Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Alltown Fresh Elevates Fresh Food Fast Meal Prep



The number one reoccurring irritant for consumers when shopping for groceries over the past 30 years is the length of time it takes to shop tied with the time it take to prepare a meal when cooking from scratch according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Now, Alltown Fresh has developed a new contactless way for customers to shop for fresh groceries and meals during the COVID-19 pandemic while reducing time in the store called ‘Fresh Crates program’. Here is how it works; customers place orders 24 hours in advance and pick up crates of fresh protein, produce or pantry items curbside the next day.
Here is the hook, Alltown Fresh has what they call ‘Meal Prep & Provisions”.  They have pre-assembled meal prep kits to help get dinner on the table in minutes. Shoppers can place an order before noon to have their meal prep kit ready for pickup by 5 p.m. Prep kits serve a minimum of four people and include options such as taco night; teriyaki rice bowls; tomato soup and grilled cheese; chicken, broccoli, and pasta bake; and fresh falafel wraps.
Technology upgrades have elevated customers relevance at Alltown Fresh as they began offering curbside pickup of all menu items and delivery through Grubhub to deliver fresh food choices and menu items straight to customers' doors. 
Local fresh food fast is a great message for any fresh food retailer and Alltown Fresh has strong relationships with local farms and purveyors to ensure a reliable supply of fresh food to four stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut. How are you helping consumer prepare dinner tonight?
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 GrocerantGuru.com 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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Foodservice Three Success Clues for June thru December 2020



Three words will be top of mind for all food retailers in as they navigate into and through 2020.  Those words are re-new, review, and reset according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® as the ‘battle for share of stomach’ intensifies.  
1.       Re-new
Consumers fresh food fast.  What that means at retail is a 5 G digital transformation that includes a frictionless, contactless end-2-end solution (from ordering to consumption both for eating-in the store and for eating-out of the store).  
2.       Review
Retailers must review what branded interactions were driving sales prior to the C-19 shut down. In every sector of foodservice, it was a variety of prepared foods both family size portion and individual portions including regional side orders. are two of the top attributes that drive brand equity. All food sector retailers must optimize their menus, better cater to all for defined dayparts and focus on fast, fresh food.
3.       Reset
Consumers have reset in their minds-eye a new vision of what food retail should be and that vision blurs the line of brick-and-mortar locations and online retail. Within ever retail food sector consumers are now looking for a seamless branded experience whether they are ordering online, on a phone, or at a table, for eating-in or eating-out.  
Once again it is very important as a retailer to Reset as the line between all food retailers will continue to blur only in the minds-eye of food retailers, but not in the minds-eye of the consumer.  Resetting a focus on grocerant niche mix & matched fresh prepared meals and meal components will drive top of mind awareness in the minds-eye of consumers according to Johnson. Success does leave clues and re-new, review, and reset are three clues all food retailers need to keep close moving forward in 2020.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® 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 us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Battle for Share of Stomach




Monday, May 25, 2020

Sheetz Delivery Partnership On-Target


Fresh food fast is the undercurrent driving adoption of food delivery, meal delivery, and meal component delivery according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. With over 162 million people, 64 percent of adults, spending on dining at least once a week, according to a recent ICSC survey is it any wonder during this COVED-19 pandemic delivery would not be important.
With an average weekly spend of $71, dining expenditure exceeds $602 billion a year. Almost 50 percent of adults say that dining out is an essential part of their lifestyle. Sheetz sells meals, meal components, and mix & match food & beverage items that can be bundled into the perfect meal.
Joe Sheetz and his team are great retail foodservice operators according to Johnson who stated ‘Sheetz ability to integrated both consumer relevance with new brand electricity while driving top line sales and bottom-line profits is their platform of success.”
So, when Sheetz announced a new partnership with Grubhub to provide delivery through Grubhub’s online and mobile food-ordering platform the team at Foodservice Solutions® knew that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared would be elevated once again.
Adding consumer relevance for the safety of its customers and drivers, Grubhub offers customers a contact-free delivery at checkout. Drivers can call and/or text the customers when they arrive and drop off their orders on the doorstep, in the lobby or in another area designated by the customer. This option is available at Grubhub.com and on the mobile app.

