Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Restaurant Meal Disruption Catastrophe or Opportunity

While the undercurrents of consumer adoption of grab-n-go meals and Grocerant niche customer migration have been well documented over the past 20 years today many chain restaurants look more like a restaurant brand from 1980 than a consumer focused growth food retailer of today according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Prior to the coronavirus restaurant chain year over year customer counts continue to decline according to all reports including traditional restaurant trade magazines which do not to report bad news about the industry they cover and seek advertising for.
The competition for restaurant customers has become a ‘Battle for Share of Stomach’ . Non-traditional Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food the ilk of club stores, limited-assortment stores, e-grocers and specialty stores are poised for accelerated growth at the expense restaurants according to Johnson.  
So, if you are a chain restaurant, independent restaurant or a regional food distributor there is only one question.  Are you going to just let it happen? It’s time to step-up and address the customer facing touchpoints driving consumer adoption.  In short evolve or close your doors.  
According to a study by Pentallect, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, nontraditional food channels currently account for $210 billion in consumer expenditures, and projects 7% annual growth for these channels over the next five years, versus 3.5% for foodservice and 1% for traditional retail, which encompasses supermarkets, supercenters, mass/drug, and dollar stores. The nontraditional channels are projected account for 30% of food industry growth over the next five years.
Bob Goldin, a Pentallect stated, “nontraditional channels represent a ‘sweet spot’ in the food and beverage industry. Their growth is based upon strong consumer appeal and generally favorable business models.” Pentallect President Rob Veidenheimer observed that “each of the channels has unique consumer appeal and continues to evolve at a very rapid rate. We have studied these channels closely over the past several years and see them as significant share gainers for the foreseeable future.”
Pentallect, conducted comprehensive research and analysis into 10 nontraditional channels – club stores, community-supported agriculture (CSA), ethnic/neighborhood stores such as bodegas, farmers’ markets, food trucks, limited-assortment stores, meal kits/home-delivered meals, online, specialty stores such as bakeries and butchers, and Trader Joe’s, gleaning insights from more than 1,000 consumers and trade sources.
While others talk about Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food, Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant ScoreCards were the first to identify, quantify, and qualify the niche, the success and the unique was in which your brand can successfully ‘Look A Customer Ahead’.  Success does leave clues stop capitulating year over year customer counts. 
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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