In-store dining and take-out of prepared foods from grocers has grown nearly 30 percent since 2008, and accounted for 2.4 billion foodservice visits and $10 billion of consumer spending in 2015, according to a report by the NPD Group, A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating.
More than 40 percent of the U.S. population purchases prepared foods from grocery stores, and while Millennials use grocery stores less than other generational groups, retail foodservice continues to gain traction with them, according to the NPD study.
Consumers rate visits to groceraunts higher than traditional quick-service restaurants on variety and healthy options. These attributes are among the most important motivators of purchase and customer satisfaction for prepared foods consumers. Grocery prepared foods are also rated higher on freshness and quality, which are attributes particularly important to Millennials, and NPD projects freshness will remain an important factor in Millennials’ eating behaviors as they go through their life stages.
Another way in which Groceraunts are appealing to Millennials is by offering them an experience. Many grocers now offer restaurant-quality food at a lower cost than full service or some fast casual restaurants, and specialty categories like Asian, seafood, Italian, Mexican, and barbeque, NPD reports. A growing number of grocery stores provide comfortable, casual seating for in-store dining and some offer a full-service restaurant.
“Millennials’ interest in the benefits and experience supermarket foodservice offers will continue to be strong over the next several years,” says David Portalatin, vice president, industry analysis at NPD Group. “Give the Millennials what they want — fresh, healthier fare and a decent price —and they will come.”