Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grocery store ready-2-eat fresh prepared food is becoming aspirational.

At the intersection of the consumers desire for new food innovation and aggressive fresh prepared food positioning by grocery stores is a battle for the consumer.  That battle is about to move up another notch.  After years of consumer research, supermarkets are now moving outside their comfort zone and finding success with fresh prepared food creating consternation for restaurants.

Time starved consumers are finding ready-2-eat fresh prepared meals and entrée’s that are as aspirational as any on a restaurant menu.  Grocery stores fresh prepared food is priced for less and without a tip can be found at: Whole Foods, Central Market, Metropolitan Market, Pueblo, Publix Wegmans and Safeway. Each has a regionalized fresh food focus and they are creating unique fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food that is as aspirational as any restaurant offering for less.

Let’s look around the country and see what grocery stores are now offering. Starting with Prime Rib dinner combo’s and Chicken Prosciutto Ravioli, Pit-Smoked Baby Back Ribs, Crumb Topped Stuffed Salmon, Praline Sweet Potato Casserole, Watergate Fruit Salad, Chicken with Peach & Chive Sauce, Bronzed Tilapia, Chicken Masala & Rice in addition there are specialized sandwiches, wraps, burgers and pizza all can be customized as well.

Chain restaurants have traditionally leveraged buying power and brand messaging to out-position creative independent restaurant operators.  Grocery stores have both buying power and brand managers that can match the strength of any chain restaurant.  The retail fresh prepared food playing field is in flux.  The grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food is the clear winner.  Foodservice Solutions® has been in this space since 1991, if you have a Chain Restaurant, Convenience Store, Grocery Store or Drug Store looking for success Email:grocerant@q.com

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Burger Brand Bingo

In the ever increasing battle for the consumer attention in the QSR burger space Andy’s Burgers
Shakes & Fries has changed its name to Highway 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries in order to grow.  This is not the first regional chain to try this.  Winerschnitzel converted stores to Hamburger Stands garnering a short term pop in sales then flat-lined.

Our question is: Are legacy hamburger chains the ilk of Burger King and Wendy’s franchisees ready to swap brand names?  Will a group of franchisee say enough is enough and simply revolt creating a new company or will they simply drop the current under-performer for say 5 guy’s,  Smashburger or Highway 55?

The ready-2-eat heat-N-eat hamburger niche consumer are on the move.  Legacy chains that are simply copy-cat companies pontificating brand protectionism are now on the ropes and being sued often by failing franchisee it appears the focus in not on food or the customer.

Given the similarity with the footprint it might be time for an aggressive regional to step up and out by offering “special deal” to existing operators of other brands too swap names.  Clearly some of the legacy hamburger operators without dynamic leadership are winding down.  Let me know who you think is prepared to step up and win the Burger Bingo Name Game.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Monday, February 27, 2012

McDonalds abandoned brand protectionism for global success.

McDonalds has long understood that strategy trumps tactics in a global marketplace. McDonalds clearly is the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) leader in the United States and the World. Over the past 30+ years McDonalds has leveraged its consumer qualitative and quantitative attributes via marvelous menu magic, building a better brand for global success.  While a majority of QSR copy-cat companies continue to pontificate brand protectionism. Those copy-cat companies are also capitulating market share to McDonalds.  What is it they don’t understand? Here are some menu magic success clues:

In Germany you can find cold beer in most McDonalds. Canada, have a lobster dinner with the McLobster lobster roll. In fish-loving Norway, they have the McLaks, a sandwich made of grilled salmon and dill sauce. In Hong Kong,  Rice Burgers, where the burgers are in between, not burger buns, but two patties of glutinous rice.

Australians can order Vegemite with your English muffin.  Australian Happy Meals serve something called the Pasta Zoo which is a vegetable and cheese ravioli in the shape of zoo animals, served with a side of "Zoo Goo," made of tomato



In Asia the shrimp burger is called the "EBI Filet-O" in Japan. In Hong Kong, it's formally titled the Shrimp Burger and comes on bread with lettuce and spicy sauce.  In addition you my Japan's own shrimp tempura. These shrimp are encrusted in a light batter and dunk nicely into tempura sauce.

