Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walgreens prepared food beverage offerings a step forward or a step back?

Walgreens is clearly the retail chain drug store niche leader. When they announced that they were considering entering the prepared food niche other sector food retailers took notice.

If the pictures above reflect what Walgreens planning to rollout, food retailers can sit back in their easy chain and take a deep breath and relax. The above pictures taken at a Walgreens position the beverage portion of the retail food offering as a step forward for Walgreens but a step back for the food retail industry. This set of offerings is completely void of contemporize consumer positive attributes. Disappointing coming from a retailer that has invested billions upgrading and remodeling stores around the country.

When an industry retail leader enters a new niche one would expect to see state of the industry offerings. If this is what they are planning it is a step back into the mid 70’s or early 80’s of food retailing. Consumer will not be compelled to buy or boast of the new offering. In fact it is a bit embarrassing to think this is what they are planning to rollout.

This particular set of offerings by Walgreens is neither interactive nor participatory for the consumer. We can only hope that the prepared food offerings don’t include a roller grill and harkin Walgreens customers back even further.

Niche industry leaders the likes of Sheetz, Wawa, and Starbucks have nothing to worry about. Global convenience store giant 7 Eleven is testing fresh food and produce around the world and will introduce a much more compelling set of offerings in the near term than it appears Walgreens is planning.

Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche providing ready-to-eat and ready-to-eat program assessments. For more read this article: or read my blog Roll roll roll away roller grill.


  1. 100% agreed Steve. This move may actually setback Walgreens in the long run. Consumer perception tends to focus on the brands that specialize in a certain arena. I go to Starbucks for my coffee, Coldstone for my ice cream and Papa Johns for my pizza. I have noticed most consumers have yet to think of walgreens as more than a "I'll grab it while I'm at the pharmacy" concept. I myself, as well as other consumers will not seek out Walgreens quick service products when we haven't even turned to Albertson's quick service selections. They are years behind the movement and will soon realize the time and investment will encompass the time spent on the thought.

  2. I find it interesting that more and more stores are trying to incorporate food into their product mix. The Walgreen's near our home has a ton of grocery products and is making up for the lack of grocery stores in the neighborhood.

    I like the retro styling of the coffee Kiosk.