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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prepared Foods and Ready-to-Eat Foods at Retail: The New Competition to Foodservice

Wegmans Cafe
Hoping to parlay recession-based foodservice-to-retail migration into long-term gains, food retailers continue to ratchet up their prepared foods and ready-to-eat programs. Packaged Facts estimates that grocery stores and supermarkets will grow prepared- and ready-to-eat foods sales by more than 7% in 2010. Their usage imprint is already imposing:

According to Packaged Facts’ proprietary consumer research, 64% of adult consumers have gotten ready-to-eat/heat-and-eat food from a grocery store or supermarket in the last month. Moreover, in terms of total usage occasions, grocery-related prepared foods use leads both family and casual restaurant segments and trails only fast food/QSR.
 
While convenience stores have also relied heavily on prepared foods and foodservice sales for sales and higher margins, increasing competition extends to supercenters, warehouse clubs, convenience stores and drug stores. At a time when food value is so closely associated with low cost and convenience—and when consumers increasingly perceive private label food retail brands as competitive with name brands on cost and quality—prepared and ready-to-eat foods programs that deliver on quality, taste and convenience can not only compete with foodservice fare, but can also help food retailers adapt to modern consumer lifestyles.

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