Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food retail compliancy, economic doldrums, too quagmire and now a prepared food fight.

Our industry has been forced to reposition itself during our current economic doldrums. The grocerant niche once again provides evidence of an ongoing emerging trend. I have dubbed it the “grocerant trend” (fresh prepared ready-to-eat and or ready-to-heat-food--that is better for you). Times have never been better for manufactures to create new products, collaborate and bond with clients while building top lines sales and bottom line profits.

Two strong factors are expanding the niche from emerging to main stream. Dramatic new points of distribution are on the way. Fresh prepared food is emerging in non traditional points of fresh food distribution.

First is at 7 Eleven, which is entering the niche with fresh fruit and fresh prepared food at test locations around the world and at 105 units here in the US. Solid positive signs of consumer acceptance have been reported and this program will rollout to and additional 7,210 units within three years.

Second, Walgreens expanding brand quality in the pursuit of “fresh” prepared food. The halo effect will bolster the brand as contemporized and relevant to consumers. Focused, on its core consumer, portioned, positioned and priced competitively, Walgreens has the ability to over the next 3 to 4 years roll out that program too well over 7,500 locations.

Grocery stores the ilk of Wegmans, Metropolitan Market, Central Market, Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods are each expanding fresh prepared food. Safeway’s lifestyle stores are exceeding initial projections and the company is all smiles while expanding the fresh food focused units.

Convenience stores current grocerant leaders Sheetz, Wawa, Rutter’s, Quick Chek continue to test the bounds of fresh prepared food while doing an excellent job at bundling the meal components and pressuring the QSR industry to keep pace.

Many restaurant chains have or are preparing new programs and offering for this specific niche including Subway, Nathan’s Famous, Atlanta Bread, Denny’s, Jamba Juice and Quiznos. Yes, there does appear to be a new food fight and it is in the grocerant niche for consumer seeking better for you fresh prepared food that is ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat.

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® or visit or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, BING / GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or

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