Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Grocerant Platform Propels Profitability

Retail foodservice success can be found at the intersection of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food aka the Grocerant Niche elevating retail foodservice customer relevance while garnering customer adoption according to Tacoma, WA based Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson of Foodservice Solutions®.

The undercurrents of competition within the fresh food space have not reached such a tipping point since the invention of refrigeration according to Johnson.  Today consumers are in search of complexity free meals with full flavor. Success does leave clues one clue is consumers move forward not backward, they are dynamic not static according to Johnson.

Most of you know the William Gibson quote: The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.”  In retail foodservice today there are those that are growing top line sales, bottom line profits, customer counts, and those who are slowly dying.  Where is your company? There is no middle ground.

Let’s look at some numbers C-Stores sold $73 billion of prepared food and beverages last year up 72% from 2010 according to the WSJ. Consumer migration too grocerant niche non-traditional outlets continues to grow in fact the NPD group reports that Grocerants generated 2.4 Billion visits and $10 Billion in Sales in 2016. TheStreet.com found "By our estimate, alternative formats and e-commerce market share in consumables will increase from 30.4% in 2016 to 44.9% in 2022,"  
The battle of for food dollars is a battle for ‘Share of Stomach’ according to the Grocerant Guru®.
Chain restaurants are now battling for sales with Grocery stores, C-stores, Liquor stores, and Drug stores. Legacy food retailers risk being marginalized by new concepts with smaller footprints, lower cost of goods and faster service.  Food retailers must understand the new dynamics in the industry and react properly in order to accelerate growth.  Foodservice ‘braggability’ is more often found within the grocerant sector.

Today, eating-out while eating-at-home, takeout food, mix & match meal components are leading ways in which people are looking to differentiate themselves, simplify their lives, same time with meal customization, personalization and Mix & Match bundling all are hallmarks of the booming Grocerant niche according to the Grocerant Guru®


Many legacy restaurant operators seemingly have a “inside the four walls” mindset coupled with brand protectionism polices more reminiscent of the 1980’s than 2017. Steven Johnson the Grocerant Guru® says that kind of thinking traps a brand in a quagmire or a footprint malaise that is unresponsive and simply not consumer relevant today.
So what is Grocerant food in 2017?  Foodservice Solutions® Steven Johnson, the Grocerant Guru® says a "Grocerant item means any retail food item that is Ready2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat with the option of portability Traditionally these items can be found in grocery stores in the deli / lifestyle section, C-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."

Its 4 PM: your customers are just beginning to think about what's for dinner and 80.6% of American consumers are unsure about what's for dinner at noon and 61.3% are unsure what’s for dinner at 4 PM. Time Starved Consumers are looking for high quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals or a meal component.  So what is working in the Grocerant Space in 2017?  Carrie Williams, senior manager of shopper insights for Coca-Cola, shared some of the insights from grocery store research, which was fielded to help retailers participate in Family Meals Month in September. Here is some of what she found:

1.       Nearly three-fourths of grocery shoppers purchase prepared foods, and half of all grocery shoppers purchased a Fresh-to-Go meal in the past month.
2.       One in 10 grocery shoppers buy Fresh-to-Go meals frequently (defined as 5+ per month).
3.       Most shoppers of Fresh-to-Go meals have children. They buy these meals because they are busy and it’s convenient.
4.       Most Fresh-to-Go meals are eaten at home, especially for dinner.
5.       Nearly two-thirds of store visits are driven by a specific meal need, and 78 percent of purchases from the deli area are not impulse buys.
If you are running a retail food outlet those numbers indicate grocerant platform adoption continues to grow and you should be thinking about adding grocerant items.  Is your company evolving with consumers? Are you ready for some fresh ideations?

Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday than tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Foodservice Menu’s, Messaging, Media, Matters

Time after time, day after day the phone rings at Foodservice Solutions® and it is a perspective client, an old client inevitably they ask the same questions. Recently that question has been Why is it my brand does not rank higher with consumers on social media? Our Grocerant Guru’s Steven Johnson’s answer is always the same.  MESSAGING.
Sure I know that sound simple. However consider this research from social analytics company called NetBase, which released its annual Restaurant Brands Report recently. By cataloging around 187 billion mentions on social media, NetBase found that people are the most obsessed with Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Domino's Pizza, Olive Garden, Wendy's, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald's, Panera, and Subway in descending order.
Maybe that’s why they called in the first place.  If not here are a couple of things to consider first consumers are dynamic not static. Secondly each of the restaurant brands above does a very good job of integrating marketing messaging with new product, new promotions, and news releases according to our Grocerant Guru®.
Additionally each brand understands that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist.  Consider this which fast food chain integrated fried egg taco shells into its menu, released a fashion line with Forever 21, and announced it’d soon be adding booze to its offerings? Ok now where did they rank?  In case you did not know the answer is Taco Bell.
Taco Bell  has been able to capture the attention of Twitter and Instagram and the rest of social media with a series of stunts, ranging from ridiculous to intriguing (a recently added burrito contains spicy popping crystals), and now it’s being rewarded with a new, and maybe in 2017, prestigious title: the Top Performing Restaurant Brand on Social Media. 
Can you have differentiation with an integrated message?  Can you leverage LTO’s to garner attention?  Can you test, trial, and tantalize the imagination of your customers? 

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

By-Pass the Grocer AmazonFresh Meal-Kit-Building gets Personal


Today grocerant niche retail success is about serving every customer, one at a time empowering customization, personalization, and individualization as regular readers of this blog know.  Steven Johnson our Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® has been pounding that into our heads since this blog began back in 2009.  Combine that with saving consumers time and AmazonFresh is once again doing all of the right things according to Johnson.

When we heard that Meal kit service eMeals has added AmazonFresh to its list of grocery delivery and pickup service partners we knew that was important as the ability for AmazonFresh to edify its relationship with the consumers is a top priority.

The eMeals service previously was available only via delivery through Instacart or pickup through Kroger ClickList and Walmart Grocery.  Now eMeals allows shoppers to send a shopping list, which is automatically generated for all meals selected each week, to AmazonFresh with a single click. They may then schedule home delivery or curbside pickup.

Here is why it’s right up AmazonFresh ally eMeals can enjoy up to 50 percent savings in per-serving food costs compared to conventional meal kit providers due to ingredients being provided in standard grocery packaging rather than each in its own portioned package. Moreover, the only other cost involved is a $5 monthly subscription fee for new weekly menus.

eMeals CEO Forrest Collier  stated "Meal kits and online grocery programs are reshaping the grocery market, and we are the first company to combine those two trends,"…. "Adding AmazonFresh to our fulfillment lineup expands our reach to most of the top players in online grocery and advances our mission of giving customers more choice, flexibility and affordability than any other meal kit service."
Subscribers may choose from 15 eating styles ranging from Quick & Healthy to Paleo, Clean Eating, Low Calorie, Classic Meals and even Diabetic, Gluten Free and Vegetarian, and can personalize each week's menus by selecting meals from any of the food styles or substituting favorites from previous weeks. More than 100 weekly recipes are available in the 15 styles.

Once a week’s meals are chosen, eMeals automatically populates a shopping list and allows subscribers to add or subtract items, eliminating separate shopping trips for items such as cereal and toilet paper. Shoppers may either do their own shopping or relay on grocery partners to fulfill orders.

The new option extends eMeals’ strategy of leveraging the existing grocery supply chain to fill meal kit orders rather than building an expensive new infrastructure to portion, package and deliver the week’s recipe ingredients, providing more variety, flexibility and affordability while lowering operational costs.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fresh Food Fast Shell Select Excels


Global grocerant niche growth is one of the undercurrents driving legacy fresh food retailers to rethink just how they do what they do according to Tacoma, WA based Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson of Foodservice Solutions®.  Nowhere is it more apparent than with Netherlands based Shell Select.

