Monday, October 30, 2017

Traditional Grocery Stores: Some are Winning Some Not Yet

There is no doubt that the Price-Value-Service Equilibrium that exist today within the traditional grocery sector is evolving faster than many traditional grocery stores are willing to admit according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Given the increase in calls and followers specifically from Wall Street analyst, investors, and media; Johnson believes that the undercurrents of change are taking root from food retailers that stock pantry’s to food retailers restocking better for you ‘fresh foods’ with customer relevance. Which reflects the fact that consumers are dynamic not static. In food retail the vast majority of consumers do not take steps backwards they only move forward according to Johnson. We ask is the pantry of yesterday the future of food retail?

Foodservice Solutions® team consist of a mix of food industry research legends, sector experts, ethnographic leaders, marketing professionals, and one Grocerant Guru® all of which agree that the clarity and direction of traditional grocery stores is clear. 

So what does that mean?  Simply put there will be those doing what they have always done, and those that don’t.  So when the Wall Street types call what do they think?  Who knows?  But the one thing we all agree upon is that they ask some very good questions.

For example are traditional grocery stores simply to large?  Is Aldi the fastest growing grocer?  Will Lidl garner market share, if so from whom? What they are not asking is do consumers still stock a pantry?  What type of foods can be found inside a Gen Z household pantry, and Gen X household pantry, and a Baby Boomer household pantry? The team at Foodservice Solutions® uncovers the answers to those and many other relevant questions while conducting and reviewing our Grocerant ScoreCards. This leads us and our clients to a greater understanding of who is winning and who is losing the battle for an increase in Share of Stomach within retail foodservice. 

Recently one of our team was asked to comment on Kroger’s plan to ‘redefine the way America eats’ and the Whole Foods acquisition ramifications. So we asked one of our industry legends speaking about Kroger’s redefining stated that he could have written that during 1980 or 1990 for Kroger or any other grocery retailer back in the day.  Our own Grocerant Guru® said that it is familiar, comfortable, and a reliable statement for a food retailer that wants to maintain the status quo.

On the other hand when asked about the Whole Foods acquisition our legend had no comments only questions, all of which were proactively positive and each highlighting incremental opportunity.  While our Grocerant Guru® was a bit straight forward saying it is a ‘customer relevant move filled will consumer interactive and participatory challenges but a glimpse in to tomorrow’s food retail not yesterdays.”

The battle for Share of Stomach is not about retail sectors or how many retail avenues of fresh food distribution you sell food in.  It is all about the consumer and when, where, why they eat what they eat and how they eat it.
The team at Foodservice Solutions® does not know which company will be the next A&P.  They do all however agree that unlike A&P that began its decline 50 years ago and continued to capitulate market shave over the next 50 years the next retailer to fail will fail and fail faster.  Will that retailer be you?  Are you doing what you did 6 months ago, two years ago, or five years ago?  Does your growth come only via acquisition or are you driving incremental same store sales?

Does your path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? 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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