The combined restaurant and grocery store sectors account for 1.13 Trillion in annual sales. According to the National Restaurant Association, total estimated restaurant prepared meal sales for 2010 was $580 billion and according to Technomic they rose 0.07 percent in 2011. The restaurant industry employed 12.7 million people in 945,000 locations, about 220,000 of which were fast food outlets. Restaurants’ share of the food dollar was 49%, with 1.6 million dollars in sales on a typical day. The Grocery industry food sales for 2011 as reported by Food Marketing Institute were $ 584 Billion dollars, The supermarket industry employed 3.4 million employees at 36,569 outlets.
A consistent trend in the food industry has been the increasing demand for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food. According to The New American Family, The more children there are in a household, the more likely its members are to cook at home, and use pre-packaged convenience foods.” In 2011 consumers continued to be time starved and convenience driven with an ever expanding palate for multi-ethnic cuisine.
In American families today the evening meal is assembled at home from multiple sources including Ready-2-Eat and Heat-Neat fresh prepared food and divided between eating out or ordering pick up food (FMI, 2010). Meal time flavor profiles have expanded beyond the cooking mastery within the household. Most interestingly more than nine in 10 parents serve ethnic foods at home (Gallup). Thus an increase demand for ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food across all age groupings.
The food retailing industry is presently highly fragmented. It consists largely of local business and regional, national retail food chains including restaurants and grocery stores. The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food marketplace has created new avenues of distribution including Convenience Stores, Chain Drug Stores, Liquor Stores, farmers markets. This creates an omnichannel food retail world where expanding points of fresh food is increasing competition, elevating fresh food messaging and all the while expanding consumer choice. If your retail food brand is not expanding in this new grocerant environment then you are fast capitulating market share. Are you ready to enter or grow within the ready-2-eat fresh food niche?
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