With retail shoppers increasingly seeking out fresh meals, even though the items on the food bar and in the service deli most likely were prepared off site and came from a package, traditional supermarkets, specialty grocery and convenience stores are elevating their fresh prepared offerings. This helps retailers better compete with fast-casual restaurant brands such as Chipotle and Panera. Much of the success of these foodservice formats stems from the fact that fresh food experiences, which the chains specialize in delivering, are the essence of consumer evaluations of quality in restaurants today, according to
The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Washington. Not only has the rise of the fast-casual channel disrupted food retailing, it has altered consumer perceptions of eating out.

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