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Designing For Prepared Foods Departments in Supermarkets

The Food Industry Association reported recently that supermarket prepared foods sales are gradually making a comeback after last year's quarantine. FMI’s report suggests that the grocery industry will be able to capture and expand its pre-pandemic share of the total food dollar:

“Grocery foodservice is at a competitive inflection point when we look at the state of the U.S. food dollar and the fact that 59% of Americans expect to cook as many meals at home as they do now,” said Rick Stein, FMI vice president, fresh food. “The analysis suggests grocers are positioned to be the ultimate mealtime solution in that 39% of consumers view retail foodservice as a substitute for a both a home-cooked meal and a restaurant meal.” The report goes on to note that more than one-third of consumers do not recognize their local grocer as a foodservice option and underscores opportunities for increased visibility through marketing and merchandising strategies.

According to various sources, the adult offspring of Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are changing the lunch and dining habits of the American population. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report reveals that the Millennial generation spends a higher percentage of its food budgets — around 6% — eating away from home. This is more than any other generation before them. Another study found that last year 62% of Millennials purchased food prepared in supermarket delis, restaurant delivery, or take-out fast food compared to 56% of Gen X-ers and 59% of Baby Boomers.

Perhaps no trend is shaping the emphasis on visual merchandising in supermarket departments more than this generation's quest for convenience in the form of prepared foods. The demarcations between traditional grocers and restaurants will continue to blur. Supermarkets can capitalize on this trend with dynamic design of their deli sections. Ideally the goal is to temporarily take their customers out of a traditional supermarket setting while they are doing their grocery shopping, and then leave a lasting impression on them with superior food and service.

Below are a few samples of the exciting work Off The Wall Co. LLC is doing in this area of supermarket decor:


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