Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quick Chek is building success with food and beverages.


Consumer driven, food focused and beverage day part specials drive continue growth and success for Quick Chek. Winning the customer loyalty while building top line same and bottom line profits utilizing retail foodservice in not new in the convenience store sector. However, pushing quality limits beyond industry standards is but one reason consumer love Quick Chek. Visit: ilovemycoffee.com for success clues.

Quick Chek utilizing proprietary research found the “Top coffee facts and trends” here they are:

Top 10 coffee facts and trends:

1. The average coffee drinker in America drinks 3.2 cups of coffee per day.

2. One out of every three Quick Chek customers buys a cup of coffee -- nearly 40 percent of those cups are medium size (16 ounces); a very close second is the 20-ounce size.

3. Coffee is one of the world's most valuable commodities, second only behind oil. More than 100 million people in developing countries depend on coffee as their main source of income, particularly in Africa and Central America.

4. Coffee is the world's most popular beverage, excluding water. About 1.4 billion cups a day are consumed worldwide.

5. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 convened in a coffeehouse. The heavy tea tax had prompted Americans to switch to coffee as an expression of freedom.

6. Fifty-two percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every morning. Thirty percent of the population drinks coffee occasionally. That means over 80 percent of Americans consume coffee.

7. Coffee consumption in the United States remains at the eighth highest level in the world.

8. Quick Chek customers overwhelmingly prefer to add Quick Chek light cream and half-and-half to their cups of coffee. As flavors go, French Vanilla Creamer claims the top spot.

9. Thirty-five percent of coffee drinkers prefer their coffee black.

10. Quick Chek's proprietary guaranteed fresh regular blend is the overwhelming favorite among the chain's coffee drinkers. Columbian coffee is the favorite specialty coffee for Quick Chek customers. Hazelnut is the favorite flavored coffee.

Is your company ready for grocerant niche research, or brand positioning assistance?

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Food Mix and Match Meal components with portability are required options for success.


Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food ala the grocerant niche is thriving in large part due to Mix and Match Mea components. l As long as multi- generational family’s gather for meals together, the demand for more divergent flavors will continue to permeate. Grocerant style food offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance utilizing Mix and Match Meal components.

Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables is one key to Foodservice Solutions® success and longevity. The food value proposition equilibrium for the consumer today balances; better for you, flavor, and traditional products all blended into something with a twist.

In industry speak, differentiated does not mean different to the consumer it means familiar. That is where the Grocerant niche falls, it is consumer inspired, component driven and flavor familiar.

Understanding, creating or identifying distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day and integrating them into a menu mix is an area Foodservice Solutions® excels. .

Outside eyes can bring new light and assist in your pace of concept growth, redevelopment and deployment of new products. Grocerant specialist can work with you to identify distinctive differentiated food consumables.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who is selling what where? Do you understand the convergence of food retailing and the grocerant niche?


You can tell when an industry is in transition. Retail foodservice is undergoing the largest transition since the success of McDonalds. Retail grocery store chain operators Wegmans, Public’s and Safeway all have now opened free standing restaurants. Leveraging their buying power, corporate balance sheets, and branding expertise they can obtain prime locations, reduce distribution cost, reduce food cost. Public’s Crisper’s is the largest of them all.

Restaurants chains including Taco Bell, Boston Market, White Castle and California Pizza Kitchen all sell fresh or prepared food in grocery stores. Many are now making there way into the retail drug store sector and dollar store sector.

Walgreens, Rite Aide and CVS are all now selling grocerant niche fresh prepared Read-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat prepared food. Target, Sears and Amazon.com are all now selling fresh food. Now food manufactures are entering the mix. Quoting NRN.com “Bubba Burger, which for two decades has sold frozen beef and turkey patties in groceries and on military bases, will debut the first of four planned Original Bubba Burger Grill units in the Jacksonville, Fla., area and is looking at a fifth location.”

Success leaves clues and legacy food operators utilizing the same positioning, branding and distribution systems of the 80’s, 90’s or 00’s; it might be time to look over your shoulder. You will see everyone is coming after you. Yes, the food industry is in transition. The grocerant niche is winning. Is your team prepared for 2012, 2013 or 1990?

