Friday, June 17, 2016

Are Restaurant chains prepared to compete with C-Stores and Grocery Stores?

NPD foodservice icon and restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs excels at reading the retail foodservice tea leaves and is taking notice of the undercurrents of success that continue to expand within the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food niche.  

Riggs found that in March 2016, Americans purchased 5.2 billion servings of pizza from commercial restaurants and convenience stores, …and two hundred and eight million or 4% of those purchases were made at convenience stores.

The grocerant niche continues to out preform as Riggs continued that “over the past year, pizza servings at convenience stores increased 6%, more than any quick-service pizza or independent restaurants, or large or small pizza chains….Six percent may not seem like a large increase, but compared to the movement in the other channels, it is significant”

At Casey’s General Store within the prepared food category alone for the year just ended, same-store sales were up 8.4% with an average margin of 62.5%. Looking at just remodeled Casey’s units that added pizza delivery sales were up 12.8% to $880.7 million which is very good.  The two year growth is at 23.6% according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  

Kroger’s new concept store Main & Vine has customers backed up for Whole artisan crafted pizza on the weekends and is selling slice after slice for both lunch and dinner the rest of the week. The grocery sector continue to expand offering of pizza, but the slice, whole, and catering events with pizza as the main food component. Our Grocerant Guru® see continued success with the grocery sector as the artisan crafted pizza add local differentiation and in many cases competitive pricing.  

Restaurant chains need to look deep into their marketing took-kit for incremental programs and products to drive top line sales and bottom line profits.  It not just about pizza, sandwiches, seafood, wraps, burgers, ribs, steaks, and sushi have all become common place in grocery stores, C-stores, and drug stores.  

The current generation of Millennials does not have the same attitudes / behaviors as their parents and will not spend the same on the same categories / restaurants as their parents did.  Chain restaurant food marketers who assume that Millennials will start to behave like current / older Americans, just because they are do so at their own peril. 

Do you want to attract Millennials? Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization? Email us at: or visit: for more information. 

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