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Retail foodservice gaining ground on fast food, says U.S. report


March 28, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

Chicago – Retail-prepared meals are giving fast food restaurants a run for their money, a recent Technomic study out of the United States suggests.

U.S. consumers are purchasing retail-prepared food more often, an increase largely driven by younger consumers aged 18-34, who are more and more reliant on foodservice, the study indicates.

The retail foodservice industry continues to grow, according to the 2015 Retailer Meal Solutions (RMS) Consumer Trend Report, with 84 per cent now purchasing “retailer meal solutions” at least once a month compared to just 79 per cent in 2012.

“Further enhancing the in-store experience and innovating with differentiated, restaurant-quality menu items will help retail-prepared food operators continue to steal share of stomach,” Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic, says. “Operators and suppliers can appeal to consumers by offering dishes featuring new and ethnic flavors, such as spicy Asian flavors and regional Latin flavors.”

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The report compiles findings from more than 1,500 U.S. consumers, as well as its MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • RMS purchases are often made at the expense of fast-food visits: 49 per cent of all respondents — and 60 per cent of millennials — are visiting fast-food restaurants less often as a result of their increased RMS purchases.
  • Convenience-store RMS is gaining ground; nearly half of consumers aged 18-34 purchase it at least once a week.
  • Drugstore RMS has a loyal following; though just 19 per cent of all consumers have ever purchased RMS from drugstores, 43 per cent of those who do purchase it, buy it at least once a week.

The full report is available through Technomic’s website.