Just in case you did not know Shell as a brand and its iconic logo is found in more locations than Starbucks or McDonald’s around the world.  No after testing Shell Select Deli by Shell is setting the bar high for itself as it pursues increasing the profit contribution of its non-fuel business to 50 percent.

István Kapitány Executive Vice President Shell Global Fuel Retail reported that he has until 2025 to reach the 50-percent mark from an undisclosed current figure. He acknowledges the profit goal is aspirational.
“We are always adapting our retailing capabilities to the changing world and believe it is a great opportunity for us because of the scale and size of the business,”

Kapitány continued. “Some markets are close to the 50-percent goal and some are far away, but one of the benefits of Shell’s global scale is that we can learn from each other. Whatever works in one country, we can transfer that knowledge to another country.”

For one example, the company operates a service-oriented concept called Shell Select in The Netherlands that is comparable to Wawa convenience stores in the United States. Shell’s operating model in the U.S. is different than The Netherlands, but the company is looking to make changes that would facilitate expansion of the Shell Select concept in the U.S.

“I would say that Shell Select in The Netherlands is kind of like the top-end food and coffee convenience place to go in the market, similar to a Wawa. We’re looking at how we bring that Shell Select concept to the United States,”
Is your company Looking A Customer Ahead?  How do you plan to expand your business?  Are you going to continue to do what you have always done and do it the same way?  How is that working for you today?

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us  the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Online Consumers Continue to ‘Cherry-Pick’ Grocery Stores


If there is one thing the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® has learned over the years is that consumers will continue to ‘cherry-pick’ products by price specifically when grocery shopping.  According to Steven Johnson our own Grocerant Guru® Online shoppers are no different. 

After all we know that Price, Selection, and Service had elevated Amazon to become a global retail behemoth. In new research from IDG found that “Online grocery retail is forecast to be the fastest-growing segment of all UK grocery channels, but it will not be used in isolation”

The IGD study predicts a 53.8% growth in online grocery retail between 2017 and 2022 to £16 billion.
However, the research suggests that most online shoppers are combining online and larger stores, and online and convenience stores.

When shopping online consumers are not restricted to one store, one brand name product, or one point of distribution they can see all.  The IDG study found that 41% of online shoppers say they have used online and convenience stores in the past month for their food and grocery shopping.

Price point matter and service counts as the study found that 40% of online shoppers said they have used either a blend of online, supermarkets or hypermarkets and convenience stores in the past month. Vanessa Henry, IGD’s shopper insight manager, said: “What we call ‘omnichannel shoppers’ are having a big impact on the grocery market, with over half (54%) of shoppers claiming that they use five or more different channels every month, as well as buying from 12 different store brands on average.

Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist.  Do you have the twist that will help keep customers shopping at your brand? Does your brand stand for customer relevance more than it stands for price? Does your team understand the consumer price, value, service, equilibrium?

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: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Millennials Food Trucks are Authentic