In Malaysia you can find a cup of porridge with bits of chicken, ginger, onion, shallots and chili peppers.

“Porridge isn't soup, but rather sodden rice. Malaysians buy their version from food carts or hawker centers, where vendors sell just that dish. While the McDonald's adaptation is heavy on the rice, the Malaysian version comes in generous layers, with the soft rice boiled in chicken or seafood broth on the bottom and sauces, chopped vegetables and shredded chicken added on top”.


Singaporean McDonald's serve Shaka Shaka Chicken. You'll get a breaded, deep-fried chicken patty in a wax-paper bag. You dump spicy powder into the bag, and as you "shaka" it, the spices stick to the patty with the help of the frying oil. If you're too lazy to leave the hotel, you can always order a chicken sandwich online, add some jasmine tea and make it come to you with a McDelivery.

In India there are no beef burgers at McDonald's in India try the McVeggie -- a rice, bean and vegetable patty that McDonald's treats predictably with breading -- or the McAloo Tikki -- a potato-vegetable burger. Then there is the  Maharaja Mac, which is a Big Mac made of lamb or chicken meat.



In Egypt, but across the Middle East. It serves the McArabia, two chicken or beef patties in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and tahini sauce. We see this more as a transplanted hamburger than shawarma or falafel.

QSR brand protectionism is not a success tactic nor is it a strategy. If success leaves clues in the restaurant industry one clearly is incorporating consumer qualitative and quantitative attributes into a

Invite Foodservice Solutions® (www.FoodserviceSolutions.us) to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Foodservice Solutions® Success Clues.

Cultivating a brand is more important that managing a brand. Brands are dynamic not static, they develop and grow with the consumer. Identifying distinctive differentiated programs, positioning and consumable’s by day part that reflect the brand, industry trends, consumer preferences is an area that I Foodservice Solutions excels. Is your company ready to leverage the 5P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price into a national, regional, zone or local marketing plan? 

Outside eyes can bring new light and assist in your pace of growth, redevelopment and deployment of your new products and brand positioning. Foodservice Solutions can work with you identifying distinctive differentiated food consumables, trends, and day-parts to create a point of additional differentiation for your company or one of your brands. Setting ambitious goals and objectives is something you may be very good at. Assisting people reach their goals is what I Foodservice Solutions® best at.  

Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new messaging places Foodservice Solutions® in a select industry grouping 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.  

Success leaves clues; transformational times require focus and experience with a qualitative edge Foodservice Solutions® has that edge. If you are ready to build retail foodservice success within yheready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food space contact Tacoma, Washington based Foodservice Solutions® today at: grocerant@q.com

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wawa Food Fuels Florida Focus.

Love Wawa Coffee? This summer Wawa will open its first of many units in Central Florida in and around Orlando and Tampa.  Wawa the convenience store sector leader in fresh food sales has been much copied by competitors over the past 10 years. None of the competitors have been able to match the continued success Wawa has had with fresh food sales.   Are you ready for your favorite Wawa Hoagie? Here is a link to follow all of Wawa’s progress in Florida: www.wawa.com/florida

Wawa has been one of the retail foodservice industry leaders in the grocerant niche with a focus on ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.  When it comes to customization, mix and match meal component bundling Wawa is one of the very best.  Why, simple Wawa understand the consumer is dynamic not static. Wawa continues to evolve with the consumer.

With close to 600 stores in the Northeast, Wawa will have built-in name recognition when they open in Florida.  With a focus on food that is ready-2-eat and easily bundled into a family customized meal Wawa will be a hit in Florida.  Filled with a consumer relevant look and feel from digital menu boards to touch screen ordering and filled with fresh food Wawa is evolving into a food focused Grocerant power house.

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coffee Positioning Innovation Provides Foodservice Growth.

