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Inside The Dinner Confessional

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A closer look at shoppers

by Tyson Foods Inc. 

We know what shoppers tell us, but their shopping behaviors reveal a different story. Tyson Foods is following 10 participants in a yearlong experiment to learn how deli departments can better meet their needs as a go-to solution when faced with dinnertime stress.

While the Tyson Foods test groupgenerally concurred they idealize the dinner hour, hoping to relax, unwind and bond with their families, they confessed it usually turns out to be unrewarding.

According to Eric LeBlanc, director of channel marketing, deli, “Many shoppers, including those participating in our Unconventional Shopper Connections experiment, admit they aren’t turning to prepared foods, even as a bail out. While most see our departments in a favorable light, they don’t think prepared foods are for them. They’d like to incorporate them into meal ideas that feel planned out and made from scratch, but they need some inspiration. So, it’s up to us to provide it.”

Finding opportunities beyond good execution

The test group did say that perceptions of freshness, taste and flavor are more important, but good execution alone is not enough to inspire them to put prepared foods into their mindsets or carts. This feedback aligns with past research2 in which purchasing behaviors were negatively impacted by the old broken deli concept that promotes individual products and value proposition, neither of which helped shoppers create satisfying meals their families would actually enjoy. As we look closer at the needs of our shoppers, we can find opportunities for retail to become more of a regular “go-to” mealtime solution as well as an inspirational choice for quick, tasty and easy meal ideas.


1) Tyson Foods, Unconventional Shopper Connections, 2017-18
2) Tyson Foods, On The Go Foodservice Study, 2015; Tyson Foods, Emotional Trigger Research Study, 2016; Tyson Foods, Prepared Foods Challenge, 2016

Editor’s note: This post is sponsored content provided by Tyson Foods Inc.

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