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Food Trends
The Grocerant Trend
Focusing on food quallity, service and price is paying off big for the grocerants which is fuleing the grocerant trend...

The most dramatic change in customer demand is being seen in the Convenience store sector with tremendous market share gains by leaders like Wawa and Sheetz. Both companies focusing on food quality, service and price of ready to eat ready to heat grocerant style food have placed the consumers in the front of the line and it is paying off in a big way. 7 Eleven is now installing accelerated cooking ovens in its units and with the goal of improving their food service offering and capturing a large new audience. If 7 Eleven can replicate 1/3 of their success in food that they have in Japan they will prove to be a force in the US marketplace.

Fighting for Stomach Share

Each sector has noticed a discontinuity in consumer food shopping behavior and all are fighting for share of stomach. Contributing to this displacement is a focus by restaurant chain leaders on short term market metrics particularly price and away from the consumer. Which in turn has caused a loss is consumer traffic as important as price might be other attributes are much more important. The consumer is turning to the grocery store hot food section (ready to eat) for fresh quality meals. The focus for the consumer in now on freshly prepared ready to eat ore ready to heat foods with portability. The grocerant sector is about consumer convenient meal participation. With the American family assembly meals rather than cooking this is not a fad it is a confirmed long term trend the battle for the consumer dollar continues. The grocerant trend, ready to eat ready to heat niche is the next big wave.

Steven A. Johnson is president of Tacoma, WA based consultancy Foodservice Solutions for more information on this niche

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