Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Private Label Brand Managers Beating Legacy CPG Companies.

Month after month legacy CPG companies are experiencing a decline is volume.  The decline is being driven in large part by fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food; that is driving top line growth in every sector of retail foodservice today including restaurants, grocery, c-store and drug stores.

Increasing top line revenue, customer continuity, bottom line profits in the food industry should be an ongoing focus of all retailers. Customer continuity means maintaining a level of excitement in your menu or food products that drive contemporized relevance for your customer in order to maintain or increase frequency levels.

Each food retailer’s goal should be creating or identifying distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part.  Understanding the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables will place you in a select industry grouping.  Research with a focus on the grocerant niche will help you get there.

The food value proposition equilibrium for the consumer today balances; better for you, flavor, and traditional products all blended into something with a twist.  In industry speak, differentiated does not mean different to the consumer it means familiar.  Private label brand managers have been contributing by expanding quality offerings while displacing national brands.  Are you edifying your menu or product offerings?

Outside eyes can bring new light and assist in your pace of growth, redevelopment and deployment of your new menus with appropriate COG’s. Foodservice Solutions is very good at assisting people reach their goals. The grocerant niche is in need of private label brand managers to assist in building long term brand value for both individual product and brands.

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Grocery Wine Tasting Payoffs Big the During Holiday Season

Ready-2-Eat and Ready-2-Drink success is in part being fueled by the growing immediate growth in time deprived and yet inquisitive consumers quest for new flavors and personal discovery. Ryan Owens of Anglesmith explains how this “Try-Before-You-Buy” is expanding with new technology.

Many regional grocery stores are discovering that when it comes to selling wine in December, traditional holiday promotions are just a small part of the overall strategy. The real work for achieving success in the wine aisle during the holiday season starts much earlier and takes place througout the year.

Facing stiff competition from big-box discount stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, many smaller, regional grocery stores are putting a new emphasis on customer service and employee education. Friendly, personal attention and well-trained employees with a deep knowledge of wine are giving the big discount stores a run for their money.

The scale of local and regional grocery stores means that they usually have a more approachable, hometown atmosphere and managers are taking advantage of this by hosting wine tasting events to help build deeper connections and develop greater loyalty with their customers.

“Wine tastings are good events to get customers excited about new wines,” said Trac Le, Wine Buyer at Bi-Rite market in San Francisco. “We do events in our off-site community space where our customers can relax and have fun while we let them taste the new releases. We like to educate our customers that way.”

Many stores are taking it a step further by installing self-serve wine dispensing and preservation systems, like those designed by Napa Technology, that keep wine fresh for long periods, reduce spoilage and allow customers to taste wine whenever the store is open.

“It’s all part of a larger try-before-you-buy trend in wine sales,” says Jayne Portnoy, Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy, at Napa Technology in Campbell, California. “Grocery stores are starting to realize that wine tastings lead to more bottle and case sales.”

A number of grocery store wine buyers expect staff to taste new wines and attend extensive training sessions to help customers make better choices. “We have our employees taste the wine they’re selling so they can make good recommendations to our customers,” Kevin Forsaith, Wine Director at Draeger’s Market in Menlo Park, California.

But the trend is not limited to the West Coast. Southwestern grocery store H.E.B., based in San Antonio, has an extensive training program for wine department management and staff who are trained by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. In addition to the in-depth staff training, H.E.B. also installed WineStations in high-profile locations to encourage customers to taste and get to know which wines are right for them.

Having been treated with special attention at tasting events all year long, customers have come to rely on their local stores so much that by the time the holidays roll around, they know which wines they want to buy and where to buy it.

“We usually do one Champagne tasting the first week in December to kick things off and that’s all we need to get the sales going,” says Forsaith. “Around the holidays, we get so busy we don’t host our regular tastings in the last three weeks leading up to Christmas because we have so many regular customers that need our help.”

