Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson has defined Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz as the Retail Food Merchant of the Year four of the last six years. The reasons are clear, Schultz understands the FIVE P’s of food marketing and excels at each. In our Omni-channel retail word Schultz drove top line sales and bottom line profits evolving, integrating, and positioning Starbucks with customer relevance. Consumers are dynamic and retailers must be as well.
At each step along the way it 46+ year path Starbucks has evolved its messaging, food, beverage, and technology edifying the brand with contemporized customer relevance. So much so that today everyone from Wall Street to main street seeming can’t stop talking about Starbucks, according to a new study.
So, is it any wonder that Starbucks would consider buying Panera Bread? No, both chains continue to focus on health-conscious better-for-you positioning. Both chains have plenty of room to grow. Even more important Starbucks would have a built in ability to expand and garner rapid adoption of its technology aka proprietary digital payment system.
In addition Starbucks brand marketing halo of good will could elevate Panera Bread into the ranks of the most talked about chains in the country when they expand into new avenues of distribution the way Starbucks does so well. That elevated marketing buzz could provide a lift to sales while elevating customer relevance within the fastest growing sector of retail the Grocerant Niche.
Starbucks is the most talked about chain and is on the list of limited-service restaurant chains ranked by how much they’re discussed by consumers online and face-to-face. Chick-fil-A was the second most-discussed brand in the Engagement Labs report, followed by Papa John’s and Domino’s.
Consider this, consumers discuss LSRs more often in a real social setting than they do in social media, according to the study. Starbucks and Chick-fil-A were identified in the report as “Conversation Commanders” because their scores were higher than average for both online and offline discussions.
In addition the report found Chick-fil-A’s high sentiment score, crediting it to the chain’s app launch promo, where consumers were given a free chicken sandwich if they downloaded the app and created an account.
Along with coffee giants Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, the top 10 is dominated by pizza and chicken LSRs such as Papa John’s and KFC. McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell did not finish among the top chains.
Here are the top 10:
- Papa John’s
- Domino’s Pizza
- Pizza Hut
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Dairy Queen
Yes, I know that Panera Bread is a fast casual chain but consider that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive customer adoption in every sector of foodservice retail today and a Starbucks & Panera Bread combo would place two concepts that are the very best at evolving with success directly in the grocerant niche sweet spot.
Schultz along with Kevin Johnson are both extraordinary merchants and technology placement professionals worthy to be called retail platform builders extraordinaire. Starbucks like consumers is dynamic not static. Panera Bread would be a good fit for those reasons and many more. Don’t sell technology or platform building short.
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? Want one? Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us