Steven Johnson is the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson excels at identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity one such activity is grocery store pantry busting and Chick-fil-A’s new family style meals are another great example of Pantry Busting.
Most legacy grocery stores are unable to evolve fast enough to maintain customer relevance, thus paving the way for continued capitulation of retail market share to the dollar store and restaurant sectors. There is no doubt that the dollar store sector has devastated the ‘center of the store’ for traditional grocery stores and according to Johnson the restaurant sector is about to target the fresh sector of the grocery stores doing the same thing.
Chick-fil-A pantry busting ideation: Family Style Meals. Chick-fil-A is testing meal kits, including new sides, to meet a growing consumer demand it says affects nearly 40 percent of current dinner customers. The team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, found that at noon 83.7% of consumers do not know what’s for dinner and at 4PM 68.7% still don’t know what’s for dinner.
Matt Abercrombie, manager of menu development at Chick-fil-A stated that “Thirty-six percent of Chick-fil-A dinner diners take their meal to go, the chain says. …Our customers told us that they wanted an even more convenient way to share meals at home or on the go, so we worked directly with a group of parents to design every part of Family Style Meals—down to the cutlery caddy that features five unique conversation starter questions to help customers connect over mealtime,” … “Mealtime should be an enjoyable experience that brings family and friends together, not an extra stress in the day.”
According to Johnson Chick-fil-A is evolving from fast food to fast meals with the Family Style Meals they are testing through November 18. So, what can you get? Chick-fil-A says:
1. They include one entrée, two sides, and eight Mini Rolls to serve four people, with the option to add additional entrees, sides, and beverages. Customer feedback will decide if the menu items stick.
2. These include: Chick-n-Strips (12-count); Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Breasts (4-count); Chick-fil-A Nuggets (30-count), and Grilled Chicken Breasts (4-count).
3. Side options include: Bacon Baked Beans, Fruit Cup, Mac & Cheese, Side Salad, and the Superfood Side. The Family Style Meal starts at $29.99.
4. There is also a lighter Grilled Chicken Breasts, Side Salad, and Fruit Cup with two Mini Rolls option, which comes in at less than 300 calories per serving.
5. Additionally, Chick-fil-A is testing Bacon Baked Beans and Mac & Cheese in the three cities.
6. Note: “The Bacon Baked Beans are kettle-cooked with bacon and brown sugar for a sweet and savory taste,” Chick-fil-A says in the release. “The Mac & Cheese side is a classic macaroni and cheese recipe featuring a special blend of cheeses including Cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano.”
Success does leave clues and retailer must focus on customer interactive participation, transparent marketing, fresh local sustainable food products, new non-traditional points of fresh food distribution, and technology that makes retail food knowledge and availability seamless. Chick-fil-A is hitting on many of those key points and Pantry Busting while expanding their customer base.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that 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.