Friday, November 30, 2012

Non-traditional Fresh Food Retailers Seek Redistribution of Share of Stomach.



The grocerant niche is a food focused platform for consumer meal customization. Filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food.  It’s the solution that is evolving across many retail food platforms empowering the consumer, simplifying the meal process while saving time starved consumer both time and money. Chain Restaurants, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores and Chain Drug Stores are all offering meal component options.
Consumers are responding positively, one of the most successful elements is bundling of the meal components with a “better for you” focus.  It’s a mix and match product driven niche 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, then they bundle it into a customized meal for home consumption.

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 is making meal time a time of convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization. The meal component can come from a restaurant, drug store, grocery store or convenience store.

Today you can find retail foodservice outlets that don’t offer seated dining rather they utilize call ahead and take-away or delivery only business template blending the benefits of different segments. In fact, according to a 2011 survey done by the National Restaurant Association, nearly half (47 percent) of adults said they would be likely to use a home delivery option if it was offered by a full-service restaurant.
In the same survey, more than one-third of adults (37 percent) agreed that purchasing meals from restaurants, take-out and delivery places make them more productive in their day-to-day lives. The grocerant niche is consumer driven and garnering share of stomach from legacy retailers.
                                                                
Simply look at the 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. 

Mix and Match better for you food components continue to drive top line retail growth. Regular readers of this blog know customization is a key element within meal planning. Bundled meal components allowing and promoting consumer choice are critical elements for a successful sales within foodservice.  Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family. 

In a study conducted by Technomic for American Express, they found that “four out of five consumers (82%) report that it is somewhat or extremely important that they be able customize their meals at sandwich-specific LSRs (limited service restaurants) chains such as Subway have built their reputation on.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kroger’s Fred Meyer unit is growing with Ready-2-Eat Fresh Prepared Food.



The grocerant niche is filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food. One of Kroger’s west coast brands Fred Meyer has step by step increased quality, freshness, and selection of items offered within the fresh prepared food niche. The have integrated them into weekly advertising and are driving top line sales and bottom line profits.

Successful retail food operators must leverage the 5 P’s of food marketing to build strong sales in 2013.  Integrating a ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche food program filled with distinctive differentiated food consumables as an entity with identity by day part is a formula for retail success in 2013.

Kroger’s Fred Meyer is integrating ready-2-eat Mix and March meal components as a focal point in weekly marketing.  Kroger is leveraging the 5P’s of food marketing with compelling family price points garnering consumers attention while building ready-2-eat market share.

Here is one example, of my formula for establishing customer focused price in 2013:

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 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, November 28, 2012

10 steps to building a better Grocerant brand Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru.



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson developed 10 steps to build a solid brand positioning in the Ready-2-eat and Heat-N-eat grocerant niche. These steps were designed to will win customers while fending off competitors .  Here is a recap of his key note presentation last week.  Success does leave clues and here are 10 of them.

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. Most 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 track record. When your business is first starting out, don't fool yourself into believing that your marketing efforts are 'brand building' efforts. 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.  Expectation. When a consumer 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.  Differentiation. Expectation is often 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. Imitation is the sincerest of flattery and you're probably not a 'brand' until you have competitors trying to copy you.

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

9.  Adaptability. The best brands are flexible 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 presence. 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.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Restaurant Day-part Growth Requires Innovation in Menu and Marketing.



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson has picked up success clues since 1991 and continues sharing them with the industry.  Restaurateurs work hard to build the top sales and bottom line profits while maintaining market share.  Eric Dzwonczk, AlixPartners’ managing director believes that innovation will be the main driver for success for restaurants moving forward with a focus on daypart expansion.

Dzwonczk stated: "Anything you can do to get customers into your store 24 hours a day is potentially a good thing,". ..Specifically, each daypart is becoming critical, he said. More quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and casual dining players are moving away from their traditional lunch and dinner focus and going after breakfast. At the same time, predominately breakfast businesses are going after lunch and dinner, or moving into late night. …

"McCafe and other specialty drinks get customers in during the day when they otherwise wouldn't be there. That has become very attractive to the mid-afternoon sect," he explained. "Putting things in there like Wi-Fi and television -- all these are done to get consumers into the store at times when they typically wouldn't be there."  Marketing must include reaching out to consumers with legacy programs via new avenues of mobile communication.

