Americans’ Definitions of Value Expand beyond Price to Convenience and Health

ARLINGTON, VA — Feb. 29, 2024 — Insights revealed today from FMI – The Food Industry Association, Oliver Wyman and Circana demonstrate new opportunities for food industry trading partners to cater to shoppers’ expanding definitions of value. The research, Finding Growth for Food & Beverage at Retail: Winning Eating Occasions throughout the Day, supports go-to-market strategies and ways in which grocers can attract more shopper relevance regarding needs, experiences, tastes, rewards, health – and especially convenience.

Mark Baum, senior vice president of industry relations and chief collaboration officer, FMI said, “The research showcases how food and beverages that promote well-being, those that are competitively priced and products that are decidedly convenient to buy and prepare, will ultimately earn shoppers’ allegiance.”

He continued, “We are witnessing shifts toward foodservice spending, a rise in digitization, and return-to-office protocols that all provide food and beverage retail with opportunities to improve how they deliver on what matters most to consumers.”

For instance, the research noted that while 87% of morning eating occasions and 76% of midday eating occasions are sourced from home, there is an increasing trend toward foodservice across many consumer segments, particularly Gen Z and Gen X, reflecting growing demand for convenience.

Sally Lyons Wyatt, global EVP and chief advisor, consumer goods and foodservice insights, Circana, said, “Time is of the essence for Americans, especially when it comes to their morning routines. Sixty-five percent of morning eating occasions are prepared in less than five minutes, and we see opportunities for new appliances that give consumers quick solutions, with the microwave gaining the most ground since 2020.”

In the evening, lower-prep, quick-cleanup, and fewer ingredients are growing trends, Oliver Wyman Partner Randall Sargent said, “Dinner represents the largest financial upside for retailers winning at home relative to other eating occasions throughout the day. To increase their share of evening consumption, retailers and suppliers must offer solutions that are not only sufficiently convenient but also offer the varieties of cuisines and textures found in a foodservice offering.”

FMI Vice President, Research & Insights, Steve Markenson emphasized how retailers can share a compelling story for how these solutions meet the value-for-money and health preferences for busy consumers to prepare their midday food and beverages. He said, “The insights demonstrate how our industry can be successful by capitalizing on consumers’ shifting habits, especially when companies consider dayparts, such as snacks, to inspire experimentation and create new memories through food.”

Finally, as another way to consider how the food industry can cater to newfound eating experiences among consumers, the analysis points to opportunities to explore new channels by competing for untapped potential in places primarily occupied by food distributors.

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About FMI
As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain — from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry.

About Oliver Wyman
Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in more than 70 cities across 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has 7,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a business of Marsh McLennan [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit Follow Oliver Wyman on X @OliverWyman.