Thursday, July 16, 2020

Yes, Restaurants Worry About Their Carbon Footprint



While the pandemic is top of mind for most consumers today.  The simple fact is there will be a tomorrow and retailers that are looking a customer ahead understand that will include new thinking about how we can make life better, according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Just Salad, a chain with the ‘halo’ of better for you’ within its brand messaging and menu starting in September, will list the carbon emissions of each item on its menu.  Is your brand looking a customer ahead?  Do you think consumers are interested in calculating their carbon footprint the same way they count calories? No, well consider that this is an interactive and participatory way to extend brand value to those customers that do or would.  Would you reconsider?
Proactive and striving to be a restaurant industry innovator in sustainability Johnson believes that Just Salad is doing many of the right things.  Did you know that Just Salad has a reusable bowl program that’s been recognized by the EPA, and last fall it removed beef from its menu in favor of a plant-based analogue.

Just Salads, Chief Sustainability Officer,  Sandra Noonan stated,  “The idea behind its latest endeavor is to encourage diners to think not only about their own health when dining out but also the planet’s. …“The striking statistic for us was that 26% of global carbon emissions are related to food production,”
Noonan continued,  “And as the climate crisis escalates, a business that operates in the food industry has to be thinking about the link between food and climate.”
Just Salad says it is the first restaurant to carbon-label its menu. Companies in other industries are making similar moves. Consumer goods giant Unilever, for instance, recently said it will label all of its 70,000 products with the carbon emissions associated with their production and transportation. 
So, get this, while there are tools that can calculate emissions for various agricultural and other products, the challenge for Just Salad was dialing in those measurements for each of the dozens of ingredients on its menu and then for each menu item, Noonan said. The chain worked with MBA students in New York University’s Stern School of Business to do some of that “heavy lifting,” she said. 
In the Battle for Share of Stomach
Will you Win? 



Stern students also developed a Microsoft Excel-based calculator for the chain to measure carbon emissions for ingredients it adds down the line.  The results of the process could affect Just Salad’s menu going forward, Noonan said. For instance, the calculations showed the impact cheese and dairy can have on the overall emissions of a salad, she said.
“We have definitely taken that to heart and committed to sourcing, for example, a plant-based cheese in the next couple of years,” she said.
“For this to become a standardized thing, we have to think about uniformity across calculations,” Noonan said—a set of agreed-upon boundaries for how carbon emissions are measured. That will require collaboration, funding and likely policy support, she said.
For now, Just Salad sees itself as setting an example for how the industry can reduce its impact on the environment.
“The more challenging and exciting part is contributing to a social shift where people do really start thinking about budgeting their carbon in the way they think about budgeting calories, money, steps on their iPhone,” she said.  So, what do you think? 
Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company 253-759-7869. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Sorry Seattle Alabama has Drone Grocery Delivery



Seattle may have Amazon, and Amazon Go but Alabama’s Rouses Markets is offering drone grocery delivery.  According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® drone delivery will become a platform of choice for retailers the ilk of drug stores, restaurants, and dollar stores in many parts of the United States.
Rouses Markets CEO Donny Rouse stated, “Drone delivery offers the fastest, safest delivery store to door,”  with partner Deuce Drone to turn Alabama test store into customer fulfillment center
Rouses has partnered with Boston-based Deuce Drone to conduct the pilot with Deuce’s Aerial Drone Delivery Interface System (ADDIS) at the Southern grocer’s store on Airport Boulevard in Mobile, Ala.
So, get this Deuce Drone said its technology provides a last-mile delivery solution for brick-and-mortar retailers by enabling drone shipment directly from stores. Deuce Drone leverages a retailer’s current infrastructure in designing, building and operating the drone delivery system, turning stores offering the service into customer fulfillment centers, according to the company, which added that its cost-effective solution allows retailers to compete with larger e-commerce players on same-day delivery. I agree.

Battle for Share of Stomach



Rouses already offers online grocery delivery service through Instacart and Shipt, which enable customers to receive their orders at home in as soon as an hour. But according to CEO Donny Rouse, the retailer seeks more convenient and innovative ways to deliver groceries. According to Johnson this will be a show stopper! A big hit with customers.
“Drone delivery offers the fastest, safest delivery store to door,” Rouse said in a statement. “We should be able to get groceries to customers in 30 minutes, or even less. Plus it’s more cost-efficient, meaning we can save customers time and money.”
While Seattle has Amazon, Alabama has Deuce Drone The battle for the last mile is now under way.  The consumer is dynamic not static, how are you moving forward?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how our Grocerant Guru® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Walmart’s Family Film Fun: A Drive-In Movie


