Friday, February 3, 2023

Fresh Baguette Disruptive Marketing to Drive Success


At the intersection of consumer touchpoints that drive change and the consumer we find Fresh Baguette with a new consumer focused branded invitation in the form of a subscription service.  That subscription service has the potential according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® “too disrupt both Panera Bread and Starbucks regional customer base while garnering the attention of consumers for both trial and migration.”  

The team at Foodservice Solutions® agrees that the time has come for a new business model, format or platform that will provide the customer facing touchpoints that will drive the right Price, Value, Service equilibrium that will garner customer adoption in the coffee shop and bakery space this just might be the real thing. 

So, Fresh Baguette, is a modern French Bakery.  They have launched a Fresh Brew Coffee Subscription that will keep your cup flowing. The marketing program began Tuesday, January 31, 2023.  Now anyone can sign up for this new program that offers high quality coffee, cappuccinos, espresso, iced lattes, and more for just $9.95 a month.  That’s right just $9.95 a month.  Wait there is more and it’s the more that will drive adoption by consumers including both Starbucks and Panera Bread loyalist.

Florent de Felcourt Founder and CEO of Fresh Baguette, stated, “Our new Coffee Subscription is a game changer for us and our fans,” …. “We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for our guests to enjoy this amazing deal. In addition, we understand it’s often hard to stop at just one cup, so with our coffee subscription, our guests can indulge multiple times a day at a really great price. Plus, our coffees are the perfect pairing to our deliciously crafted and freshly prepared bakery selections.”

The Fresh Brew Club Coffee Subscription is easy to join. Guests simply need to scan the dedicated QR code available at Fresh Baguette locations or visit the Fresh Brew Club Link. Subscribers may join and cancel any time.

Are You Building a Larger Share of Stomach

Does your brands business model look more like 2011, 2018, or 2022?  Are you top-line sales up as a result of price increases? Is your business model driving an increase in year over year customer counts? 

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: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Grocerant Meal Components with Portability are Driving Food Sales


How are you garnering customer trial and adoption?  What is the cost of your new customer acquisition? If you don’t know according to the Grocerant Guru® you new customer acquisition cost are too high.

So, in a world full of choice consumers are opting to spend more time playing games on their computers, watching sports on their 65 Inch HDTV, phone, texting, talking, and shopping on a device rather than cooking from scratch at home according to Steven Johnson, who is the, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

The simple fact is consumers do not have the skill set to cook the full-flavored meals or meal components that they have grown up with, been exposed to, or sampled at street fairs. Consumers want fast, fresh and flavorful easy meals for dinner, and are looking for meal components that they can bundle into a customized family meal.  

As long as multi-generational family's gather for meals together, the demand for more divergent flavors continues to permeate. Grocerant mix and match bundled meal component offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance in less time without a required cook from scratch skill set.

In the 1940's cooking from scratch was the normal. The average home cooked meal took 150 minutes to prepare. Everyone sat down at the table and enjoyed it or not but they all ate the same thing. Today's "home cooked meal" takes on average less than 30 minutes to prepared. In most cases at least two different entrées are served.

The average time spent inside a McDonalds in the 2,000 was 11 minutes. Today 65+ percent of all McDonald's food is sold via the drive-thru. U.S. fast-food chains are increasingly remodeling restaurants in an effort to garner additional drive-thru customers inside and increase sales, simple because the drive-thru can't hold all the cars.

Are you selling grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food that is portable?  How many items on your restaurant menu could be sold as a meal component?  How many items is your store could be prepared fresh and sold as Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared item?  Does your retail food-print look more like 1990?  Where is your customer relevance in the past, in today, or in tomorrow?

There are new companies that can help you evolve from yesterday to today’s with customer facing relevance. Have you heard about Hellometer?   Their service replaces legacy vehicle loop timer technology and helps operators grow revenue using cameras to measure and improve guest service speeds. Cameras in restaurants measure each guest’s experience from the moment they walk in (or drive up) through to order completion.

So, instead of waiting for bad reviews or operating blind, restaurateurs know exactly where and when they are losing revenue due to slow service Managers can quickly diagnose the root causes behind bottlenecks and slow-downs so they can address them. They can see, for instance, that one location has issues with taking orders and can then coach staff that aren’t sticking to the script. They may see that another location struggles with food prep, so they need to retrain their staff.

In addition, Hellometer has partnered with Intel, which allows us to offer restaurateurs a compact form factor (important in cramped kitchens) that delivers performance without the need of a separate graphics processor. In preparation for the launch of Intel’s new 13th gen Intel Core i7 processors, Hellometer is actively developing onto these next gen chips and is so far reporting nearly a 7% increase (30.72 FPS in 12th Gen à 32.80 FPS in 13th Gen) in inference speed.

