As our lives are getting busier, and time becomes the new luxury, our customers are looking for more convenient meal solutions. In addition they are increasingly seeking healthy, hearty, fast options (less than 30 minutes from door to table). And naturally they expect great value and amazing flavours.

We have seen non-traditional competitors, such as out-of-home (take away/café) options and online subscription meal services respond to the growing consumer need for better at-home weekday meal solutions. Over the next few years, consumers will start seeing the supermarket category really transform its meal solution offer. The category is well-positioned to be able to deliver to this consumer trend, thanks to an always-on supply of fresh ingredients.

So, what can we expect to see from supermarkets?

  • A shift to meal solutions across the store, with greater use of on-the-ground in-store nutritionist and passionate ‘foodie’ experts, to keep supermarket offerings on trend, fresh and seasonal
  • Cross-category merchandising and off-location displays will feature at front of stores
  • FMCG suppliers operating in the fresh space will increase new product development for convenient meals and we will see interesting new partnerships forming
  • Meal kits will extend into the in-store environment, moving beyond the online subscription channel
  • A deli evolution – we’ll see a step up in quality and presentation in this department with meals at the heart. More fresh, hot ready-to-eat and heat-at-home meal options that fit with the time of day shopped i.e. breakfast / lunch on the go/ tonight’s dinner
  • The traditional supermarket format design is being challenged by the need for speed and ease. Store design 2.0 will have the consumer at its centre. Faster grab-and-go meals will be a key driver of store design
  • Mobile technology will play a leading role in helping to increase speed, for example users will pre-order and pay for meals tonight and pick up straight from store.

By Emily Blumenthal, Head of CX Strategy and Data Intelligence, Foodstuffs NZ