Coffee and breakfast are driving success in retail foodservice growth today.  Mix and Match beverage and food offerings during the AM daypart are success clues for all grocerant niche players looking for success.
Packaged Facts found “Sales of coffee and tea at restaurant and drinking places are projected to reach $18.7 billion in 2012. Sales spiked 11% in 2011, driven by the return of consumers to the restaurant industry, aggressive coffee and tea menu innovation, increased penetration of coffee and tea among restaurant units, and menu price increases.” …
 “The Big Four” in this market — Dunkin Donuts, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McDonald’s, and Starbucks — each generate coffee and tea revenue in excess of $1 billion. Led by these mavericks, coffee and tea players continue to outperform restaurant industry growth, with restaurant brands across the foodservice spectrum pursuing incremental profits through improvements in coffee and tea quality and variety.  Did you know:

1.       Coffee statistics show that coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.

2.       Coffee industry statistics show that only 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality.

3.       Coffee market statistics show that coffee is grown commercially in over 45 countries around the world.

4.       Coffee trade statistics show that over 5 million people in Brazil are employed by the coffee trade.

5.       Those employed in the coffee industry are involved mostly with the cultivation and harvesting of more than 3 billion coffee plants.

6.       Coffee consumption statistics show that coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Safeway is renewed and seeking consumer relevance.

Safeway one of the largest grocery stores chains in America for years was simply another legacy food retail stuck in the middle of the pack, with copy-cat positioning trying to be all things to all people. Then they found success with newly remodeled stores they called “lifestyle” stores.  When in fact the remodeled units were simply Grocerants niche units.  Lifestyle stores serve ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food driving in customers with relevant products all the while building customer frequency levels.

While the strategy of garnering customer attention with the lifestyle units was successful it reinforced with consumer why they like restaurants and fresh prepared food for Take-Away.  Safeway utilizing tactics from a legacy playbook decided to have a cook-off.   This cook-off will focus on natural food cooked for “Skillet Meals” incorporating consumer relevant Natural food prepared for meal component options. Here again back to consumer relevance. Mix and Match meal components are a prime driver of grocerant niche success as regular readers of this blog know.

With “lifestyle” stores and “Culinary Kitchens” Safeway is on track to build a new and relevant contemporary following of consumers.  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits within all food retail sectors.  The vast majority of grocery store chains are not growing as faster than food inflation which is 5.5%.  When coupled with manufacture shrinking product size, there is no real growth with most Food CPG Retail grocery stores.  The only real sales expansion is with companies like Target, Trade Joes and the Dollar stores.

Safeway is building success with fresh food prepared that is ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat all are grocerant niche mix and match options that are consumer relevant. Success does leave clues.

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food Preferences of College Students may Leave Clues.

Are college students buying “better for you” food today and how?  They are utilizing a confluence of new tools including mobile app’s, from wireless phone, On-line ordering from computers and PDA’s, IPad’s to name just a few.  More over the younger the consumer the more likely they are to find any of these alternate forms of ordering preferable. This is also perceived as better for you from the consumer perspective.

Foodservice consumer responded to a research survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) on Functional Foods.  The survey found that “89% of Americans agree that certain foods can have benefits for long term health including reducing the risk of disease or other health concerns.  Consumer identified the following:

1.       Fruits and vegetables

2.       Fish / seafood

3.       Milk & Yogurt

4.       Meat & poultry

5.       Herbs & spices

What is most interesting to me is that the number one item on the list also appeared as the number one food preferred by college students in dorm meal plans for the past 20 years!

Now think about it, our customers are looking for a better for you food products when they go out to eat and at home.  Grocerant ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat prepared food must be comprised of better for you food attributes and available in better for you formats for contemporize consumer relevance.

Prudent retailers will soon understand the power of the Grocerant niche!  Ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat quality bundled meal options that are better for you, create demand in new and alternative channels of sales and distribution.

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

7 Eleven battles Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell for Fresh Food Title.

Wow QSR’s, 7 Eleven just kicked up its competitive FRESHNESS. 7 Eleven’s is cultivating a Halo of Good Food and getting “Better For You” fresh food focused. Apples, Oranges or Banana 2 for $ 1 Dollar.  7 Elevens new Point of Purchase (POP) screams we are getting FRESH FOOD.  What is important is that many of the new 7 Eleven units are now opening without gas.  The focus across the retail behemoth is on fresh and prepared fresh food.   7 Eleven understand fast fresh food is what the consumer wants and they are out to win the fresh food space.

