Success does leave clues and Kum & Go understands the undercurrents of customer migration into grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. After six years of Foodservice Marketing and experimentation using a system similar to the templated Foodservice Solutions®® Build, Measure, Learn and Repeat validating results Krum & Go is launching it new prototype fresh store.
Greg Tomberg explained “While the chain has been offering food for more than 50 years, Kum & Go in 2010 began a six-store operational food pilot to gain that commitment from the chain to a foodservice culture. As the chain expanded and evolved its food program over the following years, the company culture has had to change as well”
Tomberg continues “Retail is based on replenishment, and the food side is all centered on production. If we didn’t have parallel structures in place it wouldn’t work, so we had to create a blended culture” With a marketing perspective and customer focus Kum & Go also started focusing on creating a conversation with customers about its food products. Dollar slice pizza on Wednesdays became a profitable way to encourage trial of its pizza product. Kum & Go also began engaging its district supervisors in the food process so they were comfortable working with the food and could lead by example.
By 2015, the chain stepped up its quality assurance process, having third-party checks for critical checkpoints to ensure a safe product and that correct procedures and protocols are being followed. The chain has also added a fresh item management forecasting tool to ensure more frequent smaller batches to better overcome hurdles with shelf life.
Then in 2016, Kum & Go’s Marketplace store is its newest concept and the chain aims to have 16 by the end of the year. In this prototype, the kitchen is front and center with a grab-and-go case in front featuring fresh sandwiches, cut fruit and more.
Developing marketplace model took nearly two years, and the result is an entirely new concept. The centerpiece of the store is an expanded and open food preparation area that customers can see from the moment they enter. Other location features include:
- Elevated food experience with Kum & Go’s “Go Fresh Market”
- Open kitchen layout, clear aisles and easy-to-navigate zones
- Seating inside with patio seating outside (weather permitting)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi and charging stations for customers
- Expansive beer cave and growler station with fresh beer
- Designed for LEED-certified status, using energy efficient and sustainable design
Tomberg stated that his biggest takeaway was “at the end of the day, your chain has to be united behind food because it’s your brand customers are coming in to shop.” Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is the key to driving top line sales and bottom line profits in food retail today.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant ScoreCard. For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for. Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869