Grocers Market to Consumers Seeking Prepared Foods

Earlier this month, I highlighted a Grocery Manufacturers Association report that outlined the ways that food manufacturers will increase their shopper marketing programs.  Now a report by the Food Marketing Institute shows what grocers and manufacturers are up against. The Great Recession has changed the consumer mindset. They continue to look for ways to save money at the store and they arrive at the store with plenty of information.

Here’s a general profile of current consumer shopping behavior:

  • Average weekly grocery bill in 2010: $99.90
  • Money spent at primary grocery store: 75.4%
  • Weekly shopping trips: 2.06
  • Percentage of total trips to primary store: 68.9%

Although fewer people (52% as opposed to 69% last year) say the recession is the reason for changes in shopping patterns, consumers are using the following strategies to save on food costs:

  • Fewer restaurant trips
  • More money-​saving in-​store tactics
  • Going to secondary store for advertised specials
  • Switching primary stores

And though consumers are taking steps like purchasing store brands, they are also looking for help in the food preparation department. The following offerings are important to consumers when they are shopping

  • Freshly prepared, heat-​and-​serve food to take home 47%
  • Made to order sandwiches 37%
  • Extensive salad bar 37%
  • Prepared hot food buffet/​bar 34%
  • Restaurant/​sit-​down area in-​store 23%

Based on the results of this study, grocers have a chance to lure more customers into stores by promoting low prices and by offering prepared foods at prices seen as more affordable than restaurant alternatives.

[Source: FMI Grocery Shopper Trends 2010: Consumers Are Savvy. FMI​.org. 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 26 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.