Sunday, July 31, 2016

Foster's On The Run C-store is Getting “Better For You”

Convenience store food from coast to coast is getting fresher, faster, and ‘better for you’ according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  R.H. Foster Energy's has developed a new Foster's On The Run prototype convenience store that is focused on freshness. The new prototype opened July and includes a gas station and a Freshies deli that offers healthy smoothies, quality food and more, reported the Ellsworth American.
Foster’s Executive Vice-President Robert Tracy stated "This store is the first pilot of this quantum shift that we're making  within our company," Trying to deliver fresh food fast the new foodservice options include smoothies made with ingredients including “ kale, goji berries and flax seeds; both grab-and-go and made-to-order sandwiches and salads; breakfast sandwiches; whoopie pies; and pizza with toppings such as fig, prosciutto, brie and spinach along with standard ingredients.”
Robert Foster, president of R.H. Foster stated "Our focus is going to be fresh, healthy food,".  He continued by noting the company is aware that more customers are seeking out healthier fare but can have difficulty finding it on the go. R.H. Foster wants to make that easier for consumers.
The new prototype is 4,179-square-foot store replaced a 954-square-foot store that was torn down earlier in 2016. The upgraded location features a large beer cave and indoor bathrooms, unlike the old store. Decoration includes a large photo of the area's Union River. Success does leave clues and fresh food fast does work according to our own Grocerant Guru®.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom line profits.  Are you Looking A Customer Ahead?  Visit  or Contact for more information.  Remember Success does leave clue and we just may have the right clue for you. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dickey's Bundling Fresh Family Meals

Wondering what’s for dinner is top-of-mind for most homemakers today as 83.7% of US consumers do not know what they are going to have for dinner at noon every day according to the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit menu team came up in an innovation bundled meal called the Chicknic Pack.   The Chicknic Pack family meal consist of a “ Whole Smoked Chicken, two sides, four buttery rolls, and barbecue sauce. Half chickens are also available. All whole and half chickens are raised without antibiotics or added hormones, and are humanely raised, vegetarian fed, and cage-free.” and that is ‘a better for you bundled family meal.
Differentiation does not mean different in retail foodservice it means familiar but with a twist according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  The Dickey’s Smoked whole and half chickens are a new offering for Dickey’s, and create industry meal differentiation.
The new Chicknic Pack bundled meal complements out the brand’s offerings of barbecue Family Packs which feed between from four to eight people.  The Chicknic whole chicken will be slow-smoked on-site at each store using Dickey’s signature rub blend and hickory wood. The Chicknic Pack is available system-wide for $19.95, single whole smoked chickens will be sold for $9.95, and half chickens are also available for $5.95.
Roland Dickey Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit stated “At Dickey’s, we want our guests to have wholesome, delicious options to feed their families….We have received a great deal of feedback from our guests that they want a whole chicken option, and we are proud to begin offering this quality product which is raised without antibiotics and has no added hormones. Listening to guest is a success clue for all.
Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact our Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson via Email: for more information and success clues. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Eating-In or Eating-Out Romano’s Macaroni Grill is Fresh Fast Fine Food

It has been well documented that Eating-In while Eating-Out has become a way of life according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson who was the first to identify, quantify, and qualify this consumer migration pattern. 

John Gilbert, President & CEO of Macaroni Grill stated “Our Family Meals feature many of our guests’ favorite dishes at a per-person price that’s lower than most fast-food meals,” … “You get all the quality ingredients and signature recipes you expect from Mac Grill in a family-style setting, and you’re welcome to enjoy them in the restaurant or take them home.”

Gilbert understand the undercurrents driving consumer migration to grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals that are deemed ‘better for you’ as regular readers of this blog know as we have chronicled the success Romano’s Macaroni Grill has had with portable meals and today and tomorrow specials.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill ‘Family Meals’ menu items start at “under $6/person, and available for dine-in or to go”.  That is price extremely competitively which is a branded invitation that many consumer will accept according to our own Grocerant Guru®.
Each  Family Meal serve 4-5 people and include a loaf of freshly baked Rosemary Peasant Bread served with imported olive oil, Caesar Salad and a choice of the following five family-sized entrées:
  • Spaghetti Pomodoro – Pomodoro, fresh basil and parmesan ($29)
  • Spaghetti Bolognese – Bolognese, parmesan, pomodoro and Mediterranean herbs ($32)
  • Eggplant Parmesan – Breaded eggplant, capellini pomodoro and mozzarella ($35)
  • Chicken Parmesan – Breaded Milanese-style chicken breast, capellini pomodoro and mozzarella ($39)
  • Penne Rustica – Roasted chicken, shrimp, prosciutto, rosemary cream and parmesan ($40)
For just $12 more, add an order of house-made Meatballs – made with pork, beef, veal and ricotta – served with pomodoro sauce, or add a shareable side – such as Crispy Parmesan Potatoes, Italian Creamed Corn or Signature Truffle Mac + Cheese – each only $5.50.

