Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Circle K Testing Alcohol Delivery and More


New electricity can give a brand a buzz according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. In a new partnership with Saucey, Circle K just might be able to give its customers a buzz.

In case you did not know Saucey, is a delivery platform that offers ASAP and scheduled alcohol deliveries straight to consumers' doorsteps. Thus, this partnership might not only create new electricity for Circle K brand but it is creating quite a buzz in the foodservice sector as well.  Once again, the line between food retail sectors is burring in the minds-eye of the consumer getting thinner and thinner as technology elevates key consumers touchpoints.

Circle K customers in Ohio and Arizona. New markets include Cleveland, Toledo, