Monday, April 30, 2012

Darden Restaurants umbrella of growth is shining bright.

Joe Lee knew he could grow Red Lobster into a retail food success story. However what an outstanding job he did creating a culture of evolution focused on daily quality execution.  All the while building a overarching strategy of moving the business forward with the consumer.  If success leaves clues over the course of the past year Darden’s growth pattern has been established.

With a new global vision well in hand Darden is positioning to remain an industry leader not only within the United Sates but around the world. Equipped with a plethora of viable concepts under its umbrella Darden began growing via area development agreements.  With new agreements in place and new operating partners opening or running restaurants in Dubai, Mexico, Puerto Rico.  Can Asia, Europe and the rest of the Middle East is far behind?

Understanding you can’t continue to open restaurants without high quality sustainable food.  Darden is constructing the world’s first Lobster Farm in Malaysia providing products for its mainstay brand Red Lobster while empowering continued global growth.  Combine that with new opportunities with companies the ilk of Blue Ocean and Darden’s supply chain is fast becoming sustainable.  Retail food operators are adopting this new farm to fork supply chain positioning around the globe, evolving once more.

Most important to my clients and for regular readers of this blog is Darden’s growing understanding of the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food marketplace.  Many of Darden’s concepts provide Take-Out placing the chain in the middle of the growing grocerant niche.  When they announced last week that Sam’s Club would be the exclusive seller of Darden’s new ready-2-eat retail salad dressing, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, it was clear the $300 million invested in sustainable crustacean farming would also provide a competitive advantage within the seafood heat-N-eat retail marketplace.  

Darden’s strategy is evolving with the retail marketplace, domestic foundational ownership, global franchising and retail dominance.  Success does leave clues Darden has pick up many and is positioning for many more years of success.  Darden understands the consumer is dynamic not static and is moving in step with the global consumer of today and tomorrow. Darden’s umbrella of success is bright.  Is yours?

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  Invite Foodservice Solutions® to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. 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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