In response to increased competition between restaurants and retailers, Technomic has expanded its Consumer Brand Metrics (CBM) program to include the prepared foods sector. The expanded coverage includes tracking of consumer attitudes towards and usage of retail foodservice, measuring the performance of over 20 top providers of prepared foods.

“Grocery stores and supermarkets have focused on quality and variety of their prepared foods,” says Wade Hanson, Principal at Technomic. “As a result, consumers are coming in more often, seeking fresh foods and ready-to-eat meals. In fact, it’s often surprising to see which restaurants—both limited- and full-service—that consumers say they would have visited if they hadn’t purchased a prepared-foods item on their most recent occasion.”

“The program was created out of an industry necessity,” says Sara Monnette, Senior Director of Consumer Insights at Technomic. “Organizations want to understand consumer sentiment toward leading retail foodservice brands and leverage this information to maintain competitive advantage, not only benchmarking towards direct retail competitors but restaurants as well.”

Technomic’s Consumer Brand Metrics: Retail Meal Solutions provides comprehensive research on the latest consumer insights within this foodservice segment with four primary deliverables. Those deliverables, and select findings, include:

RMS Usage, Attitudes and Behaviors – Nearly half of consumers polled (45%) have purchased prepared foods at Walmart within the past month, leading all other retailers measured.

Retailer Attribute Analysis – In the value category, Costco leads the way in prepared-food prices relative to other, similar retailers with 88% of consumers considering Costco’s prepared-food item prices to be good or very good.

Brand Positioning Analysis – A vast majority of consumers (93%) agree that Trader Joe’s has an excellent reputation, followed by Whole Foods Market (90%).

Retailer Profiles – Reporting also includes a snapshot of consumer demographics, brand performance, visit occasions, items purchased and estimated spending at the leading retailers.

Consumer Brand Metrics measures retailers on a variety of attributes. Consumers rate the leading retail banners on roughly 40 attributes within the following categories: prepared food and beverage, value, takeout, service and hospitality, unit appearance and ambiance, and convenience. Leveraging Technomic’s Restaurant Consumer Brand Metrics, some of these attributes can be compared across restaurants and retailers for the first time. Additionally, Technomic operates a similar program that tracks prepared food and beverage programs at 20 leading convenience stores.