Sunday, June 10, 2018

Starbucks, Pizza Hut and 7-Eleven too Test Self-Driving Stores

Three of the largest foodservice companies in the world 7-Eleven, Starbucks  and Pizza Hut are exploring expanding new points of fresh food distribution via self-driving Toyota all electric vehicles.  Regular readers of this blog know that Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® has talked a lot about how foodservice companies are searching for new electricity to drive elevated contemporized brand relevance well here are two companies that excel at doing just that. 
That new electricity that is going to be tested will elevate the brand competition for fresh food, beverages, and fresh prepared meal components within the grocerant niche.  According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”
Johnson stated that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-free retail, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing. This program has all of that.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.

More importantly its going to leave many in the grocery sector scratching their heads wondering how are we ever going to compete with the likes of Amazon Go just walk out technology and Amazon Fresh online grocery shopping and now restaurants and c-stores that can drive right up to a house, office building or work site and delivery fresh prepared meals or meal components? The answer is simple quit thinking like you have always thought and start looking a customer ahead.
Toyota Motor’s is teaming up with key grocerant niche foodservice players to develop new services that harness self-driving technology.  The Japanese automaker has partnered with convenience-store chain Seven-Eleven Japan to develop a mobile store using its automated driving platform. An electric vehicle will either be loaded with goods and drive itself to a predetermined location or consumers will be able to stop the unmanned vehicle to make purchases.  How cool is that!  Yes, the world is evolving fast are you?
Toyota  calls its automated mobility services ecosystem e-Palette. Last January in the U.S., Toyota unveiled three concept vehicles for the program -- one as long as 7 meters -- that it envisions providing such services as automatic transportation of people and goods or mobile shops.
Toyota also plans to collaborate with Starbucks on a mobile cafe and with group member Toyota Industries on delivering packages to homes in unmanned mobile lockers. The automaker will determine with each company how to use electric-vehicle technology, and the new partnerships will likely be based in Japan.
Toyota’s e-Palette system is not only aimed at promoting the company's electric cars, but also the creation of new offerings like safety controls, insurance, payments and maintenance. Toyota aims to lease these vehicles and provide various services to its collaborators. It also hopes to gather data that will help commercialize more advanced automation.
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Where is your new electricity coming from?  Interested in learning how 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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