Saturday, June 25, 2016

KFC Powers Forward Focused on Millennials

Many regular readers of this blog know that KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  KFC was one of the very first grocerant niche players offering Ready-2-Eat meals by the bucket or box for one or for the family that could be customized and personalized.  

Our own Grocerant Guru® has lamented on many a blog that somehow they have lost thier mojo, customer focus, and since of position even within the chicken category.  Well our team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that they could be about to turn the corner and regain some of what was lost. 

Steven Johnson our Grocerant Guru® stated “KFC is Looking A Customer Ahead with its new Limited Time Offer (LTO) that is being tested outside of the US in India. Without out doubt the KFC Watt a Box will drive customer adoption and increase brand awareness anywhere they roll it out.”  

KFC has improved on its 5-in-1 Meal Box in India with a new feature that lets you charge your phone while you eat.  The “Watt a Box” comes with a built-in power bank and USB cord. This is a limited-edition item that will be gifted to select customers at certain KFC locations in Mumbai and Delhi, though KFC India’s website warns that the offer is not valid in airport outposts and in Medicity, a medical institute in Delhi”

Ok so there are some location limitations but they sound reasonable.  More import is the fact that the value added utility of the box, the value of expanding the brand with relevance, combined with garnering a new platform of consumers, this LTO is on target, on message, and packed with relevance for young and old alike.  

Lluis Ruiz Ribot, told the Times of India. “With the launch of the Watt a Box, we have gone a step ahead and also introduced an element of utility into the box.”  This isn’t the first time that KFC  has added a techie touch to some of its menu items. Last summer KFC celebrated its 60th anniversary in Canada with the “Memories Bucket“—a Bluetooth-enabled bucket of fried chicken from which you could print out photos you take on your phone. 

A KFC spokesperson told Fortune that the Watt a Box initiative is exclusive to India and, “At this time, we do not have plans to bring it to the U.S.” If you’re a KFC franchisee I suggest you call corporate and get the Watt a Box LTO in your stores for success does leave clues and customer relevance is a key driver of future success. 

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, June 24, 2016

Consumers Continue Calling Grocerants Great

Back in the day when Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® conducted the first global grocerant webinar title: The Rise of the Grocerant consumers were thinking about migrating from restaurants to new non-traditional outlets for fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food. 

The new normal in food retailing today is consumers are looking for fresh prepared food from both non-traditional retailers and manufactures.  Today companies that are focusing on fresh prepared food, leveraging portability, and packaging to create family meal cohesion are garnering incremental market share according to our own Grocerant Guru®.

Many research and consulting companies are scrambling to get up to speed on what’s happening within the grocerant niche.  We do not know it all but we are FIVE years ahead of everyone else. Are you a food retailer wondering who’s after your current customers? Do you understand Migration Marketing?

Consumers are dynamic not static.  Legacy fresh food retailers must be mindful of the undercurrents of Migration Marketing and the success steps utilized by Non-traditional fresh food retailers to capture a larger share of stomach.  Let me ask you do you know:

What are Non-Traditional Retailers doing?
Where are Non-Traditional Retailers doing it?
Who is winning market share among Non-Traditional Retailers?
How do you get your customers back?

Millennials are demanding more options from legacy c-stores and grocery stores they are looking for ‘restaurant quality’ Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Simply put they are looking for meals and meal components with the ‘halo’ of better for you. 

Many restaurants have responded and began offering meals, meal components, and meal kits all with a grocerant niche focus.  Companies the ilk of Boston Market, Panera Bread, and Corner Bakery CafĂ© are offering branded meal components can be found online or kiosk-based ordering and other technologies that enhance food delivery will give the restaurant brand a leg up on C-store or grocery store prepared food offering. 

Manufactures like FiveStar Gourmet Foods, which makes prepared salads, is set to expand into Santa Fe-style salad and a hummus snack packs that target both the lunch and dinner sector. Foodservice Solutions® has been tracking the grocerant niche longer than any other company in the world.  Contact: for the most consumer relevant grocerant niche information in the world. For direct questions reach out to

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Coffee is the New King but Ice Cream still Reigns at DQ

Coffee has propelled convenience stores with AM daypart success that expanded grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food sales all day long at companies the ilk of Wawa, Sheetz, and 7-Eleven.  In fact 7-Eleven sells 1.1 million cups of coffee at day.  
McDonald’s, Burger King, have in recent years expanded their focus on coffee both hot and cold and now Dairy Queen has introduced a line of cold coffees and frappes. Barry Westrum, Dairy Queen’s executive vice president of marketing stated” Cold coffee represents the biggest growth market in the beverage category.”

The new coffee Dairy Queen offerings include vanilla, salted caramel and mocha flavors, while the frappes come in Oreo, Caramel Chip or Midnight Mocha varieties. Westrum continued “Our brand does very well in the afternoon and evening snack periods,”…. “We saw an opportunity to strengthen in the afternoon. Coffee peak period is between 2 and 5 in the afternoon.”

In order to market the new coffee with a targeted focus Dairy Queen has started a “Hardest Working Happy Hour” campaign to entice customers to buy the drinks. Small iced coffees are priced at $1 during the happy hour, while small frappes and a selection of Orange Julius smoothies are priced at $2.

Success does leave clue and Dairy Queen experienced great success with its ‘$5 Buck Lunch” where they estimated unit sales rose more than 10 percent at the 4,400-unit chain last year.  Targeting the ‘ happy hour Dairy Queen hopes to have the same success generating traffic in late afternoons that it did in generating traffic during lunch.

Millennials love grazing, cold coffee and frappes sell great in the summer it could very well be a perfect match.  It looks as if Dairy Queen may make coffee king for happy hour but reassured ice cream will still reign this summer at Dairy Queen.   

Invite  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:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dollar General Going Grocerant

Millennials are like the rest of us time starved, price conscious consumers will soon be welcoming a new entrant into the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food niche.  Dollar General announced this week that they will roll out a new prototype for all its stores in 2016.

Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos announced during an earnings call that the new store type will offer speedier checkouts, a greater focus on perishables and health and beauty, and a more customer-friendly shopping experience.

Vasos continued "The consumer will be able to and have faster, more convenient checkout, an attribute that is a high priority for our core consumer, We have value engineered the design to be capital efficient and easier to operate for our store teams."

Filling in with fresh, the goal of the prototype is to emphasize perishables and help moms find quick meal solutions or fill-in items, Dollar General will expand cooler penetration across store bases. This was prompted by research that shows a basket with a perishable item is nearly 50-percent higher than the chain average.

"This is a big opportunity that we know how to capitalize on, as we have already increased the cooler count on average by just over 50 percent since 2008," Vasos noted. Overall, consumables made up 75.7 percent of Dollar General's revenues last year, up from 63 percent a decade ago.

Dollar General is well positioned to capitalize on this trend given thier brand offerings and price relevance While restaurants and C-stores have been building sales momentum within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food niche. Now that Dollar General has entered the mix the price, service, quality equilibrium will be resetting once again.  Are you prepared? Do you need outside eyes?

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: or visit: for more information