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Expanding the Grocery Experience


Aug 2, 2017

Consumers are surrounded by food in grocery stores, but aisle after aisle of packaged products simply isn’t enough. Shoppers are seeking ready-to-eat meals they can enjoy before or after grabbing a cart, or at home. Because of this, a new foodservice segment is emerging. Meet the grocerant.

Grocerants are restaurants within or connected to grocery stores. From sit-down service with waiters to live music and free Wi-Fi, the style and amenities of grocerants vary from store to store. Select Hy-Vee supermarket grocerants feature sophisticated dishes, table service and a full bar. Whole Foods has opened The Roast, a full-service grocerant equipped with a DJ booth and billiards. Wegmans houses a burger bar in choice locations, serving up nine different made-to-order, gourmet-style burgers.

Whether you’re in the grocerant business or competing against it, it’s important to understand what consumers are seeking. Here’s what you need to know about this not-quite-retail, not-quite-restaurant segment.

  • Grocerants are growing. Over the past few years, the foodservice industry has experienced a surge in grocerants. Technomic shows that grocerant sales increased by 10% each year from 2005 to 2015. The segment generated $10 billion in sales in 2016.
  • Shoppers have a certain set of expectations for their grocerant experiences, as opposed to other food-away-from-home venues. Datassential shows that consumers’ most sought-after grocerant characteristics include a beverage fountain in the seating area; a large selection of condiments, silverware and napkins; and a remote seating area.
  • Consumers think about grocerants’ food differently when compared with other options. More than half of shoppers believe that prepared food options from grocerants are healthier than fast food. Prepared foods also rank higher than quick-service foods when it comes to freshness and quality. This means grocerants are poised to steal share from quick-service operations and more.

Butterball can help you stay on top of what’s happening in the world of foodservice, from grocerants to house-made sauces, digital menus and more. Check our Resource Center to see the latest news.

SOURCES

Meyer, Zlati. Why ‘Grocerants’ are the new trend, taking bite out of restaurants, USA TODAY, April 2017.

Dixon, Vince. The Rise of the Grocerant, Eater, February 2017.

Fuhrmeister, Chris. Here’s What You’ll Find at The Roast, a New Full-Service Restaurant by Whole Foods, Eater, June 2017.

Grocery + Restaurant = Grocerant, CSM Bakery Solutions, 2017.