Sunday, January 31, 2016

Are Convenience-Store’s The Entrepreneurs Next Big Thing

Success does leave clues and entrepreneurs go where they can find success and once again the convenience store sector continues to out preformed.  Despite declining fuel prices, the ranks of convenience stores swelled to a record level last year as did sales according The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. 

Retail industry research company Nielsen found that, The U.S. convenience store count increased to 154,195 stores as of December 31, 2015.  That convenience stores account for 34.2% of all outlets in the United States, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including superettes, supermarket and supercenters (51,055 stores), drug stores (41,969 stores) and dollar stores (27,378 stores). 

Entrepreneurs are drawn to the convenience store sector for the growth and consumer migration; in fact C-stores are dominated by single-store operators, which account for 63.1% of all convenience stores (97,359 stores total) and 74.3% of store growth in 2015. Sales and profits are the key drivers for entrepreneurs and C-stores once again reported off double-digit sales growth last year even as major retailers suffered declining revenues amid a prolonged economic slowdown. 

In contrast, superstores' revenues fell 2.1 percent, and those of department stores and supermarkets also dropped 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent. So what is driving C-store success? Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® knows and so do regular readers of this blog.  Yes according to our Grocerant Guru®, “Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.”

Entrepreneurs are finding success edifying their locates with food that is sourced local, menu items edified with local flavors and marketing of products targeting the growing number of single households, Ready-2-Eat, Heat-N-Eat  meals and meal components along with fresh prepared brewed coffee. is the home of the Grocerant Guru®. Foodservice Solutions® exclusively conducts Grocerant Scorecards are you ready? Contact: for more join us on LinkedIn at

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Grocerants Drive Home Prices Higher

Americans love their Grocerant.  Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food back in the day was seen a treat that replaced the home cooked meal.  Today grocerant niche fresh prepared food has become a staple, a lifestyle, a pantry replacement, and much more according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®. 

In a “new study from the real-estate site Zillow, homes tend to appreciate in value when there is a local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods nearby. This finding comes from a wide-ranging examination of city-level data on nearly 3 million homes (single-family, condos, and co-ops spanning more than 80 locations nationwide) within a mile of a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. From 1997 to 2014, the value of these homes exceeded that of the median home in the U.S., according to Zillow’s calculations. And by the end of 2014, these homes were worth more than double the year’s median home value.”

The Zillow study found, “neighborhoods with an impending Trader Joe’s location nearby appreciated at the same rate as other homes in the city before the store’s opening. Two years after the Trader Joe’s opened, however, the median home values in the area appreciated by 10 percentage points more than the rest of the city”  Trader Joe’s is filled with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food as regular readers of this blog know. 

The Zillow study suggests that, if gentrification were occurring before the arrival of a gourmet grocery store, these stores act as a catalyst for rising home values and neighborhood “upgrading.” Which we all agree is a good thing. The growth of the grocerant niche was never a fad, it is an expanding trend that continues to drive change while evolving the face of food retail and much, much more. 

Here is what is important about this study according to our Grocerant Guru® “consumers do not want to cook, do dishes or clean up on a daily basis.”   There is a lot of talk about neighborhood gentrification today that however should not be the focus.  The fact is 50% of Americans over the age of 18 are single according to the US Census data and single people do not want to cook every meal from scratch. 

Visit: for more from the Grocerant Guru® who continually reminds us, that the consumer is dynamic not static.  Have you had a Grocerant Scorecard conducted on your business?  Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food sells.

Are you ready to create a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization attracting Grocerant niche consumers?  Contact: for more join us on LinkedIn at:  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Starbucks’ Coffee, Food, and Technology Equals Happy Customers

Success does leave clues and the fast growing adoption of Starbucks’ Mobile Order & Pay program is clearly a home run for Starbucks.  The chain during their Q1 2016 reporting conference call reported that Mobile rewards users are still growing with a 23% increase in the last year, and now exceeds 11.1 million users.  Starbucks also saw more than one million users of Mobile Order and Pay this past December, who averaged about five orders per person that month as well.

Starbucks noted that Mobile Order and Pay is seeing “significant adoption rates, but is most popular in the morning at its peak hours for users attempting to avoid long lines. Currently, there are about 6 million transactions through the program occurring every month, which shows its significant potential.”

Michael Becker, managing partner at mCordis pointed out earlier in the year that we live in a world driven by mobile moments stating; ‘“We touch our phones a couple hundred times a day and each of these touches is a mobile moments,” Mobile Order & Pay is fast becoming a ‘happy’ mobile moment according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®. 

After our last blog we were flooded with questions about Starbucks success.  When we stated that Starbucks was consumer interactive and participatory one of the ways is by creating mobile moments.  Starbucks reinforced on the Q1 call that people are increasingly turning to their mobile phones, their watches, to meet their payment demands at key moments throughout the day, in the morning in Starbuck’s case.

Expanding the consumer interactive and participatory qualities from Coffee, Food, too Technology is what Starbucks is doing.  Mobile Ordering & Pay is edifying the fact the Starbucks has customer relevance.  That relevance has its foundation in quality customizable Coffee and that is edified through Mobile Order & Pay according to our Grocerant Guru®.

“Starbucks is a bellwether company, they are showing the way for the rest of us,” Mr. Becker said. “Mobile payments will soon move beyond a nice to have in retail to a must since people will begin to expect or only frequent those companies that empower them to pay through and with their mobile devices.”  Once again leaders lead and Starbucks is a true foodservice merchant and success. 

Have you had a Grocerant Scorecard preformed at your company?  Foodservice Solutions® 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization attracting Grocerant niche consumers?  Contact: for more. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

McDonald's is Still Leader of the Pack

When your average unit volumes are $1 Million Dollars higher than your peers everyone takes a shot at you every time you try something different.  Clearly McDonald’s understands that with great results come great expectations. 

McDonald’s had a good year in 2015 driven by a ‘better for you’ menu that was focused on customer expectations, desires and request. Specifically by adding all-day breakfast menu renewed, refreshed, and edified customers perception of the brand promise.

Steve Easterbrook  CEO of McDonald’s  stated “Our operational growth-led turnaround is focused on appealing to customers in the areas that matter most to them – great-tasting, high-quality food, convenience and value,”  all day breakfast did just that and more.  

In a study last December by The NPD Group found that ”30 percent of customers who ordered breakfast menu items after the traditional 10:30 am cutoff hadn’t visited McDonalds at all in the month before the October roll-out”. NPD industry icon Bonnie Riggs stated “That’s pretty significant,”

Not only did the study find that the breakfast menu drew in “new customers, but the same customers also bought more than just McMuffins. Among the post-breakfast, breakfast food consumers, 61 percent purchased more than just breakfast foods during their visit and they typically visited the restaurant during lunch hours.” 

The consumer is dynamic and so is McDonalds. This month McDonalds expanded the halo of ‘better for you’ by adding cuties once again as an option for the kids meal. McDonalds is always evolving with consumers and is currently testing macaroni and cheese in Ohio, breakfast bowls in California, and sweet potato fries in Texas.  The company also plans to test menu items not typically associated with fast food, such as kale and quinoa. 

Success does leave clues and McDonald’s has never been static.  Not all LTO’s or test items work out but McDonalds average unit volumes exceed its peers by close to a million dollars a year for all of the right reasons a brand promise that focuses on the customer.  

Do you understand how to drive top line growth and bottom line profits within the Grocerant Niche?  Looking for Outside Eye’s for help?  Call Foodservice Solutions® at 253-759-7869 or visit our website at: or Email our Global Grocerant Expert at