Chef and author Steven Petusevsky believes supermarkets, in particular their foodservice and deli sections, should not take a back seat to meal kits being offered from the likes of Amazon and Blue Apron. Petusevsky delivered that message in late July as one of the keynote speakers at the Blount Fine Foods Culinary Summit held in Newport, Rhode Island.
Petusevsky said that delis, prepared foods sections, produce and other supermarket departments should work together to prepare the store’s own meal kits and bundle complete meals to persuade shoppers from ordering from a separate service. This, however, will involve changing the mindset of a “department’s profit center to a store’s overall performance.”
“Everybody has to be working together for the good of the store,” he added.
Petusevsky’s talk appropriately was titled “Lessons From a Traveling Chef,” as the speaker’s culinary studies have taken him across the globe in search of innovative and authentic cooking techniques. He has worked for Whole Foods Market, Roundy’s, Mariano’s and Lucky’s Markets. He said he is a believer in prepared foods and has seen supermarkets in which 20 to 25 percent of total sales come from prepared foods.
Petusevsky shared insights into what market authenticity means and how cultural origins can influence whether or not a customer perceives selections to be healthy. Petusevsky said that considering the increased focus on transparency in the marketplace, delis and prepared food departments with a more honest display of food and where it comes from will intrigue customers in a trust-oriented way.