Fresh and Price are the focal point of 7 Elevens new POP and incorporating grocerant niche mix and match bundling of any 2 for $1.  Wow, look out QSR’s now 7 Eleven has freshness and price bundled too undercut legacy QSR pricing while edifying the 7 Eleven brand, building value with a fresh food and price combo.

While Subway has be the leader of late in price and freshness positioning, 7 Eleven is now taking a look at leadership and sees an opportunity as the price, value, service equilibrium continues to evolve in the fresh food arena. Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price continue to propel success in retail foodservice.

Sure the consumer is still buying items off the roller grill but 7 Eleven has reduced the size of the roller grill in many new stores all the while repositioning and highlighting more and more fresh food and fresh prepared meal components. 

Foodservice Solutions® 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 visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Au Bon Pain urban café and caterer of ready-2-eat “better for you” food too national success.


Louie Kane new he wanted to build a restaurant chain that would become a national powerhouse built with a foundation of fresh food that was “better for you”. Today Au Bon Pain is about to see his dream come true.

While legacy publications continue to label Au Bon Pain a fast casual restaurant concept the truth of the matter is Au Bon Pain has been a leader in the Grocerant niche for the past 10+ years leading by breaking the rules. Filled with urban locations and focused on bundling meal options for offices clustered around existing locations. Au Bon Pain is the clear leader in restaurant chain catering of ready-2-eat fresh prepared food allowing for customer customization via meal period mix and match options.

Au Bon Pain while incorporating operational efficiencies and some technological consumer relevant glitz is doing many things right in the minds eye of the consumer. What the consumer is responding to however is the legacy of Louie Kane with continue fresh food that is “better for you” delicious and ready-2-eat. While the menu has evolved over the years mix and match fresh food options remain consumer relevant and focused on quality.

Catering culinary events, office party or a family meal Au Bon Pain is a grocerant niche player with a template that can reach coast to coast. Success does leave clues and Au Bon Pain is one of them.

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits. Foodservice Solutions® can complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or assist with new product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Taco Bell, McDonalds and Burger King battle 7 Eleven, Wawa and Sheetz for breakfast customers.


Restaurants and Convenience stores are fighting over breakfast while grocery stores watch. Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche food is driving top line sales growth in every sector of retail foodservice today. While across the board grocerant niche success can be found. The real white space can be found in the AM day-part aka breakfast. Chain restaurants from Taco Bell, McDonalds and Burger King have all launched new items and Wawa, Sheetz and 7 Eleven are also focusing on breakfast to drive sales in 2012.


In a nationwide survey conducted by StrategyOne its findings affirmed that fewer than 48% of consumers eat breakfast. In-addition they found:

1. Sixty-one percent of American adults believe breakfast to be the most important meal of the day, yet only 48 percent eat breakfast every morning.

2. Researchers found breakfast skipping to be more common in major southern cities, with Dallas-Fort Worth (54 percent) and Houston (60 percent) residents forgoing breakfast most frequently.

3. New Yorkers (69 percent) and Los Angelenos (66 percent) suffer the most from morning energy drain, while residents of Washington, D.C. (44 percent) and Boston (46 percent) are the least likely to be sluggish in the morning.

4. 53 percent of men feeling more productive after breakfast vs. 44 percent of women. Almost two in three Americans admit to having low levels of energy in the morning, with 57 percent looking to breakfast to help provide fuel for their morning.

While the breakfast day-part is filled with opportunity and provides a platform for proactive brand positioning for all food retailers grocery stores seem unprepared to address this new found white space. Convenience stores are bundling product with price to drive market share gains.

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits. Foodservice Solutions® can complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or assist with new product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 the year Convenience Food redefine retail foodservice.


  
The confluence of evolving points of fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food distribution, progressive retail fresh food positioning in Convenience stores, with continue brand protectionism within the QSR space are all culminating to make 2012 the year of the Convenience store.

While grocery stores deli’s are expanding fresh food offerings, and integrating ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food into marketing messaging at ever increasing rates, they continue to follow the lead of C-stores rather than pick up the mantel of industry leadership. Grocery stores have allowed retail drug stores the ilk of Walgreens and Rite-Aid move into the grocerant niche with fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food.

