Monday, January 16, 2017

Grocery Store Conundrum Fresh Food

Non-traditional fresh food outlets continue to garner sales from legacy grocery stores for one simple reason. That reason is legacy grocery stores simply don’t do a good job with fresh food.  Here is one example from grocery research company Blue Yonder:

Specifically, 81% of shoppers said they are unable to get produce they want in store, online and at discount retailers, yet 91% of grocery retail professionals are confident they are meeting customer expectations of availability.”

The Blue Yonder research report went on to say “Shopping experiences both online and in-store are not only failing to meet customer expectations of purchasing goods anytime, anywhere, but 35% of shoppers stated they are let down at least once a week. Sixty nine percent (69%) said there is a lack of availability online, while 85% found the same struggles in supermarkets.”

They continued “Replenishment practices are also lacking across supermarket chains, as 30% of all shoppers abandoned their carts if they were unable to find the produce they wanted. Meanwhile, 28% saying that they felt unsatisfied when buying a similar product as a substitute, data revealed.” 

Here is what was shocking fact they were lacking produce availability had much wider implications for profitability. “It has prompted 20% of shoppers to stop shopping with a retailer permanently or for a period of time. This figure rises to 31% for online retailers,” the report said. 

Legacy retailers that can’t even stock fresh produce properly surly cannot be expected rollout a quality grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food program on their own.  Thus, other are and doing a good job as they garner market share depriving grocery retailer’s pantry sales as well.  Are you ready for Outside Eyes for Inside Profits?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. 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 Johnson, or

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Grocerant Fresh Food Engagement Drives Customer Migration

Millennials and Gen Z quest for discovery includes engagement with a halo of ‘better-for-you’ according to Steven Johnson the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Grocery stores service deli’s, Convenience stores, Restaurants, Dollar Stores, and Drug Stores are all increasing the number for fresh food SKU’s that that offer seeking a larger share of dollars and share of stomach according to Johnson.
Echoing those findings recently was Colin Stewart, SVP at Acosta who stated ““The experiential factor is driving today’s shoppers to make food choices rooted in what will bring them personal satisfaction and enjoyment,”… “As we head into 2017, it’s important that brands and retailers think about how their product offerings contribute to grocery shoppers’ positive experiences from the moment the item is spotted on the store shelf to when it reaches their kitchen tables.”
In fact a recent report from Acosta they detailed many of the findings for 2017 and here they are:
1.        Forty-five percent of shoppers eat healthy foods even though they are more expensive.
  1. Thirty-eight percent of shoppers agree, "I often buy natural/organic products because I know they are better for me."
  2. On a typical shopping trip, Millennial shoppers indicated that 39 percent of the items in their grocery carts were organic products, while total U.S. shoppers indicated just over 25 percent of the items in their typical carts were organic products.
4.        Twenty-six percent of Millennial shoppers indicated they usually stay on the store perimeter — such as the produce, meat and dairy sections — only visiting select center-store aisles during stock-up trips.
  1. More Millennial shoppers are familiar with non-meat diet choices, with 18 percent following a non-meat/low-meat diet daily.
6.        Nine in 10 shoppers indicated shopping most often at the same grocery retailers as last year.
  1. Fifty-four percent of shoppers enjoy the experience of shopping for ingredients to prepare the meals they have planned.
  2. Seventy-seven percent of shoppers are buying the same grocery brands as last year.
  3. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers want their grocery brands to be transparent about their ingredients, processing or production.
  4. Forty-six percent of shoppers agreed they want their grocery brands to be ones they can trust.
  5. Thirty-five percent of shoppers buy grocery brands that are socially responsible.
  6. Cooking as a culinary experience, not a chore
  7. Many shoppers enjoy the experience of planning and creating meals at home.
  8. Fifty-six percent of shoppers enjoy the experience of planning meals for their households.
  9. Sixty percent of shoppers enjoy preparing new dishes.
  10. Forty-five percent of Millennial shoppers want to take cooking classes to learn how to prepare new meals and dishes.
  11. Fifty-four percent of shoppers often check out new items in the grocery store.
18.     sixty-one percent of shoppers have redeemed digital/mobile coupons in the past month for grocery items.
19.     Fifty-nine percent of shoppers who have grocery e-commerce available said they had ordered grocery items online in the last year.
  1. Fifty-three percent of shoppers get recipe ideas online.
  2. Nineteen percent of shoppers — and 25 percent of shoppers with children — have posted food or recipe content to social media.
Stewart continued “From online grocery ordering and a desire to explore new foods, to natural products and socially responsible brands, consumers are at the wheel when it comes to steering the CPG industry in a new direction”.  That direction has been and continues to be the Grocerant niche fresh prepared food.  I guess success does leave clues and is one heck of a good clue.  is the global leader in 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:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Technology is Powering Food Retail Growth

