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Trends: Eating Where You Shop

More people are eating where they shop these days, especially Millennials, a generation prized by retailers for its size and potential consumerism.

Overall, in-store dining and take-out of prepared foods from grocers has grown nearly 30 percent since 2008, accounting for 2.4 billion foodservice visits and $10 billion of consumer spending in 2015, according to a recently released NPD report, “A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating.”

While the report looks at what is happening in supermarkets, housewares retailers should note that those grabbing prepared food on the fly during a grocery shopping trip aren’t using their cookware at home, at least for that night’s dinner.

Over 40 percent of the U.S. population purchases prepared foods from grocery stores, and while Millennials use grocery stores less than other generational groups, retail food service is “gaining traction” with them, NPD says.

Researchers coined the term “the Grocerant” to explain the trend, according to the report, which examines how eating behaviors of key generations are set to change as they move through life stages. Consumers rate visits to “Grocerants” higher than traditional quick service restaurants on both having more variety and healthier options, which the report notes are the most important reasons given for shopping the prepared foods section.

Grocery prepared foods were also rated higher on freshness and quality, features important to the Millennial age group. “Millennials’ interest in the benefits and experience supermarket food service offers will continue to be strong over the next several years,” says David Portalatin, vice president at NPD. “This forecast bodes well for food manufacturers and retailers who have their fingers on the pulse of what drives this generational group.”

Researchers say Grocerants appeal to shoppers by offering an experience. Many grocers now have restaurant-quality food at a lower cost than full-service or some fast casual restaurants, and specialty categories like Asian, seafood, Italian, Mexican and barbecue are included in the mix of options. Grocery stores are aiming to cater to all dining needs, including hot, custom-prepared grilled meat, food bars, soups, even sushi.

A growing number of grocery stores provide comfortable, casual seating for in-store dining, some even sport full-service restaurants. All of which points to less cooking at home. “Give the Millennials what they want, fresh, healthier fare and a decent price,” says Portalatin, “and they will come.”

Source: NPD Group report, “A Generational Study: The Evolution of Eating


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Stats: Test Your ‘Cue IQ

How well do you know grilling? The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association has launched an online quiz to test Barbecue IQ. Those who take the quiz learn not only their “IQ,” but also get tips on how to up their barbecue game, as grilling season peaks during the summer.

The online quiz can be found at www.hpba.org/Barbecue-IQ .

You can prepare for the quiz by checking out the most recent info from the HPBA’s Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude study, about the state of barbecuing today:

  • 75% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker.
  • 62% of households that own a grill own a gas grill, followed by charcoal (53%) and electric (12%).
  • 2% own a wood pellet grill and 8% are thinking of purchasing one this year.
  • The most popular days to barbecue are (in descending order): Fourth of July (76%), Labor Day (62%), Memorial Day (62%), Father’s Day (49%), and Mother’s Day (34%).
  • The top reasons for cooking out? 71% of grill owners say it’s to improve flavor, 54% for personal enjoyment and 42% for entertaining family and friends.
  • The majority of grill owners (63%) use their grill or smoker year-round, with 43% cooking at least once a month during the winter months.
  • Half of all grill owners have the most basic grilling accessories (cleaning brush, tongs, glove/mitts). The most popular new accessories owners plan to buy include pizza stones, broiling baskets and cooking planks.
  • Barbecuing isn’t just an evening activity: 11% of grill owners prepared breakfast on a grill in the past year.
  • 10% of all grill owners have a backyard kitchen that features premium furniture and lighting.
  • Nearly one-third of grill owners grilled someplace other than their homes in the past year, including 24% who grilled while camping.
  • More than one-third (45%) of U.S. adults surveyed plan to purchase a new grill or smoker in 2016, while nearly a third (30%) of current owners plan to grill with greater frequency.


Source: Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association


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Copy of Retail Profile

Retail Profile: The Culinary Apple

Retailer: The Culinary Apple
Location: Chelan, Wash.
Founded: 1996
Owners: David and Mary Weldy
Square footage: 1,600 sq. ft. in the retail space; less than 500 in the kitchen space

Located in the heart of Washington State’s apple country, The Culinary Apple has taken a leaf from its surroundings with a housewares store stocked with all things apple.

There are apple cookie cutters, apple-themed textiles, apple pancake rings and even kitchenware products that make it easier to peel apples. Owners David and Mary Weldy also sell a wide variety of kitchenware, gadgets and cookware, have 25-sq. ft. of gourmet foods, and they churn out over 4,000 pounds of fudge annually from their small store kitchen.

