Convenience – Anything, Anytime, Anywhere

How convenience impacts the food industry – And how food manufacturers need to change in order to win

While consumers move towards a busy lifestyle, higher income and urban centers of living, they tend to yearn for convenient concepts in all areas of their daily life. This has implications especially for the food industry and retail landscape – demand shifts to ready-made meals and convenient retails formats. While other countries, such as China and the US are at the front of developing innovative convenient solutions, Germany is just now joining the trend. Current movements against plastic waste and for sustainability have not stopped the German convenience food market from gaining momentum. For instance, one leading German bakery chain already generates 50 percent of its revenues from hot and cold ready-to-eat products such as salad, pasta and sandwiches. How will convenience change the consumer and respectively the food industry in Germany as a whole? How do food manufacturers need to change in order to win?

Based on recent market developments and driven by our clients’ interests, Monitor Deloitte analyzed the impact of convenience from three main perspectives:

1. Consumer’s perspective: Exploring key aspects of convenience products, customer behavior and the retailer landscape. Answering the following questions: Why are customers moving towards convenience products in their food choices? What products are favored by customers and why? What channels are increasingly serving convenience products and are growing? Retail channels will need to change significantly to meet consumer demands – how will their business model adapt?

2. Chef’s perspective: Convenience never had a positive connotation in professional kitchens – is this going to change? What are the driving factors? This study further implies trends for the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering sector (HoReCa) and identifies drivers of convenience in a professional setting such as a rising demand for flexibility on the menu.

3. Manufacturer’s perspective: Who is producing convenience products? What does convenience mean for manufacturers? Who are their customers? This study also develops a guideline for food manufacturers as they face two major challenges: changing product landscape and changing sales channels.

As a summary, Monitor Deloitte poses relevant health check questions for food manufacturers to assess their convenience readiness. To gain a competitive advantage, food manufacturers will have to come up with answers to these questions. Only those who are able institute the right changes in their organization will ultimately benefit from the increasing demand for convenience food solutions and win the convenience game.

In the section above, you can download the full study.

PoV Convenience