Retailers Relying on Restaurants as ‘Blueprint for Innovation’

Consumers are sourcing their food across an increasingly broad range of retail and foodservice outlets, according to a new report by Technomic. The 2010 Restaurants & Retail Report: Segmenting the Food & Beverage Consumer provides an unprecedented snapshot of Americans’ restaurant and food shopping patterns.

As they continue to move into the restaurant sphere as restaurant companies further extend their brands with retail product offerings, many retailers are using the restaurant sector – rightly so -- as a blueprint for innovation as they seek to keep value-conscious consumers coming through the doors.

Says Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic: “In a down economy, retailers gained a larger share of the foodservice market, but in order to keep that as the economic picture improves, they need to respond to consumers as effectively as restaurants have.”

Among the key findings of the Restaurant & Retail Report, which probed 2,000 U.S. consumers about their usage and attitudes regarding restaurants and food retailers:

• 18- to 34-year-olds are most likely, by a wide margin, to be heavy users of premium fast food. This could have significant implications for future competition between retailers and limited-service restaurants, particularly in the fast-casual segment.

• Heavy users of warehouse clubs, specialty/natural food stores and upscale supermarkets tend to source food from many types of retailers and restaurants.

• Men are more likely than women to be heavy food shoppers at convenience stores and warehouse clubs.

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