Prepared foods are set for big growth in the coming year, according to a new report.
About 80 percent of U.S. consumers purchased prepared meals at least once a month last year, according to the 2017 Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report from Chicago-based research firm Technomic.
And the trend shows no signs of slowing down, says Kelly Weikel, the company’s director of consumer insights.
“RMS (Retailer Meal Solutions) will continue to steal share from the fast-food segment; however, the addition of seating areas, bars and expanded made-to-order offerings means retailers will also increasingly compete with sit-down restaurants,” Weikel says. “Price, décor and ambiance will be key battlegrounds moving forward as RMS operators increase efforts to become hangout destinations and increasingly offer higher-quality fare such as scratch-made pizzas and smoothie bars.”
The Technomic report also found that snacking has overtaken lunch and dinner as the leading RMS occasion for consumers who shop the category at least weekly, and that 55 percent of consumers eat prepared foods within an hour of purchase.
The report draws on surveys of more than 1,500 consumers and data from Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library.