retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is out with its “annual assessment of the state of the foodservice at retail,” saying that the report is designed to demonstrate “the opportunities for retailers to leverage a $13 billion category.”

Some points from the 2019 Power of Foodservice at Retail report:

• Growing annually at 8.2%, foodservice is presented as a primary strategy for food retailers to differentiate and appeal to convenience-seeking consumers.

• “63% of consumers continue to incorporate time-saving solutions in the form of semi- and fully-prepared items for dinner, but opportunities exist for grocers to garner greater visibility as the primary dinner solution.”

• “Eighty-eight percent of shoppers want to see more new items and flavors in retail foodservice. In fact, the most frequently mentioned word in the open-ended suggestions of the survey was ‘more’ in combination with words such as variety, food, options and items. The highest share, at 31%, want to see flavor and item rotation on a monthly basis, but 28% want even greater levels of innovation and recommend a weekly or even daily rotation.”

• “The importance of speed is once more underscored by the grab-and-go, ready-to-eat format being the most popular method, which is of interest to 68% of shoppers. Grab-and-go, heat-and-eat is the second most popular style, at 63%.”

• “While 57% of shoppers have grocery store apps downloaded, 42% actively use one or more. App usage is highly related to checking weekly specials (78%), online ordering of groceries (53%), getting recipes and meal ideas and researching the deli-prepared foods menu, but foodservice orders lag (38%).”
KC's View:
I just wish more retailers with a foodservice offering would pout greater emphasis on having great food - you know, knock-your-socks-off food that is imaginative and pushes the boundaries on what is defined as “supermarket food.” It has been my experience that there is way too much self-congratulation for products that are, if not aiming for the lowest common denominator, settling for some sort of average, middle of the road approach that doesn’t light anybody’s fire.