In-store Eateries Meet Grocery Shoppers Demand for Prepared Foods

East Coast grocer Giant opens an in-store restaurant.

March 29, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Ahold Delhaize subsidiary Giant Food, which spans 165 locations in the Washington, D.C.-area, has opened its first in-supermarket fast-casual restaurant, Nalley Fresh, according to Hungry consumers can get meals delivered to them from the Maryland in-store location via third-party providers or drop in and order on a self-service kiosk. Nalley Fresh offers a variety of bowls, wraps and salads.

"We know our customers will enjoy the convenient, healthy and delicious meal offerings, and we're proud to welcome this local concept right in-store at Giant,” said Gregg Dorazio, director of eCommerce at Giant Food.

Research from PYMNTS’ study “Digital Economy Payments: Consumers Buy Into Food Bargains,” which surveyed nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers, found that 37% of consumers had bought prepared food on their most recent grocery trip, up 7 points from the 30% of consumers who had done so in November 2021.

According to Atul Sood, chief business officer at Kitchen United, the ghost kitchen company, “When consumers do shopping for the week, they don’t necessarily want to cook that night.” Kroger is one of the retailers that has partnered with Kitchen United to bring meals to its stores.

Once consumers are “educated about the option of ordering from restaurants in a grocery store, repeat orders tend to be very high and consumer retention tends to be very strong,” Sood added.

Schnucks, a St. Louis-based grocery with 114 locations in the Midwest, also offers self-service, ready-to-eat meal options. Earlier this week, technology provider Picadeli announced a partnership with the grocer for in-store salad bars powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The offer will be available at 22 Schnucks locations.

“We know customers are looking for convenient, healthy food options, and they’re going to love the fresh new experience of Picadeli,” said Ted Schnuck, executive vice president, supermarkets at Schnuck Markets. “With Picadeli’s AI technology, customers will have the freshest food available to them on the salad bar via its digital management and reordering system.”