Friday, October 31, 2014

Papa Murphy’s Fun Family Food Fast


We all know that famous quote by Alice May Brock “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.”   

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ says “Papa Murphy’s customized, personalized, pizza makes make’s family meal time ‘happy meal time’. Papa Murphy’s is the largest Take ‘N’ Bake pizza chain in the United States, selling uncooked pizzas that customers bake at home.

While Papa Murphy’s is has over  1,400 franchised and corporate-owned fresh pizza stores in 38 States, Canada and United Arab Emirates, which makes them a serious player in the pizza space today.
Papa Murphy’s marketing team knows how to bring family, fun, and food together.

Once again this Halloween Papa Murphy’s is selling a “Jack-O-Lantern pizza as a seasonal Limited Time Offer (LTO). For those of you taking notice Halloween is the chain's busiest day at Papa Murphy’s.
The Jack-O-Lantern Pizza starts with Papa Murphy's fresh, scratch-made dough in the shape of a pumpkin and is topped with traditional red sauce, generous portions of 100 percent whole milk mozzarella cheese and a smiling jack-o-lantern face made with premium pepperoni and olives. (This LTO has become a staple at my house).

Yes, food and can be fun, customized, personalized and as easy as Heat-N-Eat! Success does leave clues and while Papa Murphy’s only runs this LTO once a year for 9 or 10 days it culminates with the highest daily sales of the year for Papa Murphy’s. 

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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Global Food Customer Migration Underway


For Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ new research provide insights into just how rapidly the undercurrents of customer migration are taking root.  In the U.S. and around the globe consumers increasingly choose to eat in quick service restaurants or buy meals prepared in convenience stores.
In Great Britain the 2014 CTP research confirms that ‘food to go’ is fast becoming a core mission for convenience. In fact C-store are becoming a lunch time destination much like in the US According to Katie Littler, Insights Director at HIM research, “57% of shoppers who buy a sandwich in convenience stores don’t buy any accompanying snack item. That is destination food shopping.
According the latest Nielsen Shopper Trends report, which covered 1,783 grocery decision makers aged 15 to 65 living in urban location in the Philippines, “the average monthly grocery “spend has fallen 13% over the past two years. This decline appears in large part to be a consequence of a rapid growth in the habit of eating out, combined with evidence that consumers are turning to prepared meals sold by convenience stores as an alternative to cooking food themselves at home.”
Legacy CPG food manufactures are losing customer relevance, sales, and channel opportunities. The Nielsen report cited also noted that consumers prefer to make all their purchases in stores nearest their homes, so location is critical.  The same holds true in the US and Great Britain.

Are you suffering from footprint malaise? Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Contact:  Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Millennials First Food Choice QSR Restaurants


The price, value, service equilibrium is alive and well.  Millennials in a constant quest for discovery apparently have found a comfort feeding zone.  That zone is Quick Service Restaurants. Discovery is expensive and when it comes to food Millennials want consistency, time savings, and cash savings.

Restaurateurs have been doing all they can to win over the largest of the six generational groups for some time.  Millennials currently 74 million strong continue to grow important and influential within the restaurant sector than any other age bracket over the next 10 years.

Bonnie Riggs, The NPD Group’s restaurant industry analyst said “What Millennials may lack in buying power they make up for in influence,” says. They have expectations when they dine out and are quick to spread the word when their expectations are or aren’t met.” Millennials are evolving with social media and are seemingly first to post photos of food and share experiences with multiple social media outlets.

According to Riggs and a new NPD report, “Millennials made more than 14 billion visits to food establishments, which roughly translates to $95 billion spent on meals and snacks. Traditional QSR establishments are the most popular among Millennials, which goes against the wide belief that fast-casual restaurants dominate the segment.”

The price, value, service, equilibrium includes discovery and non-traditional fresh food outlets including C-stores continue to attract Millennials according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.  In fact Lunch time is the number one day-part for Millennial visits to C-stores.  Are you prepared to compete for Millennials? How can the 5 P’s of food marketing edify your brands positioning?

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Restaurant Growth Slows While Technology Drives Food Growth


Befuddled by extremely modest year over year sales numbers, flat customer counts, declining year over year unit locations, the restaurant sector has capitulated fresh food sales growth to new start-up and technology companies. The National Restaurant Association’s research analyst Hudson Riehle points out that only 2 in 5 customer say that restaurants today are an important part of their lifestyle. Yes,  as Bob Dylan would say” times they are a changin.”

Does Your Restaurant Have Braggability?

The change may not be so fast.  Ever the optimist  Wally Doolin, chairman of TDn2K, parent of Black Box Intelligence, remarked to NRN online about the restaurant sector “Sales finished strong in the third quarter,…We’re off to a good start in the fourth quarter already.”  This by the way has been the industry mantra for the past 5 years. 

