Thursday, December 5, 2019

Burgers Top the Charts Again



Real meat still has real friends and once again the burger is king in the United States according to David Portalatin, of the NPD Group.  While many had been asking lately is the burger still king in the U.S. Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® suggest two things:
1.       The burger (real beef) will remain the number one for many years to come.
2.       The competition for second in the Hand Held food spot will become a tight race between chicken and plant based entrees.  
Over the past 3 years NPD has been food consumption in America in this edition of The NPD Group’s Eating Patterns in America, reports that “U.S. consumers may appear to be creatures of habit in their eating patterns but the foods they eat today have a modern twist that is influenced by a host of factors like ethnicity, age/generational group, and health/social consciousness. 
Here are some quick takes from this year’s Eating Patterns in America:
·         There were over 460 billion in- and away-from-home eating and drinking occasions in the U.S. last year.
·         16% of consumers regularly use plant-based alternatives such as almond milk, tofu, and veggie burgers; 89% of these consumers do not consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.
·         14% of in-home eating occasions included at least one item that required no preparation compared to only 11% of occasions in 2013.
·         Visits to quick service restaurants have increased 630 million visits since 2014, while total visits to restaurants have declined more than 700 million visits.
·         19% of grocery shoppers now order their edible groceries online; from 2017 to 2020 the average annual growth rate for digital restaurant orders is forecast at 22%.
·         One in five adults try to manage a health condition with their food and beverage choices.
The consumer is moving faster to the intersection of ‘better for you’ food that is prepared fresh, with personalization and customization according to Johnson. Regular readers of this blog know that Foodservice Solutions® team has been leading the way.  Are you ready to embrace grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food?
Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, www.Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/  or www.twitter.com/grocerant

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Grocery Stores Need More Fresh Food Sales to Survive


Legacy grocery stores continue to struggle.  Regular readers of this blog know the undercurrents driving customer migration from grocery stores to restaurants and new non-traditional fresh food outlets according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
So, we ask how is it that companies the ilk of Kroger, Albertsons, and Walmart continue to struggle integrating a customer focused fresh food strategy? Regular readers of this blog also know that over the past 12 years there are now 50% fewer legacy grocery stores.  We ask once again when will they accept the fact that they are failing to sell what today’s consumers are looking for?
Even will all the talk of On-line food sales Brick-and-mortar stores still rule when it comes to fresh foods, according to market research giant Nielsen who has been in this business long before Foodservice Solutions® entered in 1991.
In new research from Nielsen titled “Fresh & Focused: The U.S. Retailer Path to Winning Brick & Mortar” found the “fresh departments bakery, deli, meat, produce and seafood — are what’s drawing consumers into stores.
The report mirrors what the team at Foodservice Solutions® calls ‘looking like yesterday’ Nielsen found stock-up grocery trips are becoming “a thing of the past for many shoppers” as they increasingly go online for nonperishable foods, household products and pet care items.
While E-commerce today accounts for almost a third of total grocery sales growth despite representing only 4% of sales. Nielsen found that the top performers generated 43% of sales from perishable foods versus an average of 32% for the same measurement across all retailers. And for the most successful stores, the deli and produce sections made the biggest contributions to total perishable sales.
Year over year, seafood and deli saw sales rise 5% and 4.9%, respectively, across all retail outlets for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 24, according to Nielsen. Next in terms of sales growth were bakery (+4.2%), produce (+2.6%), meat (+2%), frozen (+1.7%), health and beauty care (+1.5%), and dairy (+0.6%).
Get this “This debunks the long-standing belief that the meat department contributes the highest impact to the success of the perimeter of the store. And it likely reflects consumers’ changing wellness needs, as well as their growing demands for convenience,” explained the Nielsen report.
Now for the Grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food. Nielsen found more than 75% of deli sales came from random-weight items for the top fresh retailers, signifying that they have created a “more authentic, ready-made feel” in that department.”
Once again edifying Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® findings Nielsen found that the shopping experience, including personalization and convenience, also plays a pivotal role in creating a destination, since stocking up has become less of a focus for consumers heading to physical stores. Nielsen reported that foodservice sales are up 10% year over year. If success leaves clues and it does, integrating a 2020 strategy into your food outlet is more important than ever.  Does your store look more line yesterday than tomorrow?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, www.Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or www.twitter.com/grocerant/

