Monday, June 15, 2015

Will Walmart’s “a step up” in Fresh Food End Up an Oxymoron?

When the majority of consumers are looking for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food Walmart is not top of mind. Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ believes that it has been a” huge missed opportunity” for Walmart. 

So when Supermarket News reported this week that “Wal-Mart Stores  is expected to open a new Neighborhood Market store near its Bentonville, Ark., headquarters reflecting “a step up” in the presentation and offering of fresh foods.”  Our team at Foodservice Solutions® could only say it’s about time. 

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant program assessment team regularly visits retailers offering Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  If ever there was a company in need of an up-date of food, service, and quality within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food grocerant niche it would be Walmart according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ Steven Johnson.

Walmart’s renewed focused on fresh food as it was reported “will feature an expansion of fresh in the deli department including a pizza oven; and new offerings in bakery including custom cake decorating,”  The new pizza oven will allow Walmart to make custom pizzas made to order” delivering on the fresh side of the customer experience we suspect.  But can they?

Will that be enough? Will Walmart go beyond basic training and implement a new labor metric where the emphasis is on the customer?  Will they focus on foodservice QSC (Quality, Service, Cleanliness)?  Given the minimal incremental approach that Walmart has taken in the past within the Grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat niche Foodservice Solutions® team has it doubts.  

The photos of this blog came from our local Walmart just this week at mid-day, and very representative of what our team has witnessed around the country. It’s painfully clear that category managers are programing this unit.  There is nary a hint of a fresh food merchant or fresh food merchandising person on the staff.   
Walmart excels at being a mass merchant and is prepared to serve all customers all the time in their own inevitable way.  However grocerant niche retail success is about serving every customer one at a time empowering customization, personalization, and individualization. While pricing is a key component within Foodservice Solutions® Five P’s of fresh food marketing, that Walmart is sure to focus on, it is only one of the five P’s.  Do you think Walmart will step-up and stand-out?

Invite  to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment or Grocerant Competitive Analysis. Foodservice Solutions® excels at Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food brand, product, placement, and positioning integration.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche contact:  1-253-759-7869 or visit Johnson, or

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