Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Food Marketing Success

At the intersection of successful fresh food sales today you find the consumers, and the 5 P’s of Food Marketing. While customer migration continues to disrupt legacy chain grocery stores and legacy chain restaurants eroding customer counts and profit margins.  There are plenty of success clues to help turn things around.
Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, Washington based Foodservice Solutions® has been gathering retail food success clues since 1991.  Within the clues he discovered some universal commonalities from those commonalities he developed The 5’P’s of Food Marketing they are:

Non-traditional fresh food retailers including chain drug stores, chain liquor stores, and a plethora of On-line only retailers have been highlighted on this blog of late.  All have integrated the 5 P’s of Food Marketing and those universal commonalities to garner new customers looking for ‘better for you’ fresh prepared food.

If you are interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization contact us via this blog or Email us

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Consumers are looking for Fine Food Fast but Not at Restaurants

Fine Food Fast is quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food found in Grocery stores Deli’s, C-stores, Liquor stores and retail drug stores all offering mix and match meal component offerings. Restaurant quality food or better can be found at Eatzi’s, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Walgreens.

Yes, I know each of the companies we just listed are ‘Up-scale’ niche players.  However Kroger, Safeway each offer Mix and Match Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food meal bundling.  At Safeway consumers can get a Whole Rotisserie Chicken and two one pound side orders for less than $10.00.  That is cooked Ready-2-Eat and no clean up.  Restaurants chains the ilk of Boston Market are taking notice.

The undercurrents of the farm-to-table movement have gone main stream and freshness is seen as ‘better for you’ and customers perceive produce and prepared food from grocery stores restaurant quality or better according to Foodservice Solution® Grocerant Guru™.

Two companies sold a million meals last quarter that are threating both the restaurant sector and grocery sector are Hello Fresh, and Plated each is selling fine food fast.  At one time the healthy food movement was dominated by restaurants selling fresh and health food stores.  Today, retailers the ilk of Hello Fresh and Plated are being discovered by a new generation of consumers Millennials and they are driving change.

Is your company selling food the same way it did 30 years ago? Is your brand looking more like yesterday than tomorrow? Fresh prepared food no longer is a point of differentiation is required even demanded by consumers.  Is your brand evolving with consumers or practicing brand protectionism of the 1980’s and 1990’s?

Outside eyes can deliver top sales and bottom line profits.  Invite  to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Have you completed a Grocerant Scorecard? Contact: 253-759-7869 or

Monday, August 18, 2014

Olive Garden Draws on the Grocerant Niche for Customers.

When the customer moves, retailers must move with them.  Darden’s Olive Garden sales have been down or trending down for several years. Full service / sit down restaurants demand so much time that time starved consumers have simply found other options.

The option most common according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ is “restaurant quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food”. Most important non-traditional fresh food retailers are offering meal component options that can be bundled into Mix and Match customized personal or family meals.  Those non-traditional retailers are doing or less than restaurants can or do.

Jonathan Maze of the Restaurant Finance Monitor recently pointed out that “Over the last year, the number of full-service restaurants has declined by a full 1 percent, or 2,156 locations, to 297,827 units. By contrast, the number of quick-service restaurants, including fast-casual concepts, grew by 2 percent to 337,667 establishments. Overall, 53 percent of restaurants now don't employ wait staff.”
Olive Garden’s Buy One, Take One promotion directly centered in the middle of the grocerant niche works this way.  Olive Garden’s customers buy an entree at the restaurant and get a second entree to enjoy at home.  This time Olive Garden ratcheted up the promotion by adding a Redbox movie rental with the Buy One, Take One.
Clearly Olive Garden has been paying attention to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru’s theory The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome.   At the conclusion of proprietary research Foodservice Solution’s found consumer love their new 65 inch HDTV’s and want to watch sports, movies, the evening news, and eat in front of them as well.
Jay Spenchian, Olive Garden's executive vice president of marketing said “Olive Garden’s One, Take One promotion is “all about creating special moments for our guests, and this 'Dinner and a Movie' offer gives our guests the opportunity to enjoy a second Olive Garden experience together -- at home with a Redbox movie."
This promotion adds valuable consumer relevance edifying the Olive Garden brand and Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru believes will help Olive Garden slow, stop or mitigate customer migration.

Visit:  if you are 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:  or call: 1-253-759-7869 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Fresh Prepared Food Sales Drive Growth

NPD Group reported that this week that U.S. restaurant industry should see another year of stalling customer growth this year after seeing flat traffic in the year ended in June. Visits to full-service casual dining restaurants fell 3 percent, while trips to midscale restaurants fell 4 percent, while chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King, were flat in the year ended in June.
Success does leave clues and 7 years of down or flat customer counts within the restaurant sector might be a clue that doing what you have always done, and doing it the same way simply is not a formula for success in 2014 or going forward according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.
Endless store remodels contributing 2.65% top line growth on average leveraged off the backs of franchisee or investors is simply a formula of prolonged mediocrity. If chain restaurants wants to thrive in the coming years they need to adapt to new demands of consumers while paying particular attention to Millennials.
Millennials are attracted to food perceived to be of higher quality, they want transparency in food labeling, while increasingly demanding fresh Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal components that can be bundled into a single or family meal.
According to NPD Group, the number of restaurants in the country grew by just 0.8 percent in the year ended in March leading Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ to speculate in an article for LinkedIn just where the “smart money” is being invested in the food space and he suggest it’s not restaurants, but food technology.
Today retail foodservice is less about coupons, steep discounts, d├ęcor upgrades and more about food authenticity.  Legacy brands with copy-cat menus, messaging, and missteps will fail to invigorate consumers, and will be left with a deteriorating brand.  Are your customer’s counts flat or in decline?  Is your brand experiencing customer migration?  It might be time for Out Side Eyes for top line growth and bottom line profits.