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food and the new frontier Sous Vide.


Grocerant fresh and prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food had been driving the growth of retail food sales for 7 years. Those of you who follow this blog have witnessed the success in both traditional avenues of distribution and unconventional avenues of distribution.

Technology improvement in refrigeration, packaging, and regional distribution has greatly contributed to the growth in grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food. Retail foodservice traditionally does not lead with regard to technology particularly in chain organizations. Sous Vide has been utilized off and on again in restaurants around the world for 30+ years. It is again about to take off, this time to a level never seen before. Leading chef’s from around the world are now pushing the envelope and commercial sous vide products are not far behind. The grocerant niche will endorse and utilize sous vide to level the playing field.

With Nathan Myhrvold’s new book: Modernist Cuisine The Art & Science of Cooking the food retail world will again be reintroduced to quality Heat-N-Eat food that can reduce industry cost while elevating consistent quality. Here is a link: http://modernistcuisine.com/ Here are some other books as well.

Douglas Baldwin has a great book that talks science and provides recipes. It costs about $30 and is a good value. (http://amath.colorado.edu/~baldw

Thomas Keller: Under pressure: Cooking sous vide (2008) ISBN: B0023Z02UI

Viktor Stampfer: Sous-vide: Garen im Vakuum (2008, 200p, bilingual edition German and English) ISBN: 3875150279

Sue Ghazala: Sous Vide and Cook-Chill Processing for the Food Industry (1998, 341p) ISBN: 0751404330

Jeffrey M. Farber and Karen Dodds: Principles of Modified-Atmosphere and Sous Vide Product Packaging (1995, 464p) ISBN: 1566762766

Sara L Leadbetter: Sous-vide: A technology guide (1989, 22p) ASIN: B0007BOL70

Cooking Sous Vide : A Guide for the Home Cook by Cookingsousvide.com

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7 Eleven’s fresh food sales have been on a roll, roll roll.


Fresh Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food can now be found at 7 Eleven. The expanded fresh food program and improved beverage offerings including coffee drove a resurgence and consumer frequency at 7 Eleven 2010.

7 Eleven is now focusing on double digit sales growth in retail food for 2011. That’s a tall order given they have been growing sales by 3 percent to 4 percent per year with price focused BOGO’s.

Looking at the big picture I think they can do it. In late 2009 they began ramping up opening new stores and in 2010 that program combined with strategic acquisitions have increased their market share substantially. The fresh food offerings both in urban and suburban locations have been received well.

Shedding the roller grill and roller grill image may be the largest obstacle that 7 Eleven has to over come. BOGO’s will work well during tumultuous economic times. However the roller grill takes consumer back to the days 7 Eleven did not have fresh food and re-enforces stereotypes that would be best left in the past. If 7 Eleven wants to garner market share from the QSR sector they will have to shed the roller grill image.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Food rhetoric vs. crude facts.


Consumers are responding to the lower price point offering in the quick causal and casual dinning sector. While full service restaurants are seeing customers returning and special occasion dinning on the up tick. There is a confluence of events that may disrupt the positive trend we all are enjoying. Pundits looking at short term trends are all predicting a rosy outlook for 2011.

Three specific issue will drive the continue rebound. It’s the confluence of the three that has the power to derail retail foodservice sales growth.

1. Housing price’s continue to decline.

2. Gasoline price are on the rise and any prolonged fuel price above $3.75 a gallon will halt progress.

3. Uncertainty in the public employee sector over job cuts, wage & benefit reductions will foster a saving mentality that is not pro-retail foodservice.

With the cost of food commodity prices on the rise and pre announced food price increases foretold. It just very well could be Crude Oil will hold the future of food retailing success in 2011.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, February 21, 2011

Food retailing is moving in new directions and Food Trucks are a big part of it.



National restaurant chains are in a battle for market share and new competitors are driving up all the time. Food trucks are garnering attention from consumer for “authentic” menus items and competitive pricing.

With new avenues of food fresh distribution opening in non-traditional well established retail centers the ilk of drug stores, dollar stores, and convenience stores. Restaurateurs are beginning too realize that the competitive landscape has changed forever.

