Progressive Grocer

2017 Category Management Handbook

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December 2016 | progressivegrocer.com | 43 R ecent foodservice industry reports show some bad news for restaurants but good news for grocery stores. Despite better employment reports and a robust summer tourist season, lunch, which accounts for a third of restaurant traffic, showed a 4 percent decline in visits during the three months that ended in June 2016, compared with the same period a year ago, according to e NPD Group — the sharpest decline of any daypart. e statistics are just one sign of how lunch pat- terns everywhere, not just in restaurants, are experi- encing some major shakeups. Contributing factors include all-day snacking patterns (up 6 percent), telecommuting and squeezed lunchtimes for on-site workers. Weekday lunch traffic took an even bigger hit, falling 7 percent, Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD reports. Combine these new eating habits with restaurant price increases of 5 percent, and the challenges for restaurants add up to clear opportunities for grocery stores. Stepping up Lunch "In terms of food retail, we're seeing that consumers are increasingly looking to supermarkets for prepared food lunch options, whether it's from the deli, bakery Need States Lunch is in the Bag Leverage new eating pattern trends by guiding consumers toward cross-category solutions. BY K ATHY HAYDEN Continued on page 46

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