2021
9
US Centre of Store Market Report 2021
2021-12-03T03:04:16+00:00
OX1045033
3695
145958
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Report
en_GB
“The shelf-stable and frozen food categories of the center store, long overshadowed by fresh perimeter departments, gained importance and attention in the COVID-19 pandemic as home-bound consumers looked to stock…

US Centre of Store Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the US Center of Store grocery market including US Center of Store market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the US Center of Store market in the US.

Current market landscape

Sales in center-store shelf-stable and frozen food categories surged in the initial stages of the pandemic and have remained at elevated levels as many consumers continue to work from home and do more home cooking. As the pandemic wanes, the center store overall will settle back into its long-term slow growth pattern.

While consumers broadly view packaged foods from the center store as less healthful than fresh foods, they acknowledge improvement, a positive trend that may in part reflect the introduction of healthier alternatives in the freezer case. Nearly six in 10 center-store shoppers agree that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh, a perception that may have been bolstered during the pandemic as more food shoppers turned to the freezer case.

Future market trends in US center of store

The tendency toward routine and repetition is both a challenge and an opportunity for center-store retailers and marketers. Routine purchases can reflect a degree of shopper loyalty, but breaking the routine can result in incremental sales.

While improved product quality and healthfulness is helping to propel sales growth in these categories, the bigger opportunity for the center store as a whole may be to position it as a facilitator of freshly prepared meals rather than an alternative.

Read on to discover more about the US Center of Store consumer market, read our Perimeter of the Store – US – September 2019, or take a look at our other Food Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the center of the store.
  • Center of store purchase factors.
  • Interest in center-store product and promotional concepts.
  • Attitudes toward the center of the store.

Covered in this report

Brands include: Good & Gather, Target, Private Selection, Simple Truth, Kroger, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Gelson’s.

Segments include:

  • Shelf-stable grocery: including processed meats, meat products and meats included in processed food, canned produce, shelf-stable snacks, cereal.
  • Frozen foods: including frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen prepared meals, frozen meats, frozen snacks.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food and Retail sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The shelf-stable and frozen food categories of the center store, long overshadowed by fresh perimeter departments, gained importance and attention in the COVID-19 pandemic as home-bound consumers looked to stock their pantries and freezers. While center store sales overall will inevitably revert to their slow-growth pre-pandemic pattern, retailers and marketers can leverage the center store to deepen shopper loyalty and engagement, deliver value and help make fresh meal preparation a little easier.
John Owen, Associate Director – Food and Retail
John Owen
Associate Director, Food and Retail

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
              • COVID-19: US context
              • Executive Summary

                  • Top takeaways
                    • Market overview
                      • Impact of COVID-19 on the center store
                        • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the center store, 2021
                      • Opportunities and challenges
                        • Health perceptions lag but are on the rise
                          • Figure 2: Attitudes toward the center store – Healthfulness and quality, by age, 2021
                        • Opportunity to partner with fresh foods
                          • Figure 3: Interest in center-store product concepts, by age, 2021
                        • Opportunity to build on the routine – and break it
                          • Figure 4: Center store shopping behaviors, 2021
                      • The Market – Key Takeaways

                        • Pandemic disrupts pattern of steady but minimal growth in center store
                          • Frozen food outpaces shelf-stable edible grocery
                            • Pandemic reversed trends in food spending, lifting the center store
                            • Market Size and Forecast

                              • Pandemic disrupts pattern of steady but minimal growth in center store
                                • Figure 5: Total US retail sales and fan-chart forecast of center-store foods, at current prices, 2016-26
                                • Figure 6: Total US retail sales and forecast of center-store foods, at current prices, 2016-26
                            • Segment Performance

                              • Frozen food outpaces shelf-stable edible grocery
                                • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of center-store foods, by segment, at current prices, 2016-21
                            • Market Factors

