Canadians seek retailer-prepared foods from more sources, still want customer service: Technomic

Consumers are purchasing retailer meal solutions (RMS) from a wider set of retailers, as a result. “Competition is heating up and will continue to intensify, which points to the growing importance of differentiation” said Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights for Technomic. “Retailers can win share of stomach and grow consistent, loyal patronage by appealing to consumers’ needs for high-quality, convenient and healthy fare at reasonable prices.”

On average, consumers buy ready-to-eat more often than ready-to-heat RMS (59 and 41 per cent of the time, respectively), the report said, and about 62 per cent of RMS purchases are planned, and 38 per cent are made on impulse.

Strong customer service could be an important drawing card for restaurants and grocery stores, with half of consumers now saying that the friendliness of the staff plays a role in their decision of where to purchase RMS, compared with 46 per cent two years ago

Compiling findings from more than 1,000 consumers, as well as Technomic’s Digital Resource Library, the serves as a guide for food-service operators and suppliers to understand consumption behaviour and attitudes toward retailer meal solutions and to identify key areas of opportunity.