Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Food Battle over Share of Stomach


Chain restaurants are now battling for sales with Grocery stores, C-stores, Liquor stores, and Drug stores. Legacy food retailers risk being marginalized by new concepts with smaller footprints, lower cost of goods and faster service.  Food retailers must understand the new dynamics in the industry and react properly in order to accelerate growth.  The focus is on the Grocerant niche.

Here is what we understand; consumer discontinuity in food retailing began in 2005 and continues. New points of distribution are growing, with retail outlets becoming smaller in size.  Nielsen in a new report finds “The underlying trend of shoppers moving away from larger to smaller stores continues. …Historically, traditional convenience stores were used for immediate or ‘distress’ purchasing, however,”  Today the change is accelerating driven in large part by major supermarkets around the world investing heavily transforming C-stores with contemporized relevance.

The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” A quote made famous by William Gibson sure comes to mind don’t you think.  Fresh prepared “better for you” food and food options that are Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat continue driving the grocerant niches rapid success.

In the United States successful convenience store operators the likes of Sheetz, Rutter’s, and Wawa once notable regional players are now getting squeezed a bit by both 50,000+ unit 7 Eleven entering the fresh food meal niche and 1,700+ unit Casey’s General Stores who continues to drive sales and frequency with fresh prepared food. 

Many legacy restaurant companies the ilk of Darden and Brinker will undergo additional scrutiny in order to find a repositioned niche that will sustain them over time.  Legacy grocery stores that are seemingly stuck in the middle will simply fade away.

Wal-Mart’s supply chain advantage and industry reach will provide advantages, but won’t be enough to hold off Aldi or WinCo.  The added points of fresh prepared food distribution in the retail channel offered by Walgreens and Rite Aid will renew the local neighborhoods focus and rekindle community sprit garnering share of stomach from all other sectors.

William Gibson quote: The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” How many of you are prepared for 2010.  If you have been waiting to see what’s next?  If so you might have just missed the bus.

Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, April 14, 2014

Retail Foodservice in Search of Millennials


Food retailers are search for new customers with 90 Million plus consumers between the age of 18 and 36 milling around outside U.S. restaurants it is by far and away the most sought after group of customers. These consumers are called Millennials and are in search of food discovery, value, and a social experience.  They are resetting the price, value, service equilibrium for restaurant operators.
Are Millennials important for restaurants? In” A 2010 report from Oracle, that focused on the banking sector, estimated that Millennials’ purchasing power will reach $2.45 trillion next year and $3.38 trillion—more than that of the Baby Boomer generation—by 2018. Longer-term, Millennials seem like too big a demographic for restaurants to ignore.” The answer is very important. Now back to the formula.
The old formula was: Price + Quality + Service + Portability = Value .  That formula has evolved with Millennials today Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru has reevaluated, calculated and evolved the formula with Millennials and here is the new formula:  Price + Quality + Social + Portability = Value.
Retailers seeking additional incremental value from Millennials must be Constantly Changing Menu items enabling Millennials to Discover Seasonal Relevance, Authentic Sustainability with Creditability.
In a recent study of 2,000 Millennial-aged U.S. consumers titled “Understanding Millennials” conducted by the Hartman Group found:
  1.   55 percent prefer communal tables at restaurants.
  2. 68 percent ask friends before selecting a restaurant.
  3. 87 percent will splurge on a nice meal even when money is tight.
  4. 40 percent will order something different every time they visit a restaurant.
  5. Millennials eat out the most frequently at lunch
  6. They tend to eat four smaller meals a day at non-traditional times.
  7.  30 percent eat foods that are certified organic (as compared to 21 percent of Gen X-ers and 15 percent of Boomers).
  8. They prefer whole foods over processed food.
  9. They will spend more on ethically sourced meats and farm-to-table experiences.
  10.  80 percent want to know more about how their food is grown.
  11. Food companies among Millennials’ top 10 most-trusted brands: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Ben & Jerry’s, In-N-Out Burger.
  12. When shopping in grocery stores, Millennial foodies spend more on premium ingredients and are more likely to opt for small-batch handcrafted beers and artisanal cheeses than the big brand names.
  13. Custom food options, such as the 87,000 possible drink combinations that can be had at a single Starbucks unit, are seen as a need, not a luxury. 
  14. It’s just not about nutrition for Millennials. They view food as entertainment and self-expression. 
  15. Most important when choosing food in general, the top-scoring attribute was “A good value for the money,” at 36 percent. Good value was also the top-scored when respondent were asked what is more important when choosing food from a restaurant. Thirty-nine percent said value mattered most. 

www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche since 1991

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Albertsons, Safeway, Publix and Tesco are Perplexed while Take-Out finds Success.