Consumers can also save $25 off their first shared meal by joining the Family Meals Club! For more information, visit Eating-In while Eating-Out continues to garner customer adoption and Romano’s Macaroni Grill continues picking up all the right clues.

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 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Meals Matter, Price Matters, Speed Matters

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson says that “Meal Kits are training wheels for Millennials as regular readers of this blog know.  What has not been said is that Millennials are fast learners and they picked up several key learnings from trial of meal kits.
1.       Proper Portion Size
2.       Food Waste buy only what you need for the recipe
3.       Meal Planning
4.       They can cook a restaurant quality meal at home
5.       They still have to cook and clean up
6.       Fresh food Meal Kits are expensive and should be used for “Special Occasion Home Meals”
Fear not there is plenty of up-side for Meal Kit companies the ilk of Platted, Blue Apron, and Hello Fresh.  In a new study The NPD Group, found that “Trial of meal kits is still relatively low with 3 percent of the U.S. adult population (18 and older) trying a meal kit delivery service within the last year”  That’s a lot of room for growth.
NPD reported that “The average cost per in-home dinner meal is $4, and the average cost per person for a meal kit delivered to the home is $10”.  There is an up-side for retail grocery and c-store locations that is the ability to regionalize flavor profiles, reduce cost, while saving consumers from the obligation of the subscription service.  After all Millennials are leading the cable TV cord cutting movement.  Subscription services may be a hit with wall-street but not Millennials. 
What meal kit companies do best is focus on meals not stocking the pantry.  Consumers of all ages think meals not pantry.  Success does leave clues and focusing on grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals is a good clue to hone in on. 

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 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Legacy Grocery Store CPG Disruption Ramps Up

Time starved parents continue to drive innovation in foodservice retail when it comes to what’s for dinner according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®. With increased frequency family meal planning included grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.
With the halo of ‘better for you’ top of mind Revolution Foods co-founders Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey set out to provide fresh fast meal solutions that were ‘better for you’. The team at Revolution understands the challenges that working parents face when it comes to finding nutritious meals and snacks.
The goal was to provide parents an alternative to legacy kid friendly CPG products mac 'n' cheese and ramen. With a ‘better for you’ family friendly grocerant niche single serve option.   Kirsten Saenz Tobey stated "Noodles are always at the top of the list for what kids love to eat. And yet when we’re packing our kids’ lunch boxes, noodles are the hardest thing,"
With a simple focus she and Richmond decided to head to the test kitchen and create a noodle product of their own, one that would meet the company's stringent nutrition guidelines. "We’re trying to disrupt that idea that noodles that have to be in a styrofoam cup and full of sodium."
With the halo of ‘better for you’ intact the new product called "In a Cup," will soon on its way to retail partners including Target and Safeway. It retails for under $4, and comes in three flavors: spaghetti marinara, sesame noodles, and Thai satay rice noodles, which are gluten-free.
Kirsten Saenz Tobey continued "We are really focused on trying to solve the hard problems that families have in terms of feeding their families food that kids will eat but that meet families’ needs in terms of convenience and nutrition," Tobey says. "We’ve wanted to focus on making sure that the food that we create is not just kids’ food, but food that the whole family can eat."

Today we are increasing seeing new grocerant niche fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat better for you food in the aisles of the grocery store.  "In a Cup" could be an industry disruptor and marks a shift in focus for Revolution Foods (RVF).
RVF started out providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner to public schools in search of balanced meals made with natural ingredients, rather than the standard lineup of pizza and French fries. The company continues to grow its presence in cafeterias around the country—it now operates in 30 major cities—but sees the grocery aisle at big-box retailers as an important way to achieve its business goals and its mission.  Success does leave clues and RVF is a successful company with the big picture, big goals and big
"The food industry is a $5 trillion industry that is ripe for disruption," says investor Steve Case, founder of AOL and venture capital firm Revolution Growth. "As more people realize that health begins at the end of the fork, we expect Revolution Foods to emerge as one of the great new 'next gen' consumer brands."

