Friday, April 3, 2015

Look Out Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr., Chick-Fil A, 7-Eleven has “Meltability”

Fast Food Restaurants, Quick Service Restaurants, Fast Casual Restaurants your customers are melting away with companies the ilk of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches which increased its annual sales 17.9% to $1.73 billion last year. Then there is Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike’s which grew their annual sales 14.7% and 30.2%, respectively.  

With 55,100 7-Eleven convenience stores in 16 countries during 2013, 7-Eleven c-stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.5 billion, and  the 10,500 7-Eleven’s in North America took notice of those sales numbers and said we want more of that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared sandwich market. 

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ Steven Johnson stated: “the battle for share of stomach continues to intensify as more and more non-traditional fresh food retailers target fast casual sandwich customers, fast food customers, and quick service restaurants with customer perceived restaurant quality fresh prepared food.”

Wawa says that it is a Fast Casual Restaurant To-Go,  Sheetz  Made-to-order (MTO)  fresh prepared food help win them a Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Plate award. Now 7-Eleven’s rolled out two 7-Eleven Melt artisan sandwiches called the Italian Melt and Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt. Sounds like a restaurant positioning to me. 

7-Eleven “evaluated 20 different bread options, measured 1,000 different buns, created 75 prospective sauces, tested multiple cheese varieties for “meltability,” built 50 variations and performed many taste tests to find what it considered to be the perfect recipe” according to Kelly Buckley, 7-Eleven's vice president of fresh food innovation. The Grocerant Guru® reminds us that 50%+ of new 7-Eleven’s do not sell gasoline they are food focused. 

The new sandwiches are made fresh daily in local kitchens, delivered daily to stores, toasted to go in the stores for each purchaser. A Melt sandwich typically takes less than a minute to toast and is served warm according to Buckley.

“Hot foods are really hot at 7-Eleven, both figuratively and literally,” said Buckley. “Hot pizza, chicken wings and tenders and mini-tacos are all extremely popular with our customers. We wanted to round out our menu to offer a toasted-on-order alternative to our fresh-made cold sandwiches that customers can grab for lunch without taking too much time from their lunch hour. Our parameters were simple--toasted, fast and delicious.”
He continued, “At 7-Eleven, a customer looking for a quick lunch can easily build a fresh meal in just a few minutes that's more than a bag of chips and a soft drink … although we certainly can fill that need. Our stores offer many more options for beverages and sides, like fresh-cut fruit, a salad, hummus and cut veggies and a decadent brownie for dessert.”

Consumer migration from legacy restaurants lacking ample Mix and Match meal bundling options, new day-part meal component alternatives, will continue to experience customer migration. Success does leave clues and non-traditional fresh food retailers are picking them up?  Is your restaurant chain prepared to compete with consumer relevant options?  Do you need Outside Eye’s for inside results?  specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging marketing integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche and has been since 1991 Contact:

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