Thursday, May 31, 2012

How would Richard Branson create a new restaurant?



Richard Branson is a Die Hard entrepreneur who loves up-setting the status quo.  He sees business opportunities differently and creates new rules of customer engagement. He delights when there is money to be made by benefiting the consumer; causing great consternation for legacy companies. 

Legacy food retailers operate under defined rules.  They evolve over time and shun risk taking.  These companies reluctantly step out of their comfort zones and are very slow to make changes.  They prefer to follow rather than lead. Branson is a leader because he creates new business segments and/or categories within the rules but without self-imposed limitations. Branson understand brands are inclusive not exclusive. 

The confluence of food and consumers has created renewed focus on innovation in food retailing. Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food that is “better for you” is entering virtually every sector of retailing today.  For example: Tommy Bahama: clothing line and restaurants!  Walgreens: drug store and fresh food retailer!  Amazon: books and fresh food grocery delivery!  Whole Foods: better for you food foods, both shelf stable and ready-2-eat fresh!  Ikea furniture line: ready 2-eat fresh food!  Sheetz once a convenience stores, now restaurants with gas!  Richard Branson would create a restaurant within the fastest growing sector of food retail, the grocerant niche.

Documenting the evolving growth of the grocerant niche we wondered with the progress that has been made to date if someone were to start anew who would it be and how would they do it?  Seth Goldin, renown author, has defined a hierarchy of business to business needs that established companies use.  Most companies follow Goldin’s rules.  Richard Branson takes chances, he creates the playing field!

    Seth                                Richard 
1.       Avoid risk                 1. Focus on the Consumer
2.       Avoiding hassle        2. Empower Consumers
3.       Gaining praise          3. Go for Broke 
4.       Gaining Power         4. Create Chaos
5.       Having fun                5. Engage Employees and Consumers
6.       Making a profit         6. Profit equilibrium consumer win, 
                                             company wins

The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food grocerant niche is consumer driven.  Richard Branson simple takes delight in disrupting the status quo. Branson also understands how to find a way of doing things cheaper, faster and with more profitability while the old guard limps along; fading to mediocrity and eventual failure. If you are one of the guys in so deep that you believe it’s your way and the way it has always been done protecting the brand, you might just look over your shoulder.  Richard Branson might just be there.

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 Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us , Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant. www.FoodserviveSolutions.us 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

McDonalds, Panera Bread, Wawa are all focused on Fast Casual.



Sheetz, and 7 Eleven each has successfully expand into traditional QSR space with quality fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-n-eat food.  McDonalds, Wendy’s and Chick-Fil-A are in addition remodeling stores with attributes more a kin to fast casual restaurants than traditional QSR’s.

What is really happening is a confluence of events that is culminating and driving multiple legacy retail food niches into the grocerant niche.  Many legacy food retailers are fast adopting Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price, in order to maintain consumer relevance. Vertically integrating the 5P’s of food marketing into your brand is a success clue.

Successful retail food operators must leverage the 5 P’s of food marketing to build strong sales with an integrated grocerant niche food program filled with distinctive differentiated food consumables as an entity with identity by day part.

Here is one example, my formula for establishing customer focused price in 2012:

Price + Quality + Service + Portability = Value
Incremental Value = Constantly Changing Menu (Seasonally / Sustainability with creditability).

Proper positioning requires big industry view of the undercurrents of industry success.  Is your team to close to the brand?  Consumers are dynamic not static.  Is your brand dynamic?


This blog is supported in part by ads.  Please view them. 

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  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, May 29, 2012

Fresh Fruit is Fast Food.



Consumers continue looking for “better for you food.”   In a new poll taken by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation they found that “nearly 70% of Americans reported eating more fresh fruits and vegetables than five years ago”.  Why? Health and affordability were cited as the most important qualities.

Interestingly the poll noted that,” 23% know “a lot” about where the fresh produce they buy comes from. Forty percent said they knew “a little”, 25% said they didn’t know too much and 11% said they didn’t know anything about their produce.”

Seventy-one percent of respondents said that grocery stores were their most frequent source of fruits and vegetables, while 14% and 7%, respectively, said the same for farmers’ markets and big box supercenters.

The survey said that 64% felt that purchasing regionally/locally grown fruits and vegetables was “very important” to them, while 93% of those surveyed said it was “very important” or “somewhat important” that all Americans had equal access to fresh produce.

