PHILADELPHIA -- Supermarket rotisserie chickens stand up strongly to Boston Market's chickens, but other supermarket entrees and side dishes don't fare as well, consumers said in a recent survey.
The research was conducted by the Consumer Network here, which mailed questionnaires to 1,000 consumers across the United States and received 355 responses.
"The results show that supermarkets need to provide better-tasting, fresher takeout food if they're going to win a larger share of takeout business," said Mona Doyle, president of Consumer Network. "If they don't, they'll solidify their current position as a second-rate option to fresher and tastier takeout food from alternative formats," Doyle said.
Only 29% rated the value of Boston Market's rotisserie chickens "good" or "very good," while 41% said the value of supermarkets' rotisserie chickens was "good" or "very good."
The taste of supermarkets' rotisserie chicken got a "good" or "very good" rating from 65% of respondents, and 71% gave Boston Market's chicken the same grade for taste.
Only 41% said supermarkets' side dishes are "good" or "very good" in taste, vs. 71% who said the same for Boston Market's side dishes.
For side-dish freshness, 47% rated supermarkets' side dishes "good" or "very good," but 81% gave the same marks to Boston Market.
The taste of supermarkets' other main dishes, such as meat loaf, was rated "good" or "very good" by just 50% of those responding. Yet 84% gave Boston Market's other main dishes those ratings. On freshness, only 36% called supermarkets' other main dishes "good" or "very good," but 82% said as much for their freshness at Boston Market. Although rotisserie chicken was perceived as a better value at the supermarket, that was not the case with other dishes. On value, 53% called Boston Market's other main dishes "good" or "very good," and 47% gave those ratings to its side dishes. Just 27% said supermarkets' other main dishes are a "good" or "very good" value, and 35% said the same for side dishes.
The difference in ratings was again much greater for other main dishes and side dishes. The top marks were given by 79% to Boston Market's other main dishes; 27% said that of supermarkets' other main dishes. For side dishes, 75% said Boston Market's quality was "good" or "very good," while only 47% gave the same ratings to supermarkets.
Doyle pointed out that no single chain had a rating that beat Boston Market in any area except chicken.
Supermarkets shopped by respondents include Publix, Dominick's, Vons, Wegmans, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Edwards, Kroger, Albertson's, Genuardi's, Lucky and Safeway.