Many in the QSR sector continue to blame the economy and competitive pricing for there woes. When in-fact, new product offerings in the QSR sector have simply been uninspiring and limiting in scope. Hell bent of sameness and brand traditionalism they seem to have forgotten that the consumer is dynamic not static. Convenience stores are expanding in both numbers of new units and growing top line sales while the restaurant sector overall continues to reduce the overall number of units and sales are without inflation are flat.

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits. Foodservice Solutions® can complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or assist with new product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grocerant “Better For You” Options Driving Top Line Foodservice Growth.

Discontinuity across all retail food service platforms by consumers was the topic of our 2005 White Paper. Recently the National Restaurant Association hearing from members of continued discontinuity conducted research of their own.  Here are some of their findings:

1.       72 percent of adult diners said they try to eat more healthfully at restaurants than they did two years ago. The report further determined that 78 percent of adult females said they were more likely to choose more healthful menu items, while 65 percent of adult males said they would make healthful choices. Additionally, younger adults said they were more likely than their older counterparts to order more healthfully.

2.       74 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds said they order more healthfully at restaurants than they did two years ago, compared with 73 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds, 76 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 72 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds and 65 percent of adults aged 65 and older.

3.       The report also stated that restaurant operators across all segments said their customers were paying more attention to the nutritional content of their food than they did two years ago.

Better for your grocerant food is now found in Retail drug stores, Grocery stores, Convenience stores, restaurants and even some Dollar stores.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Papa Murphy’s strongly driving top line sales success into 2012.

Foodservice Solutions® clients and regular readers of this blog understand the on-going success found within the grocerant niche. Leading the charge in the pizza category has been and continues to be Papa Murphy’s.  First over-looked by competitors, then dismissed as a fad Papa Murphy’s success continues.  Competitors now are all watching with eye’s wide open while trying to figure out who to copy next. They may just continue following the lead of Papa Murphy’s.

Papa Murphy’s utilizes Foodservice Solutions 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price better than any other player in the pizza niche.  Focused the time starved family, leveraging portability, packaging, and product ease of use with price all creating food retail leverage.

Consumers rate Papa Murphy’s Take-N-Bake Pizza the best pizza according Zagat.  There is no need for a pole or survey, simply look at the numbers, system wide sales over $ 700 million in 2011, that up 10% from 2010.  When you have 1,300 units open and are still able to drive double digit sales, that is grocerant success.  You can find love at Papa Murphy’s today with the Heart Pizza  so enjoy.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Build Food brand positioning and niche success with Foodservice Solutions® 10 success steps.


1. Symbolism.   Why you are there!
The most successful brands are inclusive include values greater than themselves. A lifestyle, a philosophy, an emotion a point in time.

2.  A
story. Mos
t major brands have a story. Examples: if you like Ford vehicles, you might be familiar with the story of Henry Ford or if you love your Nikes, you probably know how the Nike swoosh logo was created.

3.  A tr
ack record. When your business is first starting out, don't fool yourself into believing that your marketing efforts are 'brand building' effor
ts. They're not because to build a real brand, you have to have an extensive track record with consumers.

4.  Trust.
When you'
ve consistently delivered for your customers long enough, you'll gain the type of trust that many brands have. Case in point: a friend of mine always reminds people that he won't buy an automobile that isn't a BMW. He's had a good experience with his and trusts so much in the company that he doesn't believe there's a better-made car.

5.  Expectatio
n. When a consu
mer chooses a product or service because of brand association, he or she is buying an expectation. Perhaps it's the expectation that the branded product is of higher quality or that the service will be provided in a more efficient manner.

6.  Differentiati
on. Expectation is o
ften borne of differentiation. Many brands offer products and services that are commodities but they're successful in developing some differentiation for their products and services that consumers are sold on.

7.  Imitators. Imi
tation is the sincerest of flattery and you're probably not a 'brand' until you have co
mpetitors trying to copy you.