Competition for share of stomach continues to increase particularly in the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food niche.  Companies the ilk of Walgreens, Wawa, Sheetz, Whole Foods and Central Market have increased their focus on ready-2-eat fresh prepared foods and are winning the hearts and minds of the consumer. I agree with Dzwonczk innovation via daypart is critical for restaurant success moving forward as regular readers of this blog know.

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, November 26, 2012

Where will restaurant food be sold in 3 years?



Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food continues to drive sales across all retail foodservice sectors. Building a consumer retail food brand that includes an interactive participatory consumer focus utilizing all aspects of the menu, footprint, and operational strengths today is just doing the basics.

Cultivating your food brand is more important that managing a brand. Brands are dynamic not static, they develop and grow with/for your customers.  Identifying distinctive differentiated programs, positioning and consumable’s by day part that reflect the brand, industry trends, consumer preferences that include consumer focused mobile interactive participatory brand building tools are required for consumer relevance.

Are you reaching out to your customers with programs in way that your restaurant developed 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago?  Are you selling you food in the same restaurant “footprint” as 10 years ago? What new avenues of food distribution are you selling food in today that you were not 3 years ago?

Pew research found that 7% of business now have no landline phones and 17.5 of Americans have no landline phones.  Times have changed.  When creating or identifying distinctive differentiated food consumables as an entity with identity by day part for your menu don’t forget that your customer most likely will see that menu item first on a tablet or phone. 

Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables is what keeps the restaurant industry fresh and vibrant.   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 and mobile.  Don’t let you brand become so familiar that it is stale in the mind’s eye of the consumer.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Food Marketers Heads-Up; E-commerce sales rise 17.4% on Thanksgiving Day



Many restaurants offered ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat full meal options for consumers this year. We now know that U.S. e-commerce sales on Thanksgiving Day were up 17.4% versus Thanksgiving 2011, according to IBM, Internet Retailer reported Nov. 23, 2012. 
Food marketers here is where your customers are coming from according to IBM, Internet Retailer “One-fourth of traffic to retail websites originated from smartphones and tablets” that was up 66% from a year ago.  Mobile devices also accounted for 18% of purchases, a 65% jump from a year earlier. Cleary if the trend is your friend in food mobile and the internet continue to be the wave of today and tomorrow.

Traffic from iPads alone accounted for 10.7% of traffic, followed by the iPhone at 9.1% and Android phones at 5.8%.  Do you have consumer relevant mobile sales building tools in your Marketing Tool Kit?
There are many universal commonalities retail food consumers have, from those commonalities the team at Foodservice Solutions developed The 5’P’s of Food Marketing they are:

Product
Packaging
Placement
Portability
                                                                               Price

Foodservice Solutions has Mobile Marketing tools you can leverage for your success. If you are interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via this blog or Email us at: grocerant@q.com

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dunkin' Donuts extends brand value with Hot Cocoa K-Cups



Restaurants are fast becoming food merchants that sell fresh prepared food as well.  Dunkin’ Donuts is one brand that has leveraged non-traditional points of distribution better than most.  This week they began selling “Hot Cocoa K-Cup packs to its K-Cup lineup. The new offering provides guests with the opportunity to brew Dunkin' Donuts' hot cocoa at home with Keurig single cup brewing systems for the first time.”

 Two of the newest Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup packs varieties are seasonal favorites Peppermint Mocha and Hot Cocoa. The K-cups and The Keurig Elite Brewing System is also available for purchase at participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants. The Keurig Elite system brews a cup of coffee in under 1 minute at the touch of a button.
The grocerant niche is the platform for restaurants to extend the brand, product lines while edifying contemporized relevance to dynamic consumer. Integrating Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s for food marketing is a success clue outstanding food retailers, merchants and restaurants should never forget.
Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, November 23, 2012

Omnichannel Food retailer Dickey’s Barbecue Pit expands the brand.



Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is one of the best chain restaurants at expanding the brand into the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche. Dickey’s sells lunch boxes to go, has an outstanding catering program and continues to expand its line of rubs and sauces. 
Understanding the value of extending the brand Dickey’s has now opened a “Smokin' Hot Branded Merchandise Site”.  Dickey’s is “the world's largest barbecue franchise, Dickey's Barbecue has a loyal following of barbecue fans looking to turn up the heat on their holiday shopping. Just in time for Cyber Monday, the Texas-based chain is introducing branded memorabilia such as T-shirts, caps, cookbooks, and Dickey's famous Rib Rub on Dickeys.com. “
Building top line sales and bottom line profits while building top of mind awareness is positioning Dickey’s with contemporary relevance with today’s consumer. Roland Dickey, Jr., president of Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. "Dickey's has become so much more than just a recognizable brand, we hold memories for many people. Now, we can also offer cool holiday gifts for all those resident grill masters in the family."
Customers are dynamic not static Dickey stated "Many people grew up having family dinners and good times at Dickey's and they want a piece of that nostalgia to take home," said Dickey. "The retail end of the business is something we're looking forward to sharing with our customers." Extending you brand is more important and relevant today than ever before.  Are you extending your brand or over protective of it?

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Food Abounds



Enjoying a Thanksgiving meal and or holiday flavored food has never been so convenient. Driving to grandma’s house?  Stop at Starbucks along the way and pick up your favorite holiday flavored beverage as the first course.

Mimi’s Café has a complete meal you can pick up and take home so you don’t need to fret or cook.  All you have to do is enjoy the day or if you choose you can simply drive to Mimi’s and eat.  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food from non-traditional retailers will experience record sales again this year.



Outback has flavored holiday beverages as well which can be a treat after the holiday meal while shopping on Friday or treated as an adult desert.  Try one and you will see what I mean.



If you still want to cook some but not the Turkey don’t worry you can buy a Cajun Turkey from Popeye’s with the sides or without.  The restaurant industry is beginning to embrace the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food aka the grocerant niche.  We know customers do.  Assembling a meal for the holiday is now the new normal.  Cooking from scratch is fine but convenience trump’s in our time starved world. 



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, November 21, 2012

Restaurant food quality, price, value, and service are repositioning industry leaders.



Subway is in the middle of the grocerant niche; with ready-2-eat fresh and prepared food. Subway can continue building new units because they continue to build per-unit sales. Consumers are looking for new products, new packaging and time saving options in ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food.  They are attracted by the fresh focus; new portion size, price points, and interactive participatory aspect of Subway. 

The price, value, service equilibrium is resetting for Restaurants, Convenience stores and fresh prepared food in grocery stores.  The wildly successful Subway $5.00 foot-long stated it.  The QSR value focused $1.00 menu propelled. Now Walgreens, 7 Eleven, Target, Amazon are all selling fresh food and prepared meal components. Dollar stores are entering the crowed space and the consumer is going to win.

All retail food sectors have noticed a discontinuity in consumer food shopping behavior and all are fighting for share of stomach.   Contributing to this displacement is a focus on short term market metrics particularly price and away from the consumer.   Which in turn has caused a loss is consumer traffic for those with their eye off the consumer.  There are other attributes that are much more important to the consumer, yet many don’t take time to look.  Want to know more?  Contact Foodservice Solutions.

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, November 20, 2012

Tampa to Tacoma 7 Eleven is branding fresh prepared food.



The world’s largest convenience store chain is a global growth machine, building top line sales, bottom line profits with retail outlets focusing on its own branded fresh prepared food rather than gasoline. From Tampa, FL to Tacoma, WA 7 Eleven is building / opening nearly as many new units without gas, but with a focus on 7 Eleven private label branded food offerings.

7 Eleven understand that consumers are time-starved and simply want to get in and out of the store quickly. Consumer recognize and trust 7 Elevens branded food, like the convenient locations, extended hours of operation, one-stop shopping, grab-and-go foodservice. 

With the growth of the grocerant niche 7 Eleven has proven that it continues to be with consumers jumping the curb into the grocerant with new fresh and prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat meal options. 7 Eleven has offered fresh, prepared foods for years, it is only over the 4 years has fresh food accelerated its success.  7 Eleven has transitioned from a convenience stores that focused on gas too attract consumers to a grocerant / restaurant that may or may not to sell gas.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, November 19, 2012

Are Digital Menu Boards Headed to Grocery Store Near You?



