Monday, December 31, 2012

Non-traditional Food Retailers Pose Growing Threat to Restaurant Chains.



The line between restaurants and food retailers is growing ever thinner. The fight for America’s food dollars continues to intensify as consumers find fresh prepared ready-2-eat food options at a wide and growing array of outlets across almost every channel: convenience stores, chain drug stores, restaurants, grocery stores, club stores, vending and even more non-food retailers like dollar stores.  While manufacturers, retailers and restaurants worry about choice overload, consumers have embraced their new choices and show no signs of returning to the old ways. This fight is taking place in what is called the grocerant niche.

The restaurant industry is not an industry known for trying to be first as in fastest to market with an ideation, food or technology advance. In the United States the larger the chain in almost all cases the more slowly they are to adopt something than a smaller chain or independent restaurants will.  Chain restaurants goal is simple feed one meal at a time in the restaurant while protecting and edifying the brand.

Historically chain restaurant leaders have denied the credibility of start-up competitors as non-relevant. The pizza sector is a great example; evolving from family dinning independents to national chain of “Red Roof” Italian, then to delivery only outlets and now take-N-bake is garnering market share in the pizza sector.

At the intersection of the consumer, fresh prepared food and technology we fine that consumer eating behavior is evolving and is now beyond the control of traditional food marketers. Evolving culture and lifestyle, demographics along with the new uncertain economy are all putting pressure on the American food consumer: Demands of work, economic shrinkage, demands of raising a family, commuting, social interaction, kid’s after-school activities, all contribute to a food marketplace where convenience vies with price over legacy brands. Recent advances in food packaging and new points of non-traditional food distribution have empowered consumer choice, and Americans are embracing these choices even as legacy marketers cringe. Who’s after restaurant food dollars simply put everyone.

Why should you care if Walgreens is selling fresh prepared ready-2-eat and made-2-order sandwiches? Why should you care if Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Wegmans are selling ready-2-eat and or heat-N-eat fresh pizza?  Why should you care if Coinstar is selling Seattle Best Coffee at 1,000 locations for $1.00?

You should care because they are selling it, and you are not! The fastest growing sector of retail food service for the past four years has been the Convenience store sector.  The C-store sectors growth in large part has been driven by fresh prepared food. Non-traditional avenues of distribution are growing, gobbling market share while establishing new patterns of consumption, price points and customer loyalty.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have created ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food items with qualitative differentiation as an entity with identity that has help propel them into ready-2-eat fresh prepared food leadership.  In fact recent research shows that both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are each known for high quality (restaurant quality) ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat foods with distinctive offerings.   More important each is leading with innovative products and package size that create value and have positioned each chain as a food shopping destination for meal components customized and personalized for immediate consumption or mix and matched for a meal time at home. In short they are stealing your customers.

Walgreens fresh prepared food is restaurant quality and priced less than Panera Bread or Corner Bakery.  Both Panera Bread and Corner bakery thrive in urban locations. Walgreens is now growing price, quality and speed of service advantages over legacy retailers.  Legacy restaurant chains must reconsider the speed at which they evolve and adapt or non-traditional outlets will capture profits margins as well.

Traditional views of meals and mealtime can pretty much be discarded. Legacy retailers waiting for the “next big thing” to copy simply might be out of luck this time.  Legacy food retailers may not like to be first movers very much but it may prove that waiting too long will not work this time.

The retail food world is evolving at an ever increasing pace filled with innovation in food, portion size, points of distribution, and quality fresh prepared meal solutions.      The price, value, service equilibrium is resetting in retail foodservice.   In order to edify the brand and reinforce consumer relevance restaurateurs leverage Foodservice Solutions® 5P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price.

Many legacy food retailers continue to practice brand protectionism, stifle the brand while diminishing consumer relevance.  The consumer is dynamic not static.  Brands must be dynamic, evolving with the consumer.  Four years of watching other retail sectors thrive should be long enough. Success in the restaurant world is no longer simply about what happens within your 4 walls. 

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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Starbucks is First Place not “third place”.



Legacy food retailers the ilk of Wendy’s, Chevy’s, KFC, Albertsons, Safeway and Rite Aid sputter to be a consumer relevant place; Starbucks has moved beyond the “third place” for consumers too everyplace for consumers.

When food retailers think success, they must think Starbucks.  In the beginning Howard Schultz wanted consumers to think of Starbucks as the “third place” home, work and Starbucks.  Howard simply did not stop there, today Starbucks is everywhere. 

Utilizing a local relationship with Seattle based Coinstar, Starbucks (Seattle Best Coffee division) will begin placing kiosks around the United States this summer positioning itself to sell coffee.  I say, LOT’s of coffee.

