Success does leave clues and retailers are evolving from Convenience Stores and Restaurants to Grocerant niche fresh food concepts that are garnering incremental customer loyalty, driving food retail migration, expanding disruption within legacy retail food sectors according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Dash In a new concept store by the Willis Group created a platform where time stared consumers can get a fresh meal and or meal components or eat a fresh prepared meal according to Johnson. Dash In has 5,600 sq. ft. and blurs the lines between restaurant and C-store by combining a neighborhood bar and grill format with the self-service gas station and car wash layout that is familiar to consumers.
To appeal to consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles, the store stocks fresh, made-in-house grab and go menu items such as artisan sandwiches and salads, in addition to locally sourced snacks such as Good Earth Peanuts, grown in Skippers, Virginia, about one hour south of Richmond.
The bar and grill features of the Dash In store include indoor bar and communal seating, and outdoor seating. An open kitchen will prepare items from the store’s “Craveable” menu which includes Memphis pulled-pork sandwich made with slow-cooked pork in a maple brown sugar barbecue sauce and topped with caramelized onions, as well as a cranberry chicken croissant that Willis Group noted is a customer favorite. The sandwich is made with chicken breast, dried cranberries, red onion, and a hint of lime.
Julian B. Wills, president of Dash In stated “Our newest Dash In is a demonstration of our commitment to creating a store design that offers an elevated brand experience for our customers,” Dash In capitalizes on several strategies food industry research company Nielsen identified as necessary to remain competitive in a saturated food retail market most of which mirrors Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant ScoreCard data.
In an Insight report from 2017 Nielsen noted that convenience stores have many sources for inspiration. “In the QSR realm, speed has become an essential service element,” Nielsen reported. “Convenience stores need to follow suit, ensuring that customers looking for a quick meal can get in and out swiftly.”
The Dash In concept store offers all-day breakfast, as a nod to the quick-service restaurant (QSR) channel and a direct invitation to customers. Nielsen also recommended restaurant-style seating, broad menus for in-store service and premium product offerings as strategies for elevating the customer experience.
Here is what was different “Digging deeper, Nielsen data shows that subcategories like enhanced water, import, super premium and craft beer, ready-to-eat (RTE) meals, e-cigarettes, tools and housewares and sparkling wine all delivered mid-to-high double-digit sales growth for convenience stores last year,” Nielsen said in its Insight report.
Darleen Nascimento, director of brand marketing for Dash In “We are delighted to support the craftsmanship of local purveyors and breweries throughout the region within this new Dash In experience,” “Dash In’s commitment is to make life more rewarding for time-stretched people — we look forward to transforming necessary errands into engaging experiences.”
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