Menus, meal kits, and marketing Chick-fil-A extends their brand into the home building a deeper relationship with the consumer. Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® described this brand extension as an example of industry leadership at the intersection customer understanding and building a new food sales platform to drive incremental growth.
Successful restaurant chains must evolve with the consumer and Chick-fil-A is doing just that by evolving its business model into the grocerant niche with its own meal kit brand, Mealtime Kits, at 150 locations in its home city starting Aug. 27, 2018. If success does leave clues and it does the restaurant business model will be forever changed according to Johnson.
Convenience stores, grocery stores and legacy meal kit companies will be watching this move closer than many restaurant chain executives. However, if successful in this ideation or the next ideation the retail food-space is forever changed according to Johnson.
It is now clear that Chick-fil-A’s insights from ethnographic research, industry syndicated studies, and internal data indicate that customer migration into the grocerant niche will continue and that they are not going to sit back and capitulate customers or the opportunity for growth. Chick-fil-A is first major quick-service chain to offer meal kits according to Johnson.
With a full understanding of consumers fresh food desires Chick-fil-A is edifying consumer’s desires for a non-subscription service. By limiting the options of five meals with premeasured ingredients that customers can pick up in the drive thru-or at the front counter they eliminate the paradox of choice overload.
Chick-fil-A understands that driving incremental year over year same store customer counts requires doing something different. The c-level team at Chick-fil-A also understand that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist. Meal Kit’s available for pick-up at the drive thru is a fresh fast food option that consumers have been looking for according to Johnson.
This just might be the new electricity to drive the entire fast food sector to new highs over the next ten years according to Johnson. So, just what is your brands new electricity? 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, meal kits, urban clothing, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less 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.
Michael Patrick, an innovation program lead at Chick-fil-A who is leading the Mealtime Kits effort stated “We know our guests are busier than ever and need a variety of convenient dinner options,”... “We designed our offering so our guests don’t have to order ahead, subscribe to a service or make an extra stop at the grocery store. They simply pick up a Mealtime Kit at one of our restaurants at their convenience.”
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities. Are you looking for a new menu product, food segment, brand, or menu integration strategy? Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche since 1991