Monday, December 29, 2014

The New American Dream includes Starbucks and Grocerant Fresh Food.

Every recession at some point in time becomes a learning lesson.  When the current great recession began seven years ago in late 2007, the American consumer once famous for our “free-spending ways” has now according to a new report from Consumer Reports turned into the “American scrimper”.
In large part during the recession, American’s began buying less of everything from restaurant meals to housing even haircuts.  The Consumer Reports National Research Center study found: “Americans are showing a new optimism. We’re ready to shop again. But we’re not the same old spendthrifts we used to be; this harrowing economic era has changed America’s buying habits, perhaps permanently.”
According to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ the largest increase in retail grocery sales over the last seven years can be bound within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food aka Grocerant niche food. Consumers are seeking time savings and convenience; finding both practicality and indulgence at the intersection fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food. 

Consumer Reports found that the one thing that Americans hate to give up. “Our caffeine habit, for instance.” Starbucks has become America’s indulgence according to our Grocerant Guru™.  While Consumer Reports found “People aren’t trading down; they’re trading off, there has been a huge surge in gourmet bagged coffee sales.”

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food has evolved with consumers, endured the rescission and is positioned to lead the food industry into its next evolution.  Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ has been at the forefront and can help your company, brand, or leadership team reposition for success in the Grocerant era simply call: 1-253-759-7869. 

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For additional Information Contact:

Friday, December 26, 2014

Restaurants Expanding Points Distribution

In search of food discover consumers are now Omni-Channel consumers. The success of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food has been documented, talked about and written about for one reason of late. It is driving top line sales and bottom line profits within existing points of distribution and more importantly at non-traditional points of fresh food distribution garnering share from legacy food retailers.
Are you cultivating a brand or curating your brand? Are you still doing what you did in Is your food company prepared to succeed in 2015, 2016 … 2020? Here are some of the advantages to entering or expanding your business within the grocerant niche:
More customers Drive Top Line Growth
Brand protectionism is dying.  Are you over protecting brand?  Most large food retailers, big companies, have a narrow brand focus. That worked for 50 years. They have honed their brand and supply chain. They have set and defined boundaries, and it is difficult for insiders to see outside. Time and technology have redefined the consumer playing field. Your brand must become dynamic again or risk losing consumer relevance. There is a huge opportunity for share of market if you elect to evolve you brand with migrating fresh food consumers in take-out and take-way options.
Reward Results not Potential
Large food retailers typically pay more at the C-level, and are seen as stable employment currencies (not-taking risk). However the grocerant niche when vertically integrated into an existing brand creates a new level of excitement within the entire company. When sales grow, the opportunity for advancement expands, building team momentum, excitement explodes like a wildfire. Customers can feel the proactive positive buzz from employees. Doing the same old thing is simply doing nothing and Boring.  Doing Something new is Soaring. Customers notice companies on the move and reward them,
Exposure to Change is a Positive
Change is incredibly dynamic, consumer focused changed is contagious. Change evolves and will go through a bell curve, and you see the whole thing step by step when you vertically integrate change into brand and consumer values. If not integrated you do not really get to escape the velocity of the event, but change is exciting nonetheless and customers will still follow.
Consumer Relevance Means Driving Momentum
Are you going to tangibly impact your company or maintain the status quo? Today like never before companies have the ability to evolving a brand at a speed not seen since your company was a start-up. What impact are you going to have on your company? There is a difference between the work you do and the impact you have. Fresh Food retailing is evolving at break neck speed, evidenced by the Dollar Store formats selling more foods and Walgreens selling fresh foods and doing it well as you can see from this video of a Walgreens in San Francisco. Is your brand evolving fast?
Spin Out, Spin Off or Springboard to more Profitability
If you do nothing but wait, watch or blame the economy you are very likely to simply spin out of control. Redefining your brand with consumer relevance will position you too either create a positive spin off or springboard to the next level. Legacy organizations need to be mindful that springboards do great things for your organization, your team and your shareholders.
Success Does Leave Clues and Foodservice Solutions® is clue # 1
LTO's (Limited Time Offers) can drive top line sales and bottom line profits while taking you in a new direction. Are your LTO's leading your brand, testing your brand or simply copy-cat marketing tactics absent strategy?
Fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food in non-traditional outlets poses an ever increasing threat to restaurant growth. Want to know how to best address these new competitive threats?  Contact Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru™ at:  1-253-759-7869

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cowboy Chicken is not chicken to sell Turkey Meals To-Go

