With Grocery store prices down 6.7% and Convenience stores leveraging mix and match meal bundling to a price advantage the restaurant sector has taken a hit in customer traffic counts. The question is what is driving customers to migrate from one avenue of fresh food distribution to another?
Foodservice Solutions® team has identified several commonalities that the successful retailers are utilizing to drive top line sales and bottom line profits. What even more important is that this set of commonalities are driving traffic counts.
1. The Fact is Price Matters More
While food quality, food consistency may be the mainstay foundation for chain restaurants. Non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of Costco, Ikea, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s have leveraged price to their advantage. They have elevated the ideation of private label products to brand status.
2. Customizable Differentiation For Individualization
Burger King may have started it with the tag line “Have it Your Way”, Chipotle may have elevated its and now McDonald’s has added customization for hand crafted fresh prepared food. Everyone from Subway to Sheetz MTO customers like to customize their food. .
3. Vending technology is Back
Oftentimes, technology is an add-on but for companies like 365 by Whole Foods digital automation is the foundation for the brand. From TEA Bots to Scales 365 by Whole Foods is focused on automation turring technology into freshness while saving labor.
Pizza Touch, an Italy-based company that offers pizza baked hot in two minutes has placed units in Central Florida according to our own Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson who stated “vending might just become the new face of fast food” as we noted just last month about the Pizza ATM at Xavier University.
4. Everyone Delivers Fresh Food Fast
Grocery store delivery of Deli fresh food is now offering delivery and Publix has gone so far as to offer catering. Fast-food and fast-casual restaurants are getting aggressive with delivery selecting customer relevant options such as Amazon Prime Now, Uber and DoorDash. Once again this is important because they expand their brands presence allowing for incremental customization of the family meal via mix and match meal components.
5. Fresh is Hot and Hot is Fresh
Fresh fish is one of the hottest fresh food options and leading the way is Poke (Hawaiian raw fish) it’s is a full flavored enter and complemented with bold spice and spice blends that are regional favorites.
Hot is fresh from seasoned fresh fries with red hot chili and cheese to cheese infused with ghost peppers, and cool summer salads Sriracha dressing. Fresh is in, Hot is still in and Fresh and Hot top the charts.
6. Less is More When it comes to Ingredients
Clean labels edify authentic brands that offer additive free and preservative-free foods, menu items and ingredients resonate with consumers. Consumers are not buying food for a pantry nor do they have any desire for food that they buy to last for a week, a month or the winter.
When it comes to CPG food products less is more and the same holds true for consumers Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food. The fewer the ingredients in a menu item the more consumers will want it.
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