“Grubhub delivery allows Sheetz to continue to give customers what they want, when they want it but from the safety and comfort of their homes,” said Travis Sheetz, President and COO of Sheetz Inc. “We will continue to innovate to serve our customers in these uncertain times as we all join together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” How are you driving new electricity into you brand and at what cost?
Driving new electricity into a legacy brand with a partnership is a good move and will accelerate the marketing messaging for all companies involved according to Johnson. Just now is your company positioning to grow your brand, the top, and bottom line?  
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, online ordering, delivery, plant based foods,  sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands,  grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why? This new partnership does all of that.
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 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869





Sunday, May 24, 2020

'Potbelly Pantry' Did not go Far Enough



Restaurants around the world are trying to drive sales anyway that they can and as regular readers of those blog know selling pantry items for the home cook is a great idea conceived, elevated, and encouraged if not promoted, right here by Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
So, when Potbelly Sandwich Shop is launched Potbelly Pantry our team had to take a deeper drive.  Potbelly Pantry enables customers the ability to stock up on Potbelly staples, the ilk of its famous hot peppers, fresh hand-sliced meats, cheeses, breads and even pre-portioned A Wreck and Italian sandwich ingredients. Out team wondered is that enough? Do customers want to build ‘A Wreck’?
Potbelly Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, stated “Now you can get our fresh, delicious ingredients in bulk at Potbelly.com. Because life’s too short to miss out on great sandwiches.” Hungry and housebound Potbelly Pantry shoppers are able to keep the fridge stocked with exclusive Potbelly ingredients and sides:
Delicious hand-sliced, fresh deli meats and savory cheeses
Pre-layered and portioned meats for both A Wreck® and Italian sandwiches
Potbelly’s signature breads, designed to be toasted at home
Chips and bottled beverages
Potbelly’s famous Hot Peppers
Note: The fresh deli meats come in one-pound servings, cheeses are packaged in 10-ounce servings and signature breads are assembled in packs of six loaves to be toasted at home. Potbelly Pantry is available exclusively through Potbelly.com  and the Potbelly app at participating locations. All deliveries include tamper-proof stickers to ensure safety.
So, what’s missing?  It’s clear to the meal at Foodservice Solutions® the since of discovery.  The what else can I make? If I had just one more item what could I make?  What would complement each and everyone of those items.  Clearly the team at Potbelly has not been reading or following our blog.  Success does leave clues and Potbelly has missed quite a few according to our team.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® 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 us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter
In a Battle for Share of Stomach
Customer Touch Points Matter


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Gen Z Looking Food Forward


While Millennials are starting to buy houses and have children most Gen Z of college age or preparing for what comes after high school. One thing is clear like the generation before from the want to discover the world, and want it be a different world than that of their grandparents, parents, or even Millennials according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Here is why Gen Z has become so important to foodservice they account for 27% of the U.S. population. Like the generation before them Gen Z’s has a desire for seamless digital experiences, purpose, and convenience all fast, where digital differentiation is discovery that they can share.
 Here are some of our ideations to help you reach Gen Z:
·         Esports present a platform that is ‘new’, digital, interactive and indoor and can be viewed from a mobile devise. Consider a tie-in or video wall inside your foodservice store front.
·         Handheld video the ilk of Twitch and other video game streaming services, are a perfect platform for product placement.
·         Driving in-store foodservice frequency will require a high level of digital engagement, along with a interactive platform that can be simultaneously accessed as Gen Z likes to do more than one thing at a time.
·         Food must have a platform of ‘full’ flavor with a story filled with authenticity. Once again Gen Z likes handheld food for immediate consumption but with a twist.  They are looking for items that have a ‘halo’ of better for you.
·         Given their propensity of everything digital food delivery is a platform that must have been designed for Gen Z as there is no migration to food delivery. Fast fresh full-flavored food delivered is simply a form of convenience they will not give up.
Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static” Gen Z will be more demanding, less patient, in search of ‘the next big thing for some time to come. 
Regular readers of this blog know that ‘The Consumer is dynamic not static’ is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company 253-759-7869.  

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fatburger Drives Brand Relevance with New Partnership



Success does leave clues and FAT Brands the owner of Fatburger and Hurricane Grill & Wings developed incremental success at Hurricane Grill & Wings leveraging a ‘virtual kitchen’ too extend the brands reach. With insights in-hand FAT Brands signed a partnership with Epic Kitchens for both Buffalo’s Express and Fatburger.
According to the last report Fatburgers, Buffalo’s Express and Hurricane Grill & Wings will be available for delivery only in Chicago.  However Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believes this extended partnership with drive new brand electricity, customer relevance, mutual benefits for all brands and companies.  
When as regular readers of this blog know Fatburger began using its restaurants as virtual kitchens for serving a delivery-only menu for sister brand, Florida-based Hurricane Grill & Wings FAT Brands began to see just how the virtual kitchen strategy pay off during the coronavirus pandemic, FAT Brands is now expanding its virtual kitchen experiment through a partnership with Epic Kitchens in Chicago expanding all brands reach.
Here is how it will work; menus from FAT Brands concepts Fatburger, Buffalo’s Express and Hurricane Grill & Wings, will be prepared at a virtual kitchen facility operated by Epic Kitchens in Chicago. The deal allows FAT Brands to expand its branded concepts in new markets without opening a brick and mortar restaurant. 
At FAT Brands, Epic Kitchens is “acting like a franchisee, where they license and operate multiple brands out of a cloud kitchen facility. The food is prepared and delivered by the major third-party delivery players including Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and Grubhub.”   
CEO Andy Wiederhorn stated “offering multiple off-premise channels is crucial during the coronavirus pandemic. Fatburger, one of the company’s best-known brands, has seen delivery and to-go grow from about 40% of sales to 62% during this crisis.” How are you driving new electricity into you brand and at what cost? Driving new electricity into a legacy brand with a partnership is a good move and will accelerate the marketing messaging for all companies involved according to Johnson.
Just how is your company positioning to grow your brand, the top, and bottom line?  Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, online ordering, delivery, plant based foods,  sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands,  grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why? This new partnership does all of that.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® 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 us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter



Thursday, May 21, 2020

Irving Oil Foodservice with Transparency



Driving customer relevant touchpoints since 1924 Irving Oil continues to innovate driving customer relevance with foodservice transparency with a new store format that’s designed specifically to provide innovative customer experiences according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
The new format called ‘The Irving’ is a leap from the past and present of convenience store foodservice as ‘The Irving’ is looking a customer ahead according to Johnson.
The Iriving blends elements of a market-style cafĂ© with freshly prepared comfort food offerings, indoor and outdoor seating areas with free Wi-Fi, self-checkout options and clean restrooms — all sporting a modern and refreshing aesthetic.
Tyler McLaughlin, director of retail operations for Irving Oil stated “Across our company, we are always looking for ways to enhance our offer and explore growth opportunities in the areas we serve and in new markets,”… “The opening of The Irving supports our desire to develop innovative strategies for our growing retail network, while leveraging technology and continuing to offer the very best to our customers, including our dealers and distributors.”

Front and center of The Irving’s are grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food with a distinct local unique freshly prepared, “feel-good food.” Featuring local ingredients wherever possible, the menu includes sandwiches, salads, soups, flatbread pizzas and gourmet hot dogs, along with all-day breakfast and smoothies.
Focused on food you can use on the go or at home, menu items can be ordered at two self-serve kiosks, in-person at the counter or from the takeout menu. Fresh doughnuts, muffins, cookies, pastries and more are available from the bakery.
There is a hot beverage counter, meanwhile, brews up a variety of coffee roasts from New England’s Baronet Coffee. Also offered are organically sweetened frozen drinks for cooler consumption.
McLaughlin continued “We know that people’s lives are busier than ever and one-stop shopping is important to families and commuters alike. We designed our offer to make our customers’ lives easier by making traditional convenience store products available while also elevating the fresh food offer with both made-to-order and grab-and-go options, all prepared onsite,”
New technology help The Irving make good on its promise of a seamless customer experience, multiple touchpoints for enhanced convenience are showcased at The Irving. For example, two self-checkouts enable customers to quickly and easily get in and out. Additionally, Irving Rewards members can pay at the pump with Irving Debit Pay using the mobile app’s Mobile Pay feature. Do you locations look more like yesterday than today or tomorrow?
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 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Edible Expanding the ‘Halo’ of Better for You with Fresh Vegetables



