The Growing On-the-Go Food Market

Grocery, convenience stores, vending heed the call

Published in CSP Daily News

NEW YORK -- U.S. consumers are increasingly opting for foods, and especially healthier foods, that require minimal or no preparation, according to a report from AM Online.

And as a result, the market for "on-the-go" foods is expanding, both in terms of products and places where one can buy them, according to On-the-Go Eating: Consumer Mindsets, Menu Trends and Product/Packaging Innovations, a new report from market-research publisher Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, New York.

What's changing, according [image-nocss] to the report, are the types of venues where consumers can buy on-the-go meals: more traditional "sit-down" restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and even vending machines.

One of the strongest signs that consumer attitudes and eating habits are being greatly altered by on-the-go lifestyles is the blurring of the line between meals and snacks. At the same time, Americans are taking a more balanced approach to eating on-the-go, realizing the need to balance convenience with healthy eating, according to the report.

On-the-Go Eating examines the market for convenient and hand-held foods in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants, mass-market food retailers, and alternative channels, such as convenience stores and vending. Key trends covered include the steadily growing demand for gourmet sandwiches in foodservice channels and their untapped market potential in supermarkets, convenience stores and other mass-market retailers; the impact that litigation and new and proposed legislation is having on food producers and marketers; and the increasing focus on combating obesity and related illnesses in the United States via healthier fare, including among kids.

Drawing on diverse consumer attitude, consumer purchasing, sales-tracking and new product data, the report delineates current and potential demographic markets, identifies strategies for new products and packaging, and profiles leading players in each channel, including Subway, Applebee's, Panera Breads, Quiznos, H.E. Butt Grocery, Wegmans, 7-Eleven, Sheetz, Canteen Vending Services and many others.