By the way a San Francisco-based food delivery startup called Munchery, recently raised $ 40 Million dollars. That’s $40 million dollars that might at one time have gone into building new Burger Kings, Subways, Denny’s or IHOP’s.

This is becoming a land grab for share of stomach without the cost of the land. Think about it. Americans spend $151 on food each week. With technology today consumers never have to leave home, or work and can eat with or without cooking, or doing the dishes. Does your restaurant have ‘braggability’? Without braggability why would anyone come to your restaurant?

The Grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food driven by consumers is changing the paradigm with not only how that service or product is consumed, but how it is provided as well. Without ‘braggability’ in our Omni-channel retail world the questions becomes: Why build a restaurant? Why hire, train, and maintain a staff when technology can edify the experience for less and do it faster? All while the technology companies are creating media buzz, consumer ‘braggability’ and driving top line growth.

Is your company a Dinosaur or Pioneer?

When Red Lobster opens a new restaurant in 2014 they do it very much the same way they did 46 years ago? Sure an up-dated menu, d├ęcor, and messaging but the business model has not been updated. Red Lobster and maybe your company’s business model might just look more like yesterday’s business model than tomorrow’s business model. What’s your business model? Does it incorporate the evolving consumer or optimism for yesterday’s business model returning?

Legacy hedge funds are buying into companies the ilk of Bennigans, Sbarro, and Taco Del Mar all are here first stabilizing a brand with intent to grow it once again. Are these companies the past, present, or future of Food Retail? Do they have ‘braggability’ or customer relevance?

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ believes that companies the ilk of Plated, Peachdish.com , Spoonrocket, Hello Fresh, and Munchery will not only survive they will thrive for they provide “authenticity in being local, personal, while providing fast service.”  Are you’re operating standards evolving?

A New Business Model Unfolding

There is a new retail food business model unfolding today that model is portable Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food.  This new model it is creating disequilibrium for restaurateurs and reorganization or bankruptcy for others. Consumer adoption of mobile and non-traditional retail food platforms has created discontinuity for Chevy’s Fresh Mex, BuffetsRound Table PizzaFuddruckers and Red Lobster to name but a few. Is it time to edify your brand with grocerant niche consumer valued attributes? Outside eye can drive top line sales and bottom line profits.

The food space is exciting it is dynamic not static. The food sector is a market that is huge and too large to be considered just one market place for sure. “The takeout and delivery market today is estimated to between $70-to-$100 billion today, and a small fraction of these orders happen online today even fewer on mobile devise. Can you sell more food than is on your menu?  Yes, you can.  Will you?

Hudson Riehle points out that only 2 in 5 customer say that restaurants today are an important part of their lifestyle.  That number has been down market ably in the last five years. Are you ready to change with consumers?


Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Contact:  Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Monday, October 27, 2014

O’ where, O’ where can I get dinner?


The average food shopper is in discovery mode.  Whatever happened to the brand loyal weekly grocery shopper?  According to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ “they went the way of cooking from scratch.  Once cooking from scratch was family affair, mothers and father’s passing on family recipes to their children and discussing the day’s events over a family dinner.  Today, cooking from scratch is time consuming inconvenience, distracting from family activities and social interaction.”
The proliferation of the availability of fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food combined the insatiable desire for multi-cultural full flavor food make cooking from scratch at home and satisfying every family member each meal a near impossible feat.
Today, a family meal is according to the Grocerant Guru™ is become an meal assembled from Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meal components. The components are coming from restaurants, grocery stores, C-store, and chain drug stores more and more to name but a few places.
In fact Susan Viamari, editor, Thought Leadership, at IRI stated “At this point, there are something like 2,500 potential paths to purchase, and any number of steps people can take to research their food purchases,” In an Omni-channel retail world consumers are migrating to new channels, looking for new products.
Viamari continued “In the past year, trip frequency and basket size has been flat to declining at both grocery and drug stores. Trips to dollar stores were also flat, but the average basket size increased 3%. And while trips to club stores fell a bit, spending in that channel also grew slightly. Grocery stores have lost share in core departments, while mass discounters and supercenters have given up ground in home care and general merchandise.”
Food industry trade magazine Marketing Daily” sums it up simply: Shopping preferences are “changing so quickly that [retailers] can’t afford to get caught up in the status quo. Consumers are more open than ever to buying products in unexpected channels.”
So, O’ where, O’ where can you get dinner?  Almost anywhere!  Regular readers of this blog know the Grocerant Niche is booming! Consumers are on the move, looking for mix and match meal components to pick-up and take home to make every meal a ‘happy meal’.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  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: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Sunday, October 26, 2014

