Wegmans has well-established prepared food bars in its Market cafe section. The selections have noticeably expanded in recent months. There are bars for salads, fruit, hot veggies, sushi, homestyle cooking, Italian, Thai, Indian, and Chinese. There are $6 meals already-packaged to go. There are also chefs on hand at stations to cook foods to order.
I did a story this week on Wegmans’ heavy push into vegetarian meals. The stores use a meat substitute that has the taste and texture of chicken. Chickenless Parmesan, anyone?
The Washington Post reports supermarket prepared meals generated $19.5 billion in sales in 2012, up from $5.5 billion in 2011. Wegmans charges $8.49 a pound for meals at its prepared food bars.
What’s driving the growth? Families have always been pressed for time, so I’m not sure I believe that changing lifestyles is the reason. The Post suggested perhaps fewer people know how to cook.
I think the secret to Wegmans’ prepared food success is the food looks and tastes delicious. These are not simple salad bars. These are elaborate buffets with something for everyone. They work for lunch and dinner. Wegmans incorporates the offerings into Menu magazine, so customers can learn to cook the items themselves. The food bars are the ultimate impulse purchase – and we can’t resist.
Links of the Day:
– Colorado debates how stoned is too stoned to drive. Some say there shouldn’t be a legal threshold for THC in blood, because some have more tolerance than others. But that argument didn’t work when DWI laws were created, even though some people handle their liquor better.
– The Queen Bee in the office. We’ve all worked with one.