Retail Food Service Capturing a Big Piece of the Supermarket Pie

Retail Food Service Capturing a Big Piece of the Supermarket Pie

If you watch retail trends closely, you’ve no doubt realised that throughout the last 10 years of so, the prepared foods section in your supermarket has been getting larger and larger. And if you’re in the supermarket business, you’ve certainly ascertained that you need to pay lots of attention to that department, especially since prepared foods from all kinds of stores continue to capture more of that market share, stealing business from restaurants where you can probably pick up something similar but at a much higher price.

retail food serviceA study conducted by a U.S. research group notes that “purchased retail-prepared food for at-home consumption will increase by 10 percent over the next decade compared to a 4 percent increase forecast for commercial foodservice traffic.”

The study adds that while no particular age group dominates this market – everyone seems to enjoy purchasing prepared food because it’s easy to serve – adults 35 years and older seem to really favor this trend. Who wouldn’t? It makes dinner preparation easy but it can seem like you slaved over a hot stove all day. Prepared food is also a favorite of the senior population, but more for lunch than dinner as many seniors eat their heavier meal midday.

The study adds that while no particular age group dominates this market – everyone seems to enjoy purchasing prepared food because it’s easy to serve – adults 35 years and older seem to really favor this trend. Who wouldn’t? It makes dinner preparation easy but it can seem like you slaved over a hot stove all day. Prepared food is also a favorite of the senior population, but more for lunch than dinner as many seniors eat their heavier meal midday.

Regardless of percentages and eating habits, however, supermarket owners are recognising the importance of spending money and time on this part of the store. Many are expanding their prepared food sections and calling on their shop fitting teams to come up with designs that make this part of the store look new and fresh, just like the food offered there. It’s been money well spent.

“Efforts to pull consumers out of their homes and back into restaurants will require touting the benefits of eating out versus staying at home and cooking or eating meals offered by home meal replacement retailers,” says Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst for the NPD Group, noting that as baby boomers age, they will make up a huge part of the customer base for prepared foods.

So what can a supermarket do to keep up with the trends? Most experts suggest enlarging not only the food offerings in this section of the market but also physically expanding the section. Today, you’ll often find a small prepared food area near the deli or bakery in many markets, but in stores that have already jumped on the proverbial bandwagon, you’ll find entire large sections of one of the outside aisles devoted to prepared foods.

In addition to enlarging the retail food service area, you’ll need to enhance your display cases and most likely add more. Signage will also be important, especially as you introduce this new and improved part of your supermarket. Large overhead signs, light boxes, digital signage, video – they can all contribute to the look and feel of your new section.

You might even want to set up areas for in-store tasting events, which will enhance your sales. You can even bring in local artisanal food specialists or farmers to tout the fact that you use fresh, local ingredients in your prepared foods. The possibilities are endless! So, when it’s time to make some changes, improvements, or additions to your prepared foods area, it’s also the right time to contact your fit out

The possibilities are endless! So, when it’s time to make some changes, improvements, or additions to your prepared foods area…

…it’s also the right time to contact your fit out expert for more information on the best and most economical way to achieve your goals.

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