Today food trucks are attracting more and more Millennials in large part because simplicity, service, savory flavors are authentic in the minds-eye of Millennials according to global foodservice consultancy Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson. 
Food trucks have become a big business recording sales that will top $1.2 billion this year according to Johnson. One entrepreneur and foodie Greg Barnhart is making a big splash in the Windy City food truck pond with Toasty Cheese Restaurant Group.
Barnhart started with one truck called, Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery.  His food attracted a “cult-like following” and Barnhart has not looked back. The name was fun the trucks were brightly colored.  However it the food that brings customers back like the Duck Bacon, Cilantro-Avocado Aioli and Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes to Applewood Smoked Bacon, Apple/Cabbage Slaw and Over Easy Eggs. Ok now you understand.
This spring Barnhart opened the Toasty Taco, described as “a taqueria móvil that serves authentic street Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Tortas and Tamales.” Once again it’s all about food with entrees the ilk of Steamed Corn Husk Tamales stuffed with Cheese and Street Tacos and Unsweetened Plantains topped with Duck Confit, Picked Jalapeno and Queso Fresco”.
Things did not stop there as Barnhart’s mobile food empire grew this time with the acquisition of Best Truckin’ BBQ and The Crave Bar.  Which Specialized in Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork and Chicken, Best Truckin’ BBQ is all about classic American barbecue. Sandwiches stuffed with tender meat are topped with tantalizing sauces like the Spiced Pomegranate BBQ Sauce and Apple Cider Bourbon BBQ Sauce.
Barnhart stated  “With four different mobile food concepts under one umbrella, we are now able to create some really cool custom catering options for everything from office lunches and kids’ birthday parties to weddings and graduations,” So the team at Foodservice Solutions® asks what’s under your umbrella? Is your brand expanding its reach?

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Gatti’s Pizza Expands Grocerant niche Offerings

One after the other restaurant chains are expanding their offerings of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Gatti’s Pizza is rolling out take-and-bake pizzas as a permanent addition to its menu expanding customer relevance. 
Kicking the program off Gatti’s Pizza has two shapes, “Jack,” a jack-o-lantern-shaped pizza and “Frank,” a Frankenstein-shaped pizza, you guessed it October and Halloween perfect timing.  The pizzas will be prepared fresh daily and wrapped on a tray with cooking instructions. Customers can order online and pick up at their nearest location.
Michael Poates, president of Gatti’s Pizza stated “It was an idea that was spooky good,”…“The take-and-bake product allows our guests to enjoy Gatti’s pizza on their own time by baking it fresh in their oven at home. With Halloween being one of the busiest pizza delivery nights of the year, we thought it was the perfect time to debut this product. Skip the wait, pick up the pizza at a time that works for you, have it ready to go that evening, and then the kids can trick-or-treat.”
Are you edifying your relationship with your customers?  Is your brand growing within the fastest growing sector of foodservice today?  Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to garner customers from every sector of food retail.  Foodservice Solutions® has Grocerant Experts.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Facebook Restaurant Delivery Aggregation

Your mother had surgery and your dad can’t cook.  Well Facebook has the answer all you have to do is open your Facebook app and order dinner delivered from one of your local restaurants.  If success leaves clues and it does Facebook will be as successful with this incremental service and it has been with so many other according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Who did not think this would happen? Facebook dove into the crowded world of restaurant delivery, announcing in a blog post that it officially launched the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery directly from its massive platform.
Alex Himel, the vice president of local for Facebook wrote “People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier”.
Facebook’s service combines well-known outlets like EatStreet, DoorDash, Delivery.com, Zuppler, Slice, ChowNow, and Olo. It also connects directly with brands such as Five Guys, Papa John’s, Wingstop, Jack in the Box, TGI Fridays, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, Chipotle, Jimmy John’s, and Panera Bread. Users can browse restaurants nearby and link up with the appropriate delivery option.
Fresh fast convenient and all of the local restaurants that now are as close as the palm of your hand.  So next time a family member does not want to cook, let them know that Facebook is as easy as Click & Eat.  So what are you waiting for we have two videos on this blog to help you get started. 

Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us

Friday, October 13, 2017

Coborns Cultivates Lunch &Dinner with Delivery of Meal Kits


Cultivating success since 1921 is exactly what they do at St. Cloud, Minnesota based Coborns according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  At Coborns Johnson stated “utilizing the Foodservice Solutions® tested formula: Build, Measure, Learn, and Repeat is clearly in play as Coborns expands and edifies its Meal Kit program.”

