Consumers Increasingly Expect Prepared Meals at the Grocery Store

Grocery, prepared meals, meal kits

As inflation weighs heavily on consumers’ minds, many are seeking more affordable alternatives to restaurant meals, such as prepared meals they can buy at the grocery store.

By the Numbers

Research from PYMNTS’ study “Digital Economy Payments: Consumers Buy Into Food Bargains,” which drew from a July survey of a census-balanced panel of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, found that 37% of consumers bought prepared food on their most recent grocery trip, up 7 points from the 30% of consumers who had done so back in November 2021.

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The Data in Action

Online grocery giant Instacart, for one, has stayed ahead of this curve. Back in January, the aggregator announced the launch of its Ready Meals Hub, offering cooked foods from a number of top grocery brands.

“With our new Ready Meals Hub, we’re dishing up inspiring, more affordable and nutritious food alternatives to restaurant delivery that make it easier for consumers to break up with takeout this year,” Instacart Vice President and Head of Product Daniel Danker said at the time. “We’re also helping retailers drive more sales and increase their ‘share of stomach’ when it comes to their customers’ daily mealtime decisions.”

Read more: Instacart Aims to Price Out DoorDash with Launch of Meal Delivery