Saturday, September 22, 2018

Peapod Beef’s Up



Differentiation does not mean different when it comes to food retail it means familiar but with a twist according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  One online food grocery delivery company stepped up to the plate creating a point of differentiation from itself any Amazon Fresh, Walmart /Jet.com, and all others by leveraging beef as its new electricity  to garner incremental customers with a qualitative point of differentiation.
That company is Peapod who entered an exclusive distribution partnership with meat purveyor Meats by Linz. The deal marks the first time Meats by Linz products will be available at grocery retail, with Peapod serving as the only distribution channel for direct-to-consumer purchase. The Grocerant Guru® has no beef with that. OK, so much for the pun.  This is great positioning that is all there is to it according to Johnson.
Meats by Linz  is a third-generation family-owned company, that provides high-quality meat for high-end steak houses throughout the Midwest, including Maple and Ash Restaurant, Ditka's Restaurant Chicago and Michael Jordan's Steak House.
Spencer Baird, SVP of merchandising for Peapod stated "Peapod is continuously looking to add new sources of high-quality products to our lineup, and that is what initially brought us to Meats by Linz," …"As another Chicago-based company, we saw the immense potential not only to distribute their products, but also collaborate in a full partnership that gives the Peapod customer a truly unique experience delivered right to their door."
In addition to the partnership, Peapod has in fact introduced a Virtual Butcher Shop, offering a variety of resources to connect its online grocery shoppers to its meat products including an Ask the Butcher Q&A section and a Dry Aged Steak Room, where shoppers can view the aging process in real time; once again adding a qualitative point of differentiation according to Johnson.
Meats by Linz owner Fred Linz stated "Consumers hear a lot about 'dry aged steak,' but not a lot of shoppers actually know what that means," .. "This partnership with Peapod gives us a way to not only share our amazing products with consumers, but also provide an educational component that will help them purchase items best suited for any occasion"; which is a win for Peapod, a win for Meats by Linz and a win for the consumers according to Johnson.
So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”  That is why this is such a great partnership according to the Grocerant Guru®.
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, Fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us 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.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Amazon Could build 3,000 Cashierless C-stores by 2021 What does that mean for you?



Legacy book stores scoffed at the idea that Amazon could ever change the face of book retail; well they did. Yes, legacy grocery stores why are you saying what book stores did then?  The grocery industry holds conference after conference some with new titles like ‘Grocerant Summit’ yet each conference has the same speakers or speakers from the same companies that they have had for forty years. How has that advice worked?  Well let’s just see.
Regular readers of this blog know that today there are 50% fewer legacy grocery stores than there were just 12 years ago.  However, if you were to pick up a grocery trade magazine you would think it was twelve years ago.  Even worse if you walk into most legacy grocery banners today they look more like yesterday than today or tomorrows food retail platform.  How can that be?  Simple, no Outside-Eyes.
Get this Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Amazon is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 of the cashierless Go convenience stores by 2021. Just think about that; 3,000 stores selling grocerant niche fresh food for less than a restaurant can, less than a grocery store, and better food faster than a C-store can according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Consumers are dynamic not static and many grocery retailers are not even static as they look more like yesterday.  Many legacy grocery stores have sat back and continued doing what they always have done, promoted new leaders from within, and reinforced running the business in the same way that they were trained 20, 30, and 40 years ago in some cases.  
  
Guess what?  Amazon did not do that.  They have had outside eyes focused on fresh food sales and a qualitative noticeable increase is speed of service for inside results.  The Bloomberg report stated that Amazon is considering different models as it looks to expand Amazon Go, including weighing whether to include a limited selection of groceries, or simply focus on prepared food pickup. Amazon’s smaller footprint makes shopping faster and consumers continue to be time starved according to Johnson.
Very few consumers want to spend 40 minutes walking around a Hy-Vee or Fred Meyer store looking for eight items once a week.  Today there are 29 restaurants for each legacy grocery store in the United States. The consumer has moved and its time that the grocery industry addresses just how they are going to evolve and if they in fact want to be in food retail 12 years from now.
Today Amazon Go’s largest store is 2,100 square feet -- carry a mix of prepared and packaged food, soft drinks and make-at-home meal kits. If we know anything it’s that format will continue to evolve as they try to sell more fresh food fast.  So, how long are you going to sit back and watch food retail evolve and the consumers migrated to other formants?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us 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.