Ok, I know that back in the day going to the drive-in movies was all the rage during the summer.  Even I went and I have to admit it was more fun and a better experience that I had ever believed it would be.  Well Walmart is extending its brand invitation to include a drive-in move.   
With many summer camps closed, sports on hold, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart has announced two new experiences to help bring families together for traditional fun in nontraditional ways.
So, get this first, Camp by Walmart, is a free star-studded virtual camp that brings summer activities directly to customers’ own backyards, and the second, in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, is a touring drive-in movie theater that will transform Walmart parking lots into outdoor cinemas.
Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart  stated “Summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet, and I know I hear every day, ‘Mom, I’m bored!’” … “Through our digital means and vast footprint of stores, we’re hoping to bring some summer fun to families across the country. We know Walmart plays a role in our communities that extends far beyond getting them necessary supplies, and we see that now more than ever.”
Walmart is teaming up with celebrities Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris, LeBron James, Idina Menzel and Todd Oldham to create a new summer camp experience designed for the internet. Camp by Walmart is being produced and developed in partnership with CAMP, a Family Experience Company, and powered by the interactive video platform eko. Each of the celebrities is stepping outside of their day job to serve as camp counselors, leading kids through sessions varying from arts and crafts to fitness and other activities to keep them active and entertained.
Each day of Camp by Walmart will kick off with Head Camp Counselor, actor Neil Patrick Harris, who sends families through one of 14 camp challenges, from “Neil’s Charades” to musical Mad Libs. Now that is interactive and participatory brand marketing, that is good for everyone according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

So, families can now access 50 Camp by Walmart activities for free by visiting the Walmart app. Celebrity- and expert-led camp sessions will roll out across the summer, including:
• “The Great Family Challenge,” which features various family-bonding activities, including actress Drew Barrymore taking campers through a makeup tutorial and basketball star LeBron James leading participants through mental and physical activities with help from his I PROMISE School educators;
• A morning kickoff with Head Camp Counselor, actor Neil Patrick Harris, who sends families through one of 14 camp challenges, from “Neil’s Charades” to musical Mad Libs;
• “Skills Camp” is a talent show that features experts teaching new skills, like singer and actress Idina Menzel, who showcases her singing skills to campers; and
• Designer Todd Oldham reimagines “Smarts and Crafts,” which teaches campers about creativity through the lens of arts, crafts and fashion
Camp by Walmart will offer 200 more new activities throughout the summer to keep families everywhere entertained.
eko technology allows campers to make choices along the way that shape the outcome of their experience, creating increased interactions that reflect campers’ interest.
To access Camp by Walmart, customers can download the Walmart app, or update their existing Walmart app, and look for Camp by Walmart in the app’s Services tab from the bottom navigation.
Now let’s talk about the drive-in; so working with Tribeca Enterprises for two drive-in experiences, Walmart is transforming 160 of its store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters where customers can safely gather to watch movies programmed by the Tribeca Drive-in team. Come on is that cool or what?
So, in August, Walmart will roll out drive-in movies in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings. This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles.
Walmart’s drive-in tour will run through October. Additional details will be announced closer to the start of the tour.  Ahead of each screening, Walmart will make it easy for families to fill their picnic baskets by ordering their drive-in essentials online for curbside pickup on the way to their movie. For families itching for the big screen now, Walmart is also partnering with the Tribeca Drive-in to serve as a presenting partner for its Tribeca Drive-In movie series, which began, July 2.
Jane Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival  stated , "Drive-Ins have been a signature program for Tribeca since we started the Tribeca Film Festival 19 years ago after 9/11,” … "But now, the Tribeca Drive-In is much more than a fun, retro way to see movies — it’s one of the safest ways for communities to gather. We are thrilled to partner with Walmart to bring more people together around the shared cinematic experiences that Tribeca is known for."
Throughout July, families in Arlington, Texas; Pasadena, Calif.; Nassau County, N.Y.; and Orchard Beach in the Bronx, N.Y., will be treated to Tribeca Drive-In screenings of modern classics and family favorites, like Wonder Woman and Space Jam, with a mix of ticketed and free events honoring frontline workers. The full schedule and tickets can be found at TribecaFilm.com.
Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company 253-759-7869. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

TiffinLabs to launch in U.S. using Virtual Kitchens



Growing a brand internationally can be very expensive, the land, the building, international training, and brand messaging that needs to be introduced.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® says a leveraging virtual kitchen is a great way to enter new countries with far less capital outlay for growing chains.
So, Singapore-based TiffinLabs plans to launch delivery presence in five U.S. cities. TiffinLabs, founded in 2019, has 10 “digital-first restaurant brands,” such as Publico Express pasta and pizza, Southern Soul fried chicken and Huraideu Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore. They believe they have found the right formula to drive international growth in the U.S..
Kishin RK, founder and chairman of TiffinLabs, stated, “We have developed a sophisticated understanding of cuisine gaps, demand opportunities and innovation partnerships that will bring the American consumer a new experience in food delivery,”  
Here is what I thought was very interesting.  Just where they planned to launch their first outlets, from “five of its core digital-first restaurant brands,” in Austin, Texas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Thinking big, TiffinLabs said it has acquired access to more than 1,000 kitchens across the United States, Europe and Asia to create a global network, and roll out of the brands is expected to start in the fourth quarter. That my friends is a tall order even if you are starting with a unit in Texas.

