The biggest specialty frozen food retail chain in Canada is getting a new name and expanding its customer offerings. M&M Meat Shops Ltd.'s new name is M&M Food Market, and its product line expansion is aimed at winning back customers by giving them the chance to stock up for a whole meal and not just on meats.
M&M CEO Andy O’Brien is betting the move, which includes bringing in more than 100 new products ranging from fish tacos to frozen sushi, will transform the Canadian frozen food retailer into a highly recognizable name for everyday fare.
Back in 2008, M&M's sales hit an estimated $475 million, but these days, the figure is closer to $400 million after too-fast growth in Canada and an unsuccessful expansion in the US led the frozen retail giant off course. However, Nielsen Canada's Vice President of Consumer Insights Carman Allison points out that currency trends are now pushing up fresh food prices, which means M&M can leverage the sticker shock consumers are experiencing when they shop for fresh items. Nielsen Canada reports that frozen food sales in the country have risen 3.5 percent to around $5.5 billion in the past year.
According to O'Brien, M&M is banking on the rise of frozen food sales in Canada. In the last 18 months, the chain has dropped 100 poor-selling items, added 120 new products and improved 50 items. The M&M website was overhauled in November and has experienced a 40 percent jump in orders since its re-launch.
An ongoing store remodel is removing the counters that keep the freezers and customers separated, allowing shoppers to check out products and browse shelves. M&M's new interior look is that of a modern kitchen, with stainless steel accents. Five stores have been completed so far, and 50 more will be finished in 2016.
Over the past few years, M&M has closed around 100 stores, but they now have ambitious plans to expand to from the current 370 locations to a total of 500 stores by 2019. O'Brien says his research showed that the home meal is not dead, with 72 percent of households preparing at least four meals each week at home and nearly all households buying frozen foods. M&M's makeover, O'Brien believes, is also signaling to consumers that it has a much broader portfolio than just frozen meats.
Currently, M&M Food Market is seeking franchisees in several areas, including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Visit BetheBoss.ca today to learn more about this exciting opportunity!