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The Home Meal Replacement Opportunity: A Marketing Perspective


  • Larson, Ronald B.


Many food retailers perceive home meal replacements (HMR) or meal solutions as major opportunities for sales growth. These fully- or partially-prepared foods appear to solve growing consumer needs: lack of time, lack of skill, and lack of desire to prepare food. However, a recent financial review of the foodservice operations at 10 large supermarket chains found that the average store's prepared food operation was losing money. The study identified three important areas that supermarkets need to improve: product shrink, employee training, and promotion. These three areas are closely linked with the design and marketing of the HMR concept. To increase the profitability of their HMR programs, supermarkets and restaurants need to address the seven key "Ps" of HMR marketing: positioning, product, package, place, price, promotion, and people. This paper reviews these seven marketing issues and summarizes the lessons learned by early HMR providers.

Suggested Citation

  • Larson, Ronald B., 1998. "The Home Meal Replacement Opportunity: A Marketing Perspective," Working Papers 14310, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umrfwp:14310
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.14310

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Larson, Ronald B., 1997. "Key Developments In The Food Distribution System," Working Papers 14350, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larson, Ronald B., 1999. "New Insights Into The Home Meal Replacement Opportunity," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 30(1), pages 1-5, March.
    2. repec:ags:uersfr:266204 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:ags:uersfr:266201 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Padberg, Dan, 1999. "Nutritional Labeling for Food-Away-From-Home," New Economic Approaches to Consumer Welfare and Nutrition - FAMC 1999 Conference 260296, Food and Agricultural Marketing Consortium (FAMC).
    5. Larson, Ronald B., 2002. "Facing The Meal-Solution Dilemma," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 33(3), pages 1-9, November.
    6. Carlson, Andrea & Kinsey, Jean D. & Nadav, Carmel, 1998. "Who Eats What, When, And From Where?," Working Papers 14312, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.


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