McDonald’s, Domino’s, Dunkin Donuts, Fighting Back


Market share capitulation can only last so lone.  So we ask is the equilibrium about to shift from non-traditional fresh food market share gainers back to legacy fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat retailers?  According to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ you won’t have to wait long to find out. 
Complacency, Copy-Cat Menu’s, and Customer Counts declines inevitably lead to change.   Will change lead to innovation or simply more of the same?  Who are the likely winners and losers? Is your restaurant still playing the wait and see don’t act game? How’s that working?  Are Customer Counts and Sales up?
Companies the ilk of Casey’s General Stores with 1842 units has a three year fresh prepared food  growth that exceeds 38.5% driven in large part by fresh prepared Pizza sales.  Wawa is investing in excess of $550 Million Dollars in the Central Florida market driven in large part by sales of it’s now famous Hoagies.
All of this will likely make for an exciting time for the industry in 2015 putting additional pressure on legacy QSR’s to up increase innovation, or capitulate more market share.  Let’s first look at Domino’s Pizza clearly the innovation leader within the QSR sector.  Domino’s is the only company to completely dump, abandon, and replace its hallmark product it pizza.  Since they boldly replaced the crust, sauce evolving its brand identity from yesterday’s staple to today’s flavor profiles. Which in turn drove customer relevance, sales, profits, store counts and customer counts have posted sector leading numbers.
The once delivery company Domino’s Pizza is now selling fresh Ready-2-Eat slices at some units, remodeling others with high definition digital flat screen TV’s, digital menu boards, seating all creating a platform for what Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle has suggested is “smart slice” positioning.  We might suggest that a gradual progression into a family friendly Pizza QSR with inside seating featuring ‘better for you” pizza and more.
While Yum Brands utilized new products the ilk of the waffle taco to attract customers.  The results have fallen short. No matter how much a company spends on marketing the new product must resonate with consumer.   While Yum’s target customers are millennials.  Millennials are digitally informed, seeking discovery, not gimmickry.  They require integrated branded marketing messaging and products that proactively edify the brand.

McDonalds is empowering franchisee choice allowing the franchisee the option this year to run the McRib LTO which plays better in some parts of the country than the other.  Today’s decentralization in chain restaurant messaging is playing a leading role and McDonalds understand it.  Leaders lead and McDonalds is once again providing industry leadership.  

Dunkin Donuts is building customer loyalty one sip at a time.  Dunkin Donuts' "DD Perks" now has a total of 1.5 million members and is adding close to 70,000 new members a month. Integrating food and beverage loyalty programs into evolving brand messaging is a signal that Dunkin “DD Perks” has customer relevance.
When asking the Foodservice Solutions® team if you could only pick company today that most likely would become the 2015 innovative fast food leader which would you select?  The unanimous consensus is Domino's Pizza  who will be entering the 2015 with  "Dom," a virtual voice-ordering assistant for its mobile app and ‘smart slice.  Yes, we know Domino’s is getting better for you!
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 http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  Email: Steve@FoodserviceSoltuions.us


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Snacking Myth not Fact Consumer Search Find Equilibrium


Have you been reading how snacking is now a trend? Asked if it we found it to be Fact or Fiction? We answered Fiction.  Here is what we found with each new article on snacking the author appears to be feasting on PR propaganda from restaurants chains with flat or down customer counts and research firms pandering to public companies thirst for simultaneously rising check averages, top line sales, and bottom line profits. Those main stream articles are more a kin to lemmings running to a cliff than consumer fact. 
The simple truth is 30 years ago QSR chains sold a small beverage aka a soda and it was a 10 oz. serving. Today, a small soda range from 16 oz. to 24 oz. for a small that’s 60% to 140% larger than it was 30 years ago.
It’s been 30 years that the industries prime focus has shifted from consumers, to stock analyst, and the bottom line, too an ever increasing waist line. The consumer has caught on. For five years customers have migrated from restaurants to C-stores and other non-traditional fresh food outlets offering mix and match meal bundling. That meal bundling included single serve fix size beverages not unlimited soda fountain drinks as a draw. Consumer prefer fixed size over unlimited. That is but one example.
Consumers also want to spend less, eat less, but want ‘better for you’ options at meal time. Those snack ideations most often mentioned in articles are equivalent to a basic burger in both portion size and calories that once drove exponential growth in the QSR sector. Why would anyone in this industry think the customer moved? They have not.
The industry has moved in a direction away from the consumer and closer to Wall Street. The tipping may be closer than you think. Momentum is a powerful thing and five years of flat and declining customer counts within the overall restaurant industry has provided ample time to bolster the hopes of the new competitors focused on consumers. Those competitors are positioning right sized, drinks, menu items, and deserts.
There has been no tectonic shift in consumption patterns the only shift that can be quantified over the past five years is consumers migrating to right sized, right priced Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat offerings.
Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits. Mix and Match meal bundling empowered by consumer choice is finding a home at non-traditional fresh food outlets aka the Grocerant Niche. Consumers have said enough is enough reduce portion size and price while adding bold flavors and we will come.  Snacking is not a trend it is mislabeled propaganda. 

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  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: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information