Installing wine dispensing systems that let customers taste wine whenever they shop and hosting regular wine tasting events help create a convivial atmosphere that cements loyalty between customers and their local supermarket. Strategic thinking throughout the year means that when it comes time for supermarkets to sell wine during holidays, the customers just show up like magic.

This was a guest blog provided by Ryan Owens account executive at anglesmith. Success leaves clues and Foodservice Solutions® likes to share success clues. For more visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us

Friday, December 27, 2013

Food Themes Emerging for 2014

Culinary Visions Panel, a food focused insight and trend forecasting firm  based in Chicago. Has released its view of  what themes will be successful in the coming year. They are:

 Deliciousness as a Lifestyle Choice: Food has to be delicious to appeal to consumers -- from the value conscious to the gourmet. When consumers are asked to list the most delicious foods, that list often includes some of the most notorious processed foods of minimal nutritional value. Yet when consumers are presented with provocative menu descriptions that focus on taste, flavors and ingredients, they will often rate the more healthful items as highly desirable. At the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Conference this year, chairperson Voni Woods, senior director of deli at Giant Eagle, inspired attendees with her personal commitment to helping consumers of all income levels understand that there are no evil ingredients; balance and mindfulness of portion sizes can inspire all consumers to make deliciousness their lifestyle choice.
Seeking balance: Consumers want to be in charge of balancing their choices and enjoy the freedom to indulge when they choose as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Culinary Visions Panel research shows that consumers evaluate various types of food venues differently when they balance their choices. The research covered away from home venues including quick service, casual dining, convenience stores, cafeterias at school and at work, gourmet retail and supermarket delis and bakeries.
Escape from deprivation: The concept of banning foods does not work on school and college campuses and it fails in the commercial market as well. Identifying “villainous” ingredients is on the way out. The future is about reformulating, and many food manufacturers are making subtle changes to product formulations to create more healthful profiles without compromising enjoyment for consumers.
Minimalism: When consumers look at labels, they want to see ingredients that sound more like a recipe than a science formula. “Homemade” is the term used often by young consumers and adults to describe a high-quality experience. Scale and uniformity are not in style as consumers are enjoying foods that look less processed, or more like they have come from a kitchen than a factory. Clean ingredient statements are often at the top of the criteria list for manufacturer product development teams. Just look to some of the leading private brands to see what’s trending with mainstream consumers, words like "real," "pure" and "simple" abound.
Invisibly healthy: Seductively healthy foods that provide the satisfaction of “junk” food are finding favor with consumers. Fun packaging and contemporary marketing are adding new appeal to healthy produce snacks like blueberries and carrots. The salty, crunchy satisfaction of packaged snacks is now available in a variety of sizes and includes many different types of vegetables like kale and sweet potatoes.
All-day satisfaction: College campuses are on the cutting edge of understanding the consumer of tomorrow. Few professionals are as adept at the all-day balancing act as those that must satisfy customers who sometimes shop on campus five to six times a day and expect fresh food at all times. In a spirited discussion at an industry conference this year, a college operator warned her commercial colleagues that when today’s students graduate they will bring their high expectations for quality and service with them. On college campuses, the day and night dichotomy of indulgence is commonplace. During daytime hours the demand is for healthy, mindful eating, but when the sun goes down indulgence is what sells.
Idealism meets reality: More mindful of the realities of embracing eating local, consumers are learning that integrity can still exist with some mindful compromise. When large food companies and restaurant chains get involved in supporting their local communities, they are finding favor with mainstream consumers who want to enjoy their meals and have a clear conscience.
Mindfulness of brand language: Consumers use many criteria to evaluate healthfulness, including ingredients, emotion and social concern. Traditional free-from claims are moving to more contemporary claims that sell fresh and homemade with clean ingredient statements. Ethical food is becoming a cue for healthy. Descriptive words without a standard of identity have proliferated to the point that they have become meaningless. Consumers are more inclined to seek out the source and understand their food philosophy rather than pick up products with unsupported claims like natural or artisan. Leading food manufacturers and food retailers are making it easy for consumers to connect with their philosophy in statements on their website and practices in their businesses.
Marketers mindful of earning consumer trust: Trust is a significant factor in brand choices. Consumers want companies they trust to deliver nourishing, great tasting food with respect for those who produce it and the planet. Millennial consumers in particular are evaluating companies not only on their products and their brands, but also on their corporate conscience. Today’s consumer is active and in charge when it comes to the foods they like and the places they like to eat. When surveyed about sources they trust, friends, family and social networks outrank marketing messages. Savvy marketers have learned how to stimulate or join the conversation, not just react to fallout.
Transformation of the consumer: Technology has made everything “smart,” empowering consumers with information to fuel their decision making and helping them make more mindful choices about what they choose to eat and drink. Economic conditions have created a new scrutiny of value by consumers across every socio-economic level. Enabled by technology and social networks, consumers are smart and connected.

Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mintel is projecting a 5.9-percent increase in U.S. restaurant industry sales in 2014.

It’s that time of year when research firms look forward.  So when we read these five from Julia Gallo-Torres, category manager, U.S. foodservice reports for Mintel,  poses five key U.S. foodservice trends for 2014, we wanted to share them. They are:
  • Fast-casual pulls ahead: The impressive growth of the fast-casual segment of foodservice demonstrates consumers, who are still focused on price and are willing to pay more for foods they consider to be of better quality or healthier, said Gallo-Torres. A slew of new concepts focusing on customization, speed of service and convenience, have sprouted. These include higher quality burger chains; concepts more firmly focused on health, and a rash of pizza restaurants that can deliver a fully-cooked, customized pizza in a matter of minutes.
  • Premium proves practical: Full-service concepts are mimicking the winning ways of fast-casual restaurants. For example, several full-service brands are testing or have launched concepts that utilize the speedier fast-casual service model. This is important, especially during the lunch rush, she said, when consumers don't have the time to wait. Other tactics include launching healthier, more flavorful menu items and employing technology to speed up the dining experience.
  • Open-book business practices: More than ever, foodservice consumers are questioning the origin of their foods and they are demanding transparency not only in ingredient sourcing, but in general business practices, including the treatment of animals and employees. Gallo-Torres said consumers are interested in patronizing restaurants and buying brands that reflect their own values. Concepts that understand this and offer more information about their green practices or the causes they support stand to reap the rewards of increased loyalty.
  • Due demographic diligence: Operators have been obsessed with Millennials. It's understandable, as they are the ones most likely to dine out in almost every restaurant segment. However, other demographics also present growing opportunities, such as the growing number of Hispanics, who tend to dine out in larger groups. Their spending power is expected to reach nearly $1.7 trillion by 2017, meaning serving this rapidly expanding
    community will be key to growth. Women visit restaurants less than men, and this is likely due to their being more health- and budget-conscious. This indicates restaurants need to do more in terms of pricing, atmosphere and menu to gain momentum with women. Baby boomers enjoy dining out and have more disposable income than other demographics, but few marketing campaigns specifically target them.
  • Technology and interface revolution: Restaurants are increasingly using technology to cut service times, and to offer loyalty programs, promotions and discounts electronically. Furthermore, in-store tabletop tablets and menu boards offer nutritional and other information, while reducing order, wait and check out times. Brands are redesigning their websites to allow consumers to gain all the information they want with as few clicks as possible. This includes making their sites more attractive and useful via smartphones, which consumers rely on more and more for staying organized and gaining information.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.  Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  for more information. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Food Driving Restaurant, Grocery, C-store Disruption.

