Consumer Trends: Opportunities in Canada's Prepared-Foods Sector

Shifting consumer behavior and patronage is pushing Canada's prepared-foods sector forward, as 42 percent of today's consumers report purchasing retailer meal solutions (RMS) four times or more per month, compared to just 36 percent who did the same two years ago. Additionally, consumers are now purchasing lunch and dinner RMS from a wider variety of retailers than they were just two years ago.

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) β€” Shifting consumer behavior and patronage is pushing Canada's prepared-foods sector forward, as 42 percent of today's consumers report purchasing retailer meal solutions (RMS) four times or more per month, compared to just 36 percent who did the same two years ago. Additionally, consumers are now purchasing lunch and dinner RMS from a wider variety of retailers than they were just two years ago.

"More consumers are recognizing the affordability and convenience of RMS that retailers now offer in Canada," says Darren Tristano, vice president of Technomic. "To keep the momentum going, RMS operators should work to leverage their strengths and differentiate themselves from the competition in order to gain or maintain share of stomach as the economy continues to improve."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest consumer behaviors, preferences and attitudes regarding RMS, Technomic has developed the Canadian Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings include:

  • Canada's RMS segment has grown slightly over the past year, revealing incremental growth of 1.3 percent, according to Technomic industry calculations.
  • Breakfast sandwiches are a top menu trend for RMS; traditional supermarkets are poised for expansion of grab-and-go breakfast-sandwich selections.
  • A messy prepared-foods area is a deal-breaker for the vast majority of consumers; nine out of 10 respondents (89 percent) say that cleanliness is highly important to their RMS purchasing decision.
  • Eighty-two percent of consumers say that the appearance of prepared foods strongly influences their decision to purchase RMS.
  • Two out of three consumers (66 percent) say that their most recent prepared-foods purchase was planned and nearly as many (62 percent) say they ate the meal within an hour.
  • When Technomic asked consumers about the types of foods they would like to see more of in prepared-foods areas, healthy offerings and ethnic fare emerged as top choices.

Technomic's Canadian Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report is a comprehensive study that explores the latest menu and consumer trends surrounding prepared-food offerings at traditional supermarkets, convenience stores, specialty food stores, mass merchandisers and other retail locations. The Menu, Marketing & Concept Trends section of the report examines the latest developments for mealparts, promotional activity and concept positioning. The Consumer Insights section examines consumption, attitudes and purchasing decisions for retailer foodservice based on findings from an exclusive survey of 1,000 consumers. Finally, the report appendices feature detailed concept and menu profiles for 15 retail brands.

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