In 2015, for the first time ever, consumer spending on meals prepared away from home eclipsed spending on food prepared in it.
This dining-out trend has continued as shoppers look for convenient meal solutions that are fresh and taste great. It’s been a boon for restaurants, but grocers also have muscled in with an increasingly sophisticated array of prepared foods. As competition for food dollars heats up, retailers are finding that it pays to have more than just the usual spread of sandwiches, salads and soups.
National chains such as Kroger are ramping up their spending on prepared foods. But small, independent grocers like Eddie’s of Roland Park in Baltimore say they have the upper hand here thanks to their culinary expertise and close ties to the communities they serve. Every afternoon, Eddie’s stores are jam-packed with lunch customers eager to sink their teeth into one of the company’s signature sandwiches.
It’s no surprise that millennial consumers are driving many of the culinary trends unfolding in prepared foods these days. But just what are some of those trends — and how can retailers appeal to this coveted shopper group without turning off others?
Why millennials are leading the way in prepared foods
The nation's largest and most influential demographic is pushing supermarkets to offer bolder, higher quality meals. Read More »
Small grocers say they have an Amazon-sized advantage in prepared foods
As independent retailers look for ways to outmaneuver national chains, high-quality meals have emerged as a major opportunity. Read More »
Small grocers are winning with service and prepared foods
Independent retailers may not be able to match chain competitors on price and selection, but they can leverage intimate knowledge of their customers' preferences. Read More »
USDA: Millennials spend more on prepared foods than other generations
These coveted shoppers don't visit supermarkets as often as older consumers, and when they do, they seek out convenient, flavorful meal options. Read More »
Easy eating: Convenience foods are vital in an on-the-go world
Manufacturers, grocery stores and meal kit providers are all willing to play the role of sous chef as today's consumers try to eat healthier in less time. Read More »