Monday, October 7, 2013

Red Lobster Same Store Sales and Customer Counts Under Pressure

The Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food niche aka the grocerant niche continues to expand in categories and points of distribution.  Regular followers have an understanding of the undercurrents of what is driving success within the retail food space today. The rest of you here it is in brief. Convenience stores, Drug stores, and Grocery stores are selectively targeting complacent legacy restaurant brands  products, positioning, and pricing with “better for you” fresh prepared food that consumer of late have said is “restaurant quality’.

Now Price Chopper Supermarkets has launched a “better-for-you” meal combo in its seafood department targeting Red Lobster customers.  Using the tagline “Create, Take and Bake” program, Price Chopper customers can choose a fish, cut vegetables and seasoning.  Then Price Chopper seafood workers  prepare, package, and price the customized entree in a steamer bag for home baking. The fresh prepared steamer bag is branded with the “Create, Take and Bake” logo that includes instructions for home baking.

There are a plethora of reasons in the past that consumers did not like to cook seafood at home. Red Lobster understood that and catered to those customers. Now enjoying a delicious seafood meal quick and easy,” is as simple as pointing out what you want. That is customization, personalization and differentiation.

The prices for a single meal including the fresh veggies and seasoning appear in a range from $5.99 for 6 ounces of shrimp to $7.99 for 5 ounces of tilapia. Yes, you can mix and match entrees.  The choices include popular fish ranging from salmon too haddock making it easy to  find something for the entire family.

Legacy chain restaurants not looking into new non-traditional points of distribution will be subject to increased competition from Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Food Marketing. (price, placement, product, positioning, and portability).  The Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food grocerant niche continues to expand and is driving success in all channels of retail food. 

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ Steven Johnson has long pointed out that channel blurring is not in the minds-eye of the consumer it is only in the minds-eye of Neanderthal legacy chain marketers that continue to practice brand protectionism.  

Outside eyes can deliver inside sales. What are you bundling with you core products? Who are your customers?  Where and how can you sell your customers more? For more Visit  or or  

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.

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