SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Will Consumers Pay a Premium for the Convenience of a Healthy RTE Meal?

Posted by SugarCreek

Sep 11, 2015, 1:30:00 PM

health-RTE-meal

Families’ and individuals' households are changing, and their needs are changing with them. During the recession, a lot of consumers put low-cost at the top of their list of food priorities. But, as we ease back into a financial upswing, more people are working more hours. These consumers are more likely to add convenience to their list of needs, and they are willing to pay more for it. When you offer customers sous vide recipes, you give them the chance to get foods that are quick and easy while still offering taste and healthful nutrition profiles.

Modern Consumers' Competing Needs

The modern grocery shopper is changing. This is a smart and savvy consumer who demands high quality meals. Somewhat paradoxically, however, while consumers are more interested than ever in healthy eating, high end foods and involved cooking techniques, they have far less time to plan and prepare meals.

Americans are more into gourmet and healthy food choices than ever before. They buy a wider range of foreign and specialty foods at markets. They watch food shows to hone their food preparation skills and learn about unique menu offerings from all over the world. They are familiar with a far wider range of foods than generations before.

But, at the same time, they are busier than ever. Over half of all consumers have replaced sit-down meals with continuous snacking. People work longer hours and don't want to spend a lot of time getting a healthy and delicious meal on the table. The average meal preparation time has dropped to just 34 minutes for dinner.

Because of the trend toward busier lives, convenience store sales have increased by 2.5% in some markets where grocery stores' sales have only gone up by .2%. But, marketers who offer foods more commonly sold in grocery stores need not give up hope. By offering convenient and delicious ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare options, you can continue to compete.

Balancing Convenience and Quality

Food manufacturers could have the solution to the demand for convenience and quality: Ready-to-eat sous vide-prepared pouches offer even the busiest of consumers the chance to enjoy a home-cooked meal without having to put in all the time and effort.

A home cook can simply swing by the store on the way home from work to pick up a meal kit—created from high quality ingredients—and that’s dinner. With every ingredient already cooked in the pouch, all that a home cook needs to do is reheat the dish and add any personalized finishing touches.

It's a great option for busy professionals who don’t have the time to cook a meal from scratch, but still want a healthy meal that they can give their own personal touch. Ready-to-eat sous vide meal kits are convenient and allow consumers to personalize their meals. And, if you offer a wide variety of recipes, you may find flavor-seeking consumers coming back to your brand for a different meal every night.

A family can sit down to Indian-inspired sous vide curry one night and an American steak and potatoes meal the next. The convenience of this sort of offering is worth a premium to busy consumers who value flavor and healthfulness as much as they do ease and speed.

Here’s the Bottom Line

Tastes change. Grocery shoppers' habits will continue to evolve, but sous vide recipes offer brands a way to win consumers' hearts throughout the rise and fall in popularity of currently trending foods and flavors—and despite the fact that consumers’ trust in food brands is down across the board.

By offering busy home cooks easy access to what they want through options like sous vide recipes, you can earn the loyalty of consumers and ensure the continued success of your brand.

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SugarCreek

Written by: SugarCreek

Sugar Creek prides itself on its authentic culinary expertise. With nearly 50 years in the food manufacturing business, we know what Americans want to eat.

Topics: Sous Vide