Food-to-go remains an important opportunity for the P&C channel with research suggesting one-in-two Australian shoppers buy some sort of takeaway food in a typical month.
Although foodservice outlets are still the number one choice for consumers, an impressive one-in- four survey respondents say they have bought food-to-go from the convenience channel.
Most Australians surveyed agree that food-to-go in P&C stores is quick, convenient and easy, but there are opportunities to better satisfy them in terms of healthier options, improved portion sizes and ‘made-to-order’ options.
There is little question that we are moving in the right direction, however, with 40 per cent of respondents saying food-to-go in P&C stores has improved over the past two to three years, which is great news for all.
All suppliers need to be aware of the food-to-go opportunity. One trend we’ve seen in both the US and Europe is non-food-to-go suppliers changing their pack format or product range to ensure they are featuring within this growing shopping occasion. Take-home meals are turned into smaller ‘mobile-meal’ packages and remarketed to meet this increasing demand.
Hot drinks-to-go have grown globally over the past 10 years, with coffee chains booming and P&C stores relatively new to the game.
US convenience stores have really led the way here, with many retailers offering both a made-to-order barista service and a fully customised self-serve offer.
In the UK, retailers continue to team up with well-known coffee brands to offer self-serve machines carrying a trusted brand and quality.
We know how passionate Australians are about their coffee and this is seen in the figures of those who have bought hot coffee-to-go: nearly one-in- three Australians interviewed say they buy hot drinks-to-go in a typical month. Obviously, location of store and surrounding shopper base will heavily influence demand by store, but getting it right means frequent and growing footfall.
Breakfast-to-go shouldn’t be forgotten. One-in-10 Australian respondents say they have purchased breakfast-to-go in the month before being interviewed.
We’re seeing increased focus on breakfast around the world, often featured as part of meal deals (think bacon sandwich plus coffee) or even cross-promoted with other early morning purchases such as newspapers – a good way to promote trial of a new breakfast offer and build credibility.
We’ve also seen growth in healthier options, appealing to a different type of shopper – for example, the growth in smoothies and juicing, which shouldn’t be ignored.
him! international 2015 Global Convenience Shopper Study
Shoppers will be interviewed this month with initial top-line results available in November and more detailed analysis in December.
Australia will be one of the main markets covered in the global benchmarking study. The Australian P&C market is enjoying annual growth of 4.6 per cent.
Benchmarking will be carried out in two main ways: him! international will benchmark insights from shoppers of all main convenience chains within Australia and will also benchmark shopper insights in Australia with other key convenience markets, including the UK and Ireland (regarded as the home of some of the best convenience stores in the world).
We’re keen to adopt a really simple approach to our work. We want to help businesses understand how and where they can improve their performance by listening to shoppers and identifying growth areas. We want to establish what works in other chains, other sectors or other markets and share this with Australian P&C chains.
We want to put the ‘shopper’ at the heart of commercial decisions for retailers and suppliers.
More than 100 issues will be addressed to ensure all aspects of convenience retailing are covered. Reporting and recommendations will be simple and clear.
We have worked in ‘local’ retailing – and almost exclusively ‘local’ retailing – for 20 years. Our convenience work is not a new venture after years of working in supermarkets.
international him! international was launched in 2015 and is run by Tom Fender, former managing director of him! research and consulting in the UK, and Neil Turton, former CEO of Nisa. It is a sister organisation to him! UK, an expert in convenience store shopper research and insights, which has been researching convenience shoppers in the UK for more than 40 years as part of the Convenience Tracking Program. him! international has taken the expertise gained from the UK operation and tracks shopper trends and attitudes in key markets around the world. You can access taster slides of the recently launched ‘Understanding the P&C shopper in Australia’ report on the Australian P&C shopper on the him! international