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Grab-and-go the way to go

19 October 2020

Australians have a growing love affair with takeaway food, a market that supermarket and grocery retailing is only just waking up to. Takeaway is classified as any situation where food is purchased in one place and eaten elsewhere – from a humble weekend icecream to foodcourt meal, to a home-delivered dinner.

Food and Hospitality consultants, Future Food summed it up nicely when they said, “Eating Out In Australia 2019 data shows that it doesn’t matter if you are old or young, rich or poor, or whether you earned a second degree from a university or only got as far as high school. The differences between the demographics are about where you get your takeaways, not whether you get them”.

The takeaway food market turned over $1.6 billion in transactions during 2019 and is estimated to be worth $22 billion to the Australian economy. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all fair game, having a 10%, 40%, and 50% share of the takeaway market respectively. So why should Uber Eats, the fast-food drive-thru, and now – thanks to COVID-19 – local cafes and restaurants, have all the fun?

Supermarket and grocery retailers are in a great position to provide healthier and more affordable grab-and-go meals that help customers with busy lifestyles put a good meal on the table after a long day at work or to grab a quick breakfast or lunch on-the-go.

Ground zero for grab-and-go meals in grocery retailing is the cooked chicken. Independent retailers from central Sydney to outback Cunnamulla are embracing the opportunity to grow their sales by leveraging the classic cooked bird.

Meris Food Equipment Managing Director Michael Brick explained, “While many grocery retailers have provided convenience by offering cooked chickens, recent years have seen the margins erode. Adding sides such as chips, salads, roast veg, and gravy creates a bunch of easy up-sells, restoring the margin on the overall basket, and elevating the reputation and convenience of the retailer”.

Meris Food Equipment is leading the way in making this opportunity accessible to Australian independent retailers.

“We distribute an innovative, market-leading open hot holding and display cabinet manufactured in the UK called the Flexeserve Zone®. This cabinet keeps hot products like cooked chickens fresh for much longer than traditional bain-marie or island-style cabinets, reducing wastage and ensuring consistent food-safe temperature and quality. And it’s plug-and-play flexibility allows convenient hot food products to be displayed at the front of a store”, says Mr Brick.

Flexeserve convert, Steph Mills of IGA Cunnamulla says, “The Flexeserve displays our chicken and other hot food very well, holds perfect temperature, and is easy to clean”.

Meris Food Equipment is a solutions focussed equipment supplier. They not only work with their customers to develop the right equipment solution: they also assist with the design and placement of equipment installation; menu development; relationships with appropriate food and packaging suppliers; staff training; and, ongoing support around measurement and improvement.

To learn more, visit our dedicated supermarkets page.

The statistics quoted in this article are sourced from Future Foods article, ‘EATING OUT IN AUSTRALIA – TAKEAWAYS ON TAKEAWAY‘, June 19, 2019.

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