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FMI’s ‘Power of Foodservice at Retail’ Shows Category’s Resilience

FMI’s ‘Power of Foodservice at Retail’ Shows Category’s Resilience
COVID-19 has had an adverse effect on retail foodservice sales, but FMI has found that grocers are still able to effectively compete for food-away-from-home dollars.

FMI – The Food Industry Association has issued its “2020 Power of Foodservice at Retail” analysis, which found that, despite COVID-19’s adverse effect on sales in this traditionally profitable area, grocers are still able to effectively compete for food-away-from-home dollars.

“Food retail business owners navigated state and local challenges to operations and adapted by redistributing labor across the store, and foodservice employees embarked on their new roles maintaining sanitation and supporting shelf-stocking during times of unprecedented consumer demand for essentials,”  observed Rick Stein, VP of fresh at Arlington, Virginia-based FMI.

In a short span of time, share of dollars spent at home and away from home for food exchanged places, with food-at-home dollars going from 50% in February to 68% in April, and food-away-from-home dollars tumbling from 52% in February to 32% in April. Still, retail foodservice sales decreased 17% March through July as consumers sheltering at home went to the supermarket less often.  Meanwhile, online food, beverage and household product  purchases were up more than half, contributing to foodservice losses for businesses that couldn’t offer e-commerce programs. 

Sign Up for PG's Retail Foodservice Innovation Summit

There’s still time to register for Progressive Grocer’s Retail Foodservice Innovation (RFI) Summit taking place Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Attendees can discover solutions to growing meal revenue amid the pandemic at a first-of-its-kind innovative experience to get ahead of what's next, including a virtual exhibit, 1:1 meetings, networking and an impressive lineup of speakers.

To counter these challenges, the ‘2020 Power of Foodservice at Retail” offers three key strategies:

  • Reinvest in Top-of-Mind Awareness: Creating a reputation for foodservice begins with stronger, more direct communication with consumers. 
  • Emphasize Convenient, Healthy Meals: Retailers can satisfy consumers’ desire to cook while supporting meal prep fatigue and their health goals. Two-thirds of meals made at home by consumers are prepared from scratch, with semi- or fully prepared complementary items. 
  • Highlight Technology Solutions: Seventy percent of shoppers said that the ability to order food ahead, whether via app, phone or online, would positively influence their decision to order from retail foodservice rather than a restaurant, or cooking. 

FMI's report was made possible by Bridgeton, Missouri-based foodservice equipment manufacturer Hussmann Corp.

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