Sunday, June 18, 2017

Today’s Grocery Store Leaders Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Lidl, WinCo, and Amazon

Success does leave clues and according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson the undercurrents of new grocery sector leadership were revealed this month and everyone knew about it refused to talk about it with one exception. 

Regular readers of this blog know who that one person was our own Grocerant Guru® who was looking a customer ahead.  Foodservice customer adoption drives change.  Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Lidl, WinCo, and Amazon are garnering customers from everyone else.  The foodservice customer and foodservice landscape has changed.

Today there are 29 restaurants for every traditional grocery store.  According to the NPD Group of 79 percent of all restaurants visits in the US occur at fast food outlets.  First because the food is fast, fresh, flavorful, and cost less than other restaurants.  Secondly 45 percent of Americans over the age of 18 are single according to the US Census Bureau. The Foodservice customer has evolved the grocery sector has as well. Has your business model evolved?

Let’s talk customer adoption.  Did you know that 20% of American consumers (and 24% of Gen Y) bought from Whole Foods last year according to NPD.  Now that’s pretty high for a chain with 444 US stores.  The undercurrents of acceptance of the ‘halo’ of better for you combined with the marketing power of Amazon Prime is why retailers are worried competing with an Amazon Whole Food combination.  

Remember back in the day when you took Business 101?  The first thing everyone learned was build a better mouse trap aka a widget and you will win.  The simple fact of the matter is the main stream foodservice media denigrates Aldi, Lidl, and WinCo by calling them Hard Discounters. 

Using the term Hard Discounters is an overt over simplification with the express intent to discount or denigrate the ground swell of competition that exploited industries weakness to garner customers.    That’s industry Bull from old school foodservice industry analyst and foodservice media who are vested in the past not the present or the future.

Aldi, Lidl, Trader Joe’s, and WinCo have built a BETTER MOUSE TRAP and are catching more mice / CUSTOMERS.  Why will the foodservice insiders not admit it?  Why over the past five years are there so few articles in the foodservice trades that talk about Aldi who has over 1699 units in the US today and is the fastest growing chain grocer in the United States.  You can’t be the fastest growing chain without customers.  Aldi, WinCo, and now Lidl have joined Trader Joe’s as regular readers of this blog know in garnering customers away from all other traditional grocery stores. 

We all know the Three Achilles Heels of legacy grocery sector:

  1. Takes too long to walk through the store to find the three items you need
  2. Choice overload
  3. PRICE

Trader Joe’s, Aldi, WinCo, Lidle addressed all three of the Achilles Heels of legacy grocery stores and continue to garner new customers from legacy grocery store chains.  That is not a disparaging it’s focused, targeted, private label positioning retailing simply put it is it’s a better MOUSE TRAP.

An Amazon.Com / Whole Foods combination will elevate Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food, disrupt the legacy grocery store Price, Value, Service, Convenience Equilibrium garnering incremental top line sales, bottom line profits while edifying the 450+ locations traffic as pick-up or return Amazon non-food item locations just like they do at their brick & mortar book stores.  This is a branding play expanding Amazon Prime Integrating the Halo of ‘Better For You’ for less and faster.  AKA a better Mouse Trap Business 101.

Over the past 20 years no company is better at eliminating, reducing, redirecting supply chain and marketing cost than Amazon.  If success does leave clues and it does the combination of Whole Foods and Amazon will create a consumer retail platform that will establish new standards for fresh food retailing, driving cost down, while elevating fresh “better for you’ food. Amazon understands the consumer want/need for immediate response with customized offerings and unique products at specific price points do you?

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

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