repared foods are still creating major opportunity for retailers, and consumers are
increasingly visiting grocery stores specifically for fresh meals. Competition is also
heating up. Retail meal solutions (RMS) are expected to
continue to steal share from the fast-food segment; however, the addition of seating areas, bars and expanded
made-to-order offerings means retailers will continue to
compete with sit-down restaurants.
Price, decor and ambiance will be key battlegrounds moving forward as RMS operators increase efforts to become
hangout destinations and increasingly offer higher-quality
fare such as scratch-made pizzas and smoothie bars.
What follows is a closer look at these and other trends,
including consumer usage and attitudes toward RMS
programs, where you’ll find highlights from Technomic’s recently released 2017 Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite. Compiled by
findings from more than 1,500 consumer responses, as
well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource
Library, these insights will be invaluable in helping both
retailers and suppliers understand consumer usage and
attitudes toward RMS while further identifying key areas
Setting the Destination Table
More and more, consumers are visiting retailers with the
purpose of buying prepared foods—specifically, nearly
one-third of consumers (and 41% of younger consumers).
And nearly half of all consumers (44%) say they are loyal
to specific stores because of their prepared food offerings.
It’s thus clear that prepared foods are a destination driver
capable of creating loyal customers, and that they provide
a major opportunity for retailers to differentiate themselves and create passionate followers. Recurring weekly
specials, such as Taco Tuesdays, can drive repeat traffic and cement prepared foods into consumers’ weekly
RMS will continue to steal share from restaurants and
foodservice locations. Among consumers who report eating more prepared foods than a year ago, RMS is increasingly stealing share from both fast-food and fast-casual
restaurants. While lower-priced segments are most likely
to be affected, even traditional and upscale casual-dining
chains will feel the effects as retailers continue to upgrade
the RMS experience with offerings such as bars, happy
hours and sit-down dining experiences. As more retailers
add seating areas, their stores will likely steal share from
coffee shops as well, where younger consumers often
work and study.
Retailers will need to carefully balance pricing tiers
going forward as prepared food offerings become more
complex. Consumer-reported average spend on prepared
foods is $8 per occasion, which lies between reported
spend for fast-food and fast-casual restaurant occasions.
RMS increasingly competes with these LSR segments and
similarly offers quick meal solutions with an oftentimes
Technomic’s latest learnings on the high-growth category
a Destination Driver
Ready-made foods continue to present opportunities for
retailers to gain consumer loyalty. By Bret Yonke
At the end of the day, the
food is what matters most.
Quality and freshness are
among the most important
purchase drivers for