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Log In / Register | Feb 22, 2017

Food Retailers Battle for a Share of the Stomach

Dollar stores, grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of IKEA, and Costco are all in a fierce battle for the food dollar. All the while consumers don’t see they’re in the middle of it of this battle as they are adopting too new avenues of fresh food distribution faster than anyone would have ever expected creating both opportunity and disruption simultaneously according to Johnson.

The U.S. census data from 2015 notes that restaurant spend ($54.9 billion) outstripped grocery purchases ($52.5 billion) for the first time.  The battle for share of stomach is evolving into a fierce battle for Share of Dollar in every sector for retail. 

Consumers do not think in terms of channels the way the industry does. Club store chain Costco, for example, sells 70,000 rotisserie chickens a day.   IKEA is now selling over $$2 billion in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eatfresh prepared food a year. 

Grocery retailers appear to be floundering as they are not really clear on their place in this battle.  It appears they would rather fill the shelves in the center of the stores than creates a platform of consumer interactive participatory fresh prepared food.  While some legacy grocery stores are testing new concepts; those test look more like yesterdaythan tomorrow’s success.

Given Johnson’s background and experience restaurants very much see grocery store fresh prepared food retail as the competition, and they are gearing up and responding to the rise of grocerant competition, grocery stores don’t consider restaurants as competition rather they worry about C-stores. .

National Restaurant Association found that “50 percent of consumers say they’d like to have restaurant quality food at home”. Foodservice Solutions® team found that 65% of consumers believe that C-store grocerant offering and grocery stores fresh prepared food is restaurant quality.  

Grocerant niche fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food can be found in every sector of retail today including the ilk of  Macy’s, IKEA, Ralph Lauren, Pinkies Liquor, or Cabela’s  serving up a competitive threat to legacy grocery stores, restaurants, Convenience stores, and Online retailers AmazonFresh  and Jet.com/Walmart.  The battle for share of stomach continues to intensify.

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