In short, this technology is cost effective, easy to adopt and high impact, Hellometer enables restaurant operators to improve service speed by 47s on average. According to the operations research, for every 7 seconds stores can improve service speed, they see about a 1% increase in top-line revenue. The average quick service restaurant sees about $1.9M in revenue a year so that 47s improvement from Hellometer will mean about $130k in added revenue per location. Currently, over 20 of the world’s best service brands use and trust Hellometer today.

Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization? Email us at: or visit: for more information.

Are you Building a Larger Share of 


Service Speed and Convenience Matter

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Finally, a Drive-Thru Only Grocery Store


Gen Z and Millennials have an ongoing desire for fresh food discovery, seemingly not wanting to be ‘their parents’, so the question is will they opt for and migrate too a drive-thru grocery store?  According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, “The jury is still out. It will depend on how both Gen Z and Millennials perceive the Price, Value, Service equilibrium.”

While trial is assured, it is the  Price, Value, Service equilibrium in the end that will decide if the consumer will move from trial to loyal customer according to Johnson.

Addie's, which is located in Norwood, Massachusetts plans to eliminate in-store shopping to give customers a new level of convenience according local press reports.  

In case you have not heard of Addie’s yet, let’s get some background from local media reports, “With a background in aerospace engineering, Jim McQuade is flying high with his newest adventure—opening a new grocery store.”…

“But McQuade's new venture is unlike other grocery stores. There is no waiting at the deli counter or checkout lanes. Instead, Addie’s is a drive-thru-only grocery store that eliminates in-store delays with a focus squarely on convenience and time savings. 

The 22,000 square-foot grocery store, which is pickup only, was founded by McQuade, 41, who also serves as CEO, and Jeremiah Strauss, CTO, with $10.1 million in seed funding led by the Disruptive Innovation Fund, the venture capital arm of Clay Christensen's Rose Park Advisors.  Located at 911 Boston Providence Highway in Norwood, Massachusetts, Addie’s opened last Thursday.

"We believe that taking better care of busy families should be done in a way that also takes care of our team, our community and our planet," said McQuade. "With our seed funding, we've built an end-to-end experience to serve people in and around Norwood in a way that can be replicated in suburbs nationwide. We look forward to quickly expanding, offering busy families across the country drive-up grocery convenience without compromise."

Looking to build a grocery store that works best with a shopper’s schedule was a top priority. “We built Addie’s because we value your time, your money and your food—so nothing goes to waste,” McQuade said. Built to better the environment, Addie’s operates with “one quarter of the electricity required of traditional supermarkets,” McQuade said.

Taking care of its team is also important as starting wages for employees at Addie’s is $20 per hour. “We train them incredibly well,” McQuade said.

Addie’s is designed as an onsite warehouse that has a parking lot with 14 pull-through lanes. Shoppers can log on to Addie’s website or app to buy groceries from a curated selection of about 4,000 products.  They then select a pickup time, and the groceries are loaded into their car in a “matter of minutes,” the company said.  

As the future of grocery shopping continues to evolve, other drive-up grocers look to be pulling up as well in the grocery space. E-commerce firm Mercatus  predicts that online grocery shopping will double to $200-plus billion by 2026, with curbside pickup among the fastest-growing segments.

"The 100-year-old grocery business is not immune to disruption," said Matt Christensen, CEO and managing partner at Rose Park Advisors. "The traditional business model of in-store shopping makes serving convenience-focused shoppers highly challenging. We see disruptive potential in Addie's technology-powered drive-up grocery model and are excited to support them as they launch."

The team at Foodservice Solutions® agrees that the time has come for a new business model, format or platform that will provide the customer facing touchpoints that will drive the right Price, Value, Service equilibrium that will garner customer adoption.

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 us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

C-Store Consumers want Fresh Food Fast Priced Right


Convenience store operators want to garner a larger share of stomach and they continue to target fast food restaurant customers looing for something new, fresh, fast, that cost less.  Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated, the constant fluctuating price of gasoline is not attractive to consumers nor does it drive convenience store brand loyalty.”

Grocerant nice Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food service as an entity with identity as a branded meal solution fresh and fast will drive customer brand loyalty while providing the platform for consistency that consumers are looking for according to Johnson.  

The stock market is up one day down the next and the news does not change much. So, as the country wrestles with a sinking economy and surging inflation, costs are going up, and that is starting to present concerns for convenience stores. Let’s look and see what some C-store professionals have to say about 2023.  M. David May, director of food services for Kwik Stop in Nebraska, reminded us this month that the industry’s most prosperous category, while a vital part of consumers’ daily lives, is still very much tied to the economy.

