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…]

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…]

What does the modern meat eater want from their local grocer’s meat department?

People take their meat very seriously – when customers want products from grass-fed, free-range livestock with no antibiotics or additives, they’ll let you know and expect you to show them products that suit their discerning needs.

As of late, carnivorous consumers have begun acting uncharacteristically sheepish – a confluence of consumer trends have led to shoppers spending less on meat overall and purchasing meat less frequently when they do their grocery shopping. [Read more…]

5 reasons to always invest in turnkey installation [w/ Infographic]

For supermarkets and grocery stores with commercial equipment driving operations in their bakeries, butcheries and prepared foods departments, the installation of new assets could mean a lot of added efficiency and better value propositions for customers.

However, these businesses have to survive the installation process first. Depending on the scope of the project, that may be easier said than done. [Read more…]

Year-round BBQ: Making every meal taste like summer

Another Fall has officially arrived, and with it goes the summer and all its splendor. Another year of barbecuing has officially come to an end.

Goodbye, grill. We’ll see you again in 2017.

However, for local supermarkets and grocery stores, summer can last all year long provided they invest in the necessary prepared foods equipment to keep the party going. Beat back the cold weather blues by considering what these commercial assets could do to keep the spirit of summer alive, flavorful and profitable month after month. [Read more…]

3 ways the right equipment investment helps retain the best supermarket employees

What is a supermarket without a personable, competent workforce?

According to the latest information from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food and beverage retailers nationwide are adding jobs as stores diversify their services to reach a wider audience. But to hire and maintain a team of motivated individuals working highly technical positions in in-store bakeries or prepared foods departments, supermarkets and grocery stores not only need the right set of principles to cater to an evolving job market but effective tools to allow workers to perform admirably. [Read more…]

5 reasons to entrust equipment training to specialists

Before any employee in a supermarket’s prepared foods department gets behind a grill or a deli slicer, they’ll require appropriate training. The same goes for long-time employees and newly acquired assets. However, who will provide the training? Sure, managers might be handy on certain equipment based on past experience, but does that make them an expert? And what about new assets no one is familiar with? [Read more…]

Rotisserie chicken: The grab-and-go market is still going strong

Say goodbye to hot dogs and hamburgers – rotisserie chicken is the new American grab-and-go staple.

The retail popularity of rotisserie chicken has noticeably increased in the last few years. According to data gathered by Technomic, rotisserie chicken appeared on 6 percent more menus in 2015 than in 2013. The diversity of the marinades and seasonings used is also worth mentioning – more retail food providers are turning to rotisserie chicken to experiment with new flavors and draw a wider audience. Though garlic and barbecue still hold top billing, other flavors like lemon, avocado and banana – yes, banana – are taking over prepared food departments everywhere.
[Read more…]