Grab-n-go meals are popular in stores and restaurants because they serve a strong need for a large portion of the population. Busy working professionals, families, and retirees want to simplify meal preparation and save time.
A successful convenience meal program in your store does require some knowledge, deliberation, and planning. Keep reading because we have so many tips to pass along!
- Understand your customers
- Provide easy on-the-go meals
- Suit the food to the season
- Offer a variety of ingredients
- Encourage customers to design at-home heat-and-eat meals
Understand Your Customers
When choosing what types of grab-n-go meals to provide, look at what's already popular in your store along with judicious use of demographic and store reports.
TIP: Consider your store's location in deciding what heat-and-eat meals would sell best. For example, are you…
- In the middle of a large downtown with a bustling professional population?
- Near natural attractions like lakes and parks?
- Within a suburban area with lots of late afternoon school and sports activities?
To help get your creative juices flowing in choosing meals, consider the many ways in which we categorize food in our society and plan meals by:
- Demographics - families, professionals, senior citizens, couples
- Cuisines - American, Latin American, Chinese
- Time of day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
- Portion size - single serving, small family, large family
- Dietary preferences - vegetarian, Keto, low-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic
Provide Easy On-The-Go Meals
Depending on your customers and store location, consider providing meals that can be purchased and eaten straight from the box. For example, if you are in an urban area with lots of offices, single-serve, microwavable containers for lunch would work well.
Remind customers that there are more places to eat than just home or restaurants. If your store is near a park or tourist attraction, offer them picnic lunches.
Suit the Food to the Season
It makes sense to vary grab-n-go meals based on the season. In-season fruit and vegetables are more cost-effective, and the weather also determines what people want to eat.
Chicken, hamburgers, and other proteins on the grill are well-liked in the spring and summer. So are side items that use the freshest in-season vegetables and fruit.
When the weather is colder in the fall and winter, people like heavier meals like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Soups and stews are another way to give them what they crave.
Of course, seasonality affects the type of bags you'll need. Stock up on grilling bags in the summer, and make sure you have plenty of slow cooker bags in the fall and winter.
Offer a Variety of Ingredients
It's vital to vary meals weekly within the range of what your customers like to eat. People love to see variety when they shop, and they'll be willing to try something new if you present it attractively.
It's possible to combine proteins, vegetables, and starches in so many ways that your customers will always see something new in the display case. Don't forget the long list of spices and sauces that can enliven a meal!
Encourage Customers to Design At-Home Heat-and-Eat Meals
Another way to help your customers with fast and healthy meals is to offer retail packs of the Ready. Chef. Go! bags. We carry bags in various sizes for the microwave, oven, slow cooker, and grill.
Depending on the retail pack type, you can market the RCG! retail packs in the following areas:
- Meat and seafood section
- Grab-n-go meal display case
- Grilling supplies
Delight Customers with a Grab-N-Go Meal Program
Creating a highly profitable on-the-go meal program involves coordinating many moving parts. RCG! has years of experience in setting up successful cooking bag programs.
Discover how we can help you launch a new convenience meal program to increase sales and profits exponentially by requesting more information.