With 20% of sales now coming from food the addition of La Boulange will prove valuable in existing coffee houses but even more valuable as a new line of Consumer Packaged Goods. Starbucks will elevate this brand, educate the consumer and exploit a qualitative point of differentiation.

Just in case you missed it, Socialbakers a social media and digital analytics firm found that Starbucks is among the top five companies globally in terms of Facebook fans.

Watch for more in the area of sustainability, additional fare trade coffee, less packaging with prolonged shelf life and new marketing that will ask consumers to bring in a reusable cup.  These are not trends for Starbucks they are values.

Let us not forget the home.  Starbucks has shipped more than 230 million k-Cups since it began selling the pods last year at supermarkets and retailers. Then for home and on the go there are two new Frappuccino’s this spring. 

Many legacy food retailers continue to practice brand protectionism, stifle the brand while diminishing consumer relevance.  McDonalds and Starbucks are two companies that understand the consumer is dynamic not static.  Brands must be dynamic, evolving with the consumer.  Starbucks is growing its brand value with the consumer are you?  Do you understand vertical brand integration as well as Starbucks?

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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s Prove Private Label Power


Food Shopping Destinations drive success. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods provide positive proof that a private label food products continue to garner favor with consumers.  In a study release June 1, 2012, by Perception Research Services found that 86% of consumers buy Private Label products on a regular basis.

In fact, in two particular cases consumers go out of their way to buy private label.  Yes, those two cases were Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods each known for high quality distinctive offerings.   The study suggests that with proper innovation and focus, private label products can and do create value while positioning a chain as a shopping destination with consumers.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have created ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food items with qualitative differentiation as an entity with identity that has help propel them into this private label leadership.

Last year industry wide several new food categories moved into the top tier of private label products in large part to rapid rate of growth they were: Soft Drinks, Frozen Meals,Salty snacks, and Cookies.

Consumers are now looking for private label products as a personal preference.  This is a dramatic change from just 10 years ago when consumer simply wanted to save a few $ cents. Fresh prepared ready-2-eat food has helped evolve this niche.  Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are benefiting from early leadership.

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

Friday, December 28, 2012

Private Label products work in the grocerant ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat niche.



Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, TGI Fridays, Boston Market, Sheetz, Wawa and Walgreen’s all have entered the branded private label ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food grocerant niche.  Each is finding success while rolling out additional meal components.  Consumers have responded positively, in fact the entire food industry is taking notice.
Thom Bilschok global president, innovation and strategy for SymphonyIRI stated while speaking about IRI’s new survey “Accelerating Growth in Uncertain Times” that “ meal ingredients and components together make up the “hottest supercategory” … We’re projecting that meal ingredients are going to grow over double digits for 2011 and 2012,” he said. “Shoppers continue to [struggle] with expenditures.

Success leaves clues and Blischok went on to make a number of suggestions. “Within meal ingredients/components, retailers should invest in flavor innovation. “People are getting tired of eating the same old meatloaf — they’d like to try a different kind of meatloaf,” he noted. “So if I were a retailer, I would do two things: I would make sure shoppers understood that I’m there to help them make a simpler, better-quality, more value-driven meal than in the past; and I would be doing some private brand innovation around flavors and taste.”  Regular readers of this blog are not surprised by this at all.

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, December 27, 2012

2013 Convenience-stores Focus on Convenient Food Fast.



Leveraging legacy locations, convenience, speed of service while integrating branded fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat prepared food; convenience stores are garnering customers from both the restaurant and grocery sectors.

Convenience stores foodservice offerings have largely been over looked or dismissed by Quick Service Restaurant chain operators and grocery stores.  Following the lead of Wawa, Sheetz, Rutter’s and now 7 Eleven the convenience store sector is branding food programs from coast to coast.  More importantly they are garnering a larger share of stomach with improving food quality, healthful offerings and speed of service that quite frankly QSR’s can’t keep up with.

David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts stated "By enhancing foodservice quality and variety, we believe convenience stores are poised to benefit from increased sales of gasoline and other merchandise, as consumers seek to consolidate their purchases in the interest of efficiency"…"Because it is so well positioned, we anticipate that convenience store industry foodservice sales growth will outperform the retail and restaurant foodservice industry average through 2013."

In fact Packaged Facts projects that convenience store foodservice sales grew 6% in 2010, and rose an additional 6% in 2011 and 5% in 2012. That increase is the largest of all sectors within the retail food space.
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 Email: grocerant@q.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

7 Eleven’s New Footprint Focused on Fresh Food Fast


7 Eleven is the fastest growing food retailer by locations in the United States in 2012.  New urban locations can be found in Miami, Chicago and New York City.  Most of these stores do not have any parking and are focused on quality fresh food with fast service.

Each of the new footprint stores are in the 1,800sf range. All of the stores have selections of fresh salads, fruit, pastries, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, plus American coffee. Traditional c-store staples like chips, beef jerky and grilled hot dogs are also available, and of course they offer proprietary branded food like Slurpee’s.

7-Eleven's in urban are focused on the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche each new stores has a strong emphasis on fresh and grab-and-go foods aimed at downtown residents and office workers. This positioning places them in direct competition with restaurants and grocery store deli’s.

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. 


7 Eleven is the fastest growing food retailer by locations in the United States in 2012.  New urban locations can be found in Miami, Chicago and New York City.  Most of these stores do not have any parking and are focused on quality fresh food with fast service.

Each of the new footprint stores are in the 1,800sf range. All of the stores have selections of fresh salads, fruit, pastries, pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, plus American coffee. Traditional c-store staples like chips, beef jerky and grilled hot dogs are also available, and of course they offer proprietary branded food like Slurpee’s.

7-Eleven's in urban are focused on the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche each new stores has a strong emphasis on fresh and grab-and-go foods aimed at downtown residents and office workers. This positioning places them in direct competition with restaurants and grocery store deli’s.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Will Restaurant Growth Be Stalled by Football and College Basketball in 2013



Retail foodservice continues evolving with a strong focus on the consumer. At the intersection of the consumer, technology and retail food sales we find the grocerant niche creating and expanding points of quality food distribution. It’s at that intersection that Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru identified one universal commonality driving consumers buying pattern changes. Johnson calls it “The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome.

The grocerant niche is the result of the blurring 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 perceived “better for you”, and portioned for one or two. Consumers like the Convenient Meal Participation, Differentiation, Individualization / Family Customization that these retailers offer.

Restaurateurs need to be particularly mindful of developments within grocerant niche for they are driving the change within the price, value, service equilibrium in retail foodservice.

It is at the intersection of the consumer, technology and The 5 P’s of Food Marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability, and Price that retail food sales competition is expanding. Driving ever greater Mix and Match bundled meal options and new points of distribution for consumers. 

Consumers love the on-the-go options in fact Zaget’s 2013 NYC Restaurant Survey found that in New York at-home meals surpassed dining out for the first time in 30 years.

GrubHub the nation’s number one online and mobile food ordering service data reveled that pre-game orders spiked more than 35 % for the first four weeks of the 2012 professional football season when compared to the same timeframe during the 2011 season. With San Francisco, Phoenix, Oakland and Atlanta all leading the way. “When it comes to watching football, the best seat in the house really is at home,” stated Susanne Dawursk, GrubHub’s brand marketing director.

More than just sports The 65 inch HDTV Syndrome is driving customers away from frozen foods as well. In a study from Packaged Facts, reports that sales in the $44 billion U.S. retail market for frozen foods have been flat to declining, with nearly all dollar sales gains attributable to inflation or new products -- not to increased consumer demand. The study found that Preference for 57 % of consumer say fresh foods the top reason why US consumers have not purchased frozen foods in the last three months, followed by preference for home-cooked meals.

Fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food in non-traditional outlets poses an ever increasing threat to restaurant growth. Want to know how to best address The 67 inch HDTV Syndrome? Contact Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at: grocerant@q.com

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, December 20, 2012

Meal Assembly Bundling for the Perfect Family Meal.



What’s for dinner?  If your cooking for an at home family meal for two, three, or four, family members, chances are very good your buying several ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat fresh prepared meal components.    Grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants are all bundling fresh prepared meal components for the home cook.  The home cook is responding buying individualized components.

Foodservice branded and private label food manufactures are all vying for your attention. Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat foods from Swiss steak, Meatloaf, Baked Salmon, Rotisserie Chicken, Pizza and Lasagna fresh prepared, portioned and portable in portions for 1,2, or 5 are all available at most foodservice retail location.

Most exciting is the opportunity for new start-up’s and regional manufactures to produce sustainable business built on local, fresh and unique flavor profiles.  Legacy national brand manufactures are experiencing an increase in repositioning, consolidation and acquisition activities.  Regional start-ups are thriving supplying local restaurants, C-stores and grocery store delis.

Consumer are responding buying meal components in new food channels, experiencing new flavor profiles all the while individualizing the family meal.  The foodservice industry is evolving with the consumer.  Those companies looking for opportunity for growth times have never been better. The consumer is dynamic not static are you keeping pace?

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, December 19, 2012

Fresh Prepared Food Drives the Brand Halo at Pueblo



Pueblo’s Grocery stores grocerant prepared food is perfectly positioned. Clean well stocked stores that are beaming with patrons always are solid platforms for success.  Pueblo is no exception. If your eyes on the grocerant prepared food niche, Pueblo is one company that should be on your must visit list.

Professionally presented with clean, restaurant quality food presentation skill set, Pueblo clearly understands the positive halo affect a solid grocerant prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food program can have on the entire brand.

Time starved with diverse appetites after years of exposure to multi-cultural flavors profiles today’s consumer want prepared meal components that can be individualized not just family sized.  Pueblo’s prepared food program does just that.  With detailed attention to service, cleanliness and food quality its clear Pueblo is focused on growing this booming niche within foodservice retail.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

4PM, Go To Dinner, Go Get Dinner or Dinner Delivered?



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.  Marketers not consumers don't tend to think in traditional channel terms like grocery, drug or dollar. Instead, consumers think in terms such as hungry, thirsty, in a hurry or I have to feed the family.

The Grocerant niche is 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.  At 4PM you may soon be picking up dinner on your way home from work at Walgreens.

In a pilot program rolled out in the San Francisco bay area 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.

In addition to the items listed above - and Walgreens' more traditional offerings, including candy, potato chips and soda - there'll be meats, wraps, soups "and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for tonight's meal,"
With this new market test 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. 
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.
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  

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Restaurant Business Model Are You Utilizing 1995, 2005, or 2015?



I have you noticed that Kodak is nearly out of business. Growing up in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, every family had a Kodak Camera and I still have one of mine. Those yellow boxes were everywhere and getting your very own Kodachrome camera was seemingly a rite of passage, heck, Paul Simon even wrote a song about it.

As digital cameras gained popularity, Kodak stuck to what they believed. They sneered at digital’s quality, righteous in their knowledge that Americans would NEVER give up shiny pictures for their photo albums.

Today, cell phone cameras take most of the pictures and they are rarely printed. Kodak will shut the doors, correct in their assertion that professionally developed pictures look better than low-resolution versions uploaded to Facebook.

Being dead and correct is not a great strategy.  Today chain restaurants are either growing or dying much the same as Kodak. Simply look at restaurants that filed bankruptcy of late: Claim Jumper, Mr. Pita, Friendly’s, Chevys, Sbarro, Perkins.  They are not all dead but they have been far from right.

These are statements frequently heard from legacy restaurant operators. Like Kodak, crystal clear that what has always worked will continue to work.

• Our executives have 30 years of experience and know how to run the business.
• We never use coupons, nor do we deliver.
• We don’t allow our brand to wander, we protect our brand.
• We don’t use online ordering, I-pad ordering or voice screen ordering.
• We don’t advertise on Google, Twitter or Facebook.
• We don’t open for breakfast.
• We like the umbrella approach each store different personality but under one umbrella.
• Video menus and video signage is visceral gimmickry.
• We don’t measure ingredients, we create daily specials and simply show employees how to make it
• We can’t raise our menu prices.

How did a dominant brand and sector leader like Kodak, in a rock-solid consumer staple lose everything? Simple, they determined the market, the direction of that market and took the steps to conquer it.  If that sounds like your restaurant, retail food sector or niche leader, you better keep reading.

There is little about today’s market, the consumer or food marketing / promotions that was predictable 3 years ago. In the next three years the rate of change will continue to increase. So let’s look at the above list:

Reliability and a comfortable working relationship is correctly a key to success.  However, if you find your team is blaming the economy, minimum wages increases, cost of health care and rising food cost for disappointing results. Do not forget that many restaurants companies are growing both the top and bottom line, number of units and garnering market share.  It might be time for Outside Eyes. 

We always/never use coupons – coupons and promotions are very complicated today. Add the online aggregators the ilk of Livingsocial and Groupon and how can you know what works. Here is the point, what you measure you manage. All advertising must have a objective that is clear and measurable to insure a proper marketing ROI.

We don’t deliver – face it, convenience is a driving reason why foodservice is popular. If you do not want to deliver, consider outsourcing.  Delivery is not about you. That’s right it is about the consumer.

We protect the value of our brand and its integrity for the consumer, our shareholders and stakeholders.  We know the consumer is dynamic not static, but our customer’s comeback because we have a brand promise and they trust in us to keep that promise. Sounds a lot like Kodak, don’t you think?

We don’t use online ordering our food does not “carry” well.  Think about this if you don’t have a way to connect your menu to computers and mobile devices, your competition will woo your customers. Consumers are time starved, and hooked on technology, make it easy.

Google or Facebook – as above, set up a Facebook page, it costs nothing. Have someone help if you need it and then monitor your page 5 minutes a day.  Don’t think about it get started today.

We don’t open for breakfast – you pay rent 24/7, find ways to increase the utilization of your “factory”. Considering catering or school lunch program, contract out your kitchen.  Don’t become the next Kodak of chain restaurants.

Different store brands / personalities under one large corporation and all expected to operate utilizing a uniform set of metrics.  Worked well in the 70’s, 80’s but you have the answer.  Let me know just how well that works out.

Visceral gimmickry does not replace high quality food and great service ever.  Who defines quality service? You via your brand promise or the consumer?

We don’t measure ingredients; my employees know how much to use – why have menu prices, let customer pay whatever they want. If you don’t care what your product costs, you CAN’T make money.
We can’t raise our menu prices – tell that to the gas station owner on the corner, or the farmer growing your food. Costs are up, you must raise your menu prices or you will not exist.

Kodak management, smart and hard working as they were, did not see the world changing, fortunately you do. Realize that change is good and necessary. Act now to challenge your assumption, create new revenue streams and increase profits.  Success does leave clues, Disney movies leave you with a smile, being dead and correct is not a great strategy.

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, December 16, 2012

Restaurant Customer Migration Continue in 2013?



Are you wondering why we see restaurant customer migration? “My mom made two dishes: Take it or Leave it.”  Is a line made famous by comedian Stephen Wright?  Today restaurants need to battle the 65 inch TV’s demand for time and attention. Brands must be multi-channel retailers or consumer will simply dial out. Does your restaurant provide options for the 65 inch TV Syndrome?

Take it or leave it has come and gone. Today all food consumers are empowered with choice; driven by preferences in flavor profiles, portion size, packaging and portability.  Below are 5 clues when considering if customer migration will include you’re restaurant in 2013.

U.S. consumers under the age of 25 spend an average of 40.9% of their food expenditures on food away from the home The Food Institute reported May 11, 2012.

Americans ages 23-34 spent 45.2% of food expenditures away from home the same report found.

Here is the kicker, those ages 75 and up spent the least at 31.8% all this and more can be found in The
Food Institute’s 2012 edition of its Demographics of Consumer Spending report.

Restaurants in France are increasingly offering “cafĂ© gourmand,” a desert dish featuring an espresso and multiple small desserts on a single plate.  Mix and Match bundling anyone is a key driver of retail success.

The U.S. Census found in 2012 that 50% of U.S. adults over the age of 18 are single.

We know where restaurant customers are going.  Do you? Are you ready to build sales ans profits? The grocerant niche is filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared meal components.  Around the world consumers are refocusing how, where and when they chose to buy food. Are you positioned within your niche to build sales? 

Steven Johnson is President of Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. 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 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The New American Meal



Alice May Brock said: “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and cinnamon make it Greek, soy sauce makes it Chinese, garlic makes it good.”

Convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization; are each hallmarks of the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared grocerant niche.  That is the recipe for retail food success in 2013.
Meal components allow customers to select from Italian, American, French, Russian or Greek and utilize the components at home any way they like.  The new American meal can be a composite of any prepared food components that the individual may want and they can mix and pair them any way as well.  The United States is a melting pot of people from all over the world, with different cultures, traditions and flavor preferences.  The new American meal is a melting pot of flavor and choice.  Meal components that can be mix and matched for home consumption are integral to retail success.

Fresh prepared and portable ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat foods are now available for all they can be found at Convenience stores, Drug stores, Grocery stores, Restaurants, and Mobile trucks all just waiting for the taking.  When developing new menu items do you consider where the food will be consumed?

Consumers have been exposed to a plethora of flavors and have not the time to master the skill of cooking each.  The rapidly growing grocerant 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.

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, December 13, 2012

Walgreens Fresh Food just might be Chain Restaurants next Nightmare.



Ready for a Free Lunch! Consumer will welcome a free lunch from Walgreens, while restaurateurs might become shaken by it.  Food Retailing is evolving faster than most restaurants want to admit or can even begin to understand. When a 78 Billion dollar company with a legacy of fresh food in its history decides to re-enter the food space restaurants better pay attention and evaluate market positioning.
Regular readers of this blog are not surprised by this proactive Fresh Food Mobile Tasting Tour that Walgreens has kicked off.  Walgreens 40-foot trucks will be roaming the country offering free samples of juice, frozen yogurt, and coffee. Since we have been documenting Walgreens food success for 6 years we sure hope one of the trucks makes its way to Tacoma, WA. The grocerant niche is booming, is your company ready to enter the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food niche? If so Foodservice Solutions can help.
FRESH FOOD retailers who will you next competitor be?  Walgreens Fresh Food Mobile Tasting Tour is innovative, consumer participatory and food focused with taste testing the number one way to garner new food customers sampling. With over 7,500 stores in the United States, Walgreens can on a national level garner share from Grocery Stores, Restaurants and Convenience Stores if the so choose.
Walgreens  company focused is on “better for you living” is extending the halo of “better for you” into food with this “The Up Market Fresh” experience according to Joe Magnacca president of daily living products for Walgreens. Magnacca stated “Our fresh food offerings provide customers with easier access to a greater selection of fresh foods and beverages," …. "The 'Up Market: Fresh' experience is a unique way to showcase our commitment to help people get, stay and live well."
Planned samples are:
Juices -- Samples of nutritious, fresh-made juices made from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Go Green" is a featured juice and is a blend of cucumber, kale, celery, green apple and lemon. One hundred percent natural orange juice will also be sampled.

Smoothie -- The featured smoothie will be Raspberry Dream, which is blended fresh from raspberries, strawberries, bananas and apple cider.

Frozen Yogurt -- Two premium, low-fat frozen yogurts will be sampled - Triple Chocolate and Tahitian Vanilla - alongside a selection of eight toppings.

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Casey’s General Stores CEO says Pizza



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson has extolled the success that the convenience store sector has had focusing on ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food since 1991.  When the year ends, without a doubt for the 8th consecutive year, the convenience store sector will be the fastest growing fresh food retail sector of all foodservice sectors.

Casey’s General Stores CEO Robert Myers when speaking on the competitive landscape that (Casey’s) “Our prepared food program is doing exceptionally well.”… “For the quarter, same-store sales were up 10.1% with an average margin of 62.5%. “This category continues to benefit from three primary operating initiatives: expanded hours, pizza delivery, and major store remodels,” said Myers. “The margin continues to exceed our annual goal primarily due to an increase in pizza sales.” Year to date, total same store sales were up 14.5% and gross profit rose 19.4% to $182.1 million.”

Casey’s year to date prepared food and fountain sales were up 14.5%.  Yes, you read it right.  I wanted to repeat it because I do not know a restaurant chain with over 1,000 units that can say food sales for 2012 were up 14.5%.  Do you?  Are you doing what you have for the past 20 years?  How is it working?

Casey’s fresh prepared food sales goals for 2013 growth for same-store sales is 11%; given this companies track record I would bet they exceed that goal.  Do you want to know how they do it? They leverage Foodservice Solutions® 5’P’s of Food Marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability, Price into an integrated fresh food branded marketing plan.

If you are interested in learning how integrating the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food product or brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization contact us via this blog or Email at: grocerant@q.com

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in global outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is Amazon.com positioning to be the new power in food retail?



The grocerant niche is a fresh prepared food focused sector focused on consumer meal customization.  With the convenience of fast-food, the quality of full-service restaurant dining, without the hassle laboring around an entire grocery store or sitting in a restaurant and paying a tip the grocerant niche is booming. Amazon Fresh via “Seattle Spotlight” just might become a new power-player in fresh food retail.
Amazon Fresh is  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. Amazon Fresh may be the only company that can focus on all simultaneously.
Consumers respond positively when components with a “better for you”  element are bundled as part of the meal 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, green packaging or delivery.

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 and aggregated by Amazon.com.

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.  Amazon may be next to join the list.  Are you expanding points of distribution for your food prodcuts?

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 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Private Label Brand Managers Garner Market-Share.



Fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food is driving top line growth in every sector of retail food service today including restaurants, grocery, c-store and drug stores. Increasing top line revenue, customer continuity, bottom line profits in the food industry should be an ongoing focus of all retailers. Customer continuity means maintaining a level of excitement in your menu or food products that drive contemporized relevance for your customer in order to maintain or increase frequency levels.

Each food retailers goal should be creating or identifying distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part.  Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables will place you in a select industry grouping.  Research with a focus on the grocerant niche will help you get there.

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.  Private label brand managers have been contributing by expanding quality offerings while displacing national brands.  Are you edifying your menu or product offerings?

Outside eyes can bring new light and assist in your pace of growth, redevelopment and deployment of your new menu’s with appropriate COG’s. Foodservice Solutions is very good at assisting people reach their goals. The grocerant niche is in need of private label brand managers to assist in building long term brand value for both individual product and brands.

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

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Branded Food Protectionism Diminished by McDonalds



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

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

Australians can is the only McDonalds market in the world with lamb on its menu permanently. You can also order Vegemite with your English muffin.  Australian Happy Meals serve something called the Pasta Zoo which is a vegetable and cheese ravioli in the shape of zoo animals, served with a side of "Zoo Goo," made of tomato

In Asia the shrimp burger is called the "EBI Filet-O" in Japan. In Hong Kong, it's formally titled the Shrimp Burger and comes on bread with lettuce and spicy sauce.  In addition you my Japan's own shrimp tempura. These shrimp are encrusted in a light batter and dunk nicely into tempura sauce.
In Malaysia you can find a cup of porridge with bits of chicken, ginger, onion, shallots and chili peppers.

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

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

In India there are no beef burgers at McDonald's in India try the McVeggie -- a rice, bean and vegetable patty that McDonald's treats predictably with breading -- or the McAloo Tikki -- a potato-vegetable burger. Then there is the  Maharaja Mac, which is a Big Mac made of lamb or chicken meat.
In Egypt, but across the Middle East. It serves the McArabia, two chicken or beef patties in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onion and tahini sauce. We see this more as a transplanted hamburger than shawarma or falafel.

Restaurant  brand protectionism is not a success tactic nor is it a strategy that works in 2012. McDonalds has proven the case menu decentralization and country personalization is the spring board for success.

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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Food Innovation: Non-Traditional Fresh Food: Amazon Fresh is Bold, Brave, Branded.



Seattle-Tacoma, Washington has a legacy of food industry innovation, leadership and success.  There are no signs that food innovative leadership will diminish any time soon. With industry leading independent restaurants the ilk of Canlis, Palace Kitchen, El Gaucho, Wild Ginger, Dahlia Lounge anyone can tell Seattle loves restaurants, fresh food and legendary quality service.

From one of the first multi-national syndicated TV cooking shows, "The Galloping Gourmet" which featured charismatic and continued Washington State resident Graham Kerr focusing on rich and decadent recipes began 1969.

Then came Jeff Smith was the author of a dozen best-selling cookbooks and the host of The Frugal Gourmet, a popular American cooking show which began in Tacoma, Washington around 1973 and aired on PBS from 1983 to 1997 (as produced by member station WTTW Chicago), and numbered 261
episodes.

We have to mention Starbucks the worlds leading chain of coffee outlets and global food merchant that continues to break the retail food distribution mold continues expanding at break neck speed.

Then there is Seattle native Nathan Myhrvold with the most important cookbook of the first decade of the 21st century according to Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2010. The cookbook Modernist Cuisine: The art and science of Cooking by Mayhrvold, Young, and Bilet consist of 6 volumes is 2,438 pages long and weighs in at 52 pounds. It cost more than 1,000,000 dollars to produce the first 6,000 copies that rapidly sold out.  Myhrvold’s The Cooking Lab order a second hard back printing of 25,000 copies and toady it is being sold both in hardback and paperback around the world.

Entering the food space is most disruptive book retailer the world has ever known, Amazon.com.  When Amazon started a new fresh food retail group called Amazon Fresh we here at Foodservice Solutions® predicted that Amazon may have found its solution to “the last mile” in delivery with Amazon Fresh.  We also properly predicted that they would enter the fresh prepared food delivery business as well.  Ah the grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food finally has a global retailer aimed at garnering market share from sleepy legacy food retailers specifically chain grocery stores and chain restaurants.

Book readers, book stores and investors dismissed the force that Amazon.com became early on as non-disruptive and not consumer friendly.  Well we all know how that ended up.  Amazon is now successfully selling groceries and delivering fresh food in Great Britain, Germany and parts of the United States.

Now comes Amazon’s “Seattle Spotlight” a delivery program that is leveraging the Amazon Fresh systems that delivers a gallon of milk, 6 apples, tomato’s hamburger and paper towels all within just a few hours’ notice, is now offering access to restaurant meals and ingredients.  Rebekah Denn reported that Amazon via “Seattle Spotlight” “in some cases, an interesting blend of takeout and home cooking, ranging from opening a ready-to-heat container of Pike Place Chowder to grilling your own Skillet burger patty and frying your own fries.”

Restaurants contract with Amazon to sell, cook and delivery preapproved menu items. That my friends is disruptive. Denn went on to explain in detail how it works and she was impressed that Amazon “with the selection, but not too surprised by it once I heard that Jonathan Hunt, formerly of Boom Noodle and Lowell-Hunt Catering, is the chef in charge of the Seattle-only program”…. How do restaurants figure out how to deconstruct their dishes for a home cook to prepare, or to package them for delivery so they're still good to eat? In La Spiga's case, I've found it fairly idiot-proof to grill my prosciutto piadina (part of an $11.95 box lunch) at home to melt the cheese. The Samurai Noodle ramen has also come with straightforward directions, taking a few minutes to boil the noodles, warm the broth and pork, and add the pre-sliced toppings.

