Friday, December 3, 2021

Innovation Drives Grocerant Niche Growth

 


Success does leave clues and one clue that can never be overlooked is consumers are dynamic not static. Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated, “over the past 18 months consumers did not change directions on how they eat, what they did was simply evolve a bit faster than anyone other than him ever expected.”

So, it hardly comes as a surprise that the corona pandemic has given a boost to the home delivery market. Mobile living specialist Dometic anticipated this trend early on.  Well guess what?  They have come up with a revolutionary solution: Dometic DeliBox, a temperature-controlled food delivery system.

So, there was a presentation at this year’s Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo in London and it was  flanked by the release of a unique “white paper” featuring profitable growth opportunities in the home food delivery business.

So, this was a unique market study called,  “2021 Home Food Delivery Trends and Innovations” is downloadable from a dedicated information page on Dometic’s corporate website. The publication gives restaurants and online food delivery platforms valuable information about growth figures, market segments, consumer demands and future trends in the home food delivery business – a flourishing market currently worth $ 122 billion, according to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook 2021.


On November 9, Dometic presented the key facts from this white paper during a panel discussion named “The Tech Trends Driving Growth”. The event will take place at the Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo 2021 in London, where Dometic debuted its revolutionary Dometic DeliBox innovation.

Peter Kjellberg, Group CMO and Head of Other Global Verticals at Dometic, stated, “Knowledge of consumer demands is an invaluable asset for all players in the fast-growing home delivery market,” ... “We readily share our market insights with our B2B clients to create a win-win scenario for all parties involved.”

Kjellber continued, “One of the main insights of this market research is that 52% of consumers would order more home delivery food if food was delivered at the right temperature. And this is where Dometic’s unique DeliBox comes in. We realized there was no solution in the market that guarantees restaurant quality throughout the delivery chain and this particular insight created our innovation Delivery Box.”


The data Dometic shares in its home food delivery white paper is based on independent reports from two major market research organizations: Food & Friends, a Stockholm-based communication agency for food and beverages and Statista, a globally operating provider of market and consumer data.

Detailed information about this Dometic innovation is available at www.dometic.com/delibox.

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.



Thursday, December 2, 2021

Chipotle is Kraken

 


Seattle has a new National Hockey League team called the Kraken.  There is no doubt that while the Kraken team is not winning as much as they would like.  What they have done is driven new electricity into the National Hockey League according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson stated “sales of hockey merchandise, tickets, and TV viewership continue to grow driving new electricity.”

So, it can come a no surprise to anyone that, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it has signed a multiyear North American partnership to become the official Mexican-themed quick service and Mexican-themed fast-casual restaurant of the National Hockey League. So, this marks Chipotle’s largest sports sponsorship to date and the first time the brand has been an official sponsor of a major professional sports league. A growing national branded restaurant is a perfect fit for a growing sport.

Now as an official partner of the NHL, Chipotle will have brand presence at one of the NHL’s tentpole events during each year of the partnership, which includes the NHL Winter Classic, NHL Stadium Series, NHL All-Star Game, and NHL Heritage Classic. In addition, the Chipotle logo will be featured in a corner in-ice brand position for every game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs throughout the partnership.

Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle, stated, “Whether it’s picking up burritos on the way to the rink or celebrating a win with teammates post-game, Chipotle’s real food has long fueled hockey players and fans alike,” …“To complement our existing hockey relationships, we’re now supporting the highest level of the sport and a league that continues to grow its passionate fanbase at an accelerated pace.”


Now Chipotle has renewed its long-standing partnership with USA Hockey through 2023. Since 2018, Chipotle has been the title sponsor of the Chipotle USA Hockey Youth National Championships and supported the men’s and women’s U.S. National Hockey Teams as well as the Junior National Team who feature the Chipotle logo on their uniforms in select international tournaments.

U.S. Hockey Women’s National Team members Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield, along with NHL players Charlie McAvoy and Jack Hughes make up Chipotle’s roster of star hockey talent on Team Chipotle. The players will help the brand promote the USA Hockey Youth National Championships, participate in future hockey-centric brand campaigns, and make appearances at Chipotle-sponsored Player Development Camps.

