Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food retailing moving forward.

Grocerant niche positioning is not back to the basic’s it’s a step into the future of food marketing, positioning and essential for legacy brands continued consumer relevance. Grocery stores, Drug stores chains, Restaurants and Convenience stores are all scurrying to reposition their menu mix of better for you prepared food to garner an increase in share of stomach. Competitive may not be a strong enough word for the battle between sectors and companies for the consumer. The Grocerant niche is where all the action is consisting of better for you prepared portable ready-2-eat and to-heat-N-eat food.

McDonalds, Wegmans, Starbucks, Sheetz, Boston Market and Wawa have done great things in the foodservice area but the equilibrium between financial success and breakthrough top of mind recognition might be amiss. In Seth Godin's book Purple Cow where the entrepreneur wants to recapture some of the magic that the brand at one time had. Godin suggests that the key to success is finding a way to stand out and be remarkable, like a purple cow in a field of regular cows.

McDonalds new coffee program is a Grocerant niche positioning focused on it brands core and consumer relevant issues. This is a Purple Cow for McDonalds. Purple Cow’s assist leading companies; capture additional market share and most important share of stomach.

Equally as bold is Domino's change to its core product its pizza and crust! The new crust will be a garlic-seasoned recipe with parsley, and the sauce will be sweeter and bolder with a medley of herbs and a red-pepper kick." The cheese is made with 100% mozzarella, flavored with just a hint of provolone”. Not only are these moves bold, they are targeted directly at the consumer, grounded in consumer relevance. Congratulations Domino’s; marketer’s around the world will be watching in envy, wondering why they have been held back. Domino’s is not utilizing copy cat marketing. This was a Purple Cow for Domino’s.

Safeway’s “lifestyle” is another example for Grocerant niche positioning a turn away form the middle of the store and focus on consumer relevant fresh, prepared food. These “lifestyle” units have proven a focus on the grocerant niche prepared food sector provides a halo for even the burdened center of the store. This is about winning the heart and minds of the consumer.

The challenged for each company is the ability to see and understand the customers focus at it’s core, not your brands core. Success does leave clues and companies leading the charge in 2011 will be leaders within there niche for years to come. Those that do not will be reading headlines that C-level change is coming or came. Without bold new leaders those brands may simply become non relevant. In the event that they are more about their brand than the consumer they will simply fall to the way side.

Does your team have the ability to ask outliner questions of researchers in order to identify outliner results for your product or brand? Have you identified a new avenue of distribution or a new product that can be your Purple Cow? Many companies are in turmoil due to the economic quagmire, very few companies will do something bold, new and fresh if they do they will garner market share for years to come.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® too provide brand, product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Each is available for Chain Restaurants, Convenience stores, Grocery stores and other food retailers. 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

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