Saturday, March 6, 2010

Boston Market the one time high flying grocerant niche leader is back in the game!

Eatzi’s brought us interactive participatory fresh prepared food that had the option of portability, led by legendary visionary Phil Romano. It was however Scott Beck who truly understood the power of quality fresh prepared food that propelled the grocerant niche and Boston Market into the A-list of foodservice retailers.

Growing pains and a positioning stumble or two combined with new leadership that did not understand the power of the grocerant niche Boston Market stumbled, lost its way. The new leaderships was great at controlling the cog’s, but lost focus of the true value of the brand and its consumer.

The grocerant niche however continued to grow with companies like Central Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Subway entering the fresh prepared better for you space. Wawa and Sheetz ran with fresh prepared food ala the grocerant niche and now lead convenience store sector with 7 Eleven testing fresh prepared food around the globe.

It’s is however Boston Market under the leadership and tutelage of Lane Cardwell that just may retake the retail foodservice grocerant niche chain leadership position once again. They are hitting all of the consumer hot preference options with things like a "flavor bar," where guests can take their food and complement it with six different sauces and salsas for dressing and dipping, as well as flour tortillas for wrapping meals. Yes, they have even for the first time added fried food; OK so we all know that not “better for you”! It is however what the customer wants! What the consumer Buys and what they Eat! They are concurrently promoting small plate special at outstanding price points ($2.99) which will build additional trial.

Success leaves clues we leave plenty here on this blog and it great to see as we describe mix and match meal components driving sales and trial while building loyalty. It’s even more fun the mainstream media picks up of line! Vertical integrated marketing is the one thing that chain restaurants are very good at. If Boston Market continues to read the clues and follow the consumers, they will indeed lead the pack once again!

Join me here on my blog for insights, information and inspiration. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions visit

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