Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Defining or defending your food turf; where are you?

Clearly the convergence of legacy food retailer’s traditional food turf and those repositioning new niches into fresh food arena is creating discontinuity among shoppers. We are witnessing and ever increasing number of fresh prepared better for you food products introduced into traditional channels. Specifically Grocery retailers and Convenience store operators are offering, ilk niche products in the grocerant prepared food niche that directly competes with traditional restaurant quick service chain offering, limited service and full service meals.

Priced competitively with ever increasing food quality improvements, grocery and convenience stores have placed the restaurant sector into a battle for share of stomach. All of this has created and ideal situation for consumers. Particularly in number of new food outlets selling fresh prepared ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food, while price points continue to fall in each sector.

I see no easing of competition during 2010. With unemployment lingering around 10% and gasoline prices continuing to rise this battle will last well into 2011. Even then, new points of food distribution will be well established in the minds eye of the consumer.

There will be winners and losers. Chain restaurant franchisees and regional grocery stores will lead among the losers. Winners will be proactive restaurant chains and national grocery stores chains the likes of Safeway, Kroger, and restaurant companies Buffalo Wild Wings and Subway. The surprise winner could just be a couple of regional convenience store that focuses on fresh prepared food and growth. That niche is directly competing with QSR’s, providing quality, choice and price bundling time savings with quality food. Where are you defining your niche or defending it?

Foodservice Solutions based in Tacoma, WA is the global leader in the grocerant niche. For product, or program assessments or winning strategies within the grocerant niche call 253-759-7869.

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