Great brands and recycled executive leaders are not always a good fit. The one thing the restaurant industry is very good at is promoting from within a brand or within the industry. Sometimes however those leaders work so hard at doing the same thing they forget that consumers are dynamic not static.
Ever wonder why Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday and TGI Fridays are on the “for sale block”? When brand leaders practice brand protectionism over brand evolution many times the results are not positive.
With the rapid growth of fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food expanding into new non-traditional avenues of distribution with rapid consumer trial and acceptance it no wonder legacy chains the ilk of Red Lobster and Ruby Tuesday missed the fact that snack foods have made their way into main meal occasions according to the NPD Group.
NPD found that the “number of snack meals eaten between main meals in the United States has remained steady over the last several years. NPD's SnackTrack information, however, shows that while traditional between-meal snacks may be flat or softening, versatile snacks such as fruit and yogurt are driving growth as a snack food at main meal occasions.”
This evolving shift has changed how consumer consumers view/define meals or meal occasions. “In 1985, NPD's National Eating Trends information found that more than 70 percent of household heads reported trying to avoid snacking entirely. In 2013, only around 40 percent said the same, indicating that snacking is no longer necessarily seen as an indulgence.”
Legacy chains must focus on the consumer and share of stomach over share of an industry define market niche. When looking at share of stomach the focus is on the consumer not simply direct restaurant competitors. The consumer eats four distinctly defined meal occasions a day. However many restaurants focus on one, or two a day which has not contributed to long term gains is share of stomach. Are you looking at your customer? Are your leaders looking at your brands market position yesterday, last year, or five years ago?
www.FoodserviceSolutions.us specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche. visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant