Consumers associate positive traits with prepared foods, restaurants
Stores gain a halo from customers’ high regard for prepared foods and on-site restaurants, reveals Mintel research shared at NRA Show by Amanda Topper, associate director of foodservice research.
Prepared and made-to-order foods at grocery stores are thought of as being healthy and fresh. This may be because chicken and salad bars are two of the most common foods bought at stores. But in general, people view prepared foods as healthier than prepared food in traditional restaurants, even though that food scores high on taste and quality, Ms. Topper said.
“The idea that foods are made to order - often in front of the customer - likely adds to these freshness perceptions, while customizable options and ingredient transparency may lead to these healthy perceptions. Made in front of you is more common at fast casuals or fine dining,” she added.
Meanwhile, consumers strongly associate traditional restaurant foods with being authentic, trendy, tasty, innovative and high quality.
These traits certainly embellish a store’s image and lead to sales – most often of familiar, inexpensive, ubiquitous prepared foods such as chicken, sandwiches, pizza and salads. By comparison, just 14% of consumers – about one in seven – have bought from an in-store restaurant because they don’t exist everywhere yet and they appeal more to younger users. The accompanying chart details the foodservice items people tend to buy.