What is in store for 2014 according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru “continue growth of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in ever expanding non-traditional points of distribution.
The team at Foodservice Solutions® has regularly defined the Grocerant as an evolution of consumer, technology and convenience regularly at presentations around the world and on this blog.
Harvey Hartman and his outstanding team at The Hartman Group think it is growing so fast that it has now become disruptive to the food retail sector.  Here are Harvey Hartman’s teams  list of seven trends that disrupted food culture in 2013:
  1.  Snacks, the Modern Meal?
Consumers’ pursuit of snacks continues unabated. They now account for more than half of all eating occasions, rendering the word itself almost obsolete. What we used to think of as snacks—food eaten between meals—has morphed into something so frequent and large that they are practically meals themselves. People want healthy, less processed snacks that are easy to carry, something food companies are still working to deliver.
  1.  Social Media Disrupt Food Culture
Sorry, Mom; you’ve been replaced as the go-to source for culinary questions. People consult social media sites instead for cooking tips, restaurant reviews and recipes (Allrecipes.com is a top-10 most used social media site). They see friends post photographs of their meals on Facebook and text family members with questions and grocery-shelf photos while they shop. Social media amplify the power of personal recommendations, which now can reach millions of people in a day.
  1.  Online Grocery, Still Coming
The Internet shapes the way people grocery shop, showing them dishes around the world without their having to leave home and demonstrating, via food blogs and videos, how to cook those same foods. The part that has not worked so far is online grocery shopping, and The Hartman Group’s research shows 54 percent of people online say they are not likely to buy food there. Nevertheless, 2013 brought the long-awaited expansion of Amazon Fresh’s online grocery business, and many other online food purveyors—from Relay Foods to Blue Apron—have big followings.
  1.  It’s Not About the Coffee
As McDonald’s tries to compete with Starbucks, selling espresso drinks and talking about where it buys (“sources”) its coffee, Starbucks is revamping its food case again, and Dunkin’ Donuts is expanding westward. Some call these the “coffee wars,” but the war is actually for consumers’ hearts. While Starbucks’ roast is dark and Dunkin’s is light, the people who align themselves with each brand are attracted at least as much to the experience as to the roast—and they transfer that loyalty to purchases of coffee beans on grocery shelves.
  1.  Food Competition Everywhere
Consumers are likely to buy food almost anywhere now, from Ikea to Costco Wholesale to a Manhattan steakhouse planned by Brooks Brothers. People no longer fit their food needs around the hours and layouts of traditional grocery stores. Their new shopping patterns stoke competition and allow them to grab snacks on the go and assemble meals from food bought at multiple stores. Even when people do plan a meal, they are just as likely to ditch their plan for a restaurant craving, bringing every food source into the competitive arena.
  1.  Beating Fast Food at Its Own Game
Supermarkets that listen to their customers—Whole Foods, Wegmans, H-E-B’s Central Market—offer fresh, healthy food that is easy to grab on the go. Many outdo fast food at its own, make-it-while-you-wait game, creating a bit of theater in the process. Diane Earle, senior director of prepared foods at United Supermarkets in Texas, nailed it when she told Supermarket News that cooking in front of customers enhances their perception that the food is fresh—precisely what consumers want.
  1.  Sustainability and the Good Company
The Hartman Group has known for years that companies do not have to be perfect for consumers to value their sustainability efforts, but they do have to communicate. People continue to tell us that they want to know what efforts are under way, from taking care of animals to reducing environmental impacts, so they can feel good about what they’re buying—and sustainable purchasing typically starts with food.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.  Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  for more information. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing At 4PM Think Walgreens for Dinner

Driving success Walgreens continues to expand the depth and direction of Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  The grocerant niche is a result of the blurring of the line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable convenient meal solutions.

Walgreens has targeted at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food components that are “better for you”, portable and portioned for one or two. Walgreens gets it and is positioning for a much larger share of the food retailing dollar.  At 4PM you may soon be picking up dinner on your way home from work at Walgreens.

In a  program first rolled out in the San Francisco bay area you can now find fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, sushi , sandwiches and Heat-N-Eat meat loaf. In addition Walgreens spokesman Robert Elifinger stated “ Our San Francisco area customers are already buying a lot of food in our stores, and there are requests for more product offerings," he said.

