What has happened?

Coles has announced that it will launch 75 new ready to go meal options in 100 refurbished stores over the next six months. Pleasing millennials and hangry commuters alike, the range will include trendy brunch favourites like smashed avocado on toast, and acai bowls for just $4.50.

The Media Store Take

In June 2018, it was reported that Coles intended to move into the convenience store space with a focus on high-traffic metro areas. This latest announcement has no doubt sent alarm bells to the café industry; forecast to hit $9.8 billion in revenue in Australia by the end of this year. While quality and service have been touted by small business owners & retail experts as areas where local haunts may maintain an edge over the supermarket giant in the short term, ultimately Coles (and Woolworths should it choose to follow suit) will likely win over customers with sheer convenience. We only need to look to the UK to see how powerful the ‘ready to go’ market can be. Anyone who has spent some time there will be familiar with the concept of ‘meal deal;’ where major retailers offer a quick, cheap and ready to eat lunch option every day. As of 2017 76% of consumers in the UK buy lunch everyday, Sainsbury’s alone sell over 340,000 sandwiches every 36 hours! So whilst we might not be breaking up with our local cafés yet, there’s a good chance that soon enough we’ll be visiting a Coles convenience store just as frequently.

Melanie Scully