Foodservice Growth Trends: Prepared Foods Shoppers Crave Convenience

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Foodservice Growth Trends: Prepared Foods Shoppers Crave Convenience

By Bob Ingram - 06/30/2010
Convenience is a key driver for consumers who are increasingly turning to foods prepared in the supermarket deli for in-home suppers, according to market research firm The NPD Group, whose recently released “DeliTrack” study finds that easy at-home meals to be the top reason shoppers buy supermarket prepared foods.

With almost half of deli-area prepared food purchase decisions found to be made in-store, the new study’s insights align with related findings from The NPD Group’s upcoming “Before the Store” report, which studies shopping habits and meal planning, and finds that the top challenges shoppers face when planning and shopping for meals are getting new ideas and finding meals that are quick to make.

Also, while most purchases of deli-prepared foods are driven by habit and convenience, 10 percent are items buyers are trying for the first time.

According to “DeliTrack,” about one in five adults purchase a prepared food item from retail in a typical week. When making prepared food purchase decisions, consumers’ top picks are chicken or turkey items, sandwiches, deli salads like potato salad, and leaf salads. These four categories make up just over half of deli-prepared food purchases.

Convenience in terms of reducing or even eliminating the amount of home food preparation is a trend that’s expected to grow over the next decade. “Prepared foods represent an opportunity for growth,” according to Ann Hanson, executive director, product development, at NPD’s food and beverage unit. “Consumers are looking for
a way around having to cook, and deli-prepared foods are one solution for quick and easy meals in the home.”

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