In addition to the items listed above - and Walgreens' more traditional offerings, including candy, potato chips and soda - there'll be meats, wraps, soups "and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for tonight's meal,"
With this new market test underway, Walgreens is now testing fresh food in New York via Duane-Reade, Chicago and the San Francisco bay area. For all of my regular readers you have heard it hear before but this trend is sweeping the country from coast to coast. 
These expanded points of distribution may well challenge many a legacy fresh food retailer including chain restaurants, grocery stores and convenience stores for market share.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.  Visit: FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hy-Vee Customers are Ready-2-Eat

Foodservice Solutions® GrocerantGuru™ Steven Johnson knows better than anyone in the industry that consumers think that Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is “Better for You”. 
One grocer understands it as well.  Hy-Vee plans to add inside an additional 50 store either a new Market Grille restaurant or Market Café in 2014. In research conducted by Foodservice Solutions® a 2011 study found that a 1PM 81% of consumers do not know what they are having for dinner and at 4PM a whopping 69% do not know “What’s for Dinner”.
Hy-Vee has found success with in store “foodservice” and even more success as they elevated that foodservice into a restaurant. Hy-Vee’s Market Grill restaurants have waiters and waitresses a full bar and menus that include steak and seafood entrees. Market Cafés, fit in smaller locations and have a pared down menu of soups, salads and sandwiches, along with beer and wine but no cocktails.
Mix and Match meal bundling a restaurant dinner with a little shopping is multi-tasking at its best for a food retailer and Hy-Vee may have found a solution for customers at 4PM wondering just What’s for Dinner”?

Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Champs Chicken Driving Chain Restaurant Disruption

Church’s Chicken, Popeyees, KFC all are operating under the umbrella of a 1955 style franchise operating agreement.  The evolving retail food space has yet another new franchise model that threatens legacy restaurant operators.  Struggling KFC may have more to worry about than just Popeyees.

When Shawn Burchman CEO of Champs Chicken and his team identified and qualified a plethora of commonalities of its most successful and fastest-growing partners they may have in the process developed as a by-product a new franchise model that will become the most disruptive franchise model developed in the past 50 years.  Think fresh fast food Chicken in Dollar General Stores, Dollar Tree, Rite Aid or Arby’s.
Champs Chicken franchise model is a business-within-a-business operation that requires no upfront fees or ongoing royalties, according to a champs news release. Champs Chicken will offer marketing development funds to franchisees in order to boost advertising and promotional efforts, including take-out menus, coupons and billboards.

Burcham stated “We’ve been able to develop these corporate-funded programs due to our continued growth and the efficiency created from our new national distribution center… “Further, we’re accomplishing this while staying true to our approach of not charging our operators royalty fees.”

The Champ Chicken  franchise program includes dual digital menu boards with remote cloud-based technology and a touchscreen point-of-sale (POS) ordering system, which enables retailers to completely monitor inventory and sales.

“The biggest step up is the new POS system,” Burcham said. “With this, retailers will receive real-time data and know exactly what’s selling, which price promotions are working, and be better able to manage labor and waste. This system, coupled with the significant marketing development funds, will prove to make our independently owned locations more profitable.”

Do you want to add Chicken to your menu? Learn more about Champs Chicken by visiting its website, www.champschicken.com, or calling toll-free (888) 581-9188 

Pro Food Systems Inc., parent company of Champs Chicken, specializes in hot food products, foodservice equipment and complete deli operations. The company operates 520 locations in 29 states.

Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chipotle Catering a New Crowd

Where is your customer having lunch today?  Is there birthday party at work? Are the In-Laws coming over for your teenager’s birthday party? Are you friends helping you build the fence that fell apart during the last snow storm? Success does leave clues and one clue is all restaurants are operating in an Omni-channel retail environment branded restaurants must as well or risk losing customers.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the most successful branded restaurants in the United States. In a move to extend the brand Chipotle has announced that it is rolling out a catering program nationally.  No longer will Chipotle be excluded from homes, offices, or backyard work parties.  The catering program is a platform for expanding into new consumer occasions reaching out to new consumer touch points extending the brand.
 Chipotle’s catering program offers four different meal options and can serve between six and 200 people. Two of the four options, the Two Meat Spread and the Big Spread, allow consumers to create their own taco, burrito, or bowl, just as they would in the restaurant.
The Two Meat spread feeds 20–200 people, and customers choose two proteins from Chipotle's lineup of chicken, steak, carnitas, or barbacoa. The spread also comes with white and brown cilantro-lime rice, black and pinto beans, four salsas, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, crispy taco shells, and soft flour tortillas. The Big Spread offers an additional protein choice and comes with fajita vegetables.
One of Chipotle's options features an assortment of premade burritos. The prepared Burritos by the Box option allows customers to pick a protein and white or brown rice for the filling, but has three fixed additions: black beans, fresh tomato salsa, and cheese. This option serves six or more people, and for every two burritos, Chipotle includes a bag of chips, tomatillo-green chili salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Unlike the other options, it does not need to be ordered in advance.
Success does leave clues and Chipotle consumer focused catering options extend the halo of the brand from the brick and mortar to the home a much more inviting space. 

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  

www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Starbucks Menu Magic Maybe Carbonated.

What has been roumered about Starbucks selling carbonated coffee must be driving Coca Cola and Pepsi wild. In test markets around the globe only, Starbucks is letting it’s customers carbonate not just juces and sodas but a selection of its coffee and tea beverages as well.   
This coffee beheamouth just may be jumping on the soda stream bandwagon of customization, personalization in a way that neither Pepsi or Coca Cola can compete today.  It’s akin to David taking on Goliath with bubbles.  
Braking new ground with new hit beverages the ilk of Frappuccio is nothing new for Starbucks. This time the “handcrafted sodas” that the company has been secretly testing using Sodastream-like carbonation machines behind the counters to add fizz to beveragres may become the Next Big Thing within the coffee sector.  
The test stores are reported in Japan, Singapore, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas.  In a move that spess branded success Starbusck has moved forwares to trademark the name FIZZIO.  In fact CEO Howard Schultz has called out soda as a new initative for the coffee gaint moving forward. 
Success does leave clues and Starbucks understands that the customer is dynamic not static and there is no doubt that Starbucks success is rooted in continuing to test and grow with dynamic not static innovation. 
Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant  

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Food Price, Service Equilibrium to Reset Yet Again in 2014.

Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price are Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Food marketing. The retail food world is evolving at an ever increasing pace filled with innovation in food, portion size, points of distribution, and quality fresh prepared meal solutions.
The price, value, service equilibrium is resetting in retail foodservice. In order to edify the brand and reinforce consumer relevance restaurateurs must integrate Foodservice Solutions® 5P's of food marketing in order to maintain consumer relevance.
New channels and avenues of distribution are evolving with consumers, driven in many cases by technology and consumers increasing desire for fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food. 
Many legacy food retailers continue to practice brand protectionism, stifling the brand while diminishing consumer relevance. Doing what you have done, where you have done it, the same way you have for the past 25 years simply does not work any longer.  The consumer is dynamic not static. Brands must be dynamic, evolving with the consumer. Success in the restaurant or Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food space is no longer simply about what happens within your 4 walls.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  

www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Restaurant Marketing No Store Direct to Consumer

Have you heard of Amazon Spotlight?  It is a service that Amazon.com is testing in Seattle, WA where Amazon contracts with local restaurants for proprietary menu item recipes, cooks the item in a Amazon owned kitchen and delivers the food fresh to consumers.  Then Amazon pay’s the restaurant a fee per order sold.  This allows local restaurant the ability to expand without a opening a new storefront or buying additional equipment.

Marketing, advertising and building top line sales and bottom line profits within the restaurant space is evolving much faster than most restaurants and even faster than most chain restaurants want to even think about. What does your business model look like 1980 or 2020?