Consumers are attracted to the simplicity of meal kits, the ease of preparing the meal, and spending less time shopping.  This fall Coborn’s introduced a new meal kit Thai Chicken that can be ordered on CobornsDelivers a branded online shopping service that delivers.  In addition they have introduced  a school lunch kits.
CobornsDelivers is now offering seven fresh family dinner meal kit offerings and nine choices for its new school lunch kits. Helping families strengthen meal time  consumers can add all their regular grocery staples onto their orders, getting household essentials delivered right along with their dietitian-designed, same-day-packed meal kit orders.

Dave Hartmann, general manager of CobornsDelivers  stated  “In the meal kit space, where most companies require subscriptions, price their meals at $10 per person or more, and pack them days before they are eaten and delivered, we’re proud to offer our customers something better,” .. “As a local outfit where meal kits are delivered the same day they are packed, we offer freshness and flexibility—we deliver any day of the week, we offer seven different options, and we’re the only meal kit provider that will also deliver coffee, paper towels, and even wine. For busy families that have better places to be than the grocery store, we’re always looking for new ways to help.”
CobornsDelivers continues to focus on local consumers and with seven dinner menus designed by its staff dietitian, each feeding four at a price of between $4 and $7 per person. New this fall CobornsDelivers is releasing its first-ever School Lunch Kits.

Each lunch kit is packaged in sturdy brown bags, the dietician-designed lunches include whole grains, lean protein, dairy, and fruits and vegetables to give kids a midday energy boost. The new lunch kits include Build Your Own Pizza; The Jammin’ Sammy, in Sun Butter or Peanut Butter; The Italian; Mad Hatter Wrap; The Creamy Cucumber; The Veggie Roll Up; Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap; and The Hawaiian.

Are you garnering new sales of consumer relevant fresh foods for lunch and dinner? Does your meal kit fit your local market? ® Is it time you tested Foodservice Solutions® tested formula: Build, Measure, Learn, and Repeat? Are your Dinner kits as popular as Lunch kits?

Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Grocerant Niche Sell Hot Food Hot and Cold Food Cold

Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based global foodservice consultancy Foodservice Solutions® reminds us “that in our evolving retail food world that the basics are still important.  That food integrity matters, packaging matters and you better be selling Hot food Hot and Cold food Cold.”
Pizza Hut is one company that continues to evolve when they announced new packaging the team at Foodservice Solutions® assumed they were trying to keep up with Domino’s oven in the car.  The fact is they might have been but did not want to spend that kind of money.  Which is too bad because that car and over are working great for the Domino’s. 
Instead after exhaustive due diligence I’m told Pizza Hut's New 'Oven Hot Delivery System' is Space Age.  Now if that is not marketing spin I have never heard it.  However, let’s teak a look.  Pizza Hut said it “is now using the same material as space blankets, winter jackets, and home insulation to keep pizzas up to 15 degrees hotter than existing boxes during the delivery process.”
The brand’s new delivery system contains a pouch made with 3M Thinsulate Insulation thermal technology and a pizza box with crisp sheet inserts. That is in addition to a reengineered pizza box and a new crisp sheet, the research sparked the development of an all-new pizza delivery pouch featuring three different thermal insulation materials to help ensure the pizza stays oven hot, the cheese stays melted, and the crust stays crisp:
·         The first layer is 3M Thinsulate Insulation, the same technology that is commonly used in ski jackets
·         The second layer is a PET Aluminum Radiant Barrier, which reflects heat from the pizza  back into the pizza, and is the same material found in space blankets.

·         The third layer is a polyester fiber padding like insulation found in homes that traps heat inside
“By implementing the unique power of our Thinsulate Insulation, which is warmer than almost every comparable material on the market, we’re able to help Pizza Hut achieve their goal to deliver customers a hotter pizza than ever before,” said Mindy Murray, brand communications Manager at 3M, in a statement.
Regular readers of this blog know that we are in the food business and doing the basics matter and selling Hot food hot and cold food Cold is still at the top of the list for consumers.  Technology, innovation, and consumers all evolves and you brand should be evolving all of the time.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  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