More grocery stores are going beyond free samples and adding restaurants, bars and other eateries to their stores to encourage consumer dollars. The Hartman Group finds that competition between restaurants and grocery stores will continue to grow as supermarkets edge in on the foodservice industry.
Serving food and drinks to consumers encourages spending at the retail level, and often when consumers get to try a dish and realize they can make it at home, that’s what they want to do; at a grocery store, all the ingredients are there for the taking.
However, Hartman also finds that food television and the growing visibility of chefs are driving a cook-at-home movement, both for mainstream flavors and more innovative flavors seen in restaurants.
To be fair, the grocery retail industry isn’t the only one blurring the lines; several restaurants and chefs have released retail products, such as TGI Friday’s Potato Skins chips and frozen appetizers and Emeril Lagasse, who’s realized frozen meals of his own.
Hartman says the line doesn’t need to be distinct and bringing foodservice to retail (and visa versa) provides an opportunity for chefs, restaurant chains and supermarkets to further popularize their brands.