It wasn’t that long ago that supermarkets and c-stores were seen as disruptors when it came to foodservice.
Not anymore. In fact, the retail foodservice segment is now in a position where it must guard itself against the newest threats.
“Now, we’re established and keeping an eye on new disruptors in the market,” said Wade Hanson, a Technomic principal, at the Foodservice @ Retail Summit, part of the National Restaurant Association’s annual show in Chicago on Sunday. “Supermarkets have to ask themselves ‘What are we at risk of missing?’”
Two of the today’s biggest disruptors are meal kits and third-party delivery.
The meal kit subscription market has skyrocketed in the last handful of years. In 2015, the market as a whole carried a compound annual growth rate of $1 billion. That’s expected to reach nearly $9 billion by 2020, along with a jump from 1. 5 percent to 13 percent in household exposure.
Supermarkets are beginning to jump on the trend. Kroger and Publix both rolled out lines of meal kits earlier this month. Coborn’s also recently added meal kits to its delivery program.
“You have to be asking ‘How do we look as these things as an opportunity?’” Hanson said. “Can supermarkets offer meal kits? Some have already started doing it.”
Third-party delivery is more of an unknown.
While QSRs are beginning to utilize the services – McDonald’s recently signed an agreement with UberEATS to deliver from more than 1,000 locations – whether they would be a good fit for supermarket and c-store prepared foods remains to be seen.
“If someone has a craving for a Big Mac, they can have a craving for something from a supermarket’s prepared foods,” Hanson said. “Can supermarkets partner with third-party delivery services? It’s a matter of determining if it’s right for you.”