Monday, May 2, 2016

Meal Kits Vs Combo Meals

Meal Kits are garnering lots of attention within the grocery sector and excitement for investors of Online meal kit companies the ilk of Hello Fresh, Plated, and Blue Apron but fast food combo meals continue to fined favor with families according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.

Recent predictions that the meal-kit service segment of the foodservice market will grow to between $3 billion-$5 billion over the next 10 years based on current adoption rates. Since meal kit startups Blue Apron and Plated launched in 2012, they have raised $58 million and $21.6 million, respectively; the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Blue Apron is in talks to raise a huge new round from investors that would value the company at $2 billion. 

HelloFresh, a European meal-kit company founded in 2011 and backed by notoriously competitive startup copycat Rocket Internet, just closed $126 million in Series E funding with the goal of making incursions in the U.S. market. Blue Apron delivers more than two million meals a month, and HelloFresh claims it's already doing twice that volume. The companies are grocery store pantry busters not restaurant slayers. 

NPD recently reported that “Over the last six months, the most popular QSRs have introduced new, value-oriented combo deals that give consumers the choice they are looking for. Wendy’s 4 for $4 Meal; McDonald’s McPick 2 for $2 offering, which then changed to 2 for $5 with a different product offering; and Burger King's 5 for $4 deal are a few examples.  The results will show price is a key driver of restaurant sales success. 

In fact, combo meal visits rose by 1 percent at QSRs for the year ending February 2016 vs. the year-ago period. NPD reported that this entire increase was driven by the combo meal deals. “Combo meals purchased on a deal at lunch and dinner rose from a rate of 6 percent in the year ending February 2015 to 8 percent in the year ending February 2016. This increase resulted in an additional 110 million combo meal deal orders, or a total of 686 million combo meal deal orders. All three major hamburger chains — Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s — collectively were responsible for the order increases through combo meal deals.”

Success does leave clues and while sales of meal kits continue to rise, fast food restaurant combo meals are less expensive, require no cooking, no clean-up, and have not lost favor with consumers.  Since 1991   of Tacoma WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or or Contact our Grocerant Guru® at:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pret a Manger is Grocerant Niche Ready-2-Eat Success

Success does leave clues and after 30 years of “build, measure, lean and repeat. Pret a Manager is on a roll. The success may have started in the name. What’s in a name well at Pret a Manger literally means, “ready to eat”. Pret a Manager is British restaurant chain that has made a successful leap “across the Pond” to the US where it sells a variety of ready-to-eat foods & beverages. 

Julian Metcalfe and friend Sinclair Beecham opened their first location outside London’s Victoria Station some 30 years ago. Pret (as it’s known) now operates globally and sales are up “14% to £676MM ($987MM). While expansion is key to the company’s sales increases, same store sales (year over year were up 7.5% for stores open more than a year. Not surprisingly, profits increased 14.5% that’s not bad for a company 30 years old.  It’s kinda reminds us of how Starbucks solid growth is the American dream. 

Leveraging success clues by utilizing “build, measure, learn, and repeat Pret has succeeded by adapting its menu to American tastes: freshness is important for food that is brought in in bulk from local commissaries for the mostly urban locations.

Another adaptation is six salad dressing options for boxed meals (vs. one in the UK). And coffee is sold from self-serve containers, accounting for 80% of sales stateside (vs. Europe where 80% of customers want espresso-based drinks prepared by baristas).

It important to note that in a break from conventional restaurant management, the company pays above minimum wage in hopes of retaining loyal staff.  Now with year over year same store sales of 7.5% I would say its working. 

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® or for a Grocerant Scorecard visit,  Email:

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Five Things Restaurateurs Should learn from C-stores

The Convenience store sector like every other sector spends lots of time understanding it own success.  Like all retail foodservice sectors it seems as if 80% of a convenience store’s sales come from just 20% of its customers. 

