Woolies: Not quite a takeaway joint but getting pretty close

Business

Woolies: Not quite a takeaway joint but getting pretty close

Fast-food outlets had better watch out – Woolworths and partner In2Food are deeply into ready-to-eat meals

Larry Claasen


When clothing and grocery retailer Woolworths decided it would sell ready-to-eat meals all those years ago, it probably didn’t foresee it would become a major growth driver at a difficult time.
Consumers are clearly taking strain. Aside from the financial pressure they are under, they are also short of time. They don’t really have enough time to prepare healthy meals.
Woolworths knows this. This is why, in partnership with its supplier In2Food, it is expanding its ready-to-eat options. In2Food has invested in a new food processing plant near  OR Tambo International Airport, just outside Johannesburg. The plant, about the size of three rugby fields, is one of the largest of its kind.
It will give Woolworths the capacity to scale up its food offering and to further experiment with its menu.
The retailer hopes consumers will choose a ready-to eat meal from one of its stores  rather than getting an unhealthy takeaway. Woolworths already has a decent track record for offering “healthy” meals. 
So takeaway outlets had better watch out. They could soon face intense competition from an unexpected rival that does not even have a drive-through option.

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