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Roy Rogers Heating up Sales


Roy Rogers restaurants was looking for some new electricity to drive top line sales and bottom line profits recently and did what every branded chain should do they sought out a new partnership that could help speed up the rate of innovation while edifying the brands relationship with the customers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Roy Rogers is heating up its menu by teaming up with Texas Pete to introduce the restaurant’s all new Texas Pete Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The new sandwich was introduced at participating Roy Rogers menus on September 10 in hopes of finding that new electricity.
So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, Fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
Texas Pete and Roy Rogers partnership will according to the company “challenge even the biggest spicy food fans to giddy-up their taste buds. The base of Roy Rogers’ new creation starts with an all-white-meat breast fillet that is hand-battered and breaded in the restaurant. The juicy fillet is covered in savory spices, giving it the signature Texas Pete flavor. The spicy chicken fillet is served on a fluffy Kaiser roll, smothered in Roy Rogers’ smoky chili-pepper sauce and topped with a thick slice of Monterey Jack cheese.”
Mark Jenkins, Senior Director of Marketing for Roy Rogers Restaurants stated “Our ROYalists will have their taste buds tingling with this delicious sandwich.” “Teaming up with another cowboy to create a new and unique spicy chicken sandwich is great for both Roy Rogers and Texas Pete,” 
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us 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.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What’s for Dinner Grocerant Niche Meal Components



Regular readers of this blog have heard of The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome that Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson identified, quantified, and qualified back in 2012. The rest of you maybe reading it for the first time from legacy industry research scrambling to understand where today’s customers are eating, what they are eating, and why.
It is very edifying to hear companies the ilk of NPD, Nielsen, and Pentallect all do follow-up studies that prove we were right then and continue to lead the pack today on consumer insights into path-to-purchase.
Here are just some examples: “Eighty-two percent of American dinners are prepared at home — more than were cooked 10 years ago, according to researcher NPD Group. The latest peak in restaurant-going was in 2000, when the average American dined out 216 times a year. That figure fell to 185 for the year ended in February”
Now look at these numbers 216 was the number of times per year the average American dined out in 2000. Today the number is 185 of times per year the average American dined. According to MillerPulse data  that points out you should not “be fooled by reports of rising U.S. restaurant sales at big chains like McDonald’s. Increases have been driven by price hikes, not more customers.
Traffic for the industry was down 1.1 percent in July, the 29th straight month of declines “It’s counterintuitive because you see a lot of things in the press about restaurant sales increasing,” said David Portalatin, a food-industry adviser at NPD. “America does still cook at home.”
Consumers do eat at home in front of their 65 Inch HDTV according to Johnson and 85.4% of the meals that consumers ‘cook’ at home include at least ONE Grocerant Niche meal component that is either Ready-2-Eat or a Heat-N-Eat item.  Cooking is no longer cooking from scratch it has become meal assembly according to Johnson.
Bob Goldin, partner at food-service consultant Pentallect “For a lot of consumers, it’s expensive to eat out,” You can save a lot of money at the grocery.” Which is true’ however branded fresh prepared meal components and meal kits have found a found place at the dinner table and those retailers not selling those components are simply missing about according to the Grocerant Guru®.  
If you are just now hearing about The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome you are six years behind the customer.  Do you want to know where the customer is today? What they want and how they want it?  Call the Grocerant Guru®.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. 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 Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Chick-fil-A Incremental Sales a Click Away


