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Commissaries account for a quarter of all foodservice purchases in convenience stores and supermarkets, according to a new study released by Chicago-based consulting and research firm Technomic. Otherwise known as central kitchens and meal assemblers, commissaries have become more popular and crucial to meeting the consumer demand for fresh prepared foods, the company said.
“Commissaries are a great option for c-stores and supermarkets, largely because they can outsource the food preparation function to someone else,” said Tim Powell, a director of research and consulting at Technomic. “As these channels have explored new avenues of growth, foodservice has shown that margins can sometimes be three times as high as other in-store categories.”
Other findings from the study were that four identified primary models of commissaries exist; commissary growth will exceed supermarket and c-store growth over the next three years; cold deli sandwiches, burritos and pizza make up the largest shipments from commissaries to convenience stores; and the largest-volume categories going to supermarkets are fully cooked meats, prepared salads, pizza and cold deli sandwiches.
As part of this research, Technomic also developed a framework for suppliers to determine the best way to select and identify commissaries relevant to a trading partner's business. The study also covers the opinions of supermarket and c-store operators, along with commissary attitudes and needs from suppliers.
To learn more about the study, visit www.technomic.com/Research_Programs/Studies/Retail_Foodservice/dyn_selling_to_fs_commissaries.php.