Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Size does matter today in food retailing.

It’s easy for all food retailers to look back at what has worked or is working in other sectors. What appears obvious today was overlooked or dismissed by industry leaders years before. Consumers however catch on much more quickly, allowing up-start ideations or concepts to grow and develop relatively un-noticed. The grocerant niche is such a niche. Grocery stores have replaced over 10,000 SKU’s of traditional ingredients with 200 or so SKU’s or ready-to-eat and or ready-to-heat prepared foods that are portable. We are witnessing dramatic change in how, where and why consumers buy food. Retailers in the Grocerant niche are experimenting with alternative formats including reducing the size of the retail footprint, most notable is the Franchising Calbi Fusion Tacos and Burritos mobile trucks. Burger Kings Whopper Bar is one example that is being rolled out with a global footprint. In Tokyo, Japan Aeon is introducing 500 new units that range in size from 130-200 sq meters each.

Remember how Dominos was dismissed as a quirk, Papa Murphy’s now with over 1,050 unit the same thing. ROI on smaller footprint operations has proven successful over time. Today growing your brand does not mean larger units. What is important is units close to the consumer with focused products.

Is your company stuck in the past? Is protecting you brand more important than your customer? How often do you say “We don’t do that”? Brand Protectionism can lead to a brands demise.

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