Need for convenience is changing where and what consumers eat–Nielsen

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By: Nielsen Press Release

In an environment where denser urbanization, fast-paced lifestyles and challenging working hours are adding more complexity to consumers’ lives, consumption of food and beverage is rapidly changing. Nielsen, a global measurement company, finds that Filipino consumers turn to convenient food channels such as convenience stores to eat or buy ready-to-consume food and drinks.

In fact, Filipino consumers reveal that among their primary reasons for visiting convenience stores is to satisfy hunger or food cravings. “The consumers’ on-the-go lifestyle is leaving less time to prepare and cook meals at home and is driving consumers to satisfy their need to eat right away, anytime, anywhere,” observes Patrick Cua, managing director of Nielsen Philippines.

The prevalence of convenience stores makes it one of the most convenient retail channels for purchasing RTE meals. Today, there are close to 4,500 convenience stores nationwide, with increasing expansion in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

According to the latest Nielsen Shopper Trends report, purchase of ready to consume food and drinks during the day picks up during early afternoon (1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and peaks during late afternoon (4:01 p.m. to 6 p.m.). These are the hours when consumers take their afternoon snacks or when they buy RTE food items to consume while in transit or to bring home after getting off from school or work.

Shopper Trends is a syndicated annual report that Nielsen conducts across 66 markets globally. It provides a comprehensive overview of retail environment trends and an understanding of shopping behavior across the different trade channels. It provides insights on where, when, and how often people shop, and their emotional commitment and perceptions about key modern trade retailers.

The report further finds that breads and sandwiches such as hotdog sandwiches, siopao and tunapao, rice meals (i.e. silog rice meals), salty snacks or chips, bottled water, and carbonated soft drinks are popular among patrons of convenience stores.

On the other hand, there are food and drinks that are increasing in popularity among convenience store customers. Among these are fried chicken, energy/sports drinks, chocolate powder mixes, 3-in-1 coffee mixes, and ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages such as milk or soymilk, and tea.

Favorites such as soft-served ice cream, salty snacks or chips, and bottled water are showing increasing appeal to convenience store shoppers year-on-year.

As consumers spend more time working and commuting, we see on-the-go and prepared meals becoming more common,” Cua observes. “As the demand for convenient options persists, the need for convenience store retailers and manufacturers to offer more customized solutions that can go beyond product offerings by providing an overall convenience experience is more critical than ever. Innovations in packaging, preparation, portability, ordering, payment and application technologies are some factors to consider in providing an overall convenience experience.”