With more ready-to-eat meals available in grocery stores and even in-store restaurants offered by some, lines continue to blur between retailers and restaurants, according to the research firm's Canadian Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report.
Competition is heating up for limited-service and full-service grocery store and restaurant operators.
Bret Yonke, manager of consumer insights at Technomic offers advice for retail stores: “For retailers, on-demand offerings such as the ability to order prepared foods online for pickup or delivery will be key to keeping pace with the restaurant industry as consumers increasingly expect these offerings from foodservice in general."
Yonke said a balance between offering affordable grab-and-go options and becoming hangout destinations with pricier, higher-quality dishes will help meet customer demands.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- 75 per cent of consumers purchase prepared foods from retailers at least once a month
- Consumers say more than half of their prepared food purchases are ready-to-eat versus ready-to-heat items
- Carryout is the most popular format for prepared food orders, with consumers saying about 80 per cent of their supermarket retail meal solutions purchases are for carryout