Food Innovations, Transparency Drive Millennials’ Grocerant Trips

Pivotal to expand a store’s customer base

January 31, 2018

From the February, 2018 issue of The Great Grocerant.

Grocerants have a “unique opportunity to give Millennials a transparent story about different cuisines, ingredients and sourcing” that engages to help attract customers that might not otherwise go to your store, said Todd Muller, Marketing Manager, Nestle Professional, during a January 16 webinar, Attracting Shoppers and Growing Flavor Trends: A Look Into 2018 for Foodservice at Retail.    

Some of his best ways to influence Millennials: open kitchens, made-to-order stations, chefs telling stories, and openly identifying food and ingredient sources. 

Also effective is the experience of “seeing food made in front of them, and selecting the products they want at made-to-order stations,” added Ryan Baxter, Director of National Accounts Chefs at Nestle Professional.

Because grocerants expand the number of need-states a store can satisfy –such as meeting friends at night or completing work with a laptop and food – their value to stores is growing, noted Mr. Muller.

To maximize appeal, said Jack Li, Managing Director, Datassential, “ask yourself, ‘how do we build a fast-casual restaurant inside of the grocery store?’ The median age of your customers dictates how they prefer to eat. Millennials are way more likely to go to a grocery store to eat or buy prepared foods than other groups. Millennials and Gen Z want new foods and flavors – so take a platform they like and infuse it with discovery. Boomers, the last new item they tried, they were assured it would taste great. Grocerants invite word of mouth.” 

One great way to do that, said Mr. Baxter, is to “be known for a very specific thing.” He cited one “southern operator with such a strong sandwich operation that lines form and people talk about it excitedly.  That’s the challenge. Keep the attraction going.”

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