Ok, remember when we wrote the blog about the new Dominos delivery car with an oven.  While many of you wrote and said it was just an expensive expense for franchisee. Steven Johnson our global Grocerant Guru® insisted that the technology combined with digital marketing messaging was differentiation that would elevate Dominos. Since 2015 Domino’s sales, stock, and customers relevance has gone no-where but up. 

So what other technology will we be seeing making its way into restaurants 2017?  Well for one Costco is utilizing pizza-making-robots already in many outlets.   In 2017 we will see an increase in consumer’s attitudes and acceptance of technology including kiosk ordering at fast food outlets including McDonalds.
There will be more Drive-Thru only restaurants, chatbots that allow online users to make reservations, Amazon’s Alex will allow you to order food from Wingstop and 7-Eleven will have more drones that can deliver frozen Slurpee to your doorstep.
Supermarkets struggling to gain customer frequency will embrace digital technology and social media as a means to connect and communicate with their shoppers in an effort to keep pace with the restaurant sector. Currently 37% of shoppers use their mobile devices in store for comparing prices, searching for product

On-line and e-commerce shopping is a growing channel for grocery and studies project sales to be around $24 billion in 2017.  They only way for legacy grocery retailers to retain urban dwellers who are the largest on-line shopper segment, “time-starved”, and more likely prefer restaurants to legacy grocery store pantry food.  Hand held mobile phones are rapidly becoming the platform of choice for shopping on-line for home food delivery, prepared meal components according to aggregate information from Grocerant ScoreCards.

Technology continues to drive customer relevance in food discovery, price, purchase, and retailer profits according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.  Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Friday, January 13, 2017

Grocerant Growth Five 2017 Undercurrents of Success

There are five undercurrents of growth that are driving the continued expansion of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food in 2017 according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.
Foodservice Solutions® has conducted in excess of 6,677 Grocerant ScoreCards. Non-client specific information garnered from those Grocerant ScoreCards during 2016 was the source for our findings. The five undercurrents driving grocerant growth are:

1.       Increase in competition for share of stomach: Companies the ilk of EveryTable, New Seasons Market, Eat Fit Go, and Green Zebra Grocery.
2.       Expanded Mix and Match Meal Bundling : Restaurants the ilk of  Essen Slow Food Fast, Freshii, Moaz, Native Foods CafĂ©, Veggie Grill, Safeway, Publix, Rutter’s Farm Stores, Sheetz, and Wawa.
3.       Customization and or Personalization of menu items drive’s Gen Z and Millennial adoption. Without doubt retailers that edify there retail food brand are creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization and customer adoption.
4.       Small plates, Bold flavors, and Portability: Takeout, TakeAway, and ToGo menu items sold in a restaurant, c-store, drug store, club store, furniture store, or grocery stores via a drive-thru, online, mobile, featuring authentic ethnic flavors regardless of the type of retail outlet for quick pick-up or delivery continue to drive adoption.
5.       Price : maybe Aldi said it best “Poor people must save, rich people like too”

Simply put Grocerant ScoreCards provide real-time customer relevance in our data dependent intelligence age according to our own Grocerant Guru®. Do you understand the undercurrents of change driving foodservice growth in 2017?  Do you understand the importance of integrating consumer relevance into your brand messaging?

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

‘Better-for-You’ Fast Food Fuels Growth at Eat Fit Go

The popularity of ‘better for you’ fresh prepared food is nothing new to regular readers of this blog. There is one fast food company that is about to breakout in 2017, and that company is Eat Fit Go.  The undercurrents of consumer migration to ‘better-for-you’ fresh fast food is about to revolutionize the way people eat on the go according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.

Eat Fit Go, opened its first store just last February, has now expanded to other states and is on track to open 80 more restaurants in 2017. Sam Vakhidov is the 30-year-old co-founder, co-owner and CEO of the ‘better-for-you’ fast food chain, where healthy, fast food is the whole concept.

Vakhidov  stated “Not having a sit-down restaurant helps us pass down the savings to our customers. The idea is to make healthy food available and accessible to anybody in the country,”  The team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that Eat Fit Go, will continue to garner new customer adoption as Gen Z’s, and Millennials continue to seek food discovery, fresh fast food, and healthy food options.

Meals at Eat Fit Go range from $4 to $11, and customers can either eat them immediately, or keep them in the fridge up to seven days. Steven Johnson Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® commends Eat Fit Go for filling the void that other fast food retailers have not.  That void is targeting both grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal simultaneously.

Eat Fit Go understands that 50% of Americans over the age of 18 are single and the ability to obtain ‘better-for-you’ fresh food options is important and providing drive-thru service elevates the customer relevance in the minds-eye of the consumer according to Johnson.

Eat Fit Go’s chief attitude officer, Erik Bird, stated “From the minute (the food) it gets cooked, it gets cooled, and it gets packaged the right way, which extends the shelf life,” Menu variety is key to success Eat Fit Go as a menu with more than 40 options, from kids’ meals to vegetarian dishes.

Fresh Fast Food that is ‘better-for-you’ is a grocerant niche platform that will drive change not only within the fast food sector it will drive change within every sector of food retail as many c-store are currently testing both Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food options and legacy grocery stores will simply be forced to follow or risk incremental market share capitulation.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Carrefour Fresh Fast Fabulous

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson as regular readers of this blog know says that success does leave clues.  One sure clue most food retailers have picked up on is that small formant stores are fueling retail foodservice success and Carrefour has developed a template for that success.
We need not look any further than a recent study by Package Facts that found “the average square footage of supermarkets has fallen since 2006 and is now approximately 46,000 sq. ft. Even smaller size formats of 25,000 sq. ft. or less, modeled by chains like Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s and Lidl, have proven to be successful.”
While Carrefour has found success other formats are now being tested as well including Ahold’s bFresh  and Whole Foods 365 markets. These stores are catering to smaller households in urban areas, and to shoppers who appreciate the accessibility and navigability of a smaller shopping space something Carrefour has perfected.
Recently Carrefour has opened its 4,000th convenience store in France – a ‘bespoke’ Carrefour Express unit, covering 180 square metres, filled with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food. The new unit offers the city’s dwellers a selection of nearly 3,500 SKUs, among which is an 'extensive' range of fresh produce, fruit, vegetables and snacks. An in-store bakery is also available.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Starbucks Builds Better Bites

Back in the day Steven Johnson Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® while acting as Program Manager for new concept roll out for the U.S. Navy’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation group (MWR) worked diligently with both WR Grace and Culinary Brands to develop Sous Vide menu items for U.S. Navy bases worldwide.

Recently Starbucks announced that they are planning to offer Sous Vide Egg Bites for Breakfast and the team at Foodservice Solutions® thinks that it is an outstanding move by Starbucks.  Sous Vide will allow Starbucks too introduce a plethora of new menu within all existing locations.

So start looking for sous vide bites at a Starbucks near you and ask for the Sous Vide Egg Bites, perfectly cooked eggs with wholesome ingredients. Eveline Chao-Rivera, Starbucks brand manager stated “People are more conscious of what they are eating,”… “Many are skipping out on bread and focusing on nutritious protein to fuel their increasingly busy days.” Clearly the Egg Bites fit that bill.

Chao-Rivera  continued “Time and time again, we learned that customers were ordering our breakfast sandwiches without the bread or requesting more vegetarian options,” …“We knew that we had a very specific need to satisfy.”

For those of you that do not know Sous-vide, which means "under vacuum" in French, is a culinary technique where vacuum-sealed food is immersed in water and cooked at a very precise and consistent temperature. This cooking method is preferred because it doesn’t require extra fats and oils.

“Sous-vide cooking offers an unbelievable texture to food unlike anything else,” Chao-Rivera said. “It makes eggs velvety and creamy—almost like you’re eating something indulgent, but you’re not.”
Through a collaboration over several months, Starbucks and
Cuisine Solutions created Sous Vide Egg Bites in two flavors. Sous vide is a tool that should be used by more national and regional chains according to the team at Foodservice Solutions®.
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.