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Making the Most of a Growing Foodservice Opportunity

Author: Kay Segal

Kay SegalOctober 9, 2013

A message to the Alliance from...
Kay Segal
Senior Vice President
Foodservice at Retail Exchange (FARE)
CSP Business Media

CSP Business Media is a publisher of a number of magazines for the retail and restaurant industries, and the host the annual Food Service at Retail Exchange (FARE), where retailers learn strategies and best practices for expanding their foodservice offering. Today, CSP's Kay Segal shares insights about the growth of prepared foods in retail.

We've heard the battle cry for years now: Consumers are increasingly time-starved, seeking convenient yet high-quality meal solutions from not just traditional restaurants but also retail operations. Many retailers, especially in the grocery and convenience channels, are taking advantage of this growing opportunity by ramping up their foodservice offerings.

In fact, according to a new report from The NPD Group, The Retail Prepared Foods Market: Assessing the Competition, lunch-daypart customer traffic at retail stores (including grocery/drug stores, convenience stores, discount stores, price clubs and others) has increased by 29 percent since 2008.

The growth in the retail prepared foods market is part of the broader trend of Americans to consume more meals in home—a trend that NPD forecasts will continue to grow. Another recent study from the organization found that the instances of prepared food purchased at retailers for at-home consumption will increase by 10 percent over the next decade compared to a 4 percent increase forecast for restaurant traffic. Additional key drivers noted in the NPD report for the sales growth in retail include the availability of healthy options, good variety of foods, lighter meal options, one-stop-shopping convenience and, of course, affordability.

So what does this mean for IGA retailers? It means a wealth of opportunity for those who are willing to offer healthy, prepared meals for their shoppers. Concentrate on providing offerings that meet your shoppers needs for variety, freshness, value and above all, taste—and be sure to emphasize those categories when marketing prepared meals to shoppers on your website, Facebook and Pinterest. Make the most of this growth opportunity and you can bet you'll see the benefit in your bottom line!


Kay Segal

Want to learn more about expanding your foodservice offerings? Register for FARE, being held June 16-18, 2014, in Dallas.