Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amazon Innovation A Dash Faster Fresher Than Kroger, Safeway, and Publix




What once was media hype and considered another attention grabbing story by Amazon turns out to be true.  Amazon says it is going prime time with Dash.  Dash is the small plastic button, which is designed to be stuck or hung anywhere in your home, allows you to instantly reorder products, like toilet paper or diapers. 

Yesterday, TechHive noticed that the button is now out of beta and is available to any Prime customer willing to pay $4.99. As of today, there are 18-branded buttons available from Glad bags, Huggies diapers, Gatorade and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. All of them are being described as “limited edition” and available while supplies last. If you are an Amazon Prime member reading my blog this service is for you. If, for no other reason than to see where your best customers are going and why. 

Wow attention grabbing YES, but why would any Amazon Prime member ever go back to the dark ages and get into a car during a rain or snow storm and rush to get Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for the kids again?  Need diapers and the kids are napping? Then Dash is for you!  

This is the kind of customer focused innovation will continue the market share capitulation that the legacy grocery sector has experienced since 1998. Amazon has been a retail industry disruptive force and Dash maybe the force that will disrupt the aging grocery sector according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.

Amazon claims the button is simple to set up when using your smartphone app to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network and to pick what product you want to order. Once connected, a single press automatically places orders for your favorite items. Orders can be canceled if you change your mind, and it prevents accidents by responding only to your first press, unless you specify otherwise.

We did say fresh and fast well Amazon is constantly trying to make purchases as easy as point and click and sit back and wait, so the Dash button isn’t that random it is fast and a fresh ideation that is customer focused.  

What else? Well Amazon has introduced the Amazon Dash Stick, a six-inch stick that allows Amazon Fresh customers to add items to an online grocery list using a built-in barcode scanner or microphone and launched the Dash Replenishment Service, which allows connected devices around the house that can detect when supply is running low with Amazon’s ordering platform. Don’t you just love it!  Customer focused once again. 

This is the kind of innovation that has heads turning at Safeway, Publix, Walmart, and Kroger. Why because innovation to them appears to be a new slotting fee for a new product.  Slotting fees are not customer focused. Not new. Have no customer relevance other than creating higher prices for the consumer. 

OK, Walmart are you keeping up? Not a chance according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™. Legacy grocery stores think category management (an executive crutch of a bygone era) continues to hold relevance.  They are wrong.  Category management is the opposite of consumer transparency, is it any wonder consumer are in a hurry to move on? 

Innovation that breaks the mold, continued innovation that complements the consumer’s with consumer facing transparency works.  Success Does Leave Clues: Legacy grocery stores I ask is your store fresher, faster, and more transparent this year than last year?  If so, is that enough? Maybe not? Look for Amazon to garner Attention and Customers. We congratulate Amazon for moving the retail sector forward. 

www.FoodserviceSolutions.us is the global leader in the Grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Is your company operating like it is 1999?  Are slotting fees more important too your bottom line than customers or transparency? If so then you are working for a company of yesterday, today and you may not have a seat at the consumers table tomorrow? Contact our Grocerant Guru™ at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us for ideations for tomorrow’s success. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Foodservice Retail 101 The Starbucks Way





Some companies lead and some companies follow.  In today’s world one company stands out year after year that company is Starbucks.  Howard Schultz is the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks.  Schultz and his team and understand the complexities of Omni-channel retail and the evolving foodservice consumer better than anyone in the world according to our own Grocerant Guru™ who stated “Howard Schultz is the best food merchant in the world today.”

How good is Schultz?  Well Starbucks first began accepting and testing mobile payments via its mobile app in 2009. Today one in every five Starbucks Corp. sales is now handled via mobile payment, double what the retailer achieved just two years ago.

In fact Starbucks now handles nearly 9 million mobile transactions per week, by far the most of any U.S. retailer. Picking up momentum mobile Starbucks reached mobile a payment milestone for foodservice transactions at its use of the app double in two years.  Are your customers evolving without you? Are you still running your business like you did in 1969 when it comes to payments? Why? 

Success does leave clues and Howard Schultz said "Our mobile commerce platform is literally stronger than ever," yet that is not good enough for Schultz.  While Starbucks’ biggest source of mobile payment growth comes from its loyalty rewards system tied to its mobile app. The company is now driving more customers to join its rewards program by inking new relationships with new companies the ilk of music service Spotify and travel provider Lyft. 

For those of you how have not evolved here is the say news for you those 9 million users per week According to “Payments Source, Starbucks’ Mobile Order and Pay capability, which is still in trial mode but has expanded rapidly to 4,000 company-owned stores, is a major source of mobile payment growth. The retailer expects to take this service nationwide by the holiday season.”  Yes, 9 million mobile payments and they offer the service in less than one third of their stores. 

Success does leave clues and Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ says “follow Starbucks as “Howard Schultz is the best food merchant in the world today.”

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  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?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Millennials and Gen Z Drive Grocerant Ready-2-Eat Fresh Prepared Food Sales Success





What’s the difference between a trend and a fad?  Well it just might be how old the consumers are that are migrating from one sector to another.  In the case of the Grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food started by and fueled by time stared baby boomers it’s clear both Millennials and Gen Z have picked up the mantel of evolving the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared grocerant niche ‘better for you food. 

In a new Y-Pulse Study focusing on Gen Z Preferences found that they that they preferred:
1.        Fruit and veggie smoothies
2.        Mexican foods
3.       Fresh, Fast and made from scratch 

All the while The NPD Group found that Americans' consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy and other fresh foods has reached levels not seen in 30 years, with younger adults leading the way. 

NPD found that “Over the past decade, adults aged 18 to 34 have increased their consumption of fresh foods the most out of all age groups. These results are a surprise, as millennials are in a life stage when people typically consume lower quantities of fresh foods in favor of more time-saving and convenient options”  

NPD’s  Darren Seifer stated; “As millennials returned to their homes to source more of their meals, they spent a little more time in the kitchen to make dishes like eggs/omelets, pancakes, vegetables and rice…This doesn’t mean they are becoming chefs or that they even enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Seifer added; “Younger adults have shifted from considering frozen foods as convenient to their focus now being on freshness, while getting out of the kitchen quickly” 

Turns out that Americans within both the Gen Z and Millennials groupings are taking the lead from or learned from their parents and grandparents that Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is good, saves time and when you bundle fresh prepared meal components the meal is today’s homemade meal.  Things have not changes so much learning how to cook, how to cook fresh meals fast from at home from family members is what has gone on for generations.  

Sharon Olson, executive director of Y-Pulse. “As kids grow up their sense of culinary adventure increases with more interest in ethnic foods, fresh, and local offerings” our Grocerant Guru™ can only add that home cooking today is filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food meal components that can be mix and matched into a customized family meal fast and that is a trend that is not fading away. 

Have you had Grocerant Program Assessment conducted for you operation? Do you sell food today have you had a Grocerant Scorecard conducted? 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? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.