READING, England, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers' increasing time pressures and demand for convenient away-from-home meals favour the growth of the retail foodservice channel. Restaurants and retailers have a long history of competing over consumers' share of stomach. However, retail foodservice allows consumers to purchase meals while visiting retailers for groceries and other items, ultimately saving consumers time and money by combining trips.
Technomic's U.K. Retail Foodservice Consumer Trend Report finds consumers believe retail foodservice operators offer better prices, overall value and more convenience than limited-service and full-service restaurants, and that the taste, freshness and quality of retail foodservice offerings are generally on par with restaurants. The expansion of retail foodservice offerings puts retailers in a solid position to meet growing consumer demand for convenient meals and to compete with restaurants, particularly for takeaway occasions.
"Facing a double-dip recession, some cost-conscious consumers are increasingly purchasing takeaway sandwiches at supermarkets instead of higher-priced items from restaurants and sandwich bars," says Darren Tristano, Managing Director of Technomic, a global research and consulting firm that extensively studies key players and developments in the retail foodservice segment.
"Many restaurants need to adjust the value equation back in their favour," says Tristano. "Even though retailers are increasingly successful at matching the quality of restaurant food, some restaurant chains are responding to retailers, who are increasingly matching on quality by aggressively challenging retailers on price."
Technomic's U.K. Retail Foodservice Consumer Trend Report helps foodservice executives better understand consumer behaviour, preferences, and attitudes regarding retail foodservice.
Interesting findings include:
- Two-fifths of consumers polled usually purchase ready-to-eat prepared foods at their preferred store because it is in a convenient location near their home (42 per cent) and because it is the same store where they purchase their groceries (41 per cent).
- More than three-fifths of respondents (63 per cent) indicate that ready-to-eat items are highly appealing.
- More than a third (35 per cent) of consumers would like retail stores to offer more prepared foods that feature ethnic flavours and ingredients.
- More than three-fifths of consumers (64 per cent) say that price is one of the top five factors in their decision to purchase ready-to-eat foods.
Technomic's U.K. Retail Foodservice Consumer Trend Report examines both prepared foods (such as ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat items) and cafés located in the foodservice areas of retail stores. The Menu Insights section provides a comprehensive guide to the trends that continue to shape the retail foodservice channel and how they are leveraged across varied retail segments. An online survey of 1,000 consumers reveals consumers' retail foodservice usage and sourcing, and uncovers attitudes and preferences that impact retail foodservice purchasing decisions. In addition, the report includes consumer comparisons of limited- and full-service restaurants and retail foodservice.
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