                              • Pandemic reversed trends in food spending, lifting the center store
                                • Figure 8: Sales of food at home and away from home, 2019-21
                              • Price inflation during pandemic contributes to elevated center-store sales
                                • Figure 9: Changes in consumer price indexes for food, 2019-22
                              • Desire to limit time in-store altered food and drink shopping habits
                                • Figure 10: Shopping-related coronavirus lifestyle changes, 2020-21
                              • Comfort with shopping still impacted by infection rates
                                • Figure 11: Comfort level with grocery shopping, 2021
                            • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                              • Leveraging private label to deliver value and build the retailer’s brand
                                • Facilitate fresh food cooking
                                • Competitive Strategies

                                  • Leveraging private label to deliver value and build the retailer’s brand
                                    • Target
                                      • Figure 12: Target private label launches, 2021
                                    • Kroger
                                      • Figure 13: Kroger private label launches, 2021
                                    • The routine: to reinforce it or break it
                                      • Figure 20: Center-store shopping behaviors – Routine and impulse, 2021
                                  • Marketing Opportunities

                                    • Facilitate fresh food cooking
                                      • Figure 15: Interest in items that make preparing fresh foods easier, by age, 2021
                                    • Focus on frozen
                                      • Figure 15: Attitudes toward the center store – Frozen food, by age, 2021
                                  • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                    • While online is growing, most shoppers still prefer the store
                                      • Taste, cost and convenience, as ever, are top priorities in the center store
                                        • Convenience and value are core center-store assets
                                          • Routine and repetition represent both challenge and opportunity
                                            • A little help: opportunity to partner with fresh foods
                                              • Consistently low prices favored over short-term promotions
                                                • Health perceptions lag but are on the rise
                                                • Preferred Center-store Shopping Methods

                                                  • While online is growing, most shoppers still prefer the store
                                                    • Figure 14: Preferred center-store and perimeter shopping methods, 2021
                                                  • Preference for online center-store shopping highest among younger adults
                                                    • Figure 15: Preferred center-store shopping methods, by age, 2021
                                                • Center-store Purchase Factors

                                                  • Taste, cost and convenience remain top priorities in the center store
                                                    • Figure 16: Center-store purchase factors, 2021
                                                  • Organic and environmentally friendly rise in importance among younger shoppers
                                                    • Figure 17: Center-store purchase factors, by age, 2021
                                                • Grocery Department Associations

                                                  • Convenience and value are core center-store assets
                                                    • Innovation vs routine in the center store
                                                      • Figure 18: Correspondence Analysis – Store department associations by type, 2021
                                                      • Figure 19: Store department associations by type, 2021
                                                    • Methodology
                                                    • Center-store Shopping Behaviors

                                                      • Routine and repetition represent both challenge and opportunity
                                                        • Figure 20: Center-store shopping behaviors, 2021
                                                      • Younger shoppers less likely to stick to routine
                                                        • Figure 21: Center-store shopping behaviors, by age, 2021
                                                    • Interest in Center-store Product Concepts

                                                      • Low prices are appealing, but not at the expense of quality
                                                        • A little help: opportunity to partner with fresh foods
                                                          • Figure 22: Interest in center-store product concepts, by age, 2021
                                                      • Interest in Center-store Promotion Concepts

                                                        • Consistently low prices favored over short-term promotions
                                                          • New items offer opportunities for deeper engagement
                                                            • Figure 23: Interest in center-store promotion concepts, 2021
                                                        • Attitudes toward the Center Store

                                                          • Health perceptions lag but are on the rise
                                                            • Figure 24: Attitudes toward the center store – Healthfulness and quality, by age, 2021
                                                          • Budget concerns are bubbling up
                                                            • Figure 25: Attitudes toward the center store – Budget and planning, by age, 2021
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Data sources
                                                            • Sales data
                                                              • Forecast
                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms
                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                          • Figure 26: Total US retail sales and forecast of center-of-store foods, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
                                                                          • Figure 27: Total US retail sales and forecast of edible grocery, at current prices, 2016-26
                                                                          • Figure 28: Total US retail sales and forecast of edible grocery, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
                                                                          • Figure 29: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen food, at current prices, 2016-26
                                                                          • Figure 30: Total US retail sales and forecast of frozen food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26

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