“The price of fuel has a tremendous impact on our foot traffic in the stores,” May said. “Customers weren’t coming in as much or buying as much when gas was approaching $5 per gallon, but now that gas prices are retreating, we’re seeing our store sales go up.”

To attract cost-conscious consumers, May, always tries to have some type of meal deal combining chicken and a small side for a value price of between $5 and $8. This bundling has proven effective. 

Retailers are going to have to be innovative and be quick on their feet to maintain their foodservice business as customer discretionary spending dwindles. The key to maintaining sales is remembering to excel at the basics. Customers are busy, hungry and increasingly price sensitive. Retailers must focus on meeting customers’ demands on their schedule with healthy options, affordable prices and outstanding service. I realize this is no secret, but in tough times like this, growth isn’t always the best course. Basic blocking and tackling to maintaining existing sales are an effective solution. 

Among the convenience store industry’s greatest competitive advantages over the past two decades has been its ability to provide fresh fast service, fresh food discovery, and meet or exceed customers’ immediate demands, so much so that it’s become instinctive to top-quartile chains. 

Looking a customer ahead, the foodservice space sees increasing impacts and competition from online. Third-party delivery services have created unprecedented options for foodservice, and not just for the food itself, but on price. Customers simply have more options and many different price points to choose from. These are some difficult waters to navigate. 

All of this means if you are not tracking the trends and your customers’ other options, you will fall behind. Convenience store retailers must do everything possible to entice customers to try new products with full flavors, edifying food discovery, and return for more, without negatively impacting why the stores exist: to provide convenience.

Whatever level of food you feel comfortable delivering — the simplest or the most complicated —  you must focus on freshness, quality, and value. But the ultimate piece is consistency. You have to be able to deliver great food consistently.

What’s more, these don’t necessarily need to be elegant upscale menu items. It’s whatever you feel you can do great. If you are comfortable selling sandwiches, sell the best sandwiches you can. If it’s fried chicken, have the best fried chicken in the market. It is a rigorous endeavor, but this is where market leaders excel.

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: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Are you Looking to Grow


Larger Share of Stomach

Monday, January 30, 2023

KFC Balances Employees and Customers for Sustainability


Balancing a ‘dual mandate’, is the mantra most business leaders have been hearing a little too much of lately. So, just what is the most important dual mandate within the retail food sector today? That mandate according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® is branded messaging with equal relevance for consumers and employees as both are required if your foodservice establishment is to survive over the long haul.

Johnson believes that, “KFC is on the right track edifying both consumers and employees with dual branded programs that edify both consumers and employees.”  After all, sustaining incremental customers and retaining employees it a key drive to long term success.

Recently, the KFC Foundation, in partnership with Western Governors University (WGU), announced that KFC restaurant employees will have the opportunity to receive 100 percent paid tuition when attending WGU to earn their degree.

Through this partnership, KFC restaurant employees can choose from more than 60 different bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certification programs across business, information technology, education, and health care. The KFC Foundation program is non-competitive, meaning every eligible employee who applies and enrolls will get tuition coverage. Access to this opportunity is available beginning day one on the job for restaurant employees. WGU also offers rolling start dates every month, so KFC restaurant employees have the flexibility to enroll at any time and begin online courses as soon as they’re ready.

“Every year we look for new ways to support and enhance the lives of KFC restaurant employees,” says Emma Horn, executive director of the KFC Foundation. “What better opportunity to be able to offer team members than a flexible college degree program from Western Governors University that can fit seamlessly into their schedule. The program at WGU is perfect for someone who may not have enough hours in the day to balance a traditional college experience on top of a full- or part time- job and other life priorities.”

Driving sustainable messaging to consumers, KFC recently announced that Integrate Solar will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony January 30 to showcase its new solar-powered drive-thru canopy installed at a local KFC restaurant. The 72-foot canopy, designed in partnership with Stewart Restaurant Group, is equipped with 57 solar panels and will produce 1.2 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy over the lifetime of the system. The KFC location at 11935 Rosedale Hwy in Bakersfield will also lower its electricity costs by $11,000 in its first year alone with the new canopy and save nearly $400,000 over the system’s guaranteed life. The solar canopy solution designed specifically for Quick Serve Restaurant drive-thrus also shields employees from the sun and rain when serving customers.

Integrate Solar Cofounder Kevin Benefiel, stated, “As California’s electricity rates continue to rise, fast food restaurants have looked for ways to lower their energy bills, but have never found their small, equipment-filled rooftops viable options for solar,”. “This solution solves that problem and helps improve a store’s operations overnight.”