When the top 50 food retailers were recently surveyed of “ those that sell prepared foods (36 chains) more than 80 percent of them already possess nutrition information for some of those foods. Nearly 80 percent of the retailers also employ registered dietitians, either at the corporate level or in individual stores. In other words, supermarkets are already well-equipped to comply with the calorie labeling provisions included in the 2010 health care reform law.” With digital menu boards providing brand messaging and calorie information will consumer assume restaurant quality as well?

The study was conducted by Center for Science in the Public Interest. In addition it found that “the convenience-store giant 7-Eleven…the chain, which sells hot pizza slices, chicken tenders, nachos, burritos, and other foods, also has nutrition information for most of those items.”  Digital menu boards within 7 Eleven could tell a story, build the brand and elevate the new 7 Eleven fresh food offering in the mind’s eye of the consumer.  The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food space is rapidly expanding quality points of fresh food distribution.

Consumers are dynamic, not static. Legacy chain restaurants and food retailers must be mindful of the undercurrents of food migration marketing and the successful steps utilized by nontraditional fresh food retailers to capture a larger “share of stomach”.
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, November 18, 2012

Dinning out is aspirational for many this holiday season.



McDonalds sales drop was in part because of the lingering effects of the great recession continue.  Europe is now officially re-entering recession and Americans wonder if congress will step up and keep us away from a double dip recession. Rigged austerity did not help prevent the double dip in the Euro Zone; let’s hope congress will back stop the US with an incremental step approach rather than austerity.  The focus should beon getting people back to work.. With 47+ million people on Food Stamps many Americans continue to aspire simply to take the family out to McDonalds once a month rather than cook at home.

In a recent report conducted by upscale dinning guide  Zagat Surveyors found even the high end was cutting back the study found  “cooking at home an average of 7 meals per week, outpacing the average number of meals they eat/take out (6.1) – a trend that has been building since the Great Recession. Dining in restaurants dropped from an average of 3.4 times per week in 2008 to 3.1 in 2011, however, meals out are inching back to 3.2 this year. The average number of times each surveyor visited the restaurant they voted on before the recession was 12.1 – which dipped to 9.3 in 2011 and increased to 9.8 this year.”

Most Americans assemble a meal for the holiday utilizing cook from scratch items and favorites items prepared from restaurants like Shari’s or Village Inn’s Pie’s or a Cajun Turkey from Popeye’s to complement and continue family traditions. Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway each offer complete prepared meals from their deli departments for home.

Grocery store prepared meals too are aspirational for the 47+ million Americans on Food Stamps.  Is it time to extend the availability of the SANP program too prepared food from the Deli?  It has to be less expensive for a single person to buy a single portion of potato salad or coleslaw than make it for themselves.  What about the 7.5% of seniors on Food Stamps a Dollar Burger and Dollar Hot Coffee would be a real help and break if they were allowed to utilize McDonalds while on SNAP. We hope all Americans can enjoy complete Holiday Meal.  We support Food Parity for America.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Expanding Branded Points of Distribution.



Cracker Barrel is leveraging the value of its brand entering the grocerant niche.  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food continues to grow in popularity. Restaurants must understand that our onmichannel retail word expands sale opportunities.

John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods  and Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores  have entered into a licensing agreement.  That agreement will create a platform for Cracker Barrel products to be available in grocery stores and mass merchandisers within the US.

Carefully carving out its own niche Cracker Barrel will sell “ham, bacon, assorted lunch meats, glazes, jerky and summer sausage at retail outlets”.  This will be the first step in the multi-year contract with John Morrell. Sandra Cochran, Cracker Barrel chief executive officer stated "We welcome this opportunity to extend our brand beyond our physical stores, which is one component of our strategic plan which also includes enhancing our operating core and expanding our footprint by adding additional stores."

Success does leave clues and creating an integrated brand marketing messaging strategy that includes new points of distribution within the grocerant niche is critical in our onmichannel retail world is one clue.  Integrating Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing into the overall strategy is another.
Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tim Horton’s research found Brown-bag Boredom continues and restaurants need answers.



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson has documented, followed and detailed fresh food sales success in non-traditional food channels since 1991.  “Brown-bag Boredom” is a great way to describe universal commonalities driving food consumer migration from cook at home, to restaurant visits now a focus on non-tra
ditional avenues of fresh food distribution. In new research by Ipsos Loyalty on behalf of Tim Horton’s found that Canadians are just like Americans just south of the border.  Here is what the Ipsos poll revealed:

Canadians use their allotted lunch time as a midday catch-up, with 30 per cent of the respondents saying they like to socialize with friends and colleagues over a quick noon-time bite.

Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians eat out for lunch in a given month

Forty-seven per cent of those who bring their lunch at least sometimes wished they had gone out to eat instead and nearly 20%percent actually do ditch their brown bag and eat out instead

Sixty per cent are in search of a hot lunch, with men ranking this as 10 percent more important than women

Women (44%) are nearly 10 per cent more likely than men (35%) to head out for lunch in order to satisfy a craving

Two-thirds (68%) of those who eat out are hustling to eat in thirty minutes or less

Consumers want to go out!  However they continue to be “time-starved and are looking for a hot and hearty lunch, something that is beyond the ordinary," explains Donna Finelli, Vice President Food Marketing, Tim Hortons.”  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food options need to be different, exciting and extend the flavor profile of day-2-day foods in-order to entice consumer trial.

Tim Hortons focus on ready-2-eat fresh prepared food is intent on expanding menu options by day-part to edify current customer and garner additional customers.  Restaurants need research to understand the customers are dynamic not static.  Moving with consumers is a key to on-going success.  The grocerant niche continues to boom in large part because food retailers are allowing their brand to evolve. Is your brand evolving as fast as consumer are?

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, November 15, 2012

Popeyes Turkey for Thanksgiving and Cajun Jumbalaya for Weekend Football.



Turn up the heat with Popeyes Cajun Turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.  Again this year Popeyes is offering its Cajun style Turkeys with mix and match options that include Popeyes Crawfish Stuffing with Cajun Gravy .  Popeyes is one restaurant company that early on entered the grocerant niche offering it’s Cajun Style Turkeys, fully cooked once a year during the holiday season.  Don’t worry about cooking Popeyes does the work for you.
The Popeyes turkeys are “approximately 9 to 11 pounds,  infused with a unique blend of Louisiana seasonings then flash-fried, creating a unique, crispy coating. The roasting finishes out the process and leaves the turkey crispy on the outside while remaining succulent and flavorful on the inside.”
Extending the brand and value both Popeyes and the turkey this year is providing a fresh idea for the leftovers a simple recipe for another meal or two. That is the spirit of the grocerant niche is action.  Popeyes is again leveraging the Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of food marketing into a consumer focused good thing.  Here is the Recipie:

Next Day Recipe: Popeyes Cajun Fried Turkey and Sausage Jambalaya*
Yield: 9 – 1½ cup servings per recipe.
Ingredients:
½ Cup Peanut Oil ¾ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
6 Ribs Celery Diced ½ tsp. Red Cayenne Pepper
4 Medium/Large Onions Diced Large 3 Bay Leaves
1 Large Bell Pepper Diced 1 lb. Sliced Sausage (Your Choice)
1 Bunch Green Onion Chopped 1½ tbsp. Paprika
3 tbsp. Garlic Chopped 1 lb. Leftover Turkey Diced
½ tsp. Salt (season according to taste) 2 Quarts Turkey Stock*
1 tsp. Dried Thyme 1 Quart Rice
Preparing Turkey Stock:
1.
Place turkey bones from Cajun Fried Turkey into a large stock pot cover with 3 quarts water.
2.
If available toss in 3 celery ribs and two quartered onions (peel included), 1½ tbsp. garlic, simmer for 30 minutes.
3.
Remove from heat allow to cool and strain
4.
Reserve 2 quarts of stock for Jambalaya recipe and discard remainder.
Preparing Jambalaya:
1.
Dice onions, bell peppers and celery.
2.
Measure Peanut Oil into stock pot and heat on medium high heat.
3.
Add celery and sauté 3 minutes, as oil reheats add green peppers and sauté for 3 minutes more. Finally, add onions and sauté until all vegetables are cooked through.
4.
Add sliced sausage and all seasonings, and continue to sauté.
5.
Add turkey, rice and turkey stock to the pot and stir.
6.
Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes. ©

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, November 14, 2012

Safeway wants you to watch your 65 inch HDTV while they cook Thanksgiving Dinner.



Safeway grocery stores say let us cook Thanksgiving Dinner. Are the relatives looking for somewhere to watch the parade, football games or simply want you to go shopping with them? Do you prefer to watch football over cooking dinner?  Well you are not alone.  Safeway again this year has the solution.  They want to cook you holiday meal no matter what you want from Turkey, Ham or Prime Rib they a complete package just for you.  So relax and enjoy the holiday without cooking. The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche is booming and Safeway is part of it.

