Monday, September 26, 2016

What’s Driving Foodservice Traffic Count's

With Grocery store prices down 6.7% and Convenience stores leveraging mix and match meal bundling to a price advantage the restaurant sector has taken a hit in customer traffic counts. The question is what is driving customers to migrate from one avenue of fresh food distribution to another?
Foodservice Solutions® team has identified several commonalities that the successful retailers are utilizing to drive top line sales and bottom line profits. What even more important is that this set of commonalities are driving traffic counts. 
1.  The Fact is Price Matters More
While food quality, food consistency may be the mainstay foundation for chain restaurants.  Non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of Costco, Ikea, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s have leveraged price to their advantage. They have elevated the ideation of private label products to brand status. 
2. Customizable Differentiation For Individualization
Burger King may have started it with the tag line “Have it Your Way”, Chipotle may have elevated its and now McDonald’s has added customization for hand crafted fresh prepared food. Everyone from Subway to Sheetz MTO customers like to customize their food.  .
3. Vending technology is Back
Oftentimes, technology is an add-on but for companies like 365 by Whole Foods digital automation is the foundation for the brand. From TEA Bots to Scales 365 by Whole Foods is focused on automation turring technology into freshness while saving labor.
Pizza Touch, an Italy-based company that offers pizza baked hot in two minutes has placed units in Central Florida according to our own Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson  who stated “vending might just become the new face of fast food” as we noted just last month about the Pizza ATM at Xavier University.
4. Everyone Delivers Fresh Food Fast
Grocery store delivery of Deli fresh food is now offering delivery and Publix has gone so far as to offer catering. Fast-food and fast-casual restaurants are getting aggressive with delivery selecting customer relevant options such as Amazon Prime Now, Uber and DoorDash. Once again this is important because they expand their brands presence allowing for incremental customization of the family meal via mix and match meal components.
5. Fresh is Hot and Hot is Fresh
Fresh fish is one of the hottest fresh food options and leading the way is Poke (Hawaiian raw fish) it’s is a full flavored enter and complemented with bold spice and spice blends that are regional favorites. 
Hot is fresh from seasoned fresh fries with red hot chili and cheese to cheese infused with ghost peppers, and cool summer salads Sriracha dressing. Fresh is in, Hot is still in and Fresh and Hot top the charts.
6. Less is More When it comes to Ingredients
Clean labels edify authentic brands that offer additive free and preservative-free foods, menu items and ingredients resonate with consumers. Consumers are not buying food for a pantry nor do they have any desire for food that they buy to last for a week, a month or the winter. 
When it comes to CPG food products less is more and the same holds true for consumers Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food. The fewer the ingredients in a menu item the more consumers will want it.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Amazon Global Delivers Grocery Service

Amazon has never shied away from a challenge.  Last week Amazon expanded its grocery delivery service into India with the launch of its Pantry service in in Hyderabad, India where customers can shop for over 4,000 everyday essentials.
In a press release Amazon stated that "Using Amazon Pantry, customers can now shop for over 4,000 everyday essentials such as groceries and household products on the website and mobile, fill a virtual box of items and have them conveniently delivered at their doorsteps the following day,"
"Amazon Pantry makes it convenient for customers to stock-up for a basket of frequently purchased items while also increasing savings when compared to shopping at supermarkets," it added.
The newest international grocery retailer, Amazon brought its premium subscription service - Amazon Prime - to India this summer.  In India, Prime comes with unlimited one-day and two-day deliveries with no minimum order size, apart from early access to some deals on Amazon, as well as some Prime-members only deals.
Things are different in India  benefits available to Prime members in the US the ilk of Amazon Music  and Amazon Video - the shopping giant's video and music streaming services respectively - are not available in the country at this point. However Amazon will rollout incremental service over time and I expect both Video and Music to be included.
Country to country differentiation is a key to Amazon’s roadmap for success moving forward.  Amazon Pantry service was launched in the US for Prime customers only, and it's noteworthy that the company has launched the service in India for regular customers. There is a slight delivery charge for regular customers, but Amazon Prime customers currently have a promotional offer where they do not need to pay a delivery charge.