Outside eyes can deliver top sales and bottom line profits.  Invite  to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Have you completed a Grocerant Scorecard? Contact: 253-759-7869 or

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Aldi, WinCo Position Walmart in the Middle

This marks the fourth year in a row that Aldi has been named the ‘low-price grocery leader’ in the U.S. by Market Force Information Inc. according to its latest survey. With 1,300 stores open and a three year plan to open 650 more Aldi is a serious threat to Walmart, Publix, and Safeway
WinCo Foods with 95 stores is a fast growing low priced competitor who’s products are priced below Walmart in the Western U.S. with a quality integrated Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food strategy and is completely unfazed by Walmart.
Consumers shopping habits are shifting and legacy retailers not focused on quality fresh food, fresh prepared, and price are losing market share.  Walmart’s Ready-2-Eat fresh prepared food offerings are more akin to offerings of industry leaders in the 1990’s than today. 
Jason Hart, Aldi President said “However, these latest survey findings prove that a growing number of consumers are choosing to shop at Aldi for more than just low prices." 
Aldi is a global retailer and is garnering market share in Great Britain as well.  Aldi in fact is so successful in Britain that KPKG LLP reported that   “U.K. food sales by value dropped the most in at least 5 1/2 years in the three months through July because of price cuts by supermarkets”.  Will that happen in the U.S.?
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ says “Yes, food prices will be coming down for families in large part because of Aldi and WinCo.  However the efficiency provided from Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food had reduced waste while reducing cost per meal for many families.”
While companies the ilk of Whole Foods and Wegmans continue to lead the industry in fresh prepared food quality and options.  WinCo is able to outperform Walmart in large part because of the value and freshness of its fresh prepared food.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant scorecard, brand, product placement, or positioning assistance.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869 or

Friday, August 15, 2014

Convergence of Proper Food, Proper Delivery for Proper Results

At the intersection of the consumer, fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food, and technology is one company that might have a consumer facing solution for Grocery Store Deli’s, Convenience Stores, and Restaurants.
That company is Deliveroo, who is currently testing and rolling out its service with restaurants in the United Kingdom.  In a recent interview Will Shu, founder of Deliveroo said “When people think delivery, they just think of a guy on a scooter, but what we do is extremely reliant on technology. There are no phone calls or  text messages involved. ..
We install an iPad and a printer in each restaurant, and when the customer places an order on a mobile phone, it shows up on the iPad for the restaurant to accept.  Then, when they think the food is almost ready, they press a button that sends a message to our back-end systems to allocate drivers automatically, which is relayed through our drivers iPhone app.”
Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ said “The advantages for the Deli, C-store or restaurant are obvious.  They do not have to do the delivery. They can focus on what they do best make, package, and sell great food.” All the while Deliveroo tracks every single item in the order lifecycle and then time-stamps and GPS-stamps each item.
No matter the company, location the big takeaway for food retailers in todays challenged environment where consumer spending is crimped: It’s not just about winning with price. It’s about winning with products that matter and deliver a consumer benefit. Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to provide the solutions consumers are looking for while driving top line sales and bottom line profits in ever sector of retail foodservice today.
Visit:  if you are 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:  or call: 1-253-759-7869 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Football Food is Evolving Driven by the 65 Inch HDTV

Football season is upon us naturally it’s time to start talking football food and how it’s evolving. Americans love affair with restaurants is not dying.  However increased competition with innovative food with a twist broadens consumer choice of dinning with quality and ease at home. All driven by the 65 inch HDTV Syndrome

Fine Food Fast is how many describe Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food.  Grocery store fresh food options are expanding consumer choice of Mix & Match Meal component options. Restaurants, Convenience stores and Grocery stores are all selling Take-Away food.  Meal Mix & Match grocerant meal components have been the leading sector in retail foodservice of late. It’s menu magic and easy for consumers.

Mix & Match grocerant food allows the consumer to spend more time in front of the 65 inch TV.  Grocery store brand loyalty and frequency increases with each advancement in quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food.  Here are examples of Mix and Match Meal components from Grocery stores only that are driving the evolution of change in Football Food for the home: 

Goat Cheese Strawberry Salad: spring mix topped with thinly sliced, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Cajun Seasoned Potatoes: roasted potatoes topped with Cajun blackening seasoning. Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi and Chicken Tenders: coated in toasted panko bread crumbs and cream of coconut (ready-to cook), Mexican Lasagna, Mushroom Risotto, Crabcakes.
Aegean Salad: shell pasta with Feta, onion, artichoke hearts, cherry, tomatoes and kalamata olives
Caprese Panini. BBQ Chicken Quesadilla, Matzo Ball Soupeared Chicken Breast with Peach & Chive Sauce, Parmesan Chicken Fingers. Turkey Roulade with Cranberry Stuffing.

Delivered, picked-up, order on-line or on the phone grocery stores are allowing customers to watch the game, with no serious shopping, cooking, or clean up.  That is a ‘better for you’ solution.

Visit:  if you are 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:  or call: 1-253-759-7869