Legacy grocery retailers around the world are finding it harder and harder to compete with new non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of Eataly, Eatzi’s,  Pret à Manger, Greggs, Eat, McDonalds, Popeye’s each selling Ready-2-Eat and or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food fast.

Mothers today still want to enjoy a family meal.  The problem according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru “They do not have the time to cook nor do they have the required skill-set to prepare the multi-cultural highly specific flavor profiles meals that their families have grown accustom. Meal assembly is the standard today not cooking from scratch.” Grocery stores long term cannot compete with that.   

If you can’t Beat’em Join’em.  Publix developed a restaurant concept call Crispers (salad focus).  They have since sold it but is continues to grow and do well.  Now Great Britain’s Tesco is so concerned that is losing business to “takeaway trade in London” that it is about to launch a new concept to compete.

Restaurant, Deli, or Grocerant the new Tesco concept is reported to be a format that will position Tesco to directly compete with the likes of Pret à Manger, Eat and Greggs. The Grocerant format called "Tesco Express food to go" will focus on the urban London market. With a heavy focus on Ready-2-Eat during the mid-day-part, and Heat-N-Eat for the PM day-part Tesco is targeting time starved consumers.

Tesco has been refurbishing its grocery stores introducing "food to go" areas selling takeaway fare such as salads, artisan sandwiches and roast chicken much like Publix has done but Tesco is striving for much stronger consistency in quality, service, and freshness in it’s in-store fresh prepared food offerings.

Food consumers are migrating to new non-traditional outlets seeking Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Do you know where your current customers are getting their next meal or meal component? How are you selling food today? Are you selling food like you did 5 years ago or 5 years from now? Are your courting yesterday’s customers or tomorrows customers. 


www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a Grocerant Niche leveraging integration strategy.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Restaurant Popularity Wanes Replaced by Momularity


82 Million “Mom’s” enjoy Grocerant Niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food; today it’s Momularity Success, making meal time a happy time.  Mom’s today still want to enjoy a family meal.  The problem according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru “Mom’s do not have the time to cook nor do they have the required skill-set to prepare the multi-cultural highly specific flavor profiles meals their families have grown accustom. Meal assembly is the standard today not cooking from scratch.”  

In a new report titled “Mom-entum,” by Big Fuel, adds a new perspective that food marketers must understand by to establish brand relationships with America’s 82 million moms. Big Fuel found that “As a group, this immense and potent demographic is redefining marketing in the 21st century. To impact this new generation of moms, companies must understand how to use social media effectively….

Mom: She spends two hours a day connecting with friends, family and acquaintances online.  She’s almost never caught outside the house without her cell phone.  She watches over 90 minutes of YouTube videos every month.  And she never, ever wants to be preached to by advertisers.”
Here are just a few facts about The Connected Mom from the “Mom-entum” report:
1.       35 million U.S. moms are actively engaged online;
2.       86% of all U.S. women have a social media profile;
3.       52% of moms read blogs regularly—and 15% own and maintain their own blog;
4.       75% go online to research products and services before purchasing;
5.       The top three sources moms use for product research and purchase advice are mom-focused websites, user reviews on shopping websites, and magazine articles;
6.       Over 80% of moms look to online videos to see a product in action;
7.       85% of moms enjoy casual online games and/or applications regularly.

“The Connected Mom is a force no one in American commerce has experienced before,” said Avi Savar, CEO of Big Fuel Communications.  “The established rules of engagement no longer apply.  As we state in ‘Mom-entum,’ the hard part is balancing content with brand messaging and finding the right tone and authenticity.  Make no mistake about it—the old model of ‘push marketing’ is over forever.  Brands must engage moms through honest, respectful conversation.”  “Mom-entum” is available as a free download at www.HaveMomentum.com.
Cooking a family meal from scratch that everyone will eat continues to be an obstacle for many households today according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.  While 80% of meals are prepared at home that does not mean they are cooked from scratch. Meal assembly from Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meal components is creating a platform for Momularity! An assembled meal is a Happy Family Meal.   Is your restaurant selling meal components To-Go? Remember America is Eating-In by Eating-Out.  Outside eyes can drive inside profits.


www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche since 1991

Friday, April 11, 2014

Grocerant Niche Consumer Commonalities Driving Disruption


Food channel disruptions are underway driven by the consumer’s universal appeal for discovery, plus the simple desire not to cook, or do dishes.  Food retailers must react and focus on consumer food commonalities for success. Brand authenticity helps legacy retailers create differentiation in a world where the line between restaurants and food retailers is growing even thinner.

