CHICAGO — The Canadian Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report from Technomic shows that Canadian consumers increasingly view retail foodservice as offering higher quality, fresher, more unique and healthful food than its fast-food restaurant competition. Due in part to an increased focus on fresh prepared food at retail outlets and the expansion of these offerings to new retail channels, the firm estimates that retail foodservice grew 3.6 per cent in 2014.
“Competition both within and outside of the prepared-foods category must provide assurances of convenience and value — key reasons consumers purchase Retail Meal Solutions (RMS),” says Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. “Innovating and conveying quality will be key in differentiating. Retailers that deliver on freshness and uniqueness while providing an appealing experience will be most likely to succeed in gaining share of stomach.”
Some other key themes from the report include:
- 75 per cent of consumers purchase retail meal solutions at least monthly, while 52 per cent of 18- to 34 year-olds purchase RMS three or more times per month.
- When comparing overall value at traditional supermarkets and fast-food restaurants, 39 per cent of consumers said supermarkets had better overall value compared to 15 per cent for fast food. See infographic for more comparisons.
- For the lunch and dinner dayparts at RMS locations, consumers would be likely to purchase these food items: chicken (64 per cent), pizza (59 per cent) and sandwich wraps (54 per cent). They would be most apt to buy these beverages: fountain soft drinks (38 per cent), hot or iced regular coffee (38 per cent) and fruit juice (30 per cent).