Burger King, Dairy Queen, In-N-Out Burgers and Pizza Hut all have mobile trucks but do they utilize them to garner brand contemporize relevance or extend the brand reach? What is clear is that Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food is getting fresher, and closer to the consumer than ever before.

All food retailers must consider new forms of brand positioning, placement and products.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hungry consumers buy Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food!


Consumers make choices each and every day on what they will eat. When they eat and how they eat. When given the choice, the vast majority do not want to cook. However preparing a family meal consisting of fresh prepared foods components can simplify the process, allowing for greater diversity of flavor profiles and portions size.

Consumer exposure to multi ethnic and multi cultural foods has not only created an ongoing search for the next new flavor or “hot” food entrĂ©e. It has left a void in the cooking skill set. Many consumers simply don’t have the skills or spices on the shelf to prepared there favorite meal. When consumer is shopping for ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat prepared food, here are five top reasons to pick your products.

1. Visceral presentation based on how it looks and is presented.

2. Bundling, the ability to build your meal with components you want.

3. Individualized portions, power to select quality and quantity of items viewed.

4. Convenience, unit /store location on the drive home from work, it’s fast & easy.

5. Price, ability to evaluate price vs. cost at restaurant with tip, and vs. time to cook from scratch.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, February 18, 2011

CVS/Pharmacy gets Fresh with Food!


Expanding points of distribution in retail fresh food simply highlights the success and growth of the grocerant niche. CVS/Pharmacy utilizing it new enhanced retail model, which places greater emphasis on fresh food products including Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food. The new location is perfectly positioned for CVS to cultivate top line sales and new brand loyalist; it will be located on College Row at Franklin & Marshall College.

CVS’s enhanced retail model filled with fresh grocery products will also feature” home-style meals and produce as well as expansive refrigerated and frozen food aisles”. CVS understand that consumer want the opportunity to mix and match meal components and at times non-food items. CVS small store format empower consumer choice while meeting the “time constraints” of consumers.

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food is becoming the mainstay of the grocerant niche and new avenues of distribution are opening and changing the way America shops for food. What is your company doing?

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Foodservice Solutions® congratulates Trader Joe’s.


Private label food has never seen the likes of Trader Joe’s. Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson has called “Trader Joe’s the global grocerant leader” for 2011. Utilizing it own private label products yet leveraging a global flavor profile, TJ’s footprint continues finding success. Trader Joe’s private label products draw food professional want-a-bee’s, industry elites and those simple seeking a food adventure. TJ’s makes preparing and unbundling a meal for dinner an ease.

Blending better for you food with value is nothing new for Trader Joe’s. Leading the global grocerant niche must seen a natural thing for them to do. With the introduction of “Meal in a Box; Trader Joe’s not only understands the grocerant mix and match meal component sector they lead it utilizing Foodservice Solutions® 5P’s of food marketing.

The “Meal in a Box” is imported from France, and sells for $1.99. These Heat-N-Eat frozen fresh private label foods come in three flavor profiles.

1. Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni with Red Pesto

2. Fusilli with Vegetable & Basil Pesto

3. Farfalle with 4 Cheese & Spinach

Alternate avenue’s of food distribution are creating a new paradigm for food retailers too operate in. Consumer are responding positively to food trucks, Pop-Up restaurants and fresh prepared food within the Drug store and convenience store sectors. Trader Joe’s leads all food retailers in sales per square foot.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grocerant niche, when your ready to eat your next meal.


Families, couples, singles all start wondering what’s for dinner about 4 PM every day. Food manufactures have teams of people working to get you to buy their product at 4 PM. However, restaurants have a clear advantage in the minds eye of the consumer; consumer branded Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is perceived as fresh and bundled in a meal.

A Grocery Manufacturers Association study found, “62% of shoppers look for deals online prior to at least half of their shopping trips.” Restaurants have a solid web presents and are leveraging that too garner consumer back from grocery stores. Food manufactures have websites but little voice in the minds eye of the consumer for they are only one component of the meal.