Did you know that Chipotle launched new “Unwrapped” videos starring Knight and Coyne Schofield to celebrate its commitment to the game? The content gives fans an inside look into the players’ training routines and how their go-to orders at Chipotle help keep them on track. Chipotle’s “Real Food For Real Athletes” platform is focused on helping athletes of all levels perform their best by providing proper nutrition through real food and real ingredients.

According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.” 


Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different. 

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.




Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Get Ready for The Mariah Menu at McDonalds

 


Everyone is going to be singing with Mariah Carey the closer we get to Christmas with the help of McDonald’s new “The Mariah Menu” according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Mariah Carey takes the holidays up an octave with her now famous Christmas song ‘All I want for Christmas’ add that with 12 days of McDonald’s deals and everyone will be singing along. So, each day from Dec.13 through Dec.24, U.S. customers can get a different menu item for free from the Mariah Menu on the McDonald’s app with a $1 minimum purchase. 

You heard that right, all McDonald's wants this holiday season is for you... to join Mariah Carey for 12 days of deals. Because when an iconic holiday superstar is a fan of the Golden Arches, it’s only right to begin the season by gifting customers an entire menu full of free* goodies. From Mariah’s own favorite, a classic Cheeseburger, to soft-baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, we made a list of some of our fans’ favorite menu items and checked it twice. The Mariah Menu will make its debut in the U.S. on Dec.13, featuring a different free item**each day with a $1 minimum purchase on the McDonald’s app.


Mariah Carey, stated, "Some of my favorite memories with my kids are our family trips to McDonald’s, and of course, each of us has our go-to order. Mine is the Cheeseburger, and I get it with extra pickles,”. “Bringing together some of our favorite food from McDonald’s with my all-time favorite season is a holiday wish come true.” 

Yes, the Mariah Menu takes our celebrity signature orders to the next level with daily deals that are exclusively available through the McDonald’s app and specially curated to kick-start the holiday season. More than just a meal, it’s a whole menu, fit for one of the best-selling female artists of all time.

Jennifer Healan, Vice President, U.S. Marketing, Brand Content and Engagement of McDonald’s USA, stated, “Mariah goes with the holidays like ketchup and fries, so we couldn’t think of a better partner to help us celebrate the upcoming season,” … “Just like McDonald’s brings people around the table with their favorite orders, Mariah’s music connects us all during this time of the year. We’re so excited to team up to bring even more holiday cheer to our fans.”


Yet again that’s not all, the Mariah Menu items will be served in fun and festive packaging inspired by Mariah’s love for the holidays and chic style. We have worked with Mariah to create a design we know the Lambily and McDonald’s fans will love. You’ll know the bags when you see them... just like you know her famed holiday jingle from the song’s first notes.

Download the McDonald’s app then stay tuned on the McDonald’s app for more surprises from McDonald’s and Mariah Carey! To access the daily deals, simply download the McDonald’s app and visit the deals section to add to your order. 



Don’t over reach. 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



Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Amazon Grocery adds Customer Focused Recyclable Packaging

 


Hot food hot, cold food cold that is the old adage that has been a mainstay within the foodservice sector for over a hundred years, and maybe longer.  It is great to see how one company elevates that standard with customer focused relevance today.

That company is Amazon.  It is taking a major step in making all of that pickup and delivery better for the planet and better for the customer as they edify their food delivery standards according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Amazon Grocery is launching new curbside recyclable packaging that keeps grocery items chilled and frozen during delivery. The program rolled out just in time for Thanksgiving when customers were ordering turkey, green beans, or frosty pints of ice cream, chilled and frozen foods from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market will arrive insulated in packaging made from recycled paper, permanently eliminating the need for plastic liners and bubble bag insulation. The new packaging is also easier for customers to recycle at home.


So, according to the company, moving to all curbside-recyclable insulation packaging reduces material waste, and each year replaces approximately 735,000 pounds of plastic film, 3.15 million pounds of natural cotton fiber, and 15 million pounds of non-recyclable mixed plastic. This new packaging is the latest step in Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge, a bold commitment to be net-zero carbon across its business by 2040, and to building a more sustainable business.

Stephenie Landry, Vice President, Amazon Grocery, detailed the company's latest journey to recyclable packaging journey in a new blog post:

How would you describe the problem we were trying to solve for customers?

We have long wanted to find a more sustainable solution for the plastic liners and bubble bags that are often used to insulate chilled and frozen items. The criteria for any new packaging solution came down to five key considerations. First, and probably the most obvious, we wanted to ensure the packaging- maintained product chill chain and Amazon’s high bar for food safety.


Second, the packaging needed to be small, compact, and flexible for our delivery drivers. Think of it as fitting multiple grocery bags into the trunk of a Prius, so switching to stiff cardboard boxes for insulation wouldn’t work. Although they’d maintain food-safe temperatures, boxes would take up more room, which would mean fewer grocery deliveries per vehicle, ultimately resulting in more vehicles—and carbon emissions.

The third major consideration was that any new packaging needed to be easily recyclable—as in, customers could leave it with the rest of their curbside recyclable material. Fourth, it also needed to be inexpensive and scalable because we wanted to continue to ensure that Amazon’s grocery delivery offerings were widely accessible for customers.


And finally, we wanted to generate less overall packaging for customers. We are continually inventing new packaging solutions, and sometimes the simplest action is to use less of it, especially when Mother Nature provides her own “chill chain” in colder months.

In October, Amazon forecast modest sales growth for the fourth quarter. The bleak holiday season outlook came as Amazon reported sales for its third quarter increased 15% to $110.8 billion, within the company’s forecast range of $106 billion to $112 billion shared at the end of the second quarter. That’s impressive growth, but profits were a different story: Net income fell to $3.2 billion and earnings per share fell to $6.12 from net income during the prior-year third quarter of $6.3 billion and earnings per share of $12.37.

Expenses rose in key areas, which CEO Andy Jassy positioned as the company doing right by customers rather than maximizing near-term profits. For example, fulfillment expenses increased 27.8% to $18.5 billion, technology and content expenses increased 31% to $14.4 billion, and marketing expenses increased 47.4% to $8 billion. Customers appreciated Amazon’s commitment, which is part of what drove the 39% growth in AWS revenue, according to Jassy.

“It’s also driven extraordinary investments across our businesses to satisfy customer needs. Just one example is that we’ve nearly doubled the size of our fulfillment network since the pandemic began,” Jassy said. “In the fourth quarter, we expect to incur several billion dollars of additional costs in our consumer business as we manage through labor supply shortages, increased wage costs, global supply chain issues, and increased freight and shipping costs, all while doing whatever it takes to minimize the impact on customers and selling partners this holiday season.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 





Monday, November 29, 2021

Home Chef Personalization and Customization Will Drive Adoption


Partnerships that edify a brand with its customers make a difference.  In the competitive meal kit space, it is nice to see that Home Chef is getting back to its roots, within the grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared space adding options that are customer focused with customization and personalization according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Home chef has evolved from just a meal kit company to a meal solution provider.  It is a small distinction, that expands the brand back to its original ‘space’ grocerant niche solutions with a much broader array of options with it comes to points of differentiation all adding relevance to a much broader customer base according to Johnson.

At Home Chef sharing meals for the holiday season goes beyond gathering around a table. The company, is introducing a new digital gifting program that allows shoppers to share meals with others through personalized e-gift cards and physical gift cards.


This new partnership will drive new electricity within the brand, as the digital offering, integrated with Synchrony’s GiftNow platform, gives consumers the opportunity to customize cards with video messages, photos and personal notes.

Yet there is more, E-cards can be sent to individuals or groups by email or text, delivered instantly or scheduled up to three months in advance. People also can use the digital service to have physical gift cards mailed to recipients. All cards are available in a range of seasonal and evergreen designs.

Eric Dean, senior director of marketing partnerships for Chicago-based Home Chef, stated, "We're excited to elevate our digital gifting operations and offer customers more opportunities to personalize and send gift cards," …. "By partnering with GiftNow, we have transformed the gifting experience at homechef.com, making it more experiential, customizable and accessible for both gifters and recipients."

Pari Raccah, general manager with GiftNow, said that the gift cards were created to provide consumers with a more seamless and personalized option. "The gift of food is always one that people cherish as the kitchen remains the heart of the home, and Home Chef's meal kit delivery service is an ideal gift," she remarked. How is your brand driving new electricity?



According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”  That said, what are you waiting for?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a 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, November 28, 2021

At Domino's Sharing is Caring

 


In a battle for share of stomach leaderships matters. Regular readers of this blog know that a high tide lifts all boats.  Well, in the battle for share of stomach Domino’s knows its customers eat more than just pizza.  They also know that the halo of ‘better-4-you’ extend beyond its four walls.

Focusing on its customers first, select Domino's stores throughout Boston, Phoenix, Louisville, Denver, and Laredo, Texas, bought thousands of $50 gift cards from local restaurants and surprised randomly selected Domino's delivery customers with them in early November. That my friends is how an industry leader shows it leadership, customer knowledge, and edifies it standing within the retail foodservice sector according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Our readers know that Domino's is the largest pizza company in the world.  Most of them know it is actually made up of stores owned by hundreds of independent franchise owners, with more than 95 percent of them started out as Domino's delivery drivers or pizza makers.

Those franchisees know how hard it is to run a business, and they see the impact that substantial fees from delivery app services have on small restaurants. In recent weeks four Domino's franchisees and one corporate-owned store have helped some beloved local establishments impacted by delivery fees.

Select Domino's stores throughout Boston, Phoenix, Louisville, Denver, and Laredo, Texas, bought thousands of $50 gift cards from local restaurants and surprised randomly selected Domino's delivery customers with them in early November. 

In a Battle for Share of Stomach

are you winning?


So, participating Domino's stores across the Greater Boston, Phoenix, Louisville, Laredo and Denver areas bought thousands of $50 gift cards from local restaurants, randomly gave them out to Domino's delivery customers, and encouraged them to use the gift cards by ordering directly from the local restaurants so they could avoid delivery app fees. These local Domino's stores gave away more than $100,000 worth of gift cards from locally owned grills, taco places, barbeque joints, bakeries, delis and more, to roughly 2,600 customers throughout early November.

Russell Weiner, chief operating officer of Domino's, stated, "Running a restaurant is tough. Our franchisees benefit from being part of a brand that has operations and technology built for delivery," … "However, many small restaurants don't have a system for delivery. Meanwhile, third-party delivery apps are charging local eateries high fees to deliver, which are taking away much of their earnings. Domino's and its franchisees were inspired to pay it forward in these communities by helping drive business to a few neighboring restaurants – without the substantial fees."

Irene Li, owner of Mei Mei in Boston, Massachusetts, stated, "We love that Domino's has supported other restaurants and driven their customers to these mom and pops that could really use the help,"

Domino's is committed to supporting the local restaurants and people that make our communities vibrant. If you're not getting Domino's, skip the delivery apps and order directly from a local restaurant. That my friends is sharing and caring during this Holiday Season that is good for all.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869



Saturday, November 27, 2021

Circle K Frictionless Checkout Technology is Customer Focused

 


The price, value, service equilibrium within the grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food space seems to be constantly moving forward according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson stated, constraints on consumer time continue to increase and waiting in line a grocery stores, convenience store, or restaurant is not on the top of the list of things that have to do or want to do.”

Circle K understand the power of choice each consumer has and in a effort to empower consumer to chose Circle K over another food retailer they are retrofit of existing systems with Grabango’s checkout-free shopping suited for existing locations, so that it supports Couche-Tard's efforts to make the store experience as seamless and frictionless as possible.

Now Circle K is offering Grabango’s “checkout-free” solution across six stores in the greater Tucson, Ariz., area. Couche-Tard Head of Global Digital Innovation Magnus Tägtström explained that his company is passionate about exploring technology that empowers store teams and helps make customers’ lives a little easier every day.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Grabango’s autonomous checkout solution support our ongoing efforts to make the store experience as seamless and frictionless as possible for our on-the-go customers,” he said.


Do you want to take a look at how it works? If yes you can visit the six Circle K locations where shoppers can checkout with Grabango and easily skip the line are located at 15935 N. Oracle Road in Tucson; and in Marana at 11403 W. Tangerine Road, 3880 W. Tangerine Road, 5725 W. Ina Road, 4540 W. Ina Road, and 5633 W. Cortaro Road. We ask do you think service is faster than a drive-thru?

So, Grabango is expanding rapidly and has already deployed more than 75,000 square feet of shopping floor. Last year, Grabango was the first company to retrofit its checkout-free technology into an already operating store and has raised $73 million in total capital to date. With the expansion of coverage to five Giant Eagle GetGo stores in the Greater Pittsburgh area along with these Circle K stores in the West, Grabango’s checkout-free technology now reaches shoppers coast to coast.

Don’t over reach. 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