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared Grocerant niche food will be on more tables this year than ever before. Restaurants understand and have been evolving with consumers and retail food industry trends.  Cowboy Chicken Wood Fire Rotisserie, the Dallas-based fast-casual brand, brought back its holiday Wood Fire Rotisserie Turkey for this holiday season once again.
Cowboy Chicken’s whole turkeys are seasoned and cooked over the same wood fire. This year, Cowboy Chicken is offering “a Wood Fire Rotisserie Turkey Holiday Package, which feeds between eight to ten guests and features a 10 to 12 pound Wood Fire Rotisserie Turkey, Twice Baked Potaters, a Wild West Side, Country Style Stuffing, 12 dinner rolls, and Southern Blackberry Cobbler, all for $84.95.  Guests may order their Wood Fire Rotisserie Turkey Holiday Package at any Cowboy Chicken location between now and December 31, 2014.” 
Sean Kennedy, president of Cowboy Chicken said  “Our Wood Fire Rotisserie Turkey offers the perfect flavor and taste of the season, and paired with our seasonal Southern Blackberry Cobbler, makes every November and December special for our guests,”. “By using our proprietary Cowboy seasoning and cooking over a wood-burning fire, you get layers of flavor.”
Cowboy Chicken’s understands consumers desire for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food has a new Southern Blackberry Tea. The new Southern Blackberry Tea is also offered in a portable gallon container for family gatherings or games to enjoy with a Cowboy Chicken meal for only $4.99.
Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at:  or visit: Johnson,, or  Call 1-253-759-7869 or Email 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Plan on Cooking from Scratch in 2015 Why?

Today, Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is blurring the line between restaurants and grocery stores. Grocerant foods target the time-starved consumers, not with ingredients to make from scratch rather with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat food components that can be bundled into a meal.
When thinking about how you shop for most meal preparation needs, you might buy a rotisserie chicken, pick out something from a salad bar and maybe an appetizer at the deli service case. Those are components vs. buying uncooked chicken, a head of lettuce and then having to clean, cut, season and then season and spend time cooking.
Steven Johnson, is the Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solution® and defines the niche this way "Grocerant means any retail food item that is Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat while fresh prepared. Currently these items can be found in grocery stores in the deli / lifestyle section, Convenience stores in the prepared food area and prepackaged, ready to eat items and in restaurants under the To-go, takeout or take away or delivery section of the menu or on the website and now at Chain Drug Stores Walgreens and Duane Reade."
What is Driving the Grocerant Trend
At noon your customers are just beginning to think about what's for dinner. 81% of American consumers are unsure about what's for dinner. Time Starved Consumers are looking for high quality ready to eat foods and ready to heat meals. Today, time starved consumer wants to purchase meal components that they can bundle into a customized family meal that will please everyone without spending time cooking.
Examples of Grocerants
Restaurant examples are McDonalds, Pret A Manger Burger King, Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy's and Starbucks, each having a fresh Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat food menu. You may not think of Walgreens as a food destination yet Walgreens sells fresh soft-serve yogurt, coffee and sushi at selected stores, so they are technically Grocerants. In the Casual Dining sector Maggiano's Little Italy offers a buy one take a 2nd home for free in their Classic Pastas menu section.
Convenience Store examples are 7 Eleven, Wawa, Sheetz and QuickChek, all of which sell fresh and prepared sandwiches, salads, beverages.
Supermarket examples are Whole Foods, Central Market, Safeway and Kroger… all sell fresh prepared chicken, salads, sandwiches and most offer sushi and beverages.
Drug Store examples are Walgreen / Duane Reade both offer in both New York and Chicago Sushi, Smoothie, Wine, Coffee, Sandwiches and Fro-yo Bars.
The retail supermarket and convenience store sector have unique grocerant challenges. Presentation of the ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat fresh food is important. When you get a meal at a restaurant, the plate and the food look great… let's call this "food for now". Retailers are primarily selling "food for later" or take-out and unless an item is a sandwich, the looks of ready-2-eat meals and snacks begin to change.
Why is it so hard to package food to go? In the Hot food section of the grocery store the food in most cases does not look appealing so our expectations drop when we get it for Take-Away. In convenience stores like Wawa, the ready to eat food looks great in the to-go containers. Why?  Wawa puts the entire package together. They exert more control on the look and feel of "food for later".
Around the world we are now seeing sections in department's stores and kiosk in malls in Europe and Asia and airports around the world. The items can range from entrees to side items and deserts. Some examples of items range from fried chicken, mash potatoes, cream spinach, to liver and onions, pizza, hot dogs, steak, prime rib, various casseroles (hot-dish) to salads, side salads pie, cake and any single proportioned deserts. They can be picked up at the specific unit, or delivered.
In summary, a Grocerant is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants and grocery stores aimed at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat food components that can be bundled into a meal. With new non-traditional points of distribution and retail food competition opening daily your brand is under attack. Are you ready for 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.