Skip to main content

Seven tips for grocers to elevate their prepared meal offerings

Expert advice from industry analysts and retailers on how grocers can up their game when it comes to meal solutions
grocery store prepared foods

Done right, prepared meals are a great way to drive up margins in what is often a lowmargin sector of the grocery store – and stand out from the competition. Here are seven tips from industry analysts and retailers on how grocers can up their game when it comes to providing meal solutions.

Stand out

Differentiate yourself with one (or several) signature items. Whether it’s stone-oven pizza, super fresh sandwiches, or a weekly prime rib special, find something that makes you stand out and keeps customers coming back.


Invest in chefs and/ or train existing staff to seek out new flavour profiles and recipes. As an owner or manager, go to restaurants, watch TikTok and other social media for food trends, and don’t be afraid to try something new on occasion; customers want variety just as much as they like the tried and true.

Understand your customer base

Know your demographic and offer food options accordingly. For example, are there any dominant ethnic groups in your neighbourhood you could be adding dishes for?

Maintain high standards

Always use good quality ingredients and source locally whenever possible.

Plan holiday meal solutions

Build entire menu options and meal kits around special occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas; convenience is key for customers, especially during busy holiday times.

Leverage technology

Look into technologies that can improve efficiencies in meal prep operations on the back end, or online tools that will help customers customize and time their orders.

Get the word out

Market your meal solutions just as you would other grocery specials – on outside billboards, via in-store flyers and signage, and through your website.

This article first appeared in Canadian Grocer’s June/July 2023 issue.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds