Thursday, February 23, 2012

Safeway is renewed and seeking consumer relevance.

Safeway one of the largest grocery stores chains in America for years was simply another legacy food retail stuck in the middle of the pack, with copy-cat positioning trying to be all things to all people. Then they found success with newly remodeled stores they called “lifestyle” stores.  When in fact the remodeled units were simply Grocerants niche units.  Lifestyle stores serve ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food driving in customers with relevant products all the while building customer frequency levels.

While the strategy of garnering customer attention with the lifestyle units was successful it reinforced with consumer why they like restaurants and fresh prepared food for Take-Away.  Safeway utilizing tactics from a legacy playbook decided to have a cook-off.   This cook-off will focus on natural food cooked for “Skillet Meals” incorporating consumer relevant Natural food prepared for meal component options. Here again back to consumer relevance. Mix and Match meal components are a prime driver of grocerant niche success as regular readers of this blog know.

With “lifestyle” stores and “Culinary Kitchens” Safeway is on track to build a new and relevant contemporary following of consumers.  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits within all food retail sectors.  The vast majority of grocery store chains are not growing as faster than food inflation which is 5.5%.  When coupled with manufacture shrinking product size, there is no real growth with most Food CPG Retail grocery stores.  The only real sales expansion is with companies like Target, Trade Joes and the Dollar stores.

Safeway is building success with fresh food prepared that is ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat all are grocerant niche mix and match options that are consumer relevant. Success does leave clues.

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