snacking business?
- How to spur purchase of beverages in foodservice?
- What can foodservice do to be seen as more convenient than retail?
This report will explore consumer attitudes and behaviors with respect to freshly prepared foods that are ready to go, in retail. These products include foods such as entrees, side dishes, soups, salads, appetizers and other dishes that compete directly against restaurant foods; this does not include frozen foods. The report will explore consumer motivations, attitudes, and reasons for purchase. It will show during which dayparts consumers purchase these freshly prepared foods both at retail, and at restaurants (for comparison), and how influences such as convenience, quality, health and food experience come into play.
Retail food stores have improved their freshly prepared, made-to-order foods and have become strong competitors to restaurants. As consumers are still concerned about spending, one way they can enjoy restaurant-quality foods is at retail food stores, which are offering high-quality, freshly made foods that are easy to grab and go. Further, as grocery stores become more sophisticated in their endeavors, in-store restaurants and foods will continue to eat away at foodservice market share.
Consumers are turning to food retailers to help with meal solutions, and these retailers have responded with improved offerings to include foods that are fresh, healthy and available at different price points. This is most evident during the snacking daypart, where consumers overwhelmingly choose retail foods over restaurant foods because of health, price, and convenience.
However, in many cases, consumers prefer to purchase their foods from restaurants, because those foods are deemed to be more exciting, trendy, and indulgent than what’s available in grocery stores. But, consumers are also concerned with health, especially when it comes to feeding their families. This presents an opportunity for foodservice operators, who have spent much time and effort revamping menus to provide healthier foods at competitive prices, to message on these points, so that they can appeal to any mindset of the busy foodservice consumer.
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