There is a stumbling block consumer need other items at dinner time as well. Drug stores chains and grocery stores can leverage that need set to there advantage. There is one simple problem. Legacy grocery stores the ilk of A&P and Supervalu have a legacy departmental internal bonus issues that prevents them from cross promoting Mix and Match meal components form other departments. Milk and bread different departments, bread and meat, different departments, green salad and frozen pizza; OK your catching on. A&P and Supervalu are dependent and focused of slotting fee’s instead of the consumer. Big problem, look at the results.

Food manufactures have little leverage in or desire to cross-promote. Lets face it business is about “me”. Foodservice Solutions® has developed a shopper marketing cross-promotional team to assist food manufactures branded and private label; bundle Mix and Match meal promo’s utilizing the 5P’s of food marketing.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rite Aide should become Marketside!


Is it time for Walmart to leverage their distribution system, expand their footprint into the unban centers of the United States? If the answer is yes, then they should buy Rite Aide and convert them all to Marketside stores. Grocerant fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food is growing in popularity.

Foodservice visceral attractiveness equals contemporary consumer relevance and Walmart has been leading the way. Remodeling stores is an expensive task, updating food retail outlets too a digital visceral platform is needed and Walmart is leading here as well.

Walk into any food court and you will find several menu boards that are digital with graphics and menu displays that rival anything you see on a HDTV. Panda Express is one company that excels in this area, telling a story, painting a picture of authenticity that is unmistakable. I assure you others will copy there lead.

Wal-Mart began installing end-caps with video food product highlights over two years ago drawing attention to what is down the isle and promoting select branded products. Today most Walmart superstores have now installed digital food advertising that is without doubt consumer focused and positively received.

Rite Aide needs help and Walmart needs an urban presence. Marketside grocerant style fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat needs contemporary urban stores with consumer relevance. Walmart has the cash, distribution system, and new relevant products branded under the Marketside brand.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Monday, February 14, 2011

Enjoy Valentines Day at a Restaurant or home.








Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant




Sunday, February 13, 2011

Food retailers begin global price war for market share.


Holding prices down, holding prices at the current levels may not be good enough. The confluence of global competition, new avenues of food distribution and legacy retailers refusal to adapt with the times may lead some companies too follow the path of A&P or Supervalu rather than grocerants the ilk of Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

With a drought China and flooding in Australia complicating issues the price of raw ingredients cost will continue to rise on a global level. In Japan we are now witnessing at the high end; competitive pricing volatility within the Sushi restaurant sector.

In Great Britain Tesco, J Sainsbury and Asda are locked in a battle for consumer within the all food products categories including for the first time grocerant ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food. The grocerant sector continues to grow, but for the first time we are witnessing in Europe price pressure for market share.

The restaurant sector in the US is bundling grocerant ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared meals starting at $3.00 to $5.00 with no sign of letting up. It’s clear that whoever raises prices first will lose market share. This is going to create franchisee disequilibrium and copy-cat niche players the ilk of Round Table Pizza may well end up chapter 11 as well. Differentiation in product and positioning not copy cat positioning or product will lead companies forward.

With Walmart expanding its fresh food offerings and “better for you” ala healthier food options the grocery sector in the US will see its share of disequilibrium as well. Look for a battle of private label products developing in 2011.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Foodservice Solutions® 5P’s of food marketing embraced by industry leaders.


The old adage “birds of a feather flock together” continues to ring true within the restaurant sector. Boston Market, TGI Fridays, Panera Bread, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Chili’s all have success catering, take away or delivery options. This is all part of the grocerant sector within retail foodservice, the fastest growing sector of retail food.

Steven Johnson grocerant guru at Foodservice Solutions® identified, qualified and perfected the 5P’s of food marketing while working on projects for Fortune 100 food companies and internet client’s cyberslice, cybermeals, EZ2get and Food.com.

Panera Bread is the latest company to implement a vertical integrated brand marketing program with a focus on all 5P’s. The 5 P’s of food marketing are: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price.

Utilizing consumer research, integrating internal loyalty data into a consumer focused vertical integrated catering program expands the depth and reach of meaning branding consumer focused touch points. Success does leave clues sales and profits are direct results from picking up the right clues. Panera Bread is picking up all the right clues.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grocerant points of distribution and menu innovation empowers consumer choice.