Burgerville is one company that integrated regional fresh fruit seasonally into it menu with great results with items like Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Wrap and a plethora of Strawberry refreshments. (burgerville.com) Success does leave clues and better for your focused food is one of them.  Fresh fruit is ready-2-eat and better for you and your customer. Fresh fruit is fast food that is good for your company and customer.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hot Dogs are the ultimate hand-held food.




Happy Memorial Day ! Today launches the unofficial start of the summer season. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council reports that Americans are expected to eat at least seven billion hot dogs between today and Labor Day. Hot dogs that are ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat are simply an American food love affair that is shining bright.

Wienerschnitzel is the largest US restaurant chain that specializes in hot dogs. The next time you’re out and see one of the over 350+ Wienerschnitzel stores stop in and try a chill cheese dog with mustard and onion, wow that some good fast food!

That Hot Dog Council estimate “that Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs each year, but more are eaten in the warm weather months when the grills are fired up and hot dogs have that great barbecued taste…In fact, the Council found that major league baseball fans will consume more than 20.5 million hot dogs while enjoying games. That's enough wieners to stretch from Miami to Denver”.

Hot Dogs are the ultimate hand-held food. The grocerant niche is complemented with the inclusion of hot dogs!  Pizza Hut’s has a new hot dog pizza.  Looking for positioning assistance?  Foodservice Solutions is the best.

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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Food Marketing.



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson developed the 5 P’s of food marketing which are: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price.  When grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food is thrown into the mix consumer frequency and customer loyalty both increase for retailers driving top line sales and bottom line profits.

Simply look at the US retail foodservice growth and sales leaders of today. Trader Joe’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, 7 Eleven are all growth leaders.  Trader Joe’s leads in sales per square foot at over $1,750 per Sq. Ft. Chipotle, Five Guys and 7 Eleven are all growing units and garnering share of stomach from everyone else.  All are members of the grocerant niche. 

One of the most interesting new developments is bundling of the meal components with a “better for you” focus.  It’s a mix and match game that is very empowering for the consumer.  Consumer’s select by meal occasion what “better for you” attribute they want.  It can be fresh hamburger, low salt, cooked to order, or green packaging.

Don’t discount the value of consumer choice or limit the world of “better for you”.  Mix and match of small portion, fresh products, green packaging all are contribution to making meal time a time of convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization and consumers are responding.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven Johnson

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Drive-thru Food more popular than ever.



Times they are a changing as the song goes.  Regular readers of this blog understand the rapid currents of growth taking place within the grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.  Part of that niche includes QSR’s, however that seems to be the one sub-sector struggling with repositioning while attracting new consumers.

Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angles Times wrote the following which all of my regular readers will enjoy
“Fast-food eateries are in the throes of drive-through Darwinism as more upscale upstarts, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Co., grab market share from the likes of Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy's.

Chains that are fancier than fast-food options but cheaper than sit-down alternatives are part of a hybrid sector known as fast-casual that is maturing into one of the food industry's strongest.

That category is tapping into growing demand for more healthful, specialty foods that are still speedily served and moderately priced. Fast-casual is steadily poaching fast-food customers looking for better quality and sit-down dinners seeking cheaper prices, said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs.

"There's no end in sight to their growth," Riggs said. "They've delivered on consumers' value expectations far more than most fast-food places." …

But the boundaries are blurring. Eateries such as Carl's Jr., with its Six Dollar Burger, and foodie-favorite In-N-Out straddle the line between fast-casual and fast food. Drive-thru’s are appearing at Panera locations. Some fast-casual chains are experimenting with delivery, usually an option provided by sit-down restaurants.

"We're going to continue to see more fuzziness in how to define these restaurants," said Robert L. Sandelman, chief executive of food service research group Sandelman & Associates.”  Folks let’s face it this is the GROCERANT NICHE. Is it time you understand this growth? Then take some time read some of our pervious blogs Email or call. 

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook/Steven Johnson

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tesco investing million’s on ready-2-eat meals!



Tesco a leader in the ready meal category after careful review and consultation is reinvesting in its industry leading ready meal program offerings. In a press release they said “Ready meals are a massively popular part of our fresh food ranges, and we’re really pleased to be able to give our customers even more for their money.”

