Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Menu innovation and new points of food distribution empower consumer choice.

Foodservice Solutions® grocerant guru Steven Johnson recently conducted another grocerant immersion tour found high quality innovative points of distribution, menu personalization and cultural inclusion. The grocerant niche is filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food that is generally described as “better for you”

Sheetz once known as a convenience store now refers to it units as “restaurants that sell gas”. Convenience store volume sector leader Wawa’s director of foodservice Michael Sherlock,  said that "Our business is all about speed and convenience,…"Seconds count when it comes to helping our customers on their way and turning over parking lots, much in the same way that a restaurant focuses on speed of service to turning over table availability during peak times." He is not alone many other convenience store chains including 7 Eleven and Casey’s General Stores have had noted success after entering the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat grocerant fresh and prepared food niche. 

Walgreens, Rite Aid, Amazon Fresh and Safeway are all entering the fresh and prepared food niche.  When you combine that with food trucks and pop-up stores you find growing consumer momentum and new bundled meal options.  Here are three of the interesting meal component options discovered on the immersion tour.
  1. Grits and Coffee   (grocery store) $0.99
  2. Sauerkraut Pizza and Beer (full service restaurant) slice + beer ($3.50)
  3. Salmon with Kentucky Bourbon sauce, rice and sweet baby peas   (food truck) ($5.95)

The primary driver of the grocerant niche is quality food bundled as components allowing and promoting consumer choice.  Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.  When a family can mix and match components everyone wins.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: grocerant@q.com

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