Thursday, September 6, 2012

Restaurant Consumer Commonalities can Drive Bottom Line Profits.

Clearly retail foodservice channel disruptions are underway driven by the consumer.  Exactly the way it should be. Food retailers must react and focus on consumer food commonalities for success. Migration Marketing helps legacy retailers create differentiation in a world where the line between restaurants and food retailers is growing even thinner.

Retail food consumers are dynamic not static.  While food retailers are a fragmented group. Consumers on the other hand have a plethora of universal commonalities that indicate just where they may be headed next when buying food. One of the commonalities is speed of service.  Today consumers want what they want when they want it. At times it’s Breakfast for lunch or Breakfast for Dinner.  No matter when they want   Breakfast, what is clear is they all want it fast.

McDonalds Café is an example of expanding day-parts and menu re-alignment with a focus on beverage and “snacking”.  While they call it snacking, consumer research informs us that consumers are searching for single portions, price rationality, and packaged for portability.

Many convenience stores have focused on price and reduced portions size combined with speed of service to offer $0.99 take-away food while capturing traditional QSR’s consumers.  In fact Sheetz now calls itself a chain restaurant that sells gas.  We agree Sheetz is a food retailer selling fresh prepared food more important consumers believe it as well.

While consumer are not all focused on price, Panera Bread is beginning to offer drive thru’s service which  complements  their catering and Take-Away business that is close to 50% of sales.  Consumers do not take steps backward.  They have grown accustom to quick service yet have a taste for “better for you” food and Panera Bread fits that bill. 

Kroger is now re-testing convenience stores options.  Research highlights that one of the overriding universal commonality in food retailing is consumer’s desire for speed of service.  For Kroger it’s simple smaller store (C-store) less time to get in and out.  Whole Foods has reduced the size of all new stores to 30,000SF while increasing ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food with portability and sales are up both per unit and per Sq. Ft.

Restaurant Brands are leveraging migration marketing as well; IHOP, syrup and Olive Garden, salad dressings, new product launches are the most recent examples of Migration Marketing.  Garnering share of stomach expanding the brand is more important that maintaining legacy brand protectionism practices.

Restaurant CPG brands have the unique ability to launch product in their units first in order to get trial and word of mouth prior to a dollar store, C-store or supermarket new product launch. Where is your brand selling today?  Where is your customer shopping? What channel opportunities can you utilize?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply calls Foodservice Solutions® today.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or

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