Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yum Brands Looking more like Yesterdays Brand than Tomorrows.

Yum Brands succumbs to industry dynamics capitulating market share in U.S. one again with U.S. same store sales declines at Pizza Hut of 3%, KFC 4% and Taco Bell at 1%.   One thing is perfectly clear Yum Brands is nothing like forty three year old Starbucks. Yum Brands has three brands losing U.S. customer relevance.

The age of a brand albeit Darden, Yum Brands or Starbucks does not make a difference when speaking about customer relevance and positive same store sales growth. Starbucks a forty three year old company continues to look more like a consumer relevant brand of tomorrow than a legacy brand of yesterday. In today’s Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food Grocerant World Starbucks fits right in. Yum’s KFC one of the original grocerant niche (meal replacement back then) companies has lost its customer, grocerant niche, positioning, and focus.

Starbucks continues to post positive same store sales and positive customer counts, all the while expanding the brand in new channels.  There is one thing that Starbucks and McDonald’s have that’s proven successful, that is a proven formula of success steps:  Build, Measure, Learn, and Repeat.  Simply put Starbucks and McDonald’s learn from miss-steps and move forward with brand focus, consumer relevance, while globally implementing integrated marketing plans.  

Yum Brands seemingly has spent five years focused on China, China, and China building stores and reacting to miss-steps or China specific industry problems. During that period U.S. store base has capitulated customer relevance and market share in every branded category. 

Restaurant sector customer migration continues while many legacy restaurant chain operators have a blind-eye to new competitive forces evolving within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food niche.  C-stores and Grocery Deli’s foodservice offerings continue to garner share of stomach via restaurant customers.  Many legacy food industry analyst only compare restaurants to restaurants while consumers think only of their “STOMACH and WALLET” according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™. 

Companies the ilk of Wawa, Sheetz and Rutter’s Farm Stores are expanding fast, each focusing on fresh food as an advantage. 7 Elevens and Casey-s General Store are both exceeding goals with fresh prepared pizza sales.  7 Eleven extends its reach in food within chicken category regularly. HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s success is attributed to restaurant quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.   Outside eyes can provide inside results. Is your brand positioning for yesterday or tomorrow?

Success does leave clues and the battle for fresh prepared food sales is in fact a battle for share of stomach that Non-traditional fresh food retailers are winning today.  McDonald’s and Starbucks are winning as well for they utilize a proven formula of success steps:  Build, Measure, Learn, and Repeat.

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: or visit Johnson, or

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