Old-time retailers tell it this way: Some years ago, convenience customers were more willing to give up a little something on quality—in the way of food, at least—if it meant they’d get something back in the way of efficiency.
That’s how it was back in the day, but it certainly isn’t like that today.
Recession or not, today’s consumers want convenience and quickness packaged nicely with quality, value and variety. While they may be seeking upscale tastes at downscale prices in a battered economy, shoppers still rely on taste and quality to steer their purchases.
Leading retailers are bolstering their prepared-foods mix to appeal to diverse palates, such as Famima’s intense focus on deli and fresh foods selections at its 13 stores. The Torrance, Calif.-based chain—part of Japan’s FamilyMart brand—offers a wide selection of sushi, sandwiches, pastas and meals that suit all dayparts, with unique lunch and dinner flavors such as chicken korma, curry chicken sandwich and chicken pesto panini.
Of the 58 key decision makers who participated in the Prepared Foods segment of the 2009 CSD Brand Preference Study, more than 30% said they’d received sales presentations from three or more companies in the last 60 days.
The 58 retailers also chose Sara Lee Foodservice, Oscar Meyer (Kraft Foods Inc.) and Ruiz Foods Inc. as top performers in the prepared foods segment, while honorable mentions went to Don Miguel Mexican Foods Inc. and Stouffer’s (Nestle).