- Sales of most types of prepared foods are either increasing or staying the same, according to a new report by Datassential, with some results published by Supermarket News.
Of those experiencing increases, 74% of operators reported loyalty was a main driver. Other factors affecting sales included improved customer service (57%), improved menu options (54%) and first-time customers (43%).
- The report reveals that 68% of grocery retailers plan to expand their prepared food offerings, while only 3% expect to decrease. Respondents also said that future sales will most likely come from regulars (64%), new customers (59%) and an increase in appetizers, salads and side sales (40%).
Hectic schedules and growing work, school and family commitments are making it challenging for consumers to find the time to make a proper hot meal.
According to an NPD Group study on home food preparation and consumption, both men and women are spending less time at the stove. On average, the two genders spend roughly 110 minutes combined cooking each day, compared with about 140 minutes per day in the 1970s and closer to 150 minutes per day in the 1960s.
But a growing number of people want healthier choices than fast food. That’s where prepared meals at grocery stores come in. According to market research firm Supermarket Guru, prepared meals have grown into a $25 billion-a-year industry.
One area of prepared food sales that has seen a decline, however, is the hot bar, which normally consists of soup bars and buffets. These segments may want to re-establish themselves by designing a new look and adding new offerings daily.