This new multi-million pound revamp reflects and includes key elements of Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price.  With a focus on improved food quality and packaging, phase one of the up-grade will focus on Indian, Oriental and Tex-Mex ready meals which are three of the UK’s most popular cuisines.

Consumers will now receive 20% more meat in each ready meal and each will include or contain higher quality “sauces, herbs, pasta and rice – all at no extra cost to the customer.”  Currently Tesco offers 300 ready meal offerings in just those three categories alone, all will be upgraded.

In the UK the ready meal market is growing at 5% per year and reflects the global trend as well.  Foodservice Solutions® grocerant leadership is globally recognized.  Your customers are looking for ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat mix and match meal component options. Are you considering Foodservice Solutions? Mix and match  small portion, fresh prepared food is making meal time a time of convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization and consumers are responding.

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, May 24, 2012

Wal-Mart Express small format joins Wawa, Walgreens and 7 Eleven finding success.



Food Deserts be dammed retail food giants and icons are all building new stores with a smaller footprint consumers have been asking for and making money doing it. No longer will neighborhoods be without fresh food options.  When customers are ready-2-eat fresh food Wal-Mart, 7 Eleven and Wawa could be in your neighborhood soon. Walgreens is in your neighborhood now growing ready-2-eat fresh food options.

In less than one year from launch of Walmart Express, CEO Bill Simon stated that Walmart Express small-format stores are already profitable. No longer will Wal-Mart need to look for huge open spaces to build new units.  The small format store range from 10,000sf to 15,000sf about the size of new large footprint 7 Elevens or Wawa’s that offer gas.

Consumers go to Wal-Mart too buy national branded products for less. Consumer have long complained about the time it takes to shop in a grocery store.  Walmart Express allows them to continue to find value in brands without the need to walk all the way around the perimeter of the store.

Finding profitability so rapidly with the new footprint it may be Wal-Mart that will slow the two new stores in the US a day growth that 7 Eleven is enjoying while dominating this space.  Wawa and industry icon and sales per store leader will continue its growth in Florida for the next several years. Walgreens is testing fresh food from coast to coast.

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NPD’s National Eating Trend Study Finds 25 Million use food coupon app’s a month.



Newspaper advertising food inserts diminish in value again.  With the growing adoption of smartphones, mobile applications are fast becoming the norm for food marketing.

 NPD’s National Eating Trends study which tracks all aspects of eating behavior found “coupon apps are used by about 25 million Americans each month, and this happens most frequently in households with children. The foods these app-couponing-families consume more often skew towards kid-friendly staples like eggs, cold cereal, bacon, sausages, macaroni and cheese, soup, and fruit juice.
More than half of U.S. consumers are aware of Groupon, the localized deal-of-the-day website, and about one in five consumers receives emails regularly from the service, according to National Eating Trends®. Roughly the same proportion claims to read through the emails at least monthly — equating to more than 60 million U.S. consumers.”
Are cook books the next legacy print to become reduced in value? The study found “Over the last year, about half of Americans accessed the Internet to get their recipes. In a recently released NPD report entitled, Recipes Are Cooking, most other traditional recipe sources have been declining in usage, while Web sites such as allrecipes.com and epicurious.com have become top destinations for consumers in need of cooking ideas.”
Mark this number down 7% of consumer visit Amazon for food offerings ever two or three months according to NPD.  Amazon Fresh is building a base and we believe that Amazon has found the last mile solution with delivery of fresh food.  The retail food space is evolving fast. Both brands and retailers must find new avenues of distribution in order to maintain consumers.

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  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, May 22, 2012

Real Mex, Real Mess no Real Opportunity. Here is what they need now.



Real Mex has gone from sales turn-over, too turn-around, and too turned-down. Real Mex a multi-branded restaurant company with food manufacturing and distribution facilities in Southern California is in an outstanding position to capitalize on current retail food directional shifts. What they desperately need now are outside eyes.

It’s time that Real Mex evaluates their current manufacturing and distribution assets, leverage proprietary restaurant brand integration while identifying and developing both internal and external growth opportunities. Ok it sounds simple enough, but Real Mex is in the middle of the grocerant niche and that is what we do every day. Simply put no CEO would leave if they understood the value of the opportunity at hand.
 
