The Hot Foods Revolution: How prepared foods is becoming an essential part of the retail landscape
Walk into your local bodega and you will most likely see a growing trend starting to take hold. Hot foods have become more prevalent than ever before and offer customers a brand new culinary option in bodegas and local supermarkets. Essentially, hot foods, made popular by establishments like 7-11 and Wawa, offer a convenient grab-and-go food option for customers.
Additionally, they provide a level of convenience for store owners by creating a new venue of product offering without the implied hassle accompanying conventional food preparation. With less effort and advertising on the store’s part required, hot foods represent a quick, cheap and convenient option for both store owners and their customers to benefit from.
This rise of hot foods has taken place over the backdrop of the burgeoning war between local retailers and their larger counterparts. In the ever-shifting retail landscape, bodegas and local merchants must find a way to even the playing field by introducing services and products that mirror their larger competitors. The hot foods trend represents the perfect opportunity for these local players to foster the quick and convenient customer environment that has increasingly become a focus in the retail landscape.
In 2012, 7-11 signaled the beginning of this trend with a commitment to renovating their stores around the accessibility of hot food. They added items including pizza, tacos and their signature ‘taquitos’ in an effort to introduce more grab-and-go items to supplement their existing food offerings. This move payed off in a big way as 7-11 now sells over 20 million pizzas and pounds of spicy chicken wings per year. This has signaled to the rest of the industry the importance and necessity of convenient food options. It is imperative for bodegas and local retailers to become a part of this trend or risk being left behind.
One of the major hurdles that exist for bodegas and local merchants in the pursuit of hot foods are the costs associated with introducing such a program. These include the purchase and upkeep of the machinery along with the sourcing of the food items. This can be a difficult situation for a local retailer to deal with and that is where National Retail Solutions can help.
With the introduction of our new hot foods program, we provide the necessary machinery and food sourcing so that store owners are freed up to focus on providing their customers with an environment of ease and convenience. In the ever-changing retail landscape, keeping pace can be a daunting task, and that is exactly where NRS plans to support the local merchant.