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Dave and Mary Weldy, owners of the Culinary Apple, in Chelan, Washington

Oh yes, they also sell apples, shipping the famous Washington State beauties all over the country. (The Lake Chelan region supplies 50 percent of all Red Delicious apples sold in the U.S.) “The apple products are a niche market for us because it is a specialty item,” says David Weldy. They work with vendors like Wilton Armetale, he says, to come up with special apple-themed products.

The store also stocks Lake Chelan wines from the 30+ wineries located around the resort area, and welcomes shoppers who arrive fresh from visiting the nearby wineries’ tasting rooms. Mary Weldy notes those customers are especially enthusiastic shoppers. “They do their wine tastings and then they come shopping and they are kind of inclined to spend more,” she says. “It influences their behavior.”

The two celebrated the store’s 20th anniversary this year with a number of events, including a 20th anniversary sale, where nearly everything in the store was 20 percent off. Customers are primed for this event because there is an anniversary sale every year at The Culinary Apple. For example, last year everything was 19 percent off. And, there are plenty of giveaways, thanks to the efforts of loyal vendors, the Weldys say.

“It is a once-a-year sale, and we always have customers lined up outside the door,” Mary notes. The anniversary event in June had six demonstration stations, manned by vendors showing off their wares. Customers who visited all six stations were eligible for prizes, and with $2,000 worth of giveaways, “pretty much everyone gets a prize,” she says.

Customers are also greeted (even on non-anniversary celebration days) by the smells of the kitchen. The fudge-making business is a sideline Dave estimates brings in upwards of $60,000 of profit for the store each year. Also on the stove are cinnamon-glazed pecans, cashews and almonds.

The cooking smells combine to add to the atmosphere at the store, which the couple strive to make a homey experience. “We greet customers with tastings of whatever we are cooking that day,” Mary says. “It is like selling a house; we have soft background music and the wonderful smell of whatever is cooking that day. These sensory experiences are things that bring back memories to our customers.”

The couple, former Seattle tech people, are also committed bloggers, and their website, culinaryapple.com, is filled with information ranging from “Papa Dave’s Fudge Blog” (check out the chocolate fudge popcorn recipe) to “The Chelan Decanter Wine Blog,” a first-hand look at some of the local wineries. (It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, reads one entry.)

A store manager runs the website and an outside expert pushes the pair to be active in their blogging. “He really feels it attracts more people to our page,” Mary says. “The idea isn’t to sell anything, but rather to share information. He pushes us to do four blogs a quarter.” Which reminds her of something. “Dave, you owe us a blog,” she says.

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Webinar Learning in September

The International Housewares Association partners with key industry leaders and service providers to create a customized free learning opportunity for IHA members and all industry participants through an on-going webinar series. The upcoming September webinar calendar includes:

The Secret Ingredient for Driving Sell-Through presented by OwnerIQ

oiq-logo-fullDate:  Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Time:  12:00 pm CST
Presenter: Connie Johnson | EVP, Manufacturer Business Development

Digital has disrupted the traditional path to purchase. Today’s consumers are more informed than ever and have access to just about anything at their fingertips, creating challenges for brands and retailers. As the front door to your brand, your website is a primary vehicle to engage in-market shoppers and perhaps even drive ecommerce sales. How do you capitalize on this valuable asset – a qualified shopper audience – when many consumers will leave your website and purchase at a retailer?

During this webinar, OwnerIQ, a second-party data-sharing marketer, will explore a new form of cooperation between retailers and brands that succeeds in tackling this conundrum. Learn how to drive sell-through at retail while supporting your brand’s own direct-to-consumer initiatives, leverage your audience asset in retailer-support initiatives and offset your marketing costs by monetizing your website audience.

Learn more and register on the IHA Website.


Increase Your Trust with Consumers presented by NSF

NSF Logo 2Date:  Wednesday September 21, 2016
Time:  12:00 pm CST
Presenter:  Ashlee Breitner | Business Unit Manager, NSF

Trust of a product is what consumers seek and what retailers offer, particularly when the item is under their own store brand. Whether they are a Millennial, Gen Xer, Baby Boomer or other segment, the matter of trust, confidence, quality and safety affects the buying decisions of ALL consumers. A store brand industry initiative, the Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA), was created to develop NSF/ANSI Standards in four product categories – Dietary Supplements, Cosmetics/Personal Care, OTC Drugs and Medical Devices. Leading retailers and manufacturers, along with other stakeholders, have come together to develop these consensus standards for auditing. This collaborative initiative can expand to many other product categories, as the goal of insuring and achieving TRUST, regardless of product type, continues to grow. This informational webinar will provide more details about the GRMA initiative, how it is working and how its goals and principles can be expanded to IHA categories of interest.

Learn more and register on the IHA Website.