TiffinLabs operates the digital-first restaurant brands out of its kitchens in Singapore, including the soon-to-launch Singapore Makan, which will showcase Singapore cuisine.
They kinda sound as if they are a tech start-up rather than a chain of virtual restaurants as TiffinLabs said it will “harness the power of data analytics to identify food trends and consumer preferences while optimizing its supply chains with its local smart kitchens to fill gaps in delivery zones.”
TiffinLabs was founded by Kishin RK, a real estate developer, along with: Shaun Smithson, a restaurant industry specialist who was previously head of shared kitchens for foodpanda in the Asia-Pacific region and CEO of Fig and Olive; Sam Ahmed, a digital marketer formerly with Facebook, Starbucks and MasterCard; and Phuminant Tantiprasongchai, a mergers and acquisitions expert formerly with Grab and Boston Consulting Group.  How are you planning to grow?
For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, local 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. For more information visit GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Rutter's Testing Liquor that’s Ready-2-Drink Cocktails



Convenience stores sell lots of beer as we all know.  Some have huge ‘beer caves’, others floor displays that you have to walk-around just to get into the store. Times they are a chaingin, once again we can all here the chords and lyrics ring through the air according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
How are they chaingin? Well at one Rutter's in the West Virginia customers can now choose from a larger selection when purchases alcoholic beverages including grocerant niche Ready-2-Drink cocktails.
Rutters added spirits to the inventory mix of beer and wine at its Inwood, W. Va., c-store. According to Rutter's, “it will feature an assortment of more than 800 different options in a room specifically built to sell all of the store's adult beverage products.
Customers will have a wide variety of options in bottled spirits, as well as ready-to-drink cocktails and wine, with chilled selections available, and Rutter's 29-degree beer cave.”
Robert Perkins, Rutter's vice president of marketing stated, “We're very excited to offer spirits to our customers in West Virginia, which we're unable to do in our home state of Pennsylvania,"  "We're confident spirits customers will enjoy the convenience, variety, and award-winning customer service Rutter's will provide to them."
Note: Earlier this year, Rutter's won a West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration auction for the 10-year license, which allows them to sell spirits at the Inwood store, located off I-81. How are you evolving your brand?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter






Saturday, July 11, 2020

Goodcents Partnership with Sporting KC Drives New Electricity



The world wants  Major League Soccer back and so do Goodcents customers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  So, with any luck Sporting KC and Goodcents will give away 16-inch subs to 270 fans - enough to span the full 120-yard length of the Children’s Mercy Park pitch from goal to goal – ahead of Sporting’s match at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 12 at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida.
Driving new electricity into a legacy brand with a partnership is a good move and will accelerate the marketing messaging for all companies involved according to Johnson. How is your company positioning to grow your brand, the top, and bottom line?
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, online ordering, delivery, plant based foods, sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands,  grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why? This new partnership does all of that.
This partnership kicked off today a commercial featuring local legend Matt Besler, and Sporting KC captain, who grew up eating Goodcents after his games. In the commercial, Besler reflects on his time playing youth soccer and the legacy he hopes to leave his own children.

“I’m thrilled to support Goodcents, a locally-owned company and my go-to spot for game day food growing up,” says Besler. “I’ve been getting subs there since it was called Mr. Goodcents and now we take our family.”
In addition, children under 12 can get a free cookie throughout the summer  by wearing Sporting gear or their own youth jersey to their local Goodcents.
“We’re so excited for the opportunity to partner with another local franchise,” says Arielle Long-Seabra. “We’re both locally-owned, committed to the Kansas City community and, given the fact that Matt grew up on our sandwiches, this felt like a natural partnership for both of us.”
Additional partnership-related events will be announced throughout the season via the Sporting KC app, online at www.goodcentssubs.com, on Facebook at /GoodcentsSubs and on Twitter @EatGoodcents.
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Friday, July 10, 2020

FreshDirect Fresh Food Faster



Success does leave clues and Amazon Prime customers have become accustom same day delivery and many in urban area’s can get most anything within two hours.  FreshDirect agrees faster is better so the recently kick off two-hour, on-demand delivery in parts of New York City. According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® all retailers must ‘up their game’ when it comes to fresh, food, and speed of service.”
The service called FreshDirect Express, the service enables customers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and sections of Queens to order from a curated selection of products and have them delivered to their door within two hours. So, the time slots are offered in 60-minute windows.  
Here is how it works; customers can access the Express service through a toggle on the FreshDirect app or the upper left corner of the FreshDirect website.
FreshDirect cited a surge in demand following the coronavirus outbreak. They also has “significantly increased” same-day and next-day delivery time slots across all boroughs of New York City as well as added capacity in the suburban areas of New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York’s Westchester County and Long Island. So, here is our question.  How are you evolving? Are you selling fresh food faster?
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.