In case you did not know, a typical Quick Serve Restaurant building takes up less than 20 percent of the location’s total space. Integrate Solar has created a way to turn that underutilized space—drive-thrus, parking lots, outdoor seating areas—into profitable solar assets that improve the customer experience, slash electricity costs, and help brands hit their sustainability goals.

Justin Stewart, co-owner of the Stewart Restaurant Group, stated, “We needed a canopy over our drive-thru to protect our team members taking orders outside of the building. When we compared the costs of a typical canopy to the costs and value of Integrate Solar’s canopy, the decision to go solar was a no-brainer.”

So, solar canopies ultimately cost less than comparably-sized traditional canopies because solar canopies qualify for a Federal Investment Tax Credit worth up to 60 percent of the total cost of the canopy. The extension and expansion of the solar Investment Tax Credit was part of the Inflation Reduction Act that Congress passed in 2022. With help from the tax incentives, the energy savings generated from the solar panels will allow the Stewarts to have fully recovered their investment in less than five years.

As consumer preferences have changed, more customers are choosing the drive-thru and outdoor seating instead of dining inside the restaurant, causing fast food restaurants to innovate to meet the new demands. Solar canopies address these customer needs while also locking in lower energy costs and generating more renewable electricity for Californians.

Balancing a ‘dual mandate’ with branded pro-active messaging will drive top-line sales and bottom-line profits.

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: or 253-759-7869

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Mini-Meals or Snacks Consumers Like to Eat Often


It’s at the intersection of comfort and comfort foods we find consumers treating themselves at home, at work, and on the road according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Mini-meals or snacks have become a daily habit for more than three-quarters of consumers.  Without regard to rising costs and economic challenges, consumers continue to prioritize snacking as a meal replacement.

In a new report conducted by Mondelēz International's, (its fourth) annual State of Snacking report found approximately 71 percent of consumers snack at least twice a day.  The global consumer trends study examines annual insights on how consumers make snacking decisions.

Developed in partnership with The Harris Poll, the report tracks snacking attitudes and behaviors among thousands of consumers surveyed across 12 countries. In addition to snacking daily, consumers globally agree that they are snacking:

·         Mindfully — Seventy-eight percent of consumers say they take time to savor indulgent snacks and 61 percent saying they take time to portion out snacks before eating them.

·         Frequently — Consumers are increasingly replacing meals with snacks, with 55 percent reporting a higher likelihood to eat a snack across all three standard mealtimes.

·         Sustainably — Reducing waste is a top priority, with seven in 10 consumers saying they prioritize snacks that have less packaging and 72 percent saying they typically recycle it.

The survey demonstrates that consumers are looking for snacks to meet different needs in their lives. More than three-quarters (78 percent) say they regularly snack to reward themselves and for a sense of comfort (77 percent). An overwhelming majority of millennials (85 percent) cited both of these reasons.

Given the current economic environment, 67 percent of survey respondents say they would buy fewer of their favorite snack brands rather than generic alternatives, regardless of cost.

"Our State of Snacking report confirms that in these trying times, consumers around the world view their favorite snacks as affordable and necessary indulgences," said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International. "Snacking continues to be a way for consumers to connect or to enjoy a moment of delight in their day, further demonstrating our belief that every snack can be enjoyed in a mindful way."

Taking a deeper dive into the report's key insights, here's what macro trends are impacting consumers' snacking decisions:

Mindful Snacking

·         Consumers are making an effort to be mindful and present while snacking, with 78 percent stating they take time to savor indulgent snacks.

·         Sixty-one percent of consumers take time to portion out snacks before eating them and check nutrition labels on snacks before buying them (68 percent).

·         Less than half (46 percent) of respondents say they feel guilty when enjoying an indulgent snack or treat.

Staying Connected

·         Snacking offers an important opportunity to connect with others, with seven in 10 confirming, "Sharing snacks with others is my love language."

·         The trend of regularly sitting down to enjoy snacks with loved ones is especially strong among households in India and Mexico.

Environmental Impact

·         Consumers are very focused on how their snacking choices impact the environment, saying they recognize that both companies and consumers play key roles in sustainable snacking.

·         Sixty-three percent of consumers agree that snacks with a higher environmental impact should cost more, especially millennials (70 percent) and Generation Z (69 percent).

·         Sixty-four percent of consumers are willing to pay more for snacks that are better for the environment and 65 percent would pay more for snacks with ethically sourced ingredients.

Martin Renaud, chief marketing and sales officer at Mondelēz International, stated, "Today's consumer is more conscious than ever about their consumption — and that includes health and well-being, as well as the impact on the planet," ... "The findings of this report continue to help inform our strategy as a global snacking leader with a focus on chocolate and biscuits and a commitment to mindful and sustainable snacking."

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: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Do you Want to Build a

Larger Share of Stomach? 

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