Summer Grilling – Not Just for Burgers

With the summer weather showing its face, that also means grilling season has commenced. While many customers are heading outside to cook, whether it’s the park or the porch, not everyone has time to embrace the barbecue with their busy work schedule. That’s where the prepared food department at your local grocery store can fill the void. However, your standard meats alone do not satisfy the evolving tastes of the modern eater. [Read more…]

Customers, businesses appreciate locally sourced meat

Over the past few decades, the divide between eating at home and dining out has closed. Prepared foods are the culmination of this equilibrium, combining the comforts of a home-cooked meal with on-the-go convenience and an affordable price point. So it’s no surprise that, according to the 2016 The Why? Behind the Dine consumer survey from Acosta, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans have eaten ready-made meals from their local grocers and other prepared foods purveyors in the three months prior to polling. [Read more…]

Small, targeted commercial equipment investments make a big difference

What’s stopping you from investing in better, smarter cooking or baking equipment for your commercial kitchen? Is it money? Is it space? Or is it plain old why-mess-with-a-good-thing inertia?

We’re not about to stop store managers who feel inclined to remodel their kitchens top to bottom. Still, business owners and decision-makers must know a large-scale, costly upgrade is no guarantee of success or even turnaround from past failings. A targeted approach, one that focuses on unique struggles and goals, has a greater potential to return in spades what a team puts into it. What are examples of such a method, and why do they work as well as they do? [Read more…]

Equipment must-haves for supermarket breakfast menus

Who doesn’t love breakfast? Yet even the meal we’ve long dubbed “most important” has seen a noticeable boom in popularity over the last year, particularly when it comes to the breakfast options offered at deli counters, supermarkets and grocery stores across the country.

Earlier this year, Progressive Grocer reported annual sales increases for deli-prepared breakfast items like sandwiches (14.2 percent), quiche (17.9 percent) and combo plates (17.2 percent) between February 2015 and 2016. Interestingly enough, omelet sales from the prepared foods department grew more than 210 percent in that same timeframe. [Read more…]

2017 meat forecast: What’s happening with your proteins?

Butchers everywhere always want to know which meats make the cut for consumers and which ones are on the proverbial chopping block. By adjusting their inventories accordingly, butchers can turn a good profit and reduce their chances of overspending on unpopular products.

That means it’s time for a quick protein-powered update on upcoming pricing trends in meat, which will in turn affect sales at your supermarket, delicatessen or independent butchery in 2017. [Read more…]

Optimize your baking operations for cookies Grandma would envy [w/ Infographic]

What is it about the drop in temperature that makes the smell of fresh-baked cookies all the more enticing?

Pumpkin spice shortbread, cinnamon snickerdoodles, iced sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes or even the classic chocolate chip — foodies can’t get enough of these delicious treats this time of year. But even though supermarkets with bakery sections are happy to serve up happiness by the dozen, their traditional commercial baking equipment might stand in the way of perfect cookie execution. [Read more…]

Demonstrate nutritional awareness in your prepared foods department with these 3 suggestions [w/ Infographic]

Why do shoppers choose prepared foods from their local supermarkets over restaurant and fast-food fare? If you ask the Food Marketing Institute, menu diversity has led to $15 billion in industry growth over the last eight years and cemented the perception that prepared foods are a fresher, healthier alternative to traditional dining options. [Read more…]

Don’t butcher your meat company’s digital workstation purchase by forgetting these 3 important factors [w/ Infographic]

Not too long ago, “tracking” meat meant sharpening your spear, getting your tribe together and following a wooly mammoth for what felt like an eternity until it dropped its guard. After catching your prey, you’d drag it all the way back home through mud and bramble, then feast for many moons.

Call us crazy, but we prefer a more modern approach.

These days, industrial meat companies have traded the hunting and gathering for the latest technology, like innovative scales, label printers and intuitive touch-screen terminals. These workstations provide employees with insight into materials, production status, shipping logistics, and yield analytics, as well as help them optimize their operations to get the job done faster, with fewer mistakes and a lot less paperwork. [Read more…]

Rethink deli platters for greater market potential

These days, office managers hosting catered meetings, small events or work parties always have one eye on fun and the other on the budget. As such, supermarkets and grocers have the power to viably compete against other foodservice businesses to offer affordable dining options for larger parties, especially when dealing in deli platters. [Read more…]

Future of retail refrigeration: What trends will impact how supermarkets invest in refrigerated technology?

Refrigeration is the cornerstone of any grocery store or supermarket selling fresh goods, but refrigeration systems are also some of the biggest expenses retail food stores assume, not to mention a considerable risk to inventory if they suddenly break down.

To stay ahead of the game, business leaders have turned to smarter, more comprehensive energy management strategies including the purchase of Energy Star products and greater monitoring of equipment performance. But as times change, supermarkets and grocery stores will need to adjust their policies regarding energy efficiency and general refrigeration upkeep to continue to be competitive. What does the future of commercial refrigeration hold for the supermarket sector? [Read more…]