As with all new country launches there will be lessons learned.  However in the case of Amazon it’s noteworthy that grocery items are high on the list of products they want to deliver.  With a growing middle class, food, fresh food, food delivery including Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food will continue to drive success for retailer’s incremental customers.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom line profits.  Are you Looking A Customer Ahead?  Visit   or Contact for more information.  Remember Success does leave clue and we just may have the right clue for you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kum & Go Evolving Fresh Food

Success does leave clues and Kum & Go understands the undercurrents of customer migration into grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  After six years of Foodservice Marketing and experimentation using a system similar to the templated Foodservice Solutions®® Build, Measure, Learn and Repeat validating results Krum & Go is launching it new prototype fresh store.

Greg Tomberg explained “While the chain has been offering food for more than 50 years, Kum & Go in 2010 began a six-store operational food pilot to gain that commitment from the chain to a foodservice culture. As the chain expanded and evolved its food program over the following years, the company culture has had to change as well”
Tomberg continues “Retail is based on replenishment, and the food side is all centered on production. If we didn’t have parallel structures in place it wouldn’t work, so we had to create a blended culture”  With a marketing perspective and customer focus  Kum & Go also started focusing on creating a conversation with customers about its food products. Dollar slice pizza on Wednesdays became a profitable way to encourage trial of its pizza product. Kum & Go also began engaging its district supervisors in the food process so they were comfortable working with the food and could lead by example.

By 2015, the chain stepped up its quality assurance process, having third-party checks for critical checkpoints to ensure a safe product and that correct procedures and protocols are being followed. The chain has also added a fresh item management forecasting tool to ensure more frequent smaller batches to better overcome hurdles with shelf life.

Then in 2016, Kum & Go’s Marketplace store is its newest concept and the chain aims to have 16 by the end of the year. In this prototype, the kitchen is front and center with a grab-and-go case in front featuring fresh sandwiches, cut fruit and more.

Developing marketplace model took nearly two years, and the result is an entirely new concept. The centerpiece of the store is an expanded and open food preparation area that customers can see from the moment they enter. Other location features include:

  • Elevated food experience with Kum & Go’s “Go Fresh Market”
  • Open kitchen layout, clear aisles and easy-to-navigate zones
  • Seating inside with patio seating outside (weather permitting)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging stations for customers
  • Expansive beer cave and growler station with fresh beer
  • Designed for LEED-certified status, using energy efficient and sustainable design

Tomberg stated that his biggest takeaway was “at the end of the day, your chain has to be united behind food because it’s your brand customers are coming in to shop.” Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is the key to driving top line sales and bottom line profits in food retail today.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Subway Coloring the Fall Fresh

Subway founded on the ideation that fresh food fast would be ‘better for you’ is kicking it up a notch this fall. Subway will be rolling out a Food Truck in New York City yesterday with “The +color initiative which is designed to challenge Americans to add one more cup of color, which is two servings of vegetables, to their diet every day”. Clearly Subway is as customer relevant today as it was when it was founded according to the team at Foodservice Solutions®.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015—2020, the average intake of fruits and vegetables for adults under 50 is about half of the recommended intake ranges. The American Heart Association and Subway restaurants are teaming up to bring a +color food truck to New York City on September 22, to show New Yorkers how adding one extra cup makes a difference. Subway restaurants makes it easy to add more vegetables (and more color) with two servings per 6-inch sub.
The truck will serve up free fruit and vegetable items, including veggie kebabs, colorful veggie salads, avocado multigrain flatbreads, seasonal fruit skewers and fruit and avocado popsicles, to show how easy it is to add color. Dylan Dreyer of NBC News’ “TODAY” will be on hand to dish out these colorful treats.
Today you can continue the conversation, as, +color is launching a nationwide digital event on the American Heart Association's YouTube Channel. Consumers across the country are encouraged to participate by watching and sharing the +color launch video using #addcolor that will connect them with additional content and recipes.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’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. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pizza Vending Machine Fresh Fast Food

Italian pizza has arrived in Florida by way of a state-of-art pizza vending machine.  Two Mobil-branded convenience stores one in Orlando and the other in Lakeland, Fla., have rolled out pizza vending machines from Pizza Touch, an Italy-based company that offers pizza baked hot in two minutes according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson vending might just become the new face of fast food as we noted just last month about the Pizza ATM at Xavier University.

