The undercurrents of restaurant industry continue to evolve .All food retailers are beginning to see a “Seismic Shift” in food shopping behavior from in-store ordering to mobile and on Online Shopping. Starbucks CEO once considered the best restaurant sector CEO has evolved and is standing out from his peers and is now considered a “retail food merchants extraordinaire” according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.
Howard Schultz, president and CEO of Starbucks stated he sees a “seismic shift” to online shopping. So concerned was Schultz he has reorganized Starbucks leadership team. His concern was based on retail research indicators (and I think SBUX sales numbers) pointing to the fact that legacy brick and mortar retail stores locations are at an “inflection point” in losing traffic to e-commerce shopping.
Starbucks is one of the best food merchants. Starbucks has created a customer focused platform of product customization, convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™. When Starbucks detects a “seismic shift” an “inflection point” the team at Foodservice Solutions® agrees and understands. That shift is occurring and in larger part driven by activates within the Grocerant Niche including new non-traditional points of fresh food distribution.
And it is not just upscale Starbucks seeing this shift. Traditional supermarkets are grappling with the “seismic shift” to online shopping.
According to an article in Supermarket News Thom Blischok of Booz & Co “Experts think it’s inevitable that sales of many non-perishable grocery categories will eventually take place online. Retailers need to meet that demand, but also the creative challenge of what to do with the space that it will open up in stores. He shared his ideas about “Tomorrow’s Trends Delivered Today: Store Design Trends — The Path to 2025” at a recent Food Marketing Institute conference and you can read his article Future Online Sales to Open Space for Design Innovation in Supermarkets - SN.
Millennials on-going quest for food discovery
Millennials on-going quest for food discovery is driving the growth in points of distributions, new flavors, and technology introductions in the fresh food space aka the grocerant niche. That discovery is a result of an increase in multi-generational households, multi-ethnic households and technology advances.
What is evolving fast is how and why consumers eat and pre-prepare meals for the home. Channel blurring is not in the minds-eye of the consumer. Channel blurring is only in the minds-eye of Neanderthal brand manger’s and some Boomer CEO’s that do not understand the concept of share of stomach vs share of market.
Proper understanding of share of stomach is more important for long term product, brand, and company survival than ever before. Today, Eating Out, may mean Eating In. Starbucks is a great food merchant because they are focused on the evolving consumer. Where is your food sold and where is your food eaten? Here is one success clue: follow Millennials.
Replace a boomer CEO with a Millennial
It is time to challenge conventional fresh food retail including restaurants and grocery stores business models. Embrace the consumer not brand protectionism. Don’t think of innovation as change but rather as a platform simultaneously embracing the consumer and the brand. If success does leave clues it just might be time to replace a boomer CEO with a Millennial.
Leaders vs. Laggards
These are companies in a quagmire, Red Lobster, Chili’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Olive Garden. Companies with leaders driving change are Kat Cole of Cinnabon, Steve Ellis of Chipotle and of course Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Let me know your thoughts. Who do you think is the best Omni channel retail food leader today within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food space?
Invite Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us to complete a Migration Marketing Assessment, Grocerant Program Assessment, or brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply call 253-759-7869. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant Niche Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us