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    Study Reveals Industry’s Growing Rate of Change

    ‘The Why? Behind The Buy’ report highlights ‘Grocerants’ trend

    “We’re seeing the shopping landscape evolving at an accelerated pace,” so says Marianne Quinlan – Sacksteder, director of insights at AMG Strategic Advisors, whose comments confirm the findings from Acosta Sales & Marketing’s most recent “The Why? Behind the Buy” report.

    “As various factors converge — namely shifts in shopping and spending as generations mature and embrace different values and lifestyles intersecting with the exploding digital landscape — manufacturers and retailers need to ensure they truly understand the implications of these changes and how to capitalize on these trends,” Quinlan-Sacksteder said.

    Now in its ninth edition, the report highlights the intersection of eating in and eating out, which has given way to the grocery-store-as-restaurant concept, or “grocerant.” More specifically, shoppers are more often substituting eating out with ready-to-eat foods and meal solution offerings from grocery stores, quick-serve restaurants, food delivery and take away.

    Further, Millennials are most likely to use prepared food for meal solutions, but overall, 77 percent of total U.S. shoppers reported eating out in the past month; 66 percent brought home prepared foods; 65 percent bought food at a restaurant drive-through; and 64 percent ordered food from a restaurant for pick-up/carryout.

    Additionally, the report reveals that technology use for grocery shopping is catching up to other retail shopping as more consumers across generations incorporate digital along their path to purchase. Among the top digital tactics are printing coupons online before shopping (30 percent of shoppers); loading coupons onto shopper cards from a website (26 percent); and viewing a store’s digital circular (26 percent).

    “Retailers and CPG companies have the opportunity to increase prepared foods sales by capitalizing on shoppers’ increasing desire for convenient, healthy and economical prepared meal solutions,” said Mark Hayden, president of Acosta Foodservice. “Unique, innovative dining options and services can help drive traffic, enhance the customer shopping experience and increase impulse purchases creating a win-win for all parties.”

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