Grocery shoppers today are more conscious than ever of their time, and with so many options for grocery shopping available, their business will often be earned by the stores best able to accommodate multiple needs at once and provide a quick, convenient experience. One of the strongest ways to achieve this is by providing something that shoppers need to find a way to provide for themselves on any given day: dinner.
Many grocery stores are now incorporating ready-made meals in the grocery, deli, and even seafood (sushi) areas of the store. These options are attractive, especially for Millennials doing their shopping on the way home after work. USDA data reported by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) show that people are spending more of their disposable income on meals away from home: 4% and trending upward.1
Ready-to-eat meals add value to the shopping trip, as picking up dinner with the groceries checks one more box off the list with minimal extra investment of time. Many shoppers plan to finish their trip in the deli/bakery section, picking up a meal on their way out of the store with the intent to eat it for dinner that night, or reheat it for later. Restaurant-quality food at an affordable price serves as a valuable addition to the grocery shopping experience.
With these options becoming fairly ubiquitous in grocery stores nationwide, merely having them in the store will not sufficiently differentiate your store from the competition. The key is to offer these kinds of meals as a premium experience. When the meals offered by your store match the quality of local restaurants, they serve as an attraction to customers in their own right, drawing sales due to quality as much as convenience. Upping the quality of the meals offered is also attractive in general, with 55% of global respondents listing product quality as important to them in their choice of grocery store.2 When the quality is high enough, shoppers may choose your store as a dinner destination, with the added bonus of being able to pick up some groceries while they are there.
Customers have shown that they respond to such premium experiences. Offering multiple, varied options outside the standard fare of fried chicken and sub sandwiches, like sushi, pasta, pizza, or even grilled foods such as burgers increases the likelihood that no matter what they are feeling like for dinner, a customer can think of your store as a viable option to eat restaurant-quality food and get some shopping done at the same time.
The incorporation of café seating into your project can further heighten the feeling that the customer is getting a full-fledged restaurant experience while doing their grocery shopping, saving on time while also maintaining the quality they expect.
- Article: “Supermarket Facts.” Food Marketing Institute. 2017. Web. 10 Nov. 2017.
- Report: “The Future of Grocery: E-Commerce, Digital Technology and Changing Shopping Preferences Around the World.” The Nielsen Company. Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2017.