Grocers Woo Higher-Income Consumers With Premium Prepared Foods

grocery prepared foods

With big earners seeking prepared meals at the supermarket, grocers are seizing on the opportunity.

By the Numbers

Many consumers are looking for quick, convenient meal options at the grocery store, and higher-income shoppers are the ones driving this demand.

Findings from PYMNTS’ study “Digital Economy Payments: Consumers Buy Into Food Bargains,” which drew from a survey of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers about their food shopping habits, revealed that 37% of consumers had bought prepared food on their most recent grocery trip and that share was on the rise.

The report also noted that 43% of consumers whose annual income exceeds $100,000 had purchased prepared meals in their most recent grocery purchase, while only 36% of middle-income consumers and 31% of those whose income is lower than $50,000 said the same.

The Context

Grocers have been looking to meet this demand with premium meal options.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Atul Sood, chief business officer at Kitchen United, the ghost kitchen and virtual food hall company behind grocery giant Kroger’s in-store multi-brand pickup and delivery restaurants, spoke to the consumer demand for more name-brand restaurant options at the supermarket.

“What we had as an initial hypothesis was that when consumers do shopping for the week, they don’t necessarily want to cook that night,” Sood explained. “That seems to be really clicking with consumers. As soon as they get educated about the option of ordering from restaurants in a grocery store, that repeat orders tend to be very high and consumer retention tends to be very strong.”

Indeed, in an interview with PYMNTS, Geoff Alexander, CEO of fast-casual chain Wow Bao, contended that supermarkets are becoming the go-to spot not only for raw groceries but also all food-at-home categories.

“The supermarket has really become where consumers get all their meals at home,” Alexander explained. “It’s not just dining out now in restaurants — grocery stores are finding different ways to keep people inside the store to find their next meal. Whether it’s prepared food counters or partnering with restaurants, they’re making additional opportunities for people to do one-stop shopping.”