In a new study in a titled “Growth Strategies: Unlocking the Power of the Consumer,” by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and PwC, found that  40% of CPG companies plan to sell products directly to consumers this year, finding direct-to-consumer effective for testing new products and growing their consumer base. Yes, bypassing the Dollar Store and Grocery Store. How do you test products today?
New avenues of distribution are popping up all the time.  Which have you tired?  Are you expanding your brand or placing limits on it?  In our Omni-channel retail world have you looked to see where else your customers are buying food? Consumer are not eating less they are eating somewhere else restaurant customer migration continues.

The consumer today while still time-starved, is exploring new flavors profiles, and new non-traditional points of distribution. Restaurant chains today must be creating or identifying from existing products or product lines distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part.
Then position those uniquely branded products in multiple non-traditional avenues of distribution that complement existing restaurant locations while embracing consumers.
Brand growth can no longer be new store growth only in our Omni-channel retail world. Today, restaurant brand managers must understand the unique balance between palate, price, pleasure and the consumer’s drive for qualitative distinctive differentiated new food consumables in all channels including direct to consumer.
Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Digital Foodservice Customer Relevance and Applebee’s

Applebee’s customers may from time to time complain about waiting for a check; however, it is not common place.  Applebee’s customer service is a key differentiation driver of top line sales and bottom line profits, separating Applebee’s from the competition.  

Success does leave clues and restaurant marketing maven Julia Stewart CEO of Applebee’s parent DineEquity has learned the consumer is dynamic and brands must be dynamic as well. That is another reason that both Applebee’s and DineEquity is considered a sector leaders.  

Each of DineEquity current concepts integrates consumer interaction and participation.  Digital table tables are a consumer relevant extension of brand value, elevating consumer interactivity and participation.

Global brands must lead, follow or end up falling away.  Digital table tablets are common in Australia, Asia, and Europe.  In fact Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association thinks "Looking out over the next decade, it will become fairly routine for consumers in table service restaurants to use tablets to view menus, place orders and pay bills,"

Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: info@FoodserivceSolutions.us

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Publix, Safeway, and Marsh Threatened by Dollar General

Wal-Mart, Win-Co, and Aldi today are focused on the consumer and competitive food pricing.  Each has a strong brand value that is driving top line growth and bottom line profits while opening new units.  Win-Co and Aldi each have created a unique non-traditional approach to in-store shopping and product pricing.  Wal-Mart has a more traditional in-store shopping experience.
Win-Co and Aldi are growing fast and capturing new loyal customers.  Grocery retail is about to get a wake-up call.  That call will be unsettling for legacy grocery store chains once solidly planted in the middle and formed the foundation of the industry. 
That wake-up call is from a not so new competitor.  The entrant is Dollar General Stores, targeting price conscious consumers with new fresh food grocery stores.  The Tampa Tribune reported that “The prices on strawberries are great, same with milk. And though the bananas may be on the ripe side for some people’s taste, they’re cheaper than Publix by a significant margin.”
Dollar General has been on the company’s cherry picking CPG products and underpricing the grocery store sector.  They have for years been hurting legacy grocery sector margins and yet growing at a rate 5 times faster than any grocery store the past 10 years.  Having learned that a smaller footprint, lower prices are what consumers want.  Dollar General is poised to garner grocery market share from legacy companies the ilk of Publix, Safeway and Marsh.
To-date Dollar General has only built about 100 of these grocery stores nationwide, and 14 are in Florida. If Dollar General continues up-dating and replacing older stores with these new fresh food grocery stores legacy Wal-Mart may evolve from Low to Middle in food retailing the high end with continue to be fueled by Whole Foods, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s what will happen to the rest of the players?
www.FoodserviceSolutions.us Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Selling Food to Men the 2014 Food Trend

In a new study by Daymon Worldwide titled Men on a Mission the report found that “52 percent of primary male shoppers in the United States were personally responsible for about 78 percent of all groceries purchased for their household in the last month.”  Simply put who are you targeting in your ad’s?

Carla Cooper CEO of Daymon Worldwide stated: “"While females and mothers have long been the focus for grocery retailers, males and fathers now represent a major business opportunity,". "We've seen a few recent 'snapshot' male shopper studies that have quantified this demographic segment, but we felt strongly that we needed to provide the industry with a more comprehensive analysis of exactly who these male shoppers are, what they believe about themselves and how they differ from each other. These are the building blocks for retailers and manufacturers to create the right mix of products and services to maximize purchases and increase loyalty."

Andres Siefken, Daymon Worldwide's chief marketing officer went on saying "Nearly 50 percent of all U.S. men make mission-oriented trips to shop for a specific item or group of items, including takeout to eat at home," said. "Additionally, 60 percent of male shoppers are personally responsible for all or nearly all of their household's grocery shopping." Restaurants selling Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat need to focus on men in both segments.

The Men on a Mission the study found that male shoppers can be segmented into six archetypes they are:

Traditional Male (15 percent) -- A slightly older group of men who are more set in their ways and would like to turn back the clock to more traditional gender roles. They are big fans of home cooking, but likely believe it should be done by the woman of the house. 

Modern-Day Male (12 percent) -- These are more forward-thinking male shoppers that believe in equality and enjoy being active participants in sharing household chores and cooking. They also enjoy home-cooked meals, but might prefer being the actual chef.

 Primal Male (14 percent) -- This group tends to be older and often believes they are the dominant sex and can better handle cooking and shopping roles compared to their female counterparts. 

Confused Male (19 percent) -- This younger group of men tends to be in a state of confusion when it comes to gender roles. Possibly unconsciously, they think women should do the cooking and cleaning, but another part of them doesn't want to offend women and looks to appease them. They also often struggle with their identity and hesitate to show off their feminine side. 

Discerning Male (20 percent) -- These highly educated men usually command a higher income and share many similar traits to the Modern-Day male archetype as they also believe in equality, supporting their spouse in any way needed, and owning many of the household chores. They are more involved in food shopping and focus on the highest-quality options. They are also somewhat more likely to tap into their feminine side.  

In addition with the six distinct archetypes, the study also identified six specific types of "mission-oriented," occasion-based shopping trips:

Well MAN-nered (13 percent) -- Male shoppers who go on this mission are seeking to purchase items that show that they care and to accommodate special entertaining occasions that will allow them to impress their families and friends while enjoying the process. The "Confused Male" shopper often falls into this segment.

 Stockpiling the Man Cave (10 percent) -- Male shoppers that take this less sophisticated, "search and retrieve" approach to shopping usually do so in preparation for entertaining or hosting a more informal gathering like tailgates for sporting events, game nights or hanging out with friends. The "Primal Male" archetype often falls into this segment.
On DeMANd (23 percent) -- Quick and easy convenience is the endgame for male shoppers who go on these types of missions as they look to pick up something quick for dinner, either from the grocery store or takeout from a restaurant. The "Traditional Male" archetype often falls into this segment.  

Man-Shape (13 percent) -- This trip is all about achieving a healthier lifestyle. Male shoppers on this mission are willing to take their time to explore the store to find their favorite healthy product offerings, or even try something new. Both the "Discerning" and "Heckled" male shopper archetypes often fall into this segment.  

Crowd MANagement (26 percent) -- This mission-oriented trip calls for more robust shopping occasions geared to finding something for everyone at the table. These trips are usually done early in the day, and involve browsing and searching for appealing options. The "Modern-Day Male" archetype often falls into this segment.  

Man-riety (15 percent) -- These occasions are about switching things up or trying something different. There is an exploration component to these trips as shoppers are looking for something out of the ordinary. The "Confused Male" shopper often falls into this segment.

Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers and where and how can you sell them more? For more Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  or http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant