Women Debating Choices In Grocery Store

With more Americans looking for cheaper options than dining out, many supermarkets see a chance to increase revenue by providing customers with prepared meals that are music to their ears: cheap and quick.

The Wall Street Journal reported that these grocers see a chance to cash in on U.S. customers who have “gotten more discerning about eating out.”

Brian Niccol, the chief executive of Chipotle, said it will not be easy for these stores to tap into the market.

“My kids are like, ‘You are putting chicken on the grill, why don’t you just get Chipotle?’” he told the paper. “I don’t know what they’re saying about my grilling technique.”

The paper noted that last year saw a rare occurrence of grocery prices outpacing restaurants. But that trend ended in March. Grocery prices are up 3.6 percent compared to restaurant prices up 7.1 percent.

The paper spoke to a 45-year-old mother from Arizona who said she turns to pre-made dinners from Costco to save money.

“They have great dinner options and those are a lot more affordable for a family of four rather than eating out,” she said. 

The paper noted that supermarkets have seen an 8.3 percent increase in prepared-meal sales over the past year, compared to an overall 3 percent decline in food and beverage sales.

TRENDPOST: Earlier this year, reported about the growing trend of pre-made meals from grocery stores and mentioned some things that could give you indigestion. (See “WEIGHT-LOSS SURGERY FOR CHILDREN IN U.S. JUMPS…WHO CARES ABOUT DIET?” 25 Apr 2023, “FAT, DUMB, AND BROKE: HIGH-FAT DIET HINDERS BRAIN’S ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH STOMACH” 31 Jan 2023, “YOUR SANDWICH IS KILLING YOU, PART II” 23 May 2023 and “THE AMERICAN WAY: FAT, DUMB, AND STUFFED WITH SANDWICHES” 21 Mar 2023.)

The article cited a 2016 Consumer Reports that said just half of the pre-made meals you see at your local grocer are made on store premises. These meals tend to be high in salt and saturated fat.

The Consumer Reports article stated that these pre-made meals are not even that cost-effective. On average, these meals were twice as much as buying the ingredients yourself and making the meal.

The bullshit is not new to Trends Journal readers. 

Last Thanksgiving, the mainstream media attempted to sell the idea that it was, somehow, more cost-efficient to pre-order a holiday feast than cook one yourself. (See “MEDIA BULLSHIT: MORE FINANCIALLY SAVVY TO EAT OUT ON THANKSGIVING THAN COOK AT HOME,” 15 Nov 2023.)

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