Edible Arrangements continues selling fresh food fast within the grocerant niche space with outstanding success. Edible is the world's largest franchisor of fresh fruit arrangements and all-natural fruit snacks and dipped treats, as regular readers of this blog know.
But get this, Edible set a new sales record Mother's Day week, fulfilling over 700K orders and making over 550K deliveries. The record-setting performance represented a 36% increase from last year and included some of the highest sales days in the history of the brand. So, what’s next vegetable, Yes, they are extending the ‘halo’ of better-4-you to vegetables according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Following last month’s surge in orders for Edible ‘s Fresh Fruit Produce Box, which was introduced to ensure fresh produce could reach customers safely in their homes via the brand’s no-contact delivery practices, Edible has expanded the offering to now include options with vegetables. The brand is now also offering treat bundles that are great for families at home (i.e., the Family Treat Bundle), combining a variety of treat options such as Edible apple donuts, popcorn, dipped fruit treats and more in one delicious package.
Edible president and COO Cheikh Mboup stated “Soon after we introduced our fresh fruit produce boxes, the new product quickly rose to our top seller, reinforcing that this type of delivery is something our customers want and need more than ever right now,….By expanding our delivery options during this unprecedented time, we’re reminding customers that our priority is providing healthy and convenient solutions for fresh foods in high demand while they remain in their homes.”
Fresh produce boxes and treat bundles start at just $24.99, and free delivery options are also available. Specific produce items and treats available for no-contact home delivery vary depending on what is available in each market.
Mboup continued “People everywhere are looking for ways to provide their families fresh fruit, vegetables and other treats without leaving their home, and it’s our responsibility to help meet those needs with our new boxes and bundles.” Grocerant niche mix & match meal and meal component bundling continue to drive customer adoption, top line sales and bottom line profits.
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 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869




Tuesday, May 19, 2020

What’s for Dinner or Who Wants What: the new Family Meal



Fresh food fast and convenient continues as the undercurrent driving where families get the meals, meal components that they can then bundle into the mix & match perfect meal for the entire family according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
All foodies and food professionals today remember the what Alice May Brock said: “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and cinnamon make it Greek, soy sauce makes it Chinese, garlic makes it good.”
Today convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization; are each a hallmark of the grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food sales phenomenon.  That is once again the recipe for retail food sales success in 2020.
Bundled meal components allow customers to select from Italian, American, French, Russian or Greek and utilize the components at home any way they like.  The new American meal can be a composite of any prepared food components that the individual may want and they can mix and pair them any way as well. 
Continuing a long-standing tradition in the United States is a melting pot of people from all over the world, with different cultures, traditions and flavor preferences.  The new American meal is a melting pot of flavor and choice.  Meal components that can be mix and matched for home consumption are integral to retail success.
Fresh prepared and portable Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food is now available for all consumers and can be found at Liquor Stores, Convenience stores, Drug stores, Grocery stores, Restaurants, Mobile trucks, and new on-line points of fresh food distribution all just waiting for the taking.  When developing new menu items do you consider where the food will be consumed or how and where you can sell it?
Consumers have been exposed to a plethora of flavors and have not the time to master the skill of cooking each.  The rapidly growing grocerant trend is empowering the consumer to establish new customs and traditions in eating better, more flavorful food.  The Grocerant niche is about convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization.
According to Technomic, other key factors influencing where consumers shop for prepared foods at retail include a clean store interior (91%), food quality (89%), taste and flavor of the food (89%), variety of items (85%), friendly service (83%), knowledgeable staff (82%) and a pleasant atmosphere and ambiance (82%).
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter