Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Retail Foodservice one year later, Lane Cardwell guiding Boston Market to success.

With the consumer demand for ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat food that is fresh prepared, portable and profitable ala the grocerant niche. Why do many grocery stores continue utilizing procedures and operating paradigms of the 70’s,80’s & early 90’s that has contributed to a continued decline in market share too the restaurant and convenience store sector.

Grocers that are relying on category and brand managers that focus on utilizing slotting fees and outwitting consumers with category management or continuous category management, results will continue to slip.

In the grocerant sector Boston Market is successfully focusing on the consumer, making adjustments addressing concerns of the consumer, they again gaining market share. Utilizing the Mix & Match meal components bundling Boston Market has successfully demystified the consumer paradox of choice. Credit must focus on leadership. Lane Cardwell has spent years focusing on the consumer, not just the brand and the focus is now paying dividends. If success leaves clues one might be watch this company.

The average size of the American family is smaller today than it was 10, 15, 20 years ago, however grocery category and brand mangers continue to focus on “basket size” rather than customer, customer frequency or measurable brand value attributes.

By focusing on increasing check size and bundling meat in packages of 30 pork chops, a chicken and a half in a package, or mix and match- buy any 10 for $1.00 each. What’s with that? Do they think the industry is going backward? What family are they selling too? Do brand mangers in the grocery industry have degrees in marketing? We all know that frequency contributes to an increase in impulse buying; why then do grocery marketers want to build a basket size so large they keep the consumer away? It might be time to change?

Consumers want small portions or portions sized for today’s family particularly ready-to-eat meals. Buying 10 ingredients for one entrée or side dish is the not goal of 80% of consumer Monday –Friday. With family size much smaller than it was in the 70’s and people living longer while living alone, the demand for quality food prepared continues to grow. Look at the winners, Safeway’s life style stores – smaller check average and higher frequency the same holds for Harris Teeter.

Product freshness, visceral attractiveness and consumer focused flavor and texture attributes will continue to dive frequency, loyalty and top and bottom line profits.

Outside eyes can deliver top line insights and bottom line profits. Invite Foodservice Solutions to provide brand and product positioning assistance. 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 or on Facebook at Steven Johnson


  1. Interesting attempt at turning around a ship that was going down slowly. BM isn't normally one of the examples I use of a successful chain that has leveraged its brand to retail (Fridays, CPK, Burger King and Marie Callendar's are the real leaders there).

  2. Success is comming in the FRONT Door! Dollars in the till. They get more at the store as well. One step at a time, but all are leading too continued success.

  3. Where would BM be without their continuous coupons being sent all over the internet?

  4. The coupon are only one part of a Marketing tool kit. Where would gorcery stores be without them? An TV Ad, a sale, a coupon they are all part of the marketing tool kit!