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    Technomic Extends Tracking Tool to Retail Foodservice

    The move comes as the battle between retailers and restaurants heats up.

    CHICAGO -- Technomic Inc. is adding the prepared food sector to its Consumer Brand Metrics program. The move comes as restaurants continue to battle retailers for consumers' food dollars.

    The expanded coverage includes tracking of consumer attitudes toward and usage of retail foodservice, measuring the performance of more than 20 top providers of prepared foods.

    "Grocery stores and supermarkets have focused on quality and variety of their prepared foods," said Wade Hanson, principal at Technomic. "As a result, consumers are coming in more often, seeking fresh foods and ready-to-eat meals. In fact, it's often surprising to see which restaurants -- both limited and full service -- consumers say they would have visited if they hadn't purchased a prepared food item on their most recent occasion."

    Technomic's new "Consumer Brand Metrics: Retail Meal Solutions" provides research on the latest consumer insights within the foodservice segment using four primary deliverables:

    • RMS Usage, Attitudes and Behaviors: Nearly half of consumers polled (45 percent) have purchased prepared foods at Walmart within the past month, leading all other measured retailers.
    • Retailer Attribute Analysis: In the value category, Costco leads the way in prepared food prices relative to other, similar retailers, with 88 percent of consumers considering Costco's prepared food item prices to be good or very good.
    • Brand Positioning Analysis: A vast majority of consumers (93 percent) agree that Trader Joe's has an excellent reputation, followed by Whole Foods Market (90 percent).
    • Retailer Profiles: Reporting also includes a snapshot of consumer demographics, brand performance, visit occasions, items purchased and estimated spending at the leading retailers.

    "The program was created out of an industry necessity," said Sara Monnette, senior director of consumer insights at Technomic. "Organizations want to understand consumer sentiment toward leading retail foodservice brands and leverage this information to maintain a competitive advantage, not only benchmarking toward direct retail competitors but restaurants as well."

    Consumer Brand Metrics measures retailers on a variety of attributes. Consumers rate the leading retail banners on roughly 40 attributes within the following categories: prepared food and beverage, value, takeout, service and hospitality, unit appearance and ambiance, and convenience.

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