Lifestyles feed retail revolution

A REVOLUTION is occurring in the retail grocery market with many stores now devoting large areas to ‘home meal replacement’ products and high quality delicatessen lines.

According to research by DDB Needham, dramatic new store formations and totally new market entrants are increasing rapidly.

Petrol companies, in addition to opening new convenience stores, either by themselves or in league with traditional grocery retailers, are even opening non-petrol selling grocery stores.

The report attributed the new developments to changing lifestyles, citing longer working hours for ‘time short’ executives and a trend towards inner city living as major factors.

Figures revealed there were more single parent families – accounting for 18 per cent of households – more single person families, more single child families and an increasing number of ‘empty nesters’ – accounting for 25 per cent of households.

Even the traditional family with ‘1.8 children’ is facing change, with everyone having their own schedules and eating different foods at different times.

Australians are demanding more convenient, healthy, naturally-produced and cosmopolitan food. ‘Custom built’ food lines are rapidly emerging as a result.

The research indicated recognised brands are competing strongly for visibility in a fully-supplied market. It appears that if a brand was third or fourth in the market it would be unlikely to get distribution – there just is not enough room.

Fresh Provisions managing director Basil Gottsis said the stores’ range of convenience products from The Loose Box Restaurant were proving extremely popular.

“It’s a multi-award winning restaurant so its got a great reputation and has proven itself in a commercial context,” he said.

The report found wholesalers were beginning to carry specific ranges for these ‘new era’ convenience stores, providing smaller sizes to cater for the market frequenting them.

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