Foodservice Solutions® grocerant guru Steven Johnson recently conducted in the United States an immersion tour and found high quality innovative points of distribution, menu personalization and cultural inclusion.

The grocerant niche is filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is generally described as better for you.

Convenience store volume sector leader and director of foodservice Michael Sherlock, said that "Our business is all about speed and convenience,…"Seconds count when it comes to helping our customers on their way and turning over parking lots, much in the same way that a restaurant focuses on speed of service to turning over table availability during peak times." He is not alone many other convenience store chains including 7 Eleven and Casey’s General Stores have had noted success after entering the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat grocerant fresh and prepared food niche.

Walgreens, Rite Aid, Amazon Fresh and Sears are all entering the fresh and prepared food niche. When you combine that with food trucks and pop-up stores you find growing consumer momentum and new bundled meal options. Here are three of the interesting meal component options discovered on the immersion tour.

1. Oatmeal and coffee (grocery store) $0.99

2. Sauerkraut Pizza and Beer (full service restaurant) slice + beer ($3.50)

3. Poached Salmon with dirty rice and sweet plantain (food truck) ($5.95)

The primary driver of the grocerant niche is quality food bundled as components allowing and promoting consumer choice. Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family. When a family can mix and match components everyone wins.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Safeway and Albertsons momentum slows.


Fresh & Easy stumbled a bit when they first opened stores in California with service style, product mix and pricing. After a few management changes and refocusing on the US consumer needs, meal preparation habits and competitors they have pick up considerable momentum of late and market share.

Fresh & Easy has bought into Foodservice Solutions® ideation that Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.

In addition Fresh & Easy understands Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price. You can see that in their new eatwell line offerings of “steak and spinach salad, curry chicken wrap, minestrone soup and garlic alfredo salmon. All eatwell products carry front-of-pack nutritional labels listing the calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium. The new products sell for under $4. The company also recently introduced frozen eatwell meals that sell for $1.99.”

Now come the new Gourmet line up upscale fresh prepared and prepared frozen meals. With 17 different items, such as crab and sweet potato bisque, braised lamb shank, portabella Pappardelle, an apricot pork tenderloin, lemon tartlets and dark chocolate raspberry gelato truffles priced from $2.99 to $6.99.

While it is reported that both Albertsons and Safeway are struggling to figure out the labor metrics for fresh prepared food and both have been cutting back staffing in that area. Wawa, Sheetz and 7 Eleven have been beefing up service quality and staffing levels in their stores.

The grocerant niche is filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food. Operators must understand that service is a differentiator that will propel success. Restaurants have understood that for years and are refocusing on it again.

Outdated meal solution research, positioning and operating templates of the 70’s and 80’s will not provide the insights to success today or 2015. Are you benchmarking outdated legacy metrics for success in 1990 or are you utilizing GROCERANT CENTRIC MODELING?

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Technomic edifies the Grocerant niche success and expansion.


Foodservice Solutions® Steven Johnson identified, quantified and qualified the Grocerant niche. The grocerant niche is the direct result of a confluence of change in consumer food meal consumption habits, food purchasing patterns and family meal preparation evolution.

Recently Technomic concluded a Retailer Meal Solutions Consumer Trend Report. In the press release about the report Technomic stated: “ Consumers taking part in a recent survey conducted by Technomic say they are sourcing prepared meals from a wider range of retail foodservice operations than they were two years ago, many times at the expense of restaurants. Traditional supermarkets, convenience stores and mass merchandisers have been able to grow their share of the food-away-from-home market as they expand their foodservice platforms and build upon consumer desire for convenience, quality and variety of offerings in retail locations.

“Retailers benefit from the fact that consumers are already visiting them for other purchases.” says Darren Tristano, EVP of Technomic. “If retailers can offer a foodservice option that rivals that of restaurants in terms of quality, freshness and variety, they can build on the advantage they inherently enjoy when it comes to convenience.”

Interesting findings include:

• Health is an important factor in the RMS purchasing decision, and seems to be of greater importance for RMS occasions than for restaurant meals. About two in five consumers say that they usually consider nutrition when purchasing prepared foods, compared to only about a quarter who say they consider nutrition when ordering food at restaurants.

• Kid appeal stands out as the primary concept attribute that consumers think RMS programs are lacking. The attribute related to RMS’ appeal to children ranked among the bottom three for each type of retailer as compared to both limited- and full-service restaurants.

• Forty percent of consumers who visit mass merchandisers and convenience stores for RMS purchases, do so at least once a week from those locations.

Foodservice Solutions® has documented THE RISE OF THE GROCERANT. I think that it is a great too have others now documenting the plethora of new points of distribution within the grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared and prepared food niche. This niche is booming, come on in.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Monday, February 7, 2011

Michelle Obama; college students hear you!


Foodservice Solutions Steven Johnson identified, quantified and qualified the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food before anyone else even began to understand the under current transition in retail foodservice.

Michelle Obama’s focus on “better for you” food sustainability including garden fresh and fresh meal approach to eating programs are having positive results.

Sodexo the foodservice provider to 650 college campuses in the US released a list of eating trends that they see developing on campuses. The list is filled with low-fat, low carb, better for your foods.

College Food Trends in 2011

1. Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Kabob

2. Paella

3. Spanakopita

4. Cous Cous Chicken Stew

5. Orecchiette with Broccoli and Garbanzo Beans

6. Fattoush and Sumac (Pita Bread Salad with Tangy Dressing)

7. Spanish Tomato Bread with Manchego Cheese

8. Edamame and Corn Salad

9. Pesto Pasta Bowl

10. Wild Mushroom Risotto Balls with Pesto Aioli

I have followed this list and over the years it has proven extremely beneficial when working with clients. The grocerant niche has been picking up momentum for 11 solid years. Now momentum is propelling this niche into the mainstream of food retail at all levels. Better for you just may mean following the grocerant niche.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Large food-print food retail is fading fast.


Restaurants, Grocery stores, Convenience stores are all continually looking for ways to cut cost while building the brand. It is not easy. However, it is painfully clear that no matter which retail food sector you’re in a smaller foot-print competitor will pop-up. Albeit a food truck, drive-thru coffee only or drive-thru C-store, they are coming and coming fast. Are you ready? Is your strategic positioning focused on 2015, 2025 or 1995?


Canadian food and beverage retailer Tim Horton’s understands that growth needs a strategic positioning. Tim Horton’s CEO Don Schroeder is implementing his new multi-format international development program with a 120 multi-format restaurant Master License Agreement with MLA Group based in Dubai.

Utilizing the “spoke and hub” format, allows for initial market introduction while minimizing capital requirements for Tim Hortons. Walmart, Safeway and others in the grocery sector will shortly begin this same strategic positioning with Supercenters surrounded by a hybrid “C-store” filled with grocerant style Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is perceived “better for you”

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hand Held food from The White House to your house, America Eats today.


The grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is better for you at times takes a pause. From the White House to your house things may look very similar.

The White House has released the following menu for the Super Bowl party that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are hosting at the White House:

– Bratwurst

– Kielbasa

– Cheeseburgers

– Deep Dish Pizza

– Buffalo Wings

– German Potato Salad

– Twice Baked Potatoes

– Snyders Potato Chips and Pretzels

– Chips and Dips

– Salad

– Ice Cream

– Beverages including the following beers: Hinterland Pale Ale & Amber Ale (from Wisconsin), Yuengling Lager and Light (from Pennsylvania) and White House Honey Ale.

I’m confident that we will all be selecting “better for you” foods on Monday.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

COSTCO Super Saturday Sizzles


Convenient cooking is contagious at COSTCO. There is no question that Costco is a successful company. It is not by chance. Success does leave clues and Costco’s ability to converge consumer’s attention with relevance is one of them.

At Costco’s around the country this past Saturday, sales sizzled.  Costco with forethought had it’s suppliers of handheld food (perfect for game day) sample product. One analyst told me parking lots were full and basket size (a legacy metric) were up! While analyst look at legacy benchmarking, they none the less follow this blog and it musings on consumer driven trends. Food retails here is our formula for growth and Costco, keep up the good work.

