Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s Lunchtime feature, looking at this lucrative part of the retailers’ selling day.
We’re getting busier at work, but we’re nevertheless unlikely to see the end of the lunch break altogether. In Mintel’s words, taking regular breaks and in particular, making time for a proper lunch stop is widely known to improve our mental and physical health and make workers more productive.
Those who simply grab something without thinking about what they’re eating may be missing out on food’s positive effects on mood, and reduce their concentration and competency at work.
With 86% of workplaces having microwaves, having “Hot” food doesn’t have to mean served hot instore. In our interview in this issue with Adrian Lawlor, Kepak Convenience Foods’ Marketing and Business Development Director, Adrian says Rustlers microwaveable hot snacks present ‘a significant growth opportunity’ in the in-store lunchtime proposition. Adrian says Rustlers are frequently bought instead of McDonalds at lunchtime, so featuring Rustlers in the lunchtime offer will make shopping trips easier and also steal sales from the High Street by having a hot offer.
Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International, says Lunchtime presents a key opportunity for driving sales through cross merchandising, which helps drive incremental purchases and revenue. Retailers should consider what customers look for in-store at lunchtime, and merchandise accordingly to take full advantage of this part of the day.
From Mondelez’s perspective ‘Food-to-go’ is the strongest growing convenience shopper mission, worth £2.2 billion in convenience format stores. During the lunchtime ‘food-to-go’ mission, the consumer will visit a store to buy something to eat straight away.
70 per cent of purchases are decided on the spot in store, with consumers often considering a main item but also open to inspiration. Retailers should look to maximise these impulsive crosspurchasing opportunities by stocking the right products near to their ‘food-to-go’ fridge.
Looking at the bigger picture, Mintel’s research into out-of-home lunch options shows British working adults are generally timepoor and need nutritious solutions, hence, in their words, the major supermarkets’ grab-and-go offerings – whether branded like Rustlers or own brand – rule the market, from meal deals to layered salads in jars for under £4.
According to Mintel’s Attitudes Towards Lunch Out-of-Home UK 2017 Report, the number of consumers buying lunch to eat out of home for an everyday occasion has risen to 76% in 2017 from 64% in 2016. What happens next depends on the economy: weakening consumer confidence will see consumers cutting back, trading down to lower priced instant hot snacks and packed lunches gaining momentum. Watch this sales space!