The grocerant niche is a fresh prepared food focused sector focused on consumer meal customization combined with the convenience of fast-food, the quality of full-service restaurant dining, without the hassle laboring around an entire grocery store or sitting in a restaurant and paying a tip.  The grocerant niche is booming.
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru said the grocerant niche “is one solution that is evolving across many retail food platforms, empowering the consumer, simplifying the meal process, while saving time starved consumer both time, and money. Chain Restaurants, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores and Chain Drug Stores are all offering meal component options. Cooking at home is no longer the desired option the new normal is home meal assembly.”
The United States restaurant sector has been stifled in a sea of sameness. Look A-Like Burger chains, pizza delivery and fern bars with copy-cat menus have left the American consumer searching for new authentic brands, flavors, and new points of distribution.

While food retailers are a fragmented group. Consumers on the other hand have a plethora of universal commonalities that indicate just where they may be headed next when buying food. Consumers are responding positively, one of the most successful elements is bundling of the meal components with a “better for you” focus.  It’s a mix and match game that is very empowering for the consumer.

Consumer are responding buying meal components in new food channels, experiencing new flavor profiles all the while individualizing the family meal.  Does your brand look more like yesterday or tomorrow? Where are you selling Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food today? How about tomorrow?


www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a Grocerant Niche leveraging integration strategy.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Has Technology Speeded up how we Define Fast Food?


Wonder why fast food, fast casual and even faster the grocerant niche, filled Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food are driving growth? Euclid has technology that anonymously tracks cell phones. The tracking of cell/mobile phones in and around stores provides some interesting insights that restaurants should be paying attention too.  

First, Euclid’s anonymously track of phones as they pass by various shopping malls and stores. Euclid takes 6 billion measurements a day and analyzes 250 million potential shopping sessions a year across thousands of locations.

The most recent Euclid study found that “In March, the number of shoppers who entered a store as a percentage of total foot traffic was 9%, up a percentage point from the same month last year. However, many of those shoppers entered the store and left relatively quickly.”

Restaurants take notice “The study found that “10% of shoppers who entered a store left within five minutes, a couple of percentage points higher than a year ago. Of course, this begs the question of why, for which there could be numerous explanations. Shoppers could be more focused, going directly to what they want and buying it.”…

Speed of service is important to consumers.  Are you starting to think that the total number of QSR’s, combine fast casual restaurants is up? Simply put YES.   Traffic decreased a percentage point from the previous year, so restaurants may want to figure out the reasons that service times are slowing in drive-thru’s or at the counter.  Even the people who didn’t leave a store within five minutes didn’t spend as much time in it as a year ago, decreasing a minute to a 23-minute visit.  How long do customers want to wait for a check when they are done dinning?

The study also found “number of people who returned to a store location more than once within 30 days totaled 13% of total visits, also down from the same time last year. Whether short attention span or shorter times in stores, retailers have a limited window to influence all those shoppers who prefer going to a store.”

The grocerant niche is booming.  Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food saves cooking time and clean-up time.  Customers are time starved and utilizing technology, new points of distributions and meal assembly over cooking?  How are you selling fresh prepared food?  Where? Are you selling food faster today than you did last year?   


For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us  Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. www.FoodserviceSolutions.us

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fast Food or Fast Convenience the Market Place is Evolving Fast as is QuikTrip


In an Omni-Channel retail world one thing is painfully clear, consumers are migrating to Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. With new points of distribution seemingly opening monthly each offering quality, meal component options that can be bundled into a single or family meal fast it’s the most dynamic retail food sector globally. 

Legacy QSR and Fast Casual restaurants must take notice that this time around the competition is established, branded, and well-funded. QuikTrip founded in 1958, today they have 685 stores with sales over 10 Billion annually is evolving once again this time with Grocerant Niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. When the consumer speaks QuikTrip listens and in its new footprint/concept QT Kitchens consumer can now get quality fresh prepared food made-to-order. 

QT Kitchens has “added a series of made-to-order food counters where customers can get freshly-made foods such as flatbreads, toasted sandwiches, pizza, breakfast sandwiches, smoothies and specialty coffee drinks.”  Providing customer customization via “made-to-order” elevates both the QuikTrip brand and the customer experience according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru.

Regular QuikTrip customers can bundle a meal now from either legacy branded prepackaged offerings like hot dogs, sandwiches or snack with a “made-to-order” product. Consumers seeking fresh food fast can indulge at QuikTrip with customized “made-to-order” coffee, frozen drinks, pizza or sandwiches edifying the meal and the experience.

QuikTrip fresh prepared food is a platform for new ccustomer brand activation that begins with a fresh food invitation. Successful brand management requires an inclusive strategy, executed with consumer focused innovative tactics.  QuikTrip is doing this right and will garner additional market share.


Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant