Monday, February 27, 2017

Can Legacy Grocery Stores Survive

With Alibaba, Amazon, Aldi, and Lidl all focused on opening new units and new avenues of fresh food distribution. Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® wonders have legacy grocery stores done the same thing so long, done it the same way is there any way they can adapt to the new evolving fresh food formats focused on grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food in time to save themselves?
What other choice do they have even a FMI thinks that the “grocery business industry truly is at the tipping point of great change. More than driverless vehicles or delivery drones, the digitally engaged food shopper will fundamentally transform how food is bought and sold.” Wow  the team at Foodservice Solutions® has been saying that since 1991. 
Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) revealed initial findings from its Digitally Engaged Food Shopper study. Quite frankly the findings were distressful if you’re a legacy grocer.  Here they are:
1.       Multi-channel shopping: More shoppers are buying more of their groceries across channels.
2.       Digital experimentation: Grocery retailers and manufacturers are meaningfully experimenting with business models and technologies to find their way online. However, the road to success has not been paved.
3.       Grocery saturation: Grocery shopping will reach digital maturity and saturation faster than other industries, such as publishing or banking.
4.       Center store migration: Center store categories are already migrating online, and we expect this migration to continue.
5.       Young and digital: Younger, newer and more engaged digital shoppers adopt grocery-related digital technologies more quickly and will hasten the expansion of digital grocery shopping further.

Regular readers of this blog know companies the ilk of IKEA, Pinkies Liquor stores, and CostCo are all selling both Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat grocerant niche food will little sign of regret. Alibaba, and Amazon rule the digital world as legacy stores fumble with click & collect most spending more on technology than they receive in food sales. 

Dollar stores have defined the grocery sector as no longer relevant, resulting in 50% fewer legacy grocery stores today than 15 years ago.  There is no grocery saturation problem, grocery stores have a Dollar store problem. 
Gen Z and Millennials don’t find fresh food discovery at a legacy grocery store they find a maze designed to consume time exactly the opposite of their goals.  Maybe it’s time that legacy grocery stores quite thinking about incremental change and get some Outside eyes that can help them drive top line sales and bottom line profits.  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Aldi, Lidi, Success Clues KISS

Did I really have to tell you what your learned as a child the golden rule of business KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).  Well I have to admit that the team at Foodservice Solutions® at times reminds me as well.  So when I read the results of this new study I just had to share it.   According to Siegel+Gale  a global brand strategy firm “Brands that embrace simplicity tend to enjoy increased revenue, valuation, brand advocacy and employee engagement”. They revealed the top finishers of its seventh annual Global Brand Simplicity Index. 
To no one’s surprise “low-price grocery chain Aldi retains the number one spot as the world’s simplest brand, followed by Lidi, a German discount chain. Other top finishers are Google, Netflix, Ikea, Amazon, KFC, YouTube, McDonald’s and Subway.”
Also revealed “simplicity earns a premium: 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences. Simplicity also builds loyalty, with 61% of consumers more likely to recommend a brand because it is simple.” 
Brands that don’t provide simple experiences are leaving an estimated share of $86 billion on the table, according to the study.  “Ignoring that kind of ROI is crazy,” said Howard Belk, co-CEO and chief creative officer, Siegel+Gale.
Maybe most important simplicity pays off with happy employees. Sixty-two percent of employees at simple companies are brand champions — versus only 20% of employees at complex companies. Five out of six brands representing the restaurant industry are in the top 15, indicating that quick service often means simple service.  Our success clue of the day is KISS.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact:  the 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. Visit: for more information

Saturday, February 25, 2017

HoneyBaked Ham Adding Retail Relevance for Returns

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson as regular readers of this blog know understand the undercurrents of foodservice customer migration from legacy traditional avenues of distribution the ilk of restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores to new non-traditional outlets.  Well HoneyBaked Ham does as well and this year Johnson expect HoneyBaked will set new sales records this holiday season.

We all know Harry J. Hoenselaar opened the first HoneyBaked Ham store in Detroit, Michigan, like most great companies, he did so because he believed in an idea. An idea that produced what is regarded today as the best tasting ham in the world. The Foodservice Solutions® agrees with them. 

Recently The Honeybaked Ham hired the former head of the Lane Bryant and The Limited clothing chains as its new CEO. Linda Heasley. She was previously CEO of Ascena Retail Group, with responsibility for more than 800 Lane Bryant, Catherine’s and Cacique stores. Earlier, she had served as CEO of The Limited. All that means is Heasley had what we in the grocerant niche call retail chops!
HoneyBaked Ham has understood the undercurrents of the evolving foodservice consumer and expanding its retail offering well beyond it 400 cafĂ©’s offering grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in multiple alternative channels simultaneously.  The results are clear they have edified the brand with consumers of every age while expanding brand relevance.
The team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that Heasley is the right person at the right time to evolve, elevate, and edify the brand.  We believe she will expand avenues of distribution, locations driving top line revenue and bottom line profits. Why the product.
Yes, HoneyBaked Hans stands out with its sweet, crunchy glaze enhancing the flavor of the bone-in smoked ham, Harry’s patented spiral-slicing process made HoneyBaked Ham the easy-to-serve centerpiece, that set the standard as a comfort food staple at holiday dinners, Easter celebrations and meaningful meals shared and savored by family and friends.
Does your brand look more like yesterday that tomorrow? Are you doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  HoneyBaked Ham is not.  They are growing with customer relevance.
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? Email us at: or visit: for more information.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Wawa’s Fan Favorite Hoagiefest Expands

Success does leave clues and Wawa’s grocerant niche made to order customizable hoagies are celebrated yearly during what the company calls Hoagiefest.  This year Wawa is expanding its hoagiefest to Florida.
Beginning Feb. 20 through April 2, 2017 any of Wawa's classic, 10-inch hot, cold and breakfast sandwiches are on sale for $4.99. The classic hoagie usually sells for $5.69 at Flordia locations.
The c-store chain first began holding Hoagiefest in 2008 and it has become a fan favorite. Only Florida Wawa stores will offer the Hoagiefest promotion during the spring. Stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia will hold Hoagiefest in the summer.
Wawa with more than 740 convenience stores is an industry leader in grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food that is portable.  Success does leave clues and Hoagiefest is one way that Wawa shares success with its best customers. 
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or