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® suggest that it’s time that restaurant sector understand who the C-Store sector best “core shoppers” are and what is driving customer migration from restaurants to C-Stores.  To that end   Convenience Store News conducted exclusive consumer research on the demographics and shopping behavior of c-store shoppers and what keeps them coming back to c-stores again and again.

Here are CSNews research findings:

1. Consumers aged 35-44 are significantly more likely to be daily or weekly c-store shoppers, and those aged 25-34 are significantly more likely to buy in-store merchandise after purchasing gas. Older customers, aged 55 and up, are significantly less likely to make daily or weekly c-store visits, or to stop in for a post-gas merchandise purchase.

2. Whether their shopping trips are to get a take-home meal for the family or to indulge the kids with a special treat, parents have great potential to be core shoppers. Fifty-seven percent of consumers with at least one child under the age of 18 in the household report visiting c-stores on a daily basis, while 42.9 percent visit on a weekly basis. Parents are similarly much more likely to regularly buy in-store merchandise with gas, as 58 percent do so during most or all gas fill-ups.

3. Customers who make the most visits to c-stores are also among the most loyal to a particular store, with 70.5 percent of daily shoppers saying they typically shop at the same store each time, as do 62.8 percent of weekly shoppers. In comparison, only 56 percent of customers who visit less regularly stick to the same store. Those who make the most in-store merchandise purchases with gas are a loyal bunch, too, with 70.8 percent returning to the same c-store again and again.

4. What draws core customers to the c-store? There are a lot of reasons, but the most popular ones cited are the purchase of gasoline and to buy immediately consumable food and beverages, such as snacks, fountain drinks and prepared food. Additionally, core shoppers are more likely to cite the purchase of lottery tickets, newspapers and magazines, cigarettes, and ancillary services such as using the ATM.

5. When it comes to marketing to core shoppers, customers who regularly buy in-store merchandise with gas are significantly more likely than others to respond to virtually every form of marketing. Daily/weekly c-store shoppers respond more strongly to digital marketing. Mobile app offers, promotions or messages on social media, and text messages, along with word-of-mouth, are all significantly more likely to influence their decision to visit a c-store compared to other shoppers.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® or for a Grocerant Scorecard visit,  Email:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Paris Baguette Fresh Prepared Grocerant Growth Machine

Empowering consumer choice with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh Paris Baguette, the global premier baking franchise featuring high-quality baked goods, savory eats, and beverages has now opened its first store in San Jose, California.  

Paris Baguette offers guests to either grab a quick treat on-the-go, or lounge inside our spacious bakery to indulge in a decadent dessert, savor a sandwich, or catch up with friends over steaming mugs of coffee according to its newest franchisee. 

Specializing in French-inspired cakes and pastries, Paris Baguette goal is to provide guests with “the best way to happiness” through indulgent treats and savory eats. In addition to its French offerings, the company places an emphasis on applying global cuisine to its menu, including items such as the Strawberry Mojito. 

Focusing or fresh fast portable options in quality foods Paris Baguette offers coffee and small sandwiches, it is best known for items such as Fruit Bites, Croissants, Feuilletes Au Chocolat, Blueberry Chiffon Cake, and Chocolate Strawberry Cake all can be taken TO-Go or eaten in the store .

Larry Sidoti, chief development officer of Paris Baguette stated “We are confident the people of San Jose will agree our products are truly superior, and we look forward to providing them with delicious indulgences from our proprietary recipes for many years to come.”

What’s different about Paris Baguette they a perception of higher quality, value-driven experience through a combination of self-serve stations and counter-order. With proprietary dough that is lighter, more airy, and less sweet than typical dough, the brand’s products offer guests a unique and sophisticated taste every time.

Success does leave clues; Paris Baguette has more than 3,700 worldwide locations, including in South Korea, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and France. Paris Baguette began franchising in August 2015 and is projected to open more than 350 locations by 2020.  Fresh, Fast, and Portable Paris Baguette is our clue of the day. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant scorecard, brand, or product placement assistance.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869