Regular readers of this blog know that Steven Johnson, Grocerant
Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice
Solutions® spent three years working with the Department of Defense Navy
MWR group developing and rolling out Parcheesi
Pizza and other concepts at US bases around the world. Our men and women in the Armed Forces are
eating much better today around the world for the team and his work.
Grocerant niche success meets the Army & Air Force Exchange
Service's (AAFES) nearly 150 micro markets are growing rapidly as an option
where service members can fuel up with better-for-you meals and snacks while
staying close to their workplace. That’s right Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and
Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.
AAFES, is state of art
foodservice as they are fully automated and contactless, the self-serve
markets are positioned near soldiers, airmen, guardians and Department of
Defense civilians working unusual hours or in high-traffic or out-of-the-way
areas. Exchange micro markets can be found throughout the continental United
States as well as one location at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria in Germany.
All of this success takes time, first
introduced in 2014 at the Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Blue Ridge
Summit, Pa., micro markets are a fast-growing segment with 46 new
locations opened in 2021. About 45 additional micro markets are planned to open
throughout the continental United States in 2022, according to AAFES.
Now like all chains offerings vary by
location, with most offering fresh salads, fruit and other sustenance options
that support a "BE FIT" lifestyle. Select locations also
offer over-the-counter medicines, personal hygiene items and other sundries.
Regular readers of this blog understand
that micro markets offer a more varied product assortment compared to
traditional vending machines. With micro markets, items can be displayed
similarly to a traditional convenience store, only with a self-checkout system
for contactless convenience. Micro markets at Fort Campbell, Fort Hood and
Scott Air Force Base now also accept the MILITARY STAR card as
the Exchange continues to expand this program.
In case you did not know, The Army & Air Force Exchange
Service first expanded its offering of on-the-go meals and other products,
including better-for-you options that support a "BE FIT"
lifestyle at micro markets across the U.S. more than two years ago.
The "BE FIT" program
features products meeting the following criteria:
Fewer than 500 calories and less than 480
milligrams of sodium for entrees
Two hundred calories or less and fewer
than 230 milligrams of sodium for snacks
Forty percent or less of calories from
fat for entrees and snacks
Fewer than 10 percent of calories from
saturated fat for entrees and snacks
Dallas-based AAFES operates 3,500
facilities consisting of department stores, convenience stores, gas stations,
restaurants, theaters and specialty stores on military installations in all 50
states, five U.S. territories and 33 countries.
Since 1895, AAFES has helped soldiers,
airmen, guardians and their families to improve the quality of their lives by
providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange
is the 54th-largest retailer in the U.S.
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 participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the
following links: Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter