Saturday, October 31, 2020

What is Authentic Foodservice During COVID-19


Consumers are dynamic not static and consumers are attracted to restaurant foods that are authentic, accessible, with an aroma that offers familiarity as comfort, creating a stress relief amid uncertain times. They want the full-flavored ethnic foods that they grew up with or have been exposed too according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. 

Yes, they want all of that, and they want to eat in a restaurant, but know that’s not a good idea during COVID-19.  So, they are opting for grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food in record number from every sector of food retail.

When Brian Solis wrote recently that “You’re no longer a brand trying to put more “butts in seats” during peak hours. You’re no longer a brand trying to adapt to curbside, BOPIS, or delivery while balancing traditional “butts in seats” models. …

You’re no longer a brand trying to figure out how to compete against ghost kitchens in your elusive free time. You’re all these things and more. Aim for most valuable customers and learn how to use traditional and digital means to deliver value-added, sought after experiences. That’s what this is all about. Disruption happens to you or because of you. Choose the latter!

Brian Solis got the team at Foodservice Solutions® thinking about how our Grocerant Guru® has been helping brands evolve their business model.  In a new report Salesforce and Hathway  that argues that underperforming restaurant brands need to focus on a special subset of Generation-N—the high-value customers (Generation-Novel or Generation-N). Even though these customers make up about a quarter of the population right now, they are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the dining revenue. Through their research and consumer modeling, they were able to find that the chain restaurants that are currently thriving are the ones that are capitalizing on the preferences, motivations and behaviors of these high-value customers. Consumers are dynamic not static.  Are you evolving with consumers fast enough?

Now think about this, McKinsey estimates that 70 percent of consumers will not resume normal, out of home, activities for the near future, and they will take guidance from true experts on when it’s safe to do so. McKinsey also discovered that e-commerce adoption had radically accelerated by 10 years in a matter of a few months. Add to this, the psychological consensus that it takes an average of 66 days to form new behaviors and you have the makings of a new genre of consumerism.

In Salesforce’s Global Shopping Index research, 84 percent of customers said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. So how do you do that within the fastest growing sector of food retail today?  Simple focus on Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food that is authentic and full flavored according to Johnson.

IRI finds sales of meat alternatives sales were up 100.5% for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 9, and up more than 273% for that period vs. three years ago. Without question, consumers have also turned to plant-based options with greater frequency during the pandemic. How has your menu evolved? Looking for high-level insights targeting the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food grocerant niche?

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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