This week in restaurant news, P.F. Chang’s expands its grocery presence, Perkins enters the retail coffee space, and restaurant growth is expected to outpace grocery this holiday season by a considerable margin.
Asian-style casual dining chain P.F. Chang’s, which has more than 300 locations across 20 countries, announced Thursday (Sept. 21) that it is partnering with Fresh Del Monte’s cut vegetable subsidiary Mann Packing Co. to launch two salad kits based on the restaurant’s menu to be sold in grocery store aisles. These include an Asian Caesar Salad Kit and a Mandarin Crunch Salad Kit.
“Our partnership with Mann Packing Co. allows us to bring the essence of the P.F. Chang’s dining experience to households across the nation,” Kristen Briede, the restaurant’s president of global brands and retail, said in a statement. “These salad kits are an embodiment of our dedication to quality and innovation, offering consumers a chance to bring the P.F. Chang’s dining experience into their homes in a fresh and convenient package.”
The products are sold at Giant Eagle and other retailers.
The news comes as restaurant brands increasingly look for ways to get their offerings into the grocery store to remain top-of-mind for shoppers, be it with prepared meals such as these, with products such as signature condiments or with hot food offerings, as consumers seek ways to get more of their food at the supermarket.
“The grocery store is trying to be the one-stop shop,” Geoff Alexander, president and CEO of restaurant chain Wow Bao, told PYMNTS in an interview in August. “Whether it’s for ready-to-eat meals, food for another night, or the typical grocery shop, they’re trying to entice the consumer to use the grocery store in many different ways.”
In similar news, casual dining chain Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, which has 270 locations in 32 states, has become the latest restaurant brand to enter the packaged coffee space.
The restaurant chain announced Thursday the launch of its retail line of coffees, which includes the typical bags of ground coffee as well as single-serve K-cups.
“We are excited to extend the cherished Perkins experience beyond our restaurant walls,” Diana Garcia-Lorenzana, the restaurant’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “Our iconic House Blend and the delicious Chocolate Pecan Pie coffee embody the very essence of Perkins legacy.”
With at-home coffee, restaurants can drive interaction with their brand as often as every morning. The coffee aisle is a popular destination for restaurant brands looking to establish a presence in grocery retail. Starbucks has its extensive Coffee at Home business; McDonald’s has McCafé at Home; Dunkin’ has Dunkin’ at Home. Tim Hortons announced in August its consumer packaged goods (CPG) business’s entry into the U.S. market with the launch of cold brew concentrate.
Restaurants are not only taking over grocery stores but also overtaking grocery stores. The latest Mastercard Pulse data released Tuesday (Sept. 19) revealed that the restaurant sector’s sales growth this holiday season is expected to exceed the grocery sector’s by a considerable margin, with restaurants expected to see a 5.4% increase compared to grocery’s 3.9%.
“While the consumer of holidays past may have been a consumer trying to find footing in a rapidly shifting economy, the consumer of holidays present has taken their power back,” Michelle Meyer, U.S. chief economist of Mastercard Economics Institute, said in a statement. “We expect these individuals to impressively navigate the holiday season, making choices and trade-offs that best suit their lifestyles.”