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 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Peet’s Coffee Expanding Brand Value in the Grocerant Niche

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you stop by Peet’s Coffee’s locations you are always welcome.  However in 2016 customers don’t always have the time to stop by, hurried lifestyles, work demands, and family obligations often distract our preferred routine.  Consumer focused brands brand’s the ilk of Peet’s Coffee often opt to expand brand value by offering hand held, portable fresh food beverages according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  
This week Peet’s Coffee has unveiled its new ready-to-drink line featuring “ Baridi Black, Coffee au Lait, and Dark Chocolate.”  The new line of portable beverages feature high-quality ingredients, including Peet’s freshly-roasted beans that are cold brewed to the same standard used in its cafés.
Dave Burwick, Peet’s Coffee CEO stated “We’re proud to launch our ready-to-drink line during our 50th anniversary year, as these new Cold Brew beverages build on the heritage of Peet’s Coffee and our five decades of coffee craftsmanship….Coffee consumers are increasingly sophisticated and by leveraging the equity we have in coffee, we’re introducing beverages that will delight not just our existing fan base of Peetniks, but all coffee lovers.”  

 “Ready to drink is yet another example of our commitment to innovate,” stated Jessica Mitchell, senior director of innovation. “Last year we fully transformed our iced coffee program by shifting from a hot brew that was chilled over ice to a cold brew that was slow brewed. This shift drove double-digit growth for our cold coffee business in our cafés, and was among the highest performing product lines in our entire portfolio. We are excited to continue fueling growth by enhancing our offerings with ready-to-drink Cold Brew.”
When you add ready-to-drink portable chilled beverages with high quality ready-to-eat fresh prepared food you can see why Peet’s Coffee continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits. Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and beverages are driving incremental sales in every sector of retail foodservice today according to Nielsen.  Are you focusing on grocerant niche growth?  Why Not?

Since 1991  of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or or Contact our Grocerant Guru® at:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Amazon Prime’s Marketing Power Delivers Your Lunch via “Daily Dish”

Fresh food delivery has never been easier according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  Amazon’s recently added Daily Dish to the bundle of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food services that it offers. 
Now Amazon’s is now testing in Seattle a new service “Daily Dish” for Prime members, available within limited service area.  Daily Dish is a spinoff of the popular Amazon Restaurant delivery service. But the reach of the Prime Now app across the country gives Amazon a powerful platform for potential future expansion.
About a month ago, Amazon Prime quietly began testing a work / business lunch delivery service in Seattle.  Daily Dish empowers employees at specific companies the ability to order lunch specials for delivery to their offices, receiving daily menus via text message and placing their orders via Amazon’s Prime Now app.
Here is how Geekwire explained how the service works “After receiving a text message at 9:30 a.m., Daily Dish customers can pick from a handful of rotating dishes prepared by local restaurants. After ordering before 11 a.m. via the Prime Now app, lunch arrives at their office building from noon to 12:30 p.m.
Currently Amazon delivers meals within one hour to Prime members via the Amazon Restaurants service, which first launched in Seattle this past December and has since expanded to other cities.
“Daily Dish offers Prime members a convenient and affordable lunch option featuring freshly-prepared lunches delivered from local restaurants every weekday,” Amazon spokesperson Amanda Ip said via email. “The service offers four choices every day— one meat and one vegetarian option from two different restaurants—giving customers choice in cuisine and meal type.”

All food retailers need to understand the marketing power and reach of Amazon Prime‘s app.  Retailers must understand that Amazon does just about everything well and Daily Dish is no different. Taylor Soper of GeekWire wrote “It’s extremely simple to place an order via the Prime Now app — a few clicks on your smartphone and you’re pretty much done. The app shows short descriptions of each dish along with one photo.”
Today Amazon operates its one-hour restaurant delivery service in more than 10 cities including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Dallas, and others. The company’s plan is to reportedly launch restaurant delivery in each city where its Prime Now service is available.
Amazon clearly wants to test every aspect of the grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food space.  Daily Dish adds yet another perk for the estimated 50 million Prime members who pay $99 per year for the service.  Amazon Prime is fast becoming a fresh food destination point without a building.  Is your brand evolving?

Since 1991  of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or or Contact our Grocerant Guru® at:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Grocery Store Deli’s, Restaurants, and C-stores Flush with Marketing Technology

Does it take to PhD to place a restaurant order today I was asked by an octogenarian.  No, was my answer but I could see her point. She explained that she was forced to push buttons on a pad to place a fast food order with her great grandchildren and was having trouble when one of her grandchildren stepped in to help.  She added all I want to do is talk to someone!  Not to worry I assured her; Amazon will soon be helping her out.  Amazon Echo will become the voice / platform she longs for.

Retailers today can’t jump on the augmented reality platform fast enough.  Consumer adoption of the augmented reality game Pokémon Go is just the latest marketing tool in retail foodservice marketer’s tool kit. Marketing technology has grown from Online Ordering, Mobile Ordering, hand held messaging, and now augmented gaming.  Retailer’s ability to interact with customers driving one on one or family branded participation has never been greater. 

Many Social media reports reveal that “Pokémon Go players are making their restaurant choices based on the availability of Pokémon in the area. And, restaurants are using that fact to attract customers. 
The game, which launched less than a month ago, requires users to go to specific sites to "catch" Pokémon. These sites can be anywhere from hospitals, to abandoned hot dogs stands, to a vast array of restaurants.

Augmented reality games the ilk Pokémon have three key drivers going for it; nostalgia, real time interaction relevance, and fun familiar characters.   Specifically the game appeals to Millennials, who remember playing Pokemon on their Game Boys back in the day.  In addition to a new crop of gamers who are always looking for something new. Remember Super Mario, Barbie, and the Ninja Turtles, there are few cultural icons with such staying power.” Look for other legacy games to develop augmented versions driving this marketing platform for the next five years. 
But then what? That’s easy. Virtual reality shopping with via your Amazon Echo that will be complemented with your Amazon Virtual Reality glasses. O’ that just what our team believes.  However Facebooks Oculus games and Microsoft Hololens are both driving forward with its consumer headset that allows consumers to get totally immersed in a platform.  Gaming, travel, and retail outlets will have the ability via virtual reality to allow a consumer to view in real time the cooking of your meal, watch the delivery, or scan the fields where food came from.  7-Eleven was the first company to deliver Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food via Drone
What is your company doing to garner the next wave of customers?  I hope you are not building larger and larger stores expecting consumers to walk in walk around and spend hours shopping?  I hope you are not building a kitchen in the back of the restaurant without cameras. The next wave of food retail may just be come a chair in the dining room, a couch in the living room or a park bench waiting for a drove picnic lunch delivery.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom line profits.  Are you Looking A Customer Ahead?  Visit  or Contact for more information.  Remember Success does leave clue and we just may have the right clue for you.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

7-Eleven and Flirtey Team-Up for Fresh Food Drone Delivery

Don’t look-up and say get out of here if you spot a drone; you just might be saying Oh, Thank Heaven its 7-Eleven.  The next time you see a drone in your backyard it might be one from 7-Eleven delivering a ‘Big Bite, Slurpee, or Coffee and a Donut!  That’s right 7-Eleven is expanding its technology capabilities to include to autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence; and our Grocerant Guru® says Great Move.
Success does leave clues and like its core customers 7-Eleven is a dynamic company not static.  This time, the convenience store chain teamed up with drone delivery service Flirtey to complete the first fully autonomous drone delivery. 
7-Eleven reported that “This delivery is the first time a U.S. customer has received a package to their home via drone, representing a historic milestone, according to the companies. The delivery was conducted in celebration of 7-Eleven’s 89th birthday.” 
The report went on to elaborate that “At a Reno 7-Eleven store, two deliveries were successfully completed. 7-Eleven merchandise — including hot and cold food items — was loaded into a Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local customer’s house. Once at the family’s backyard, the Flirtey drone hovered in place and gently lowered each package.”
Time is the true commodity in retail according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®. The purchases were delivered to the family in the span of a few minutes. Products included Slurpee drinks, a chicken sandwich, doughnuts, hot coffee and 7-Select candy. 
“My wife and I both work and have three small children ages seven, six and one. The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless,” stated Michael, the Reno resident who received the Flirtey delivery. “It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”
Jesus H. Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer stated that “7-Eleven will not stop at this single drone test delivery. It plans to expand drone delivery tests and work closely with Flirtey, .. In the future, both companies expect drone packages to include everyday essentials such as batteries and sunscreen.”
Delgado-Jenkins continued “Drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for our customers and these efforts create enormous opportunities to redefine convenience,”… “This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home. In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes.
All retailers grocery stores, restaurants, drug stores and the like must understand that customers have demanding schedules, most are on-the-go 24/7 and turn to technology daily for help.  Why would they not accept drove delivery?  
Domino’s Pizza had ovens in pizza delivery vehicles and there sales are soaring.  Can you imagine what will happen to 7-Elevens sales from customer trials alone?  Consumers are dynamic not static? What proactive steps have you taken for your customers lately?
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
At KFC this was a joke.  But 7-Eleven has done what other only talk and laugh about.  Are you a Dynamic Company Moving with Customers?