Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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Prepared Foods Fresh Food popular. While variance is important, you have to have mainstays like rotisserie and fried chicken, and grab-and-go sandwiches." On the topic of customization, Kostyo says that grocery prepared food programs have an edge in not only giving customers what they want, but also helping them create their own meals. "Consumers love customization. In fact, con- sumers chose customizable hot pizza as the No. 1 unique offering that they wanted to see in the supermarket prepared foods area, while made- to-order burritos and tacos also scored high," he observes. at trend can be expected to continue as more Millennials and Generation Z consumers come of age. "ey are used to the personalized experience at a fast-casual, or ordering exactly what they want from their phone or an in- store ordering system," Kostyo notes. Working Together As they offer prepared foods that provide customers with the flavors and formats they seek, grocers can bolster their success through collaboration. "Suppliers can also step in and help operators understand what's going on in the market — the concepts, menu items and ingredients that are trending on menus and popular with consum- ers," Kostyo recommends. Donovan points to the benefits of collaboration, from a retailer's perspec- tive. "Just as our customers are often starved for time, retailers, too, must continue to find efficiencies in time and resources when delivering these deli- cious, high-quality meal solutions," he says. "Suppliers have a great opportunity to create unique partnerships by offering solutions such as bundling components, allowing retail team members to spend less time creating dishes and more time servicing the customer." ose who supply ingredients and products to grocers for prepared foods say that they are proactively looking at trends and shopper demands in the R&D process. Greg Powers, CEO of Boulder Organic Foods, in Niwot, Colo., heads a company that works directly with retailers "to develop new profiles that reflect consumer preferences on flavor, nutrition and ingredients. Since all of our products are ready to eat and represent the ultimate comfort food, we try to stand apart from the field by offering organic and gluten-free foods that are healthier than most alterna- tives," he says, citing newer profiles that represent a clean-label version of traditional offerings such as tomato bisque or potato corn chowder. Houston-based Perfect Fit Meals is another supplier seeking to fill in the gaps for healthy prepared foods, with …one pouch at a time. Keeping your perimeter fresh… Shopping habits are changing as consumers look to the grocery store perimeter for fresh food, snack or meal ideas. Robbie pouches are designed with the latest technology in films, proprietary venting and zipper closures to answer the consumer's craving for freshness. Call 1-800-4-Robbie or visit RobbieFlexibles.com. your perimeter

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