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Omnichannel is a Strategic Move as Operators Face Tough Conditions

There is appetite for omnichannel products as consumers reduce restaurant visits due to financial pressures.

The Lumina Omnichannel Foodservice Report 2022 has brought awareness to a decline of restaurant penetration – -1.1ppt year-on-year, as the cost of living crisis has led to consumers reducing discretionary spending.

At the same time, restaurant operators face immense challenges including increasing business costs and reduced footfall, highlighting the importance of diversifying their portfolio of products and enhancing their brand image to remain profitable.

On a positive note, as consumers reduce restaurant visits due to financial pressures, there is appetite for omnichannel products, some of which have made their way into the consumer household permanently, such as Nando’s Perinaise sauce, or Pizza Express’ chilled pizzas.

A closer look has shown sauces and seasonings are popular, yet are less frequently purchased, whereas meal kits and ready meals promise high frequency purchasing following initial engagement, which Omnichannel has driven forward, alongside brand awareness, with 40% visiting a restaurant following trying its retail products.

“The consumer appetite is there,” says Blonnie Whist, Insights Director at Lumina Intelligence, who presented the report recently at the Omnichannel Conference, as well as Lumina’s Food Strategy Forum on December 8th. “Two thirds of shoppers have bought a foodservice branded product in the past three months, highlighting the interest for these products. 46% have purchased a new foodservice branded product since lockdown, demonstrating a willingness for experimentation and an opportunity for further innovation.”