Turkey Dinner
10-12 lbs. Serves 6-8
• Stuffing, 2lbs
• Creamy Mashed Potatoes, 3lbs.
• Homestyle Turkey Gravy, 24-oz.
• Holiday Cranberry Sauce, 15-oz.
• Dinner Rolls, 1 Dozen
• 8” Pumpkin Pie

Spiral Ham Dinner
7-7.5 lbs. Serves 6-8
• Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin, 2.5 lbs
• Corn Medley, 2 lbs.
• Green Bean Casserole, 2lbs.
• Dinner Rolls, 1 Dozen
• 8” Apple Pie

Prime Rib Dinner
4 lbs. Serves 4-5
• Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin, 2.5 lbs.
• Corn Medley, 2 lbs
• Green Bean Casserole, 2 lbs.
• Dinner Rolls, 1 Dozen
• 8” Apple Pie

The skill-set and the desire to cook from scratch today is diminishing rapidly.  While food consumers are a highly fragmented group there are universal commonalities creating channel disruptions. Today it is all about the consumer buying the food they want prepared with the flavor profile of personal preference as mix and match meal components.  Safeway is one company trying to fill the home cook skill-set gap. Providing a time saving options, while enabling consumer to retain the tradition of a home cooked meal.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Which legacy restaurant and grocery store chains risk becoming the next Tower Records?



The grocerant niche is evolving faster than legacy chains are willing to admit. The grocerant niche is developing new avenues of distribution, top line fresh prepared food sales/growth and bottom line profits for companies that never or haven’t in years sold fresh prepared food the ilk of Walgreens, Rite Aid, Sears, Amazon and 7 Eleven.

When Dominos pizza started opening “delivery only” locations around the country, Pizza Hut was the sector industry leader with Red Roof Pizza Hut locations nationwide.  Pizza Hut senior executives at the time scoffed at the brash upstart and never took it seriously.  After years of denial and market share capitulation by once proud industry sector leader, Pizza Hut was sold to Yum Brands. 

Today the pizza industry is now 50% grocery and 50% restaurant sales.  O ’how times have changed.  Restaurant and grocery chains are learning denial is not a step to success.  Burger Chef, grocery store chain A & P, are both all but gone.  At one time each was # 1 in units and sales within their niche
Technology and consumer meal preference behavior are driving change. We all know how fast Tower Records collapsed to online music downloading.  The foodservice industry is moving fast, with the grocerant niche garnering the lion’s share of new business.

The WSJ reports that “Cable companies have been losing TV subscribers at an ever faster rate in the last few months, and satellite TV isn't picking up the slack. That could be a sign that Internet TV services such as Netflix and Hulu are finally starting to entice people to cancel cable, though company executives are pointing to the weak economy and housing market for now.” This action has been called “cord-cutting”.

Where is your food brand going, where are your customer going?  Don’t let your retail food customer cut the cord too your brand.  Its time to understand why the Convenience store industry, Drug Store industry, Dollar Store industry and legacy grocery stores have all starting selling fresh prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food.  This convergence of food consumers and new avenues of distribution will forever change food industry retailing.  Is your company ready for the grocerant niche it or will your company go the way of Tower Records.

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, November 12, 2012

Grocerant Niche Garners Baby Boomers for Sales Growth



Baby boomers continue to drive sales of new grocerant food products, demographic shifts particularly empty nesters living longer and living is smaller family units than ever before will continue to drive change for years to come. Ready-2-eat and Heat-N-eat fresh prepared food is booming.

Richard Cope was quoted saying “as people are working longer into retirement, there is a greater need for products geared towards vitality and health in a more senior workforce. “At the moment energy drinks, foods and snacks are marketed towards the youth market,” he said, “but they will become more about getting people through the day at an older age.”
We are entering a new era in food retailing.  This new era is the era of the grocerant niche. It is bringing new products while creating new avenues of fresh food distribution.  Men are increasingly shopping for the family looking at products for the first time or for new products that either cater to traditional male preferences or new family focused products.
Cope wonders “While retailers may presume they are pitching to women shopping for families, Cope questions whether there is a need for more masculine takes on health and value.  Times are evolving and the grocerant niche is leading the pack in fresh prepared foodservice.
Ready-2-eat and Heat-N-eat fresh prepared food that can be portable is now being sold at traditional restaurants, grocery stores, drug stores, C-stores and dollar stores. Blend in new avenues food of distribution, with traditional products packaged with a “twist” and your company can witness sales success.

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 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Time To Cook. Then where will you get Dinner?



When 4 PM rolls around most Americans start wondering what am I going to have for dinner and very, very few will even entertain the idea of cooking from scratch. Most people don’t have a clue what they want let alone what is for dinner. At least that is what research has shown over the past several years. At 4 PM it’s time to turn up the competition between Supermarkets, Grocery Stores, Convenience Stores and Restaurants.
The grocerant sector filled fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food is booming. Grocery stores tout rapidly growing Take Out or Take Away foods that are fresh prepared restaurant quality. 7 Eleven is slowly rolling away from the roller grill and into fresh prepared consumer focused ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food.
Grocery Stores and Supermarkets are pushing the high margin prepared portable food section all the while Convenience Stores are bundling and pricing ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat food extremely competitively. Whole Foods hot food stations are thriving all around the country.
Restaurateurs are packaging, bundling and marketing Take Away and To Go food better than ever. The consumer focused on menu selection, portion size and price have responded nicely to these new restaurant offerings and customer counts are growing again. Subway is now entering breakfast in a big way with better for you products.
Here at Foodservice Solutions® we specialize in understanding successful bundling of fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food. It is the increasing margins and growing sales that are attracting restaurateurs, grocery stores and convenience stores into this sector.
These my friends are the good times. Bundled meal components are changing and evolving by region and family size. If you would like a strategic grocerant program assessment or a grocerant tour we can arrange them for you, your group, by niche, city or country.
Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® a Tacoma, WA based retail foodservice consultancy has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven Johnson or the Grocerant LinkedIn page or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, BING / GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or Grocerant on Twitter

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Home Cooking Today is Fast Food for Many



Home is where you rest, nest and renew but not where you cook. It also may be where the heart is but not the food. In research completed on ready-2-eat fresh prepared fast food conducted by Sandelman & Associates; Sandelman found found “34 percent of the population in Dallas patronized a quick-service restaurant 20 or more times a month, making it the No. 1 market for incidence of super-heavy fast-food users in the United States.” 

34 percent eating 20 or more times are month stunning numbers even Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson.  Regular readers of this blog know we have been tracking the sharp rise in the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche since 1991.  Sandelman is a highly respected firm and these numbers are good.  What they are telling us is consumers continue to love convenience.

50 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 18 are single according the U.S census.  Fast food outlets have identified and honed in on that fact.  They provide meals for one at a price much less than a single person can cook the same meal at home.  Convenience stores are repositioning with mix and match single meal components garnering market share from both grocery stores and Fast Food restaurants.

Grocery store delis were the only sector of the grocery store to show strong year over year sales increases. The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food niche provides solutions to consumer.  It’s that simple.

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Food Channel Disruptions Continue to Garner Strength.



The skill-set and the desire to cook from scratch today is diminishing rapidly.  While food consumers are a highly fragmented group there are universal commonalities creating channel disruptions. Today it is all about the consumer buying the food they want prepared with the flavor profile of personal preference as mix and match meal components.

You can buy fresh prepared ready-2-eat  food from large format food retailers the ilk of  Safeway Lifestyle stores, Kroger’s Fred Meyer, Walmart Supercenters and, Whole Foods, or Smaller Format retailers like Trader Joe, Fresh & Easy (Tesco), Dollar Stores, Walgreens, and of course restaurants.
Restaurants are even more challenging in format proliferation. There is QSR, Fast Casual and Casual dining. But those lines are blurring as QSR goes upscale with McDonalds McCafe, Pret A Manger, artisan and take N bake pizza operators.
Not to be left out, Fast Casual Chain Panera Bread is adding drive thru’s along with Starbucks. Oh and Pizza Hut is recognizing the growing trend in sandwiches with their new ‘pizza wrap’ called P’Zolo. Now Starbucks is selling coffee via vending machines.
Tacoma, Washington based Foodservice Solutions® has been gathering retail food success clues since 1991.  Within the clues they discovered the universal commonalities from those commonalities they developed: The 5’P’s of Food Marketing:   Product,   Packaging,   Placement,   Portability, and Price which combined help explain the rapid expansion and success of the grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food. 