8.  Market leadership.
Top brands are usuall
y looked at as leaders in the markets they compete in.

9.  Adaptability. The best
brands are flex
ible and capable of reshaping and reinventing themselves and their messages over time. Coca-Cola is a good example of a brand that has never abandoned its core product but has evolved its message over time to keep up with changes in the marketplace and society at large.

10. A strong marketing presen
ce. Although it's nice to believe that you can market yourself for free on Facebook and Twitter, the reality is that brands aren't advertising on television and radio because they're dumb. Building and maintaining brand equity requires awareness and awareness requires broad marketing efforts.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wagamama communal dinning propels global restaurant trend.

When you’re ready-2-eat no need to eat alone.  The United States Census bureau reports that 50% of US adults over the age of 18 are single.  That’s was not a surprise at fast growing global restaurant chain Wagamama where communal dining tables are a staple. Wagamama has been growing around the world with consumer interactive participatory communal dining tables as a complement too high quality fresh prepared “better for you food”.

Wagamama in Boston, Massachusetts, Shells Seafood in Tampa, Florida, A Cote in Oakland and Pres a Vi in San Francisco, California all have communal dining tables.  Restaurants that want to build a brand culture of inclusion are rapidly expanding communal dining options.  With 50% of US adults currently single communal dinning is another way edifying a sense of community for the restaurant, it’s brand and the customers.

While many simply find it as a new fun experience dining with neighbors, classmates, and friends all at once.  There are those that are looking to make friends, and even long-term relationships.  Each table has its own sense of community with each new person that joins the table and it only last as long as your meal.  Starbucks has its “third place” communal dining is fun family dining without the dishes.

When you’re ready-2-eat or ready for heat-N-eat fresh prepared grocerant niche food, why not give Wagamama a try, the experience will complement your meal.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Friday, February 10, 2012

QSR’s are wondering where the customers went. We found them.



Ready-2-eat fresh prepared food driving C-store sales.  Want to drive customers from the gas pump into the store?  It’s time to try fresh ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food and hot and cold beverages.  CSNews reports “Beverage purchases are still No. 1 when it comes to converting gas pump sales into convenience store sales, but foodservice is quickly catching up, according to the 2012 NACS Consumer Fuels Report. The study shows 48 percent of gas purchasers never set foot in a c-store. However, among the remaining 52 percent, one out of every four customers said they regularly purchase drinks.”

The study looks at sales via day-part as well: “33 percent of beverage purchasers do so in the morning. Also, customers aged 18 to 24 are most likely to purchase drinks, the report revealed. Forty-three percent of customers in that age group said they purchase beverages in the store, while only 19 percent of consumers aged 50 or older reported doing so.”

Food is fast becoming common place, the NACS' research found, “28 percent of those surveyed said they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to buy food at a c-store. Nine percent of respondents said they had eaten food at a c-store within the past day, and 43 percent said they purchased c-store food within the last month.” 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Panera Drive-Thrus, McDonalds Coffee: The Grocerant Niche is Booming.

At the intersection of successful retail foodservice is the grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.  Walgreens is now selling fresh in-store prepared food in many urban markets, grocery stores delis are bundling meals and meal components like every QSR in the world.  McDonalds upgraded coffee program is leading too McCafe and Panera is testing Drive-Thrus. The grocerant niche is booming! 

Retail foodservice will never be the same.  Company after company is adopting Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price. The price, value, service equilibrium is resetting in Grocery stores, Restaurants and Convenience stores.  Each is reconfiguring their own ready-2-eat Grocerant niche fresh prepared food product lineup.  Each sector is looking for new products, packaging and consumer price points that will drive traffic.  All have noticed a discontinuity in consumer food shopping behavior and all are fighting for share of stomach.  

The convergence of food retailing into the grocerant niche is less about the economy and more about how, when, where, and why consumer eat in 2012.  Time constrained, value focused and brand energized consumers expect equilibrium in service, quality availability. Brand protectionism is a relic of the 80”s and 90”s food template.  Cultivating food consumer relevance can be found in brand evolution is your brand evolving?  Do you understand the Grocerant Niche?  Is cultivating success your goal or simply a motto?

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or for positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.