- FMI/Nielsen's "Power of Fresh Prepared/Deli 2017" report found in order to lure shoppers to the deli department, grocers need to position the segment like a restaurant, according to The Shelby Report. The report also found consumers are most interested in freshly prepared heat-and-eat products (38%) and fresh meal kits (36%).
- Some shoppers (21%) say they aren't interested in buying more fresh-prepared foods, but grocers could sway these consumers by implementing fast, easy ordering and pickup and improving the counter's signage and ambiance. The study also revealed those consumers who purchase freshly prepared items for lunch are a high-interest target to convert for dinner solutions.
- Supermarkets also can draw millennial consumers to the prepared food section by offering a wide variety of local, organic and chef-inspired cuisine.
It’s no wonder retailers are planning to expand their deli offerings in the year ahead — prepared foods are becoming a lucrative section of the grocery store.
A recent report from Datassential showed sales of most types of prepared foods are either increasing or holding steady, and market research firm Supermarket Guru found that prepared meals have grown into a $25 billion-a-year industry.
Busy consumer schedules are fueling much of the demand for fresh prepared foods. An NPD Group study on home food preparation and consumption revealed people are spending less time at the stove, with consumers spending on average 110 minutes cooking each day, compared to about 140 minutes per day in the 1970s and closer to 150 minutes per day in the 1960s.
Even though today's shopper is looking for quick-and-easy meal solutions, they also want food to be fresh and nutritious. Grocers can meet these demands by displaying detailed nutrition information and offering organic meats, cheeses and other items.
Leveraging prepared foods as a "grocery experience" could also draw shoppers who weren't originally planning on stopping at the deli section. This can be done by constructing seating areas around the fresh food department, allowing shoppers to order ahead and offering popular ethnic cuisines.