Food Channel disruptions are occurring in large part because channel blurring is not in the mind’s eye of the consumer.  It is only in the mind’s eye of the legacy marketing managers in legacy companies. The explosive growth within the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food niche via new points of distribution is a perfect example of how the consumer is moving forward.  Retailers must meet the evolving consumer meal assembly need-set.

Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: grocerant@q.com or visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Food Migration Marketing: Do you Know Where Food Consumers are Migrating?




Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson will be presenting a webinar for Industry Intelligence on November 14, 2012. The Rise of the Grocerant: The New Normal in Food Retailing.

Consumers are dynamic not static.  Legacy Chain Restaurant and Food retailers must be mindful of the undercurrents of Migration Marketing success steps utilized by Non-traditional fresh food retailers to capture a larger share of stomach. 

This webinar will help you answer:

What are Non-Traditional Retailers doing?
Where are Non-Traditional Retailers doing it?
Who is winning or losing market share Non-Traditional Retailers or Legacy Restaurants?

FREE REGISTRATION

Reserve you spot now.   The link for webinar (Nov 14) is:


For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Foodservice Solutions Outlines: The Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Market Opportunity



The combined restaurant and grocery store sectors account for 1.13 Trillion in annual sales. According to the National Restaurant Association, total estimated restaurant prepared meal sales for 2010 was $580 billion and according to Technomic they rose 0.07 percent in 2011. The restaurant industry employed 12.7 million people in 945,000 locations, about 220,000 of which were fast food outlets. Restaurants’ share of the food dollar was 49%, with 1.6 million dollars in sales on a typical day.  The Grocery industry food sales for 2011 as reported by Food Marketing Institute were $ 584 Billion dollars, The supermarket industry employed 3.4 million employees at 36,569 outlets.

A consistent trend in the food industry has been the increasing demand for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food. According to The New American Family, The more children there are in a household, the more likely its members are to cook at home, and use pre-packaged convenience foods.” In 2011 consumers continued to be time starved and convenience driven with an ever expanding palate for multi-ethnic cuisine.

In American families today the evening meal is assembled at home from multiple sources including Ready-2-Eat and Heat-Neat fresh prepared food and divided between eating out or ordering pick up food (FMI, 2010). Meal time flavor profiles have expanded beyond the cooking mastery within the household. Most interestingly more than nine in 10 parents serve ethnic foods at home (Gallup).  Thus an increase demand for ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food across all age groupings.

The food retailing industry is presently highly fragmented.  It consists largely of local business and regional, national retail food chains including restaurants and grocery stores.  The ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food marketplace has created new avenues of distribution including Convenience Stores, Chain Drug Stores, Liquor Stores, farmers markets. This creates an omnichannel food retail world where expanding points of fresh food is increasing competition, elevating fresh food messaging and all the while expanding consumer choice.  If your retail food brand is not expanding in this new grocerant environment then you are fast capitulating market share.  Are you ready to enter or grow within the ready-2-eat fresh food 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

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Consumers buy ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food solution options.



Food Retailers that develop a platform that invites consumers to  co-create a meal for in the car, at the office or at home are winning the hearts and minds of today’s retail food consumer.  The grocerant niche comprised of the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food is driving the success of the retail foodservice today.

Each sector has innovators: Restaurants started with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, Domino’s Pizza, MCD, BK and a whole lot more. Grocery started with Wegmans Harris Tetter, Whole Foods and now fast charging Safeway and the “lifestyle stores.  Convenience Stores have Sheetz, Wawa, with fast charging Casey’s General stores and 7 & Eleven. Here are five success clues each sector leverages for success:
  1. Visceral presentation, Freshness based on how it looks and is presented.

  1. Bundling, the ability to build your meal with components family members will eat.
                                     
  1. Individualized portions, power to select quality and quantity of items viewed.

  1. Convenience, unit /store location on the drive home from work.

  1. Time Saving, ability to evaluate price vs. time to cook from scratch.

Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar.  The grocerant niche continues to build top line revenue and bottom line profits the old fashion way! Giving the consumer something new yet familiar.

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant