Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Grocerant Guru’s ‘Looking A Customer Ahead’

The undercurrents of change have been brewing for some time in the retail foodservice sector. Our Grocerant Guru® has taken a look at what is brewing under the surface that you might have missed and identified those that will continue to evolve in 2016. Here is our list of 2016 undercurrents to watch:

1. Big in 2015 Communal Dinning Continues to Grow

The US Census fact finder tells us 50 percent of the US population over the age of 18 is single.  Which led us to a The Hartman Group study that found that in 2012 38% of meals were eaten alone, in 2015 42% are eaten alone, and in 2016 46 % were eaten alone. Communal Dinning is fast becoming a social hub.  Retailers that add more bar seating, Wi-Fi, big screen TV’s are driving this forward.

2. Delivering Everything Discounts

Amazon is rolling out restaurant food delivery, Alcohol delivery while Starbucks and Panera plan to roll out delivery nationwide other quick-service concepts are sure to follow. Higher-end restaurants are offering catering and meal delivery, empowered by a number of tech-enabled third-party services that bundle menus from many operations. Watch for this area to grow driven by introduction to delivery discounts on bundled mix and match meals. 

3.  Fresh Prepared is Authenticity  

Seeing is believing. Consumer’s desire for operators to offer interactive participatory concepts is growing in importance.  Fresh food equals  food farmed near or in a city, fruits and vegetables  that are local, in season are all considered by consumers as ‘better for you’. In Europe ‘ugly’ fruit has been featured and discounted in grocery aisles becoming a huge success.  Consumers understand imperfection and embrace it, you should. 

4. Price equals value and that is the new Transparency 

Whole Foods 365 offers more competitive pricing.  The goal is to drive both top line sales and bottom line profits.  Whole Foods plans to leverage the ‘halo’ of better for you with value. It’s working for Aldi as they are the fastest growing grocery store in America.   

5. The need for Speed, Affordability, and Portability

37% of respondents say their purchases start with mobile shopping more than one-quarter to half of the time Nielsen. The first truly digital generation is here fully 85 percent of both Millennials and Gen Z search first online before buying according to Nielsen. Consumers today expect, demand, and drive early adoption.  Marketing, messaging, and brand magic must be digital. 

6. Share of Stomach vs Share of Segment 

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ discovered, documented, detailed consumers desire for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food since 1991.  Today consumers don’t say I want to go to a fast casual restaurant, full-service restaurant, C-store, Deli, or QSR.  It’s about real time, real food, and discovery.  Only legacy industry insiders talk segments, consumers simply want fresh food fast. Non-traditional locations of fresh food distribution will continue to garner Share of Stomach in 2016.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant scorecard, brand, or product placement assistance.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869 

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