It’s all about calling ahead so you can pick it up.

It seems that call ahead food service is becoming more and more popular each year. Making the meals is now taking too long. People just want to call in their order and pick it up on the way home…

More recently, curbside takeout, which has become a fast-growing trend at many casual-dining chains, is attracting the attention of other retailers eager to get in on the action, including Whole Foods Market, Publix Super Markets, HoneyBaked Ham; and a growing easy-meal-assembly segment, all competing for the food dollar of time-pressed families.

“We still see substantial growth opportunities in the takeout segment,” said Darren Tristano, e.v.p./Technomic Information Services. “Consumers now have more sophisticated tastes, but even less time to cook. Takeout operators that give them convenience without compromising quality will be able to capture substantial incremental sales.”

Suppliers can also play a key role in developing menu items with eat-at-home appeal, and packaging that retains food freshness in transit, Tristano noted.

Among the key takeaways of the new takeout report is the finding that the proportion of consumers who order takeout “on the go” from their car or elsewhere on their cell phone is growing rapidly. Nearly three out of 10 consumers (29 percent) who ordered takeout did so from their cell phone, nearly double the rate of on-the-go ordering from just two years ago.

Further, a greater percentage of consumers than ever before are using takeout as home meal replacements, opting to order food during transit and consuming it in the comfort of their homes.

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