Sales of prepared foods and ready-to-eat foods at retail will reach $32.45 billion in 2012, up 7.5% from 2011, according to "Prepared Foods and Ready-to-Eat Foods at Retail," a just-released report fromPackaged Facts(www.packagedfacts.com). The prepared foods retail net extends across a wide number of retail formats, but supermarkets command majority share. Supermarkets garner 60% of prepared foods purchase visits, trailed by Wal-Mart (15%) and convenience stores (12%).
The market for store-made meals and prepared foods -- which
include rotisserie or fried chicken, hot pizza, hot food bars with Asian-style
entrees, sushi bars, deli sandwiches, and soup and salad bars -- is doing well
in this period of economic doldrums. That's partly because meals cost are not
on par with fast food and family restaurant options, they beat them -- making
them accessible to a wide range of household incomes. Strong, high-quality
store-brand portfolios are a significant advantage for prepared foods retailers
in keeping the price points of prepared foods down, and part of the winning
formula. Retailers from Costco to Kroger to Safeway to SUPERVALU continue to
grow and leverage their private label products in conjunction with developing
their foodservice programs.
Although classic comfort dishes often hold sway in prepared food
programs, supermarkets are increasingly providing and marketing fresh food
items consistent with ongoing health trends, and supermarkets receive generally
positive marks from consumers regarding prepared food healthfulness. Whole
Foods has particularly been a trendsetter in educating customers on health,
food and diet. Its Health Starts Here program, Wellness Clubs and Whole Kids
Foundation not only serve to educate Whole Foods customers, they also build
customer relationships and good will.
Most convenience store foodservice platforms, on the other hand,
still operate under the assumption that the people buying them do not want to
put health concerns first. According to Packaged Facts, this ignores the fact
that millions of consumers do want to eat healthier fare -- and many might
appreciate a tasty but healthy option just at the point when impulse and
efficiency directs them to a convenience store.
And serving consumers is not just about providing quality,
cost-effective, convenient, and healthful foods, according to David Sprinkle,
publisher of Packaged Facts. It's also about providing an atmosphere that draws
people in. This is why more and more supermarket operators are integrating
"neighborhood" messaging into their strategies, and a reason big box
players such as Wal-Mart are experimenting with smaller box formats.
New report says prepared foods market at $32 Billion
August 6, 2012