Ready-2-eat re-branding is not back to the basic’s it’s a step into the future of food marketing, positioning and essential for legacy retail food brands continued consumer relevance. Grocery stores, Restaurants and Convenience stores are all scurrying to reposition their product / menu mix of “better for you” prepared food to garner an increase in share of stomach.
Competitive may not be a strong enough word for the battle between sectors and companies for the consumer. The Grocerant niche is where all the action is consisting of better for you prepared portable ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food. The Convenience store sector has led with Ready-2-Eat food innovation and over the past three years captured a larger share of stomach while sectors had flat or down sales.
McDonalds, Wegmans, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Sheetz, Boston Market and Wawa have done great things with fresh prepared ready-2-eat food. Each is capturing market share. The equilibrium between financial success and breakthrough top of mind recognition is but one key in the success. Ready-2-eat and Heat-N-eat grocerant niche fresh prepared better for you food is the main driver. Watch for Starbucks and McDonalds too add additional fresh food products for all age groups in 2012.
Safeway’s “lifestyle” is another example for grocerant re-branding and a turn away from the middle of the store and focus on consumer relevant fresh, prepared food. These “lifestyle” units have proven a focus on the grocerant niche prepared food sector provides a halo for even the burdened center of the store. This is about winning the heart and minds of the consumer. Safeway’s miss-step is they expanded each of the new remodeled units. They did not need to do that. They should have simply shrunk the middle of the store. All new Whole Foods stores will have a maximum of 30,000 SQFT. Once again proving fresh ready-2-eat food trumps legacy big stores.
The challenged for each company is the ability to see and understand the customers focus at its core, not your brands core. Success does leave clues and companies leading the charge in 2011 will be leaders within each niche for years to come. Those that do not will be reading headlines that C-level change is coming or came. Without bold new leaders those brands may simply become non relevant. In the event that they are more about their brand than the consumer they will simply fall to the way side.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org