Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mariano’s Half Grocerant Half Grocery Half Right

Is half a grocerant enough or too much when a retailer needs to please customers yet drive both top line sales and bottom line profits?  Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® stated that “many legacy food retailers error on one side of the other.  Either too much space allocated to grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food or too much space for legacy CPG products, resulting in a profit disparity.” 

Bob Mariano, president and CEO of the Mariano’s grocery store chain's parent company, Roundy's Supermarkets stated when speaking about their newest store “It's half grocery store, half restaurant -- or a "grocerant,".   Mariano’s appears to be trying to copy industry grocerant niche leader Wegmans creating a “Mariano’s experience” ala the ‘Wegmans lifestyle store’. 

The new Mariano's has an “oyster bar and a wine bar. Bread sliced fresh to order. Sushi and barbecue restaurants and a coffee and gelato shop -- all in-house. A salad bar, hot bar, rotisserie station, soup station and pastry shop -- not to mention aisles of typical grocery store staples.”

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® wondering out loud the other day asked “Can Mariano’s drive top line sales and bottom line profits trying to be both a grocerant and legacy grocery retailer allocating space 50% to 50%?”  He answered his own question stating ‘No not today, maybe someday’.  Why, retail today is about meals, meal periods, customization, and mix and match family meal personalization. 

Our Grocerant Guru® went on to explain that today at noon consumers are just beginning to think about what's for dinner. In fact 83.7% of American consumers are unsure about what's for dinner at noon. At 4:00 PM 68.7% still don’t know what’s for dinner (Walgreens-Foodservice Solutions). In 2012 38% of meals were eaten alone 2015 42% are eaten alone (Hartman) 2016 54% eaten with others 46% alone (Hartman).  This year 53% of Dinners are planned within 1 Hour of Eating (Hartman Group 2016).

In retail foodservice the price, value, service equilibrium is resetting. In order to drive top line sales and bottom line profits fresh food retailers need to fully understand the undercurrents of consumer’s purchases by Share of Stomach. 

Unfortunately most retailers today understand consumer purchases by the sector that they specialize in only.  Thus, they error experimenting much on the grocerant side, or experimenting too much on legacy CPG side creating a void in profitable growth. Are you looking for profitability, or retail equilibrium?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869 

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