Battle for Share of Stomach



Tuesday, December 3, 2019

White Castle Wants to Warm Customer Up for Christmas



White Castle is a brand known as the “House of Crave” where brand loyalist will go to great lengths to seek out and get a ‘slider’ anytime of the day or night.  According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® rewarding while edifying brand loyalist is one of the things that White Castle does better than most restaurant chains.
In an effort to keep it brand loyalist warm White Castle, has added a new item to its House of Crave inventory that’s sure to be a hit for the holidays – a festive blue sweater featuring the White Castle logo and rows of sliders, snowflakes, fries, wreaths and drinks.
The warm-and-cozy sweater, which is available in sizes small to 5XL, is perfect for outdoor fun and family gatherings, not to mention for ugly (and beautiful) sweater contests. Orders placed by December 16 will arrive in time for Christmas; expedited shipping will be available after that date for an additional cost.
The ugly sweater, which was created in partnership with the Ugly Sweater Store, pairs perfectly with White Castle’s slider socks and the royal blue White Castle beanie.
Battle for Share of Stomach

To make the ugly sweater even more enticing, all House of Crave orders placed on December 2, Cyber Monday, will receive free ground shipping. So, anyone planning to purchase an ugly sweater or anything else from the online store can save money by shopping on that day.
Check out the fun and unique items that round out the Top 10 items – all adorned with the iconic White Castle logo – in White Castle’s Holiday Gift Guide:
·         Silver winter-themed lunchbox decorated with snowflakes and an ornament
·         Blue, light-up glass ornament
·         13-ounce blue ceramic campfire mug
·         Blue knit scarf with three white stripes
·         A pink or light blue creeper (onesie), available in newborn through 24 months
·         Fashionable flannel pants with a checkered pattern of black and electric blue
·         Titleist DT TruSoft golf balls
·         Slider-scented candle (100% of net candle sales will be donated to Autism Speaks)
·         $25 White Castle gift card to satisfy the crave morning, noon or night
·         White Castle ugly sweater
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, December 2, 2019

Virtual Restaurants are on the Move



At the intersection of the time starved consumer and a solution to the age-old question; What’s for Dinner, is a technology company with a solution the empowers both entrepreneurs and legacy brands while reducing overall cost.  That company is Reef Technology a parking facilities company is launching Reef Kitchens: a hub for delivery-only virtual kitchens.
Simply put, Reef Technology entered the world of the virtual restaurants with its Reef Kitchens division, which will put delivery-based cloud kitchens inside their parking facilities. Empowering meals for anytime for less.  Think grabbing dinner for the family on the way home, lunch, or a quick bite and coffee on the way into work according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Consider this, Reef Technology has 5,000 parking facilities across North America, calling each of their parking garages and lots an “ecosystem hub” with a digital platform that offers ticketless parking for customers. Several years ago, Reef Technology’s legacy company ParkJockey began partnering with UK-based food delivery company Deliveroo to combine their parking real estate with demand-based delivery services. This is a big company that is doing big things according to Johnson.  
Big bet by SoftBank Vision fund as it made a “substantial investment” (speculated at hundreds of millions of dollars) into what was then known as ParkJockey. The company relaunched the brand as Reef Technology in June, with plans to move beyond simply parking garages.
Soon after, Reef Technology took their delivery-only restaurant kitchen concept to the U.S., where they began putting virtual restaurants and cloud or ghost kitchens inside their high-tech parking facilities, and currently partner with all of the major U.S. food delivery services, including Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub. All of these companies are looking a customer ahead.  Are you?
Reef Technology CMO Alan Cohen stated, “People value their time and convenience and one example where [we’ve looked into that] is our Reef Kitchens,”… “Restaurants have this ability to expand their footprint without spending any capital by using one of our delivery-only kitchens. Then, people who live within that market radius can get their food hot and fresh whenever they want simple because there is a Reef Kitchen somewhere nearby.”
Think about this, Reef Technology calls their in-garage ghost kitchens, “vessels” and customizes their capabilities based on customer needs. Some house only one brand, but the kitchens are capable of hosting up to five restaurants in one vessel.
“People don’t realize that with as little as three parking spaces we can put in a kitchen,” Cohen said. “It’s not open to the public but inside is a full-blown operation with chefs and everything you’d expect.” Can your ideation, concept, or brand fit into three parking spaces or less today?  Are you looking a customer ahead?
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? 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 have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It’s Not too late to Win a McDonald's Late-Night Weekender Bag and Essentials



Are you a night owl? Do you eat late or simply want to snack late?  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® wants to remind you that now running through Cyber Monday (December 2) you can order McDelivery with Uber Eats with no delivery fee.
McDelivery and Uber Eats will award 50 winners with a Late-Night Weekender Bag and essentials. For a chance to win, from November 27—December 2.  Simply, tweet the McDonald’s menu item(s) you’d love having delivered by Uber Eats to satisfy your late-night cravings, tagging #McDelivery, #Sweepstakes, @McDonalds, @UberEats.
It is just this easy, simply download the Uber Eats App for $0 Delivery Fee from now through Cyber Monday. Your brand is an invitation.  How are you inviting newbies or lapsed customer into your brands promise?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Battle for Share of Stomach