Foodservice Solutions has developed a formula for customer successful sales building.

Here it is:

Price + Quality + Service + Portability = Value

Incremental Value = Constantly Changing Menu (Seasonally / Sustainability with creditability).

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant



Friday, February 4, 2011

In the Grocerant Niche, Mix and Match components and portability are required options.


As long as multi- generational family’s gather for meals together, the demand for more divergent flavors will continue to permeate. Grocerant style food offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance. Food retailers that incorporate flavors of the past and present can win.

Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables places the grocerant niche in the middle of consumer attention. The food value proposition equilibrium for the consumer today balances; better for you, flavor, and traditional products all blended into something with a twist.

In industry speak, differentiated does not mean different to the consumer it means familiar. That is where the Grocerant niche falls, it is consumer inspired, component driven and flavor familiar.

Understanding, creating bundling distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part in a mix and match meal component format. Will set the stage for continue sales building success. Outside eyes can bring new light and assist in your pace of concept growth, redevelopment and deployment of new products. Grocerant specialist can work with you to identify distinctive differentiated food consumables.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fresh & Easy is just that.


Fresh & Easy is owned by Tesco. Tesco is a British company and one of the worlds largest food retailers. They not burden with the copy cat mentality that seems to be over flowing in the US foodservice sector. Sure there has been some miss steps, but they are learning fast. What the heck, they are trying new things and the American consumer is very forgiving. The new smaller food-print will again place them in the retail sweat spot with consumers. What the consumer done not want is more copy cat companies or follow the leader market positioning food companies.

I think that Fresh & Easy with a consumer centric focus will not only do well but very well may lead a blended niche for years to come. The Grocerant niche is on the move.

Fresh & Easy is becoming what Eatzi’s and Boston Market both wanted to become. That is the consumer’s first choice for ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat Grocerant food. The latter two both got stuck in a quagmire of their own creation and lost sight / focus of the customer. The both relented to legacy metrics defined by Wall Street or industry niche and tried please the street with non relevant consumer focused metrics.

Key to the success of Fresh & Easy is packaging size, meal components, many more ready-to-cook flavored meats, branded bread from il Fornaio and a blend of quality private label products. Including Cranberry Blue Pecan Salad, Mango Chicken & Rice, Shrimp Alfredo all complement F&E’s menu.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fine Food Fast: The rise of the Grocerant.


Foodservice Solutions® president Steven Johnson has documented followed and even named the grocerant niche. It is no wonder the success his grocerant blog has garnered and the niche is booming. It is followed by thousands on LinkedIn daily and thousands more via Facebook.

Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is better for you continues to spread from restaurants, into grocery stores, convenience stores and now into the drug store sector. The grocerant food is entering the convenience store niche at such a fast pace that the C-stores sector of the foodservice industry has lead all other retail food sectors in year over year growth for the past two years.

The primary driver of the grocerant niche is quality food bundled as components allowing and promoting consumer choice. Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family. When a family can mix and match components everyone wins.

Companies that utilize Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price; will understand success can be found within the grocerant niche. Building strong sales if they roll out an integrated grocerant niche food program with distinctive differentiated food consumables as an entity with identity by day part.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Food Price + Quality + Service + Portability = Value


The grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food continues to garner loyal followers. The sales equilibrium is swinging back to the restaurants and away from the grocery store sector according to Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD and author of "Eating Patterns in America."

Balzar stated recently "Right now, supermarket prices are rising faster than restaurant prices," Here at Foodservice Solutions® we think one oft over look sector of retail food service is the convenience store sector and by NPD’s account that sector is growing faster than either the grocery or restaurant sector.

George Bernard Shaw said, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” There is no greater gift that customer that loves your food, and will pay for it-but at what price?

Foodservice Solutions has developed a formula for customer focused pricing. Here it is:

Price + Quality + Service + Portability = Value

Incremental Value = Constantly Changing Menu (Seasonally / Sustainability with creditability).

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits. Invite Foodservice Solutions® to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant