It's been a trend for a while now, more supermarket shoppers buy prepared meals to take home. Now, a Technomic study shows that of those consumers, 62 percent said they are buying prepared meals instead of going to a fast-food restaurant.

Technomic's Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report, also noted that those prepared meals replace family-style and casual-dining restaurant visits, but to a lesser extent than fast-food dining.

The survey of more than 1,500 consumers also found:

  • 55 percent of consumers surveyed think retailer prepared foods have greatly improved over the past three years.
  • More than 80 percent buy at least one prepared meal from a retailer in a typical month, while 41 percent purchase four or more per month.
  • Participants said taste (89 percent) and freshness (87 percent) are the most important factors in choosing a retailer-prepared meal.
  • One-fifth of consumers said they would purchase more retail meal solutions if greater variety of items were offered. That was particularly true for convenience stores.

Offering fresher menu items was an area noted as needing improvement for many retail establishments, Technomic officials noted.

Source: Technomic