"We thought it was a neat way to offer better service without... the extra expense of opening a restaurant," said La Spiga co-owner Sabrina Tinsley.
Working with Hunt, "we selected items we thought would travel well. We did a series of experiments, obviously, to make sure they would get there the same way," she said. Soup, for instance, "was a bit of a challenge" on a jostling ride. Baked pastas held up better than boiled noodles.

I asked how the salad, one of my old La Spiga favorites, arrived so crisp and fresh despite what I assumed was a day's delay. "I try to have my staff be really careful about the way they cut it. If you're just slamming the knife down on it it's going to bruise it and brown and deterioriate faster," Tinsley said. “

Rick Batye, vice president of AmazonFresh was asked how the company figures out which foods to offer, and how hard it is to make their dishes ready-to-eat or workable at home by Denn and he replied via Email.

He said that “the company gravitates "towards iconic well-known brands that are associated with quality and are unique in their offering," as well as being innovative and creative. Hunt worked with Samurai Noodle, for instance, to make their meals "the same experience" as you'd get at the restaurant, providing all the components and making it easy to prepare….

How do they decide who's in the mix? First, Batye said, they brought in merchants and products that customers had specifically requested. Amazon approached Pasta and Co., for instance, "after a customer of ours raved about their oven-roasted chicken." Pike Place Fish Market is so well-known that it made sense to ask the owners to be part of the program. "Right now we think more merchants are better for our customers and there's no need for us to limit the number of merchants or their products; each brings their own style and flair…

Here is Batye explaining how the logistics work? "We pick up orders from each of our merchants once or twice a day and merge them with each customer's regular grocery or general merchandise orders. The products they sell on AmazonFresh are the same that they sell in their store or restaurant, so they are ready to go or easy to prepare as the orders come in."

This program is clearly in the early stage of testing for Amazon.  With a track record of success and a goal to find the “last mile solution” Amazon is clearly on the right track.  Consumers are dynamic not static food retailers must look outside the box for success, growth and long-term profits. Seattle and the Northwest have a long history of innovation and cultivation of food trends.  Is your company focusing on developing success within the booming grocerant niche?  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food sales are booming.

Photo: Samurai Noodle ramen courtesy of Amazon Fresh via Denn article

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, December 7, 2012

If cooked for Thanksgiving looks as if you will for Christmas and New Year’s as well.



One thing is clear if you prepared a meal for a recent holiday; parts of that meal were comprised of prepared meal components that you mix and matched then assembled with you’re cooking into a customized home served meal.

In a survey conducted by Harris Interactive in November, 2012 found 88% plan to host all over gain in the near future or next year. But not surprisingly, given the amount of time and work required, 66% of US adults who cooked a Thanksgiving meal admitted to having some regrets with how they pulled off the meal. Number 1 on the list is timing the meal correctly (21%), followed by not enough advance planning (16%) and too much time spent hand-washing dishes (15%).”

In 2012 you need not have any regrets, Whole Foods, Kroger, Boston Market, Safeway, Poyeye’s and Central Market all have complete meal packages that are easy to assemble and simply ready-2-eat or can be heat-N-eat fresh prepared and focused on holiday at hand.  New Year’s Eve Party’s or Christmas Dinners full meals or just components that require little cooking knowledge or skill set.

The Grocerant niche is booming and restaurants and grocery stores are all simply waiting for your call, order or request.  Food retailing is evolving and retailers are out to help you create new traditions.

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, December 6, 2012

Not so Easy. Should Tesco exit the United States?




Without doubt when Tesco entered the United States with a “new concept” Fresh & Easy and there was great fanfare. There were two problems: Frist problem was service or lack of it in the stores. The second was packaging, placement, price, portability, products. Tesco’s analyst could crunch the numbers better and most.  Their category managers focused on a view of the food industry driven by analyst. Yet, they never understood the American food shopping experience.

Yesterday, Tesco stated: “Decision taken to conduct strategic review of Fresh & Easy; all options under consideration…Tim Mason, CEO of Fresh & Easy, to leave “  If success leaves clues this is a bold clue.

This fall Tesco announced “that new capital investment in Fresh & Easy was to be tightly constrained whilst the business focused on reducing costs and improving the profitability of its existing stores…It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate timeframe in its current form….

We have therefore appointed Greenhill to assist with the review of options. In recent months, we have had a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with us to develop the Fresh & Easy business. We will communicate progress on this process when we present our full year results for the current financial year in April 2013.”

The concept held great promise for the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food niche. All markets are unique.  Tesco simply proved once again that IQ (intellectual quotient) does not trump EQ (emotional quotient).  In the food and beverage sector companies must be mindful that the proper balance of EQ and IQ are utilized. Tesco’s stores are failing not because of food quality but they lack warmth and consumer interactive participation.

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