While many restaurant chains are expanding the footprint of the brand into non-traditional channels Real Mex is contracting. Restaurant chains do two things they either grow or they die. The status quo is not something any restaurant chain can attempt to maintain in the world today.  Consumers are dynamic not static.  Restaurant Chains must be the same.

Below are actions we feel Real Mex should undertake in order to develop contemporary consumer relevance:

  1. Focus on manufacturing of RMF-branded products at retail with restaurant brand integration;
  2. Revitalize Legacy Restaurant Brand Relevance with today’s consumer focus; 
  3. Leverage manufacturing expertise  in custom-developed products for additional foodservice clients;
  4. Extend consumer relevant restaurant brands around the country including non-traditional outlets;
  5. Leverage manufacturing/distribution opportunities in markets served for private label products into RMF brands.

Hedge funds typically have a plan of action when they invest.  Restaurant brands and consumers have a bond, when that bond is not met the consumer moves on no matter what the plan the hedge fund has.  The fastest growing sector of retail foodservice today is the grocerant niche.  Real Mex is positioned to exploit that niche as well if not better than any company in the US.  The question is will they?  Outside eye can provide insights for success.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook/Steven Johnson

Monday, May 21, 2012

Safeway, Kroger, Publix, and Marsh still stuck in the middle with an aging biz model



While customization and personalization are driving success with in retail foodservice today many legacy grocery retailers are avoiding business model updates in order to maintain strong relationships with Wall Street. Yet the dollar store sector continues rapid growth cherry picking item after item and eroding the core of legacy grocery store operator business models. Wawa is opening 100 new units in Florida over the next 3 years.  Each store will offer select CPG’s products combined with consumer interactive participatory fresh prepared food. 7 Eleven leads the C-store sector growth with 100% of the new units having fresh prepared food and 50% with no gas offered. Walgreens success with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food provides another peek of the evolving retail food sector grocerant niche success too come.  

While many legacy grocery retailers continue to be stuck in the middle of the market; trapped in a quagmire of outdated category management techniques and sector evolution denial, can their future be bright? Most have been positing anemic sales at best. In 2010, for the first time, SNAP benefits appeared to have surpassed 10% of all grocery spending.  If you look at USDA’s two data series on aggregate food spending, SNAP now represents 10% to 17% of the food retail economy.  Unemployment is in decline, a year after a decline SNAP program falls as well.  What is going to happen to these industry legacy titans if they do not evolve with the consumer?  Clearly the dollar store sector with continue to rise, C-stores sector (currently the fastest growing US food sector) will continue its push into fresh prepared food and continue to garner consumer.  Many consumers will return to restaurants and that sector void 99.5% of SNAP billions a month in SNAP funding will rebound very well.  Where is the void going to show the most?  Clearly legacy grocery retailers.

Differentiation individualization customization via bundled meal components are driving the ongoing success in retail food sales today.  Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and Wawa all have incorporated interactive participatory fresh prepared food options. Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price; continue playing a key role on how food is being sold, packaged and delivered.  When ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food is thrown into the mix, consumer frequency and customer loyalty both increase.  New retail food industry leaders are emerging are you one of them?

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook/Steven Johnson

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Is Walgreens selling Lunch or Dinner to your customers?



Walgreen's continues to expand in the depth and direction of the Grocerant niche.  The grocerant niche is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable convenient meal solutions.  Targeted at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food components that are “better for you”, portable and portioned for one or two. Walgreens gets it and is positioning for a much larger share of the food retailing dollar.


In a programs Walgreens rolled out in major unban city’s you can now find fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, sushi , sandwiches and Heat-N-Eat meat loaf. In addition Walgreens spokesman Robert Elifinger stated “ Our San Francisco area customers are already buying a lot of food in our stores, and there are requests for more product offerings," he said.


With this market test well underway, Walgreens is now testing fresh food in New York via Duane-Reade, Chicago and the San Francisco bay area. For all of my regular readers you have heard it hear before but this trend is sweeping the country from coast to coast.  Non-traditional food retailers are finding success selling fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food.
These expanded points of distribution may well challenge many a legacy fresh food retailer including chain restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores for market share. Are you ready for change?
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, May 18, 2012

Grocerant Guru interviews Tim Forrest


It was my pleasure to speak with Tim Forrest today about his outstanding success taking ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food to retail.  Success does leave clues and Tim has contributed much to the success of many enterprises taking food to retail. Are you looking for assistance in expanding into new markets or non-traditional avenues of distribution?  Feel free to reach out, success is an Email away.




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.

Wendy’s, Burger King, Red Robin vs. Smashburger, Five Guys could they all end up like Herfy’s?





“Life can be understood by looking backward, but must be lived by looking forward.”  Is a quote by Kierkegaar that rings true even today! 

The United States burger sector is simply over crowded. Legacy operators that that utilize copycat menu ideation have looked back into their marketing tool kit one too many times. Recycling your competitor’s products works only for a very short period of time, I don’t suggest it.   Wendy’s “larger burger” program did for it, what it did for Burger King, a little help for a little while.  When Wendy’s was a new to the marketplace they had products with differentiation (frosty) as an example today it’s just follow the leader.

When CEO’s reach into their tool kit and start utilizing justification why sales are down, pointing the finger at competitor’s unfair pricing or promotions the problem is simply continuing.  The first thing we know from looking backward is they don’t know how to fix the problem and are going to stay in a “funk” for some time.

The hamburger sector is growing.  Winners are building stores, sales and profits.  The others are watching consumer migrate too consumer relevant brands.  McDonalds is consumer relevant.  Look at its industry leading new product positioning. Each Television Ad McDonalds runs has a clear objective, definable and understood by consumers. Others in the marketplace utilize professional prerogative creating spots that do not present definable brand relevant information.  Ever wonder why?  So do we!

When retooling marketing messaging misses the mark, the message was not definable or understood by the consumer.  It is that simple. That in most cases is what happens when tactics’ replace strategy.  Many of the legacy burger companies promote from within and have outstanding tactical implementing employees. That is not enough to replace a vertically integrated brand strategy.

Look back at Herfy’s, once a thriving brand that allowed its brand too diminish simply by following the leaders and not once trying to taking the lead. Once a thriving brand with growing global footprint now simply good in parts of the world and an industry lager in the rest.  In Saudi Arabia Herfy’s is very strong, in Korea focused, and in the United States a clear lager at best.

Cultivating restaurant and retail foodservice success is important.  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, for the consumer is required.  Then they must be unique too be sustainable.  Success does leave clues, legacy burger companies must refocus not retool or they will continue to see eroding market share, profits and franchisees.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seven Food facts if you missed you could be missing out..







If you don’t understand the universal commonality in these 7 facts it time to call Foodservice Solutions®.
At the intersection the evolving food consumer and building top line revenue within retail foodservice we find the grocerant niche.  This niche is filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.

Below you will find a compilation of recently released food facts that can assist you in your success.

  1. Ninety percent of Americans are aware of health benefits associates with coco and dark chocolate.
  2. Seventy-Two percent indicated they have changed how they cook and eat in their home.
  3. Seventy-Three named price as a factor while grocery shopping.
  4. Sixty-Three percent of US adults have dined at a fast-food restaurant chain in the past month.
  5. Fifty Two percent say fresh ingredients are at the top of what’s important to them.
  6. Fifty percent have dined at a local casual dining restaurant chain in the past month.
  7. Forty Nine percent say foods with less fat are important.

Consumers are evolving these facts reflect attributes found within the grocerant niche. This growing trend is empowering the consumer to establish new customs and traditions in eating better, more flavorful food.  The Grocerant niche is about convenient meal participation; differentiation and individualization. Most often found in fresh prepared meal components that can be bundled with mix and match options.

Foodservice Solutions® 5P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price can play a key role when you integrate food facts, trends with brand value.  At the intersection of the consumer, sales success you find both the grocerant niche and Foodservice Solutions®.
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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Retail foodservice competition intensities.



The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” A quote made famous by William Gibson sure comes to mind don’t you think.  Fresh prepared “better for you” food and food options are driving success within the grocerant niche which continues growing rapidly.

Regional food retailers risk being marginalized by new concepts with smaller footprints, lower cost of goods and faster service.  Food retailers must understand the new dynamics in the industry and react properly in order too accelerate growth.  The focus is on the Grocerant ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.

Here is what we understand; consumer discontinuity in food retailing began in 2005 and continues. New points of distribution are growing, while becoming smaller in size.  Fresh made to order food inside Walgreens, Ikea, Costco, food trucks, and Amazon Fresh are but just a few examples.

Successful convenience store operators the likes of Sheetz and Wawa once two notable regional players are now seeing 7 Eleven entering the fresh food meal niche.  In fact 7 Eleven will open more than two stores a day this year most will not offer gas. Casey’s General Stores continues to drive sales and frequency while increasing fresh food offerings and expanding with new units.  What do we think? 

Many restaurant companies the ilk of Darden and Brinker will need to undergo continue and additional scrutiny in order to find a repositioned niche that will sustain them over time.  Legacy grocery stores that are seemingly stuck in the middle will simply fade away.  Wal-Mart’s supply chain advantage and industry research advantages will simply prove too much.  The added points of fresh prepared food distribution in the retail channel offered by Walgreens and Rite Aid will renew the local neighborhoods and rekindle community to that sector.

William Gibson quote: The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” How many of you are prepared for 2013.  If you have been waiting to see what’s next?  If so you might have just missed the bus. Contact Foodservice Solutions® for successful competitive positioning within the grocerant niche.
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, May 15, 2012

7 Eleven connecting with customers.



Retail foodservice has never had a large company that is evolving its brand with the consumer as fast as 7 Eleven has been able too.  Leveraging relationships with industry leading companies the ilk of Coca Cola, 7 Eleven has created another branded “better for you” product.  This is another outstanding example of a new food and beverage line, that tilts the scales of success as an entity with identity it is  “Slurpee Lite”.

Retail food customers today are interested in customization, sustainability and multichannel retail opportunities.  7 Eleven fits that bill.  Most new stores do not even sell gasoline.  The new focus at 7 Eleven is prepared and fresh prepared food.  Slurpee Lite a line formulated by Fanta and is a drink line with 50% fewer calories than a typical Slurpee, this drink is ready-2-eat and “better for you”. 

With food shoppers ever increasingly connected via smartphones 7 Eleven can push proactive time relevant messaging to consumer by region, zone, state or country.  The future of 7 Elevens success is its deliberate rapid deployment of technology to tailor store formats with local appeal, in product and price complemented with local branded food that leverages fresh and sustainability.  All of which is complemented with the halo of national brands that denote quality, food safety and success.

7 Eleven is positioning for family success this summer by selling Slurpee’s for the entire family with incremental sales in ready-2-eat meal components that can be bundled into a single meal or family meal on the go or simply to give Mom the night off.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, May 14, 2012

Food Innovation still requires that the food tastes good.



Food innovation blends experimentation with contemporary relevance.  The outcome is a unique point of differentiation that relates directly to the targeted consumer.  I believe that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar with a twist. The grocerant niche is busting at the seams with innovative new products.

With all the talk today about posting calories, excessive salt there is one thing that we all must keep top of mind; customers eat FOOD that taste good.  For all of the pontification and legislative maneuvers to change the food you are selling to your customers beware!  If you want your customers to come back, the food had better taste good.  Food success is in the mind’s eye of the consumer and their palate. 

Better for you food means many different things to each segmented group of consumers.  Each new menu or product may have one or more new “required constraint” targeted at a specific niche few will be all things for all groups. The one universal attribute or success clue in food innovation is: it better taste good!  Looking for innovative new products or innovation in positioning?  Call us when you are ready to move past the competition.

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.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Food retailers are crafting success with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food.



The grocerant niche is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable convenient meal solutions.  Targeted at the time-starved consumer with ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat fresh prepared food components that are deemed “better for you”, portable and portioned for one or two.


These meal components can be bundled into a meal of the consumer’s choice. Grocerant food refers to any retail food item that is ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat / reheat sold in a Grocery store, Convenience store Restaurant or Drug Stores that is in a To-go or Take Away format.  Most retail companies goal is to create a collection of branded private label entrĂ©e and side dishes that have niche leading identity.


Around the world we are now seeing Grocerant sections in department’s stores and kiosk in malls in Europe / Asia and airports around the world.   The items can range from entrees to side items and deserts.  Some examples of items range from crab puff pastries fried chicken, mash potatoes, cream spinach, to liver and onions, pizza, hot dogs, steak, prime rib, various casseroles (hot-dish) to salads, side salads pie, cake and any single proportioned deserts.


Consumer believe that grocerant prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat foods contribute to making life just a little easier.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven Johnson