Monday, April 18, 2011

Grocerants the What, Why and for Whom.

Grocerants and grocerant food are fast becoming a big niche, driven by consumers! Grocerant food refers to any retail fresh prepared food component that is ready-2-eat or prepared heat-N-eat available in Grocery store, Convenience store, Restaurant, Drug stores, Dollar store, Mobile Truck or Kiosk format.

Grocerants developed as a result in of the blurring of the line between restaurants and grocery stores aimed at the time-starved consumer with ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat prepared food components that can be bundled into a meal. Demand by consumers became visible shortly after Eatzi’s opened in Dallas, Texas and now spanning the country in the likes of Sheetz, Wawa, Boston Market, Marketside, Fresh & Easy, Greenwise, Culinaria, Safeway’s Lifestyle stores and Restaurants with To-Go or Take-Away food.

Globally we are witnessing prepared food sections in department stores, Mobile vans and trucks, shopping malls in Europe and Asia. At airports around the world we see kiosk selling meal components or kits.

Combined the items can range from sauces, entrees to side items, salads, baked goods, pasta, fresh fruit and deserts. Some examples of items range from Mango– curry sauce, fried chicken, lasagna, cream spinach, flat-bread sandwiches, steak, prime rib, various casseroles (hot-dish) to salads, side salads and single proportioned deserts. They can be picked up at the specific unit, or delivered.

The Grocerant sector is utilized by a multi-generationally customer base for varied reasons ranging from ease of cooking time, multi-culture flavor profile with unfamiliar cooking preparation formats, save time, portion size.

The majority of Grocerant shoppers are looking for portions for one or two people, flexibility of components is key i.e. curry sauce may go on pasta, rice or a baked potato; empowering consumer choice. There is a growing focus on “better for you” aspect within the niche. Most interesting is wide swath in which customers refer to “better for you” while shopping in this niche.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® visit, or Facebook Steven Johnson

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