Success does leave clues and there is no doubt which chicken chain has the highest revenue per location, or which chicken chain’s franchisee generate the most income, or which chick chain ranks highest in the minds of the consumers on social media. The answer of course is Chick-fil-A according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Chick-fil-A recently expanded a partnership with Kallpod, a touch-button call service that allows dine-in customers to order more food after they’ve paid for their initial order at the counter creating new electricity that will drive incremental top line sales and bottom line profits.
Kallpod, founded four years ago, provides a customized “call button” service for hotels, bars and restaurants.  In the case of Chick-fil-A, the three-button system features these requests: “I want the manager,” “I want service” and “I want to order something else.” Elevating brand relevance Chick-fil-A with technology will be a large part of the new electricity driving continued success.
So how does it work?  Say a customer wants more food, they summon an employee with one push of a button. A worker dedicated to taking dining room orders using an iPad takes the second order without the guest leaving his or her seat.  
Three months into the test program, restaurants reported that guests were more inclined to request second orders using the Kallpod call buttons.  The locations are now averaging $200 to $350 dollars per day on these second orders, according to Kallpod COO Steven Barlow.
How is your company elevating the price, value, service equilibrium? Are you doing it and adding incremental customer relevance? Does your restaurant look more like yesterday than tomorrow?  Chick-fil-A does not.  It looks and acts like a restaurant of today.
Where did you find your new electricity? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us 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.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Is Boston Market Still Struggling



Lacking any appearance of understanding what food consumers current need-set is or direction that restaurant customers path-to-purchase is Boston Market with its latest announcement reinforces the notion that closing stores to stay afloat is not a still not a strategy but a tactic of yesterday that leaves the once proud grocerant niche retailer looking lost according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Boston Market recently announced the launch of online meal delivery available to its guests across 330 restaurants nationwide. Wow, as regular readers of this blog know while delivery is important it is not a leadership strategy of today but rather another lifeline for a chain that has been treading water for 15 years rather than edifying its relationship with consumers.
However Boston Market lovers who want to enjoy home style rotisserie meals at a convenient value from the comfort of their home can go to BostonMarket.com or download the Boston Market app to place their orders. Boston Market has also partnered with Grubhub and DoorDash, two of the leading online delivery services with nationwide reach, to ensure that its full menu of rotisserie meals is accessible to guests in any way they want to experience delivery across the U.S.
Time to get started as Boston Market is offering free delivery for all orders over $15 from August 15–21. Boston Market guests can go to the BostonMarket.com homepage to retrieve their coupon for free online delivery during this period.
Frances Allen, chief executive officer, Boston Market stated “With the launch of multiple Boston Market Delivery options, putting a delicious, healthy meal on the table is only a click away”. “We want to give our guests time back in their lives they can use to connect with family and friends.”
Has your brand lost it way? Have you closed more stores over the past 7 years than you have opened?  Did anyone ask you Why? Have your C-level executives rationalized and justified mediocre performance? Restaurant customers have migrated to new non-traditional outlets all the while Boston Market leadership pulled them back from a once leading grocerant niche start to looking more like yesterday’s chain restaurant.  I guess they were successful as they are getting results that look more like yesterday than today’s success leaders or tomorrow’s. .
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, September 16, 2018

Sainsbury's tries cashier-less shopping 'till-free' to speed-up Checkout


Time starved consumers love Amazon Go cashier free stores according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Is it any wonder that food retailers are all trying to find ways to speed up the shopping experience?
UK based supermarket chain Sainsbury's currently is experimenting a ‘till-free’ check out so consumers do not have to wait for the next teller. Instead, customers can scan goods with a smartphone and put them straight into a bag. When they have finished shopping, their payment is processed by the phone similar to what Kroger is testing at many of their stores in the US.
The Sainsbury's SmartShop app lets customers scan the contents of their shopping cart as they browse the aisles to reduce waiting time at the checkout. The app is already available in 68 stores, but customers in one location will now be able to pay with the app too. The trial is currently only available in the Clapham North Sainsbury's Local, to iPhone users who have Apple Pay set up on their device.
It is this simple after scanning an item they want to buy customers can put it straight into their own personal shopping bag. After finishing their shopping, customers scan a QR code by the store's exit to confirm their purchases. They are then free to leave.
The simple fact is today’s consumers want to get in and out fast and retailers want to have less employees and benefits to pay this scan and go system is a step in the right direction.  It is not as good of a solution as Amazon Go according to Johnson.  However all retailers must move forward faster or they will be the next A&P.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. 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 Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant