Retailers Eye Opportunities to Further Boost At-Home Eating

ORLANDO, Fla. — Executives from Hy-Vee, Sobeys and Dorothy Lane Market outlined new routes to boosting at-home meal consumption during a panel discussion here.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Executives from Hy-Vee, Sobeys and Dorothy Lane Market outlined new routes to boosting at-home meal consumption during a panel discussion here.

Their comments were made during the Food Marketing Institute’s Midwinter Executive Conference and coincided with the release of a new report about at-home eating.

“The stars are aligned, and all signs indicate opportunities to increase and improve meals eaten at home,” said Kenneth Waller, executive vice president and CAO, Hy-Vee. He said the trend is fueled by factors including TV cooking shows and publicity about the benefits of families eating together at home.

Canada’s Sobeys hopes to drive more at-home consumption by making breakfast more convenient, with an emphasis on the coffee category, said Marc Poulin, president, operations, Sobeys Quebec region.

“We’re partnering with a manufacturer to sell k-cup machines at cost to consumers to help grow that business,” he said, noting an initiative timed for the Christmas period.

At Dorothy Lane Market, Calvin Mayne, chief operating officer, said sandwiches are still the focal point of lunch business, and he emphasized the need to grow that business.

“The king of lunch is sandwiches,” he said. “Research shows the No. 1 sandwich is still ham, but within that category you can make things more interesting.”

The panel’s moderator, Bill Bishop, chairman, Willard Bishop, outlined some results from a newly released report by the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council that focuses on at-home eating opportunities.

“The successful capture of the incremental business projected to be available across breakfast, lunch and dinner can boost a retailer’s food sales by up to 3.2%, which translates to an increase of approximately 2.2% in total store sales,” according to the report.

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