Grocery stores adapting to changing industry - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Grocery stores adapting to changing industry

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CARBONDALE -- New research finds for years now, grocery shopping and cooking at home have been on the decline. 

And the deli department inside the Co-Op Grocery Store in Carbondale is getting increasingly busy. People stand in line to get fresh, healthy and already prepared meals. 

General Manager Francis Murphy said the deli has gotten so popular, they've added to it. 

"People have such compacted lives, full of so many things, that having the ability just to come and get food made for you is increasingly appealing," said Murphy. 

He said at the Co-Op,and nationwide, grocers have seen flat sales in the aisles at the center of the store, but in sections where the food is ready-to-eat, they've seen a spike.

"Produce, meat and prepared foods, and of those three, prepared foods is the one that's the fastest growing," said Murphy.  

A survey by Harvard Business Review found only 10 percent of people said they love cooking and do it often. 45 percent said they hate it. The remaining 45 percent said they're lukewarm on the idea and only cook once in a while. 

Shopper Jesse Koerner said he never cooks and doesn't like the clean-up involved with cooking.  

Murphy believes the hassle and busy schedules have a lot to do with people not cooking as much, but he thinks the root goes deeper. 

"Cooking is like a lost art that as we go though the generations is not getting passed along," said Murphy. 

Murphy said grocery stores are adapting by offering more food that's already prepared. A necessary step to keep up with the growing industry. 

Grocery stores nationwide have worked to make shopping more convenient. 

The Carbondale Kroger recently finished a 6 million dollar expansion to provide more space to prepared foods and its "ClickList" curbside pick-up program. 

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