Consumers want British food retailers to strive more to bring the glamour and luxury of eating out to grocery shopping, according to a new report from international food and grocery expert IGD.

Learning from the Restaurateurs says that the number of shoppers who eat out on a weekly basis or more often has doubled from 13% to 30% since 2003, but warns that retailers must do more to
capitalise on the consumer’s growing hunger for exotic and well-presented food.

“Shoppers increasingly want to put the glamour, theatre, variety and taste of the restaurant into their shopping basket, which means the dining out trend is an opportunity for retailers
as well as for restaurateurs,” says Michael Freedman, Senior Consumer Analyst at IGD, and the author of the report.

“We have seen a blurring of the boundaries between foodservice and retail but consumer reaction has been generally mixed towards the execution of some retail activities, such as eating
out ranges and in-store restaurants and cafés,” he adds.

Almost four in five (78%) shoppers want supermarkets to do more to provide them with the luxury and quality they associate with eating out when they are home. The most popular suggestions
included the introduction of food sampling (33%), a wider variety of fresh meals (22%), recipe cards (21%), more foods from around the world (18%), cheaper premium eating out ranges (17%) and
better portion sizes to suit lifestyles (16%).

“Around three in ten (29%) shoppers think that better quality fresh food available in supermarkets would encourage them to cook more and around one in six (16%) stated that more local and
regional food would encourage them to cook more often,” explains Mr Freedman.

Shoppers mentioned other initiatives which could allow the food industry to increase its share of food spend from foodservice, including provision of authentic, accessible and convenient meals;
greater opportunities to sample new flavours and ingredients; continued improvement of the taste of ready meals; more fresh ready meals in clear packaging; more use of in-store
‘theatre,” including over-the-counter service food preparation demonstrations.”

IGD reports that some foodservice sector’s attempts to broaden appeal through putting their products on supermarket shelves have had mixed results. Some, such as Pizza Express pizzas and
Nandos cooking sauces, were well received but others were seen as overpriced and inferior to the restaurant equivalent.

“Economic prosperity; the rise in the number of affluent singletons and empty nesters, and the greater interest in food taste and health have all contributed to a rise in eating out. The
increase is a huge opportunity for foodservice and for food retail but the research unequivocally demonstrates that there are still more opportunities for retailers to win share of
wallet,” adds Mr Freedman.

www.igd.com