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As grocery and convenience stores continue to integrate more restaurant-style products and services into their operations, an increasing number of consumers are choosing these outlets for their prepared meals and snacks, in addition to quick service restaurants (QSRs), according to new research from The NPD Group.
Convenient food from supermarkets and c-stores has incrementally added customers to the fast food/foodservice market, according to NPD’s QSR Plus Retail Market Monitor, which finds that the number of fast food purchases made at retail outlets per customer in the March 2015 through June 2015 period is more than six visits higher than those made to QSRs in an average four-week period.
According to Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, “Consumers use QSRs, convenience, and grocery stores interchangeably for fast food, particularly when they find the same quality and variety."
“The lines between retail foodservice and QSRs," Riggs added, "are blurring for consumers, and these channels are competing for visits from consumers looking for a quick meal or snack.”
The majority of consumers are using multiple channels -- retail outlets and QSRs -- when purchasing prepared meals and snacks, as less than one quarter of QSR customers are going only to a traditional QSR outlet in a four-week period.
Further, most QSR customers are using all available retail channels to meet their quick service meal requirements. Those who are exclusive traditional QSR customers are more likely to dine in at the restaurant than customers who use multiple channels for quick service.
According to NPD, grocery stores hold a high share of purchases of chicken, side dishes and salads, while c-stores hold its highest shares of coffee, snacks, breakfast foods, soft drinks and Mexican foods.