Sunday, January 22, 2017

Is Global Grocery Pantry Busting The Next Big Thing?

Remember when Thomas Friedman wrote the book ‘The Word is Flat’ few understood the undercurrents of a flat world were having within the foodservice sector.  Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson and regular readers of this blog however were well aware of the pantry busting disruption the Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food was causing. 
Here is a great example of just how the fresh prepared food space is driving disruption.  This example comes from Korea where the Korean Bizwire reports that today convenience stores lead rice consumption due to the dramatic increase in ‘lunch box sales’.  Foodservice Solutions® team has reported the dramatic growth of the Korean Lunch Box for the past five years.

Here is some background: “Once a diet staple, rice consumption is rapidly declining in Korea. Over the past 30 years, Korea’s rice consumption per capita has more than halved, dropping from 128.1kg in 1985 to 62.9kg in 2015, with Koreans adopting Westernized diets seeking alternatives like wheat or bread. 
Amid the changing food culture, however, rice purchases by convenience stores are on a steep rise, driven by the recent popularity of convenience store lunch boxes.”
According to convenience store franchise CU, its food manufacturing facilities “purchased roughly 5,500 tons of rice in the first half of 2016, which was a 71.9 percent increase from H1 2015 (3,200t). 
At this rate, CU’s total rice consumption for 2016 will almost double the value for last year (6,400t) to 11,500 tons, a company official said. “

7-Eleven has seen a similar increase, “with its H1 2016 figure standing at 5,400 tons, and officials are expecting this year’s figure to see an 80 percent increase from last year’s amount of 6,100 tons. 
Together with GS25, the three convenience store enterprises will be accounting for more 30,000 tons of rice consumption in 2016.”

Pantry busting indeed as from January to August 2016, “CU saw its sales of lunch boxes almost triple compared to the same period last year, while GS25 and 7-Eleven sales increased by factors of 2.76 and 2.54, respectively.” So what does a ‘Lunch Box Look Like”:

Lunch meals sold at conveniences stores come in a wide variety of options, including menus like ribs, pork cutlets, and bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), and at affordable prices, ranging between 3,000 won ($2.66) and 4,000 won.

Outside eyes can deliver top sales and bottom line profits.  Invite  to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Have you completed a Grocerant Scorecard? Contact: 253-759-7869 or

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