The Pizza Touch pizzas are priced at $6.  The fast food vending machine takes cash, cards or coins some have dubbed it a ‘Pizza ATM’. Customers use a touchscreen to select and pay for any one of three pizza varieties—Margherita, Pepperoni and 4 Cheese, with mozzarella, gorgonzola, Edam and Emmental cheeses.
While these are the first two installed Pizza Touch operates nearby service centers for its ATM-style modules, where logistics are in place to refill machines with pizza. Each Pizza Touch machine also records ordering information in real time. It’s our best guess you will be seeing this located at hotels, resorts, colleges, and universities in the local area soon as well. 
Given the current uproar and pressure to raise the minimum wage in the US somewhere between $ 10 and $15 dollars an hour it would look as if it’s vending a natural progression in the fresh fast food space according to our Grocerant Guru®.  Younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 seek out vending machines for snacks with Forty-one percent of younger consumers choose vending machines for midmorning snacks; 58% say the same for midday snacks according to Technomic.
A recent report revealed that “49% of consumers ages 18–34 purchase pizza as a snack, and 68% of consumers overall report choosing pizza as an afternoon snack”.  Pizza Touch is no joke, no start-up in fact
Pizza Touch is a division of Grupo Rocket, an Italian holding company that has been operating foodservice and technology businesses for 15 years in global markets and in over 400 stores in overseas locations.
Grupo Rocket announced the arrival of Pizza Touch to U.S. markets in April 2016; convenience-store installations, including the initial rollouts in the Florida Mobil units, are tests for the company. If successful, Grupo Rocket will prep for wider expansion of Pizza Touch in convenience stores and gas stations nationwide. Foodservice Solutions® team has is confident this vending platform will find success.  does 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, September 21, 2016

Foodservice Solutions® Food Marketing’s FIVE P’s

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson refined the universal commonalities of retail success that he found after conducting over 6,000 grocerant scorecards.  Our Grocerant Guru® found that retailers focused on selling Hand Held, Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared grocerant niche food must include all five components to drive top line sales and bottom line profits

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® was first to identify Portability is a key driver in the undercurrents of change evolving within the retail foodservice sector today.  There is little doubt now that success within the food industry today can be traced back directly to Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s food marketing back in 1994.

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson in 1994 identified, quantified, and qualified The then 5 P’s of Fresh Food Marketing, prior to introducing the world to the term Grocerant which he coined and had published in 1997.   Johnson introduced, implemented, and integrated the Five P’s of Foodservice Marketing with foodservice companies including Full Service Restaurants, Chain Drug Stores, Grocery Stores, QSR’s, and C-Store clients.  The 5 P’s are:

Foodservice Solutions® current team continues to refresh the Five P’s of Foodservice Marketing utilizing four key pillars of every marketing program Build, Measure, Learn and Repeat then validated results.  After repeated successful retail food industry adoption of Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Fresh Food Marketing is well underway. 

Grocerant niche marketing FIVE P’s validation; Technomic conducted qualitative and quantitative research then compiled the following infographic highlighting the importance and consumer relevance that portability play’s today.  The infographic is entitled Pertinence of Portability:

The fact highlighted by Technomic that 51% of the U.S. consumer order Food-2-Go once a week or more. When ordering breakfast On-The-Go 56% of consumers say portability is important. Were additional key elements in validating our success moving forward, and we thank them.

There is no greater professional complement than have others validate our work. Foodservice Solutions®  excels at vertical brand product positioning, marketing strategy, and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity specifically Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.

Visit:  if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Johnson, or

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Once Again Korean Lunch Boxes Drive Grocerant Sales Higher

Success does leave clues and grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits in every sector of retail foodservice globally according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.

The has done a very good job of reporting about the tremendous continued success of the grocerant niche Lunch boxes sold at convenience stores.  Recently they reported that Korean Lunch Boxes have grown increasingly popular in the past year, roughly tripling in sales and reshaping the lunch culture for employees and students in Korea. 

In Korea lunch meals sold at convenience stores are relatively inexpensive, ranging between 3,000 won (US$2.66) and 4,000 won, with the quality and variety of the dishes featured constantly improving to such delicacies as bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), ribs, and pork cutlets, along with a wide range of side dishes. 

A spokesperson for Seven Eleven Korea stated “In the past, convenience store meals were viewed more as on-the-go quick bites, but the new lunch boxes are more like a whole meal,” …“The quality and taste of the lunch boxes have improved so much that they fit the preferences of workers, students and people living alone.” 

In Korea CU reported sales of lunch boxes increased 2.98 times as of the end of August compared to the same period last year, while GS25 said sales of boxed lunches increased 2.76 times as of the end of August. Seven Eleven also saw its sales increase by 2.54 times.  If success does leave clues and it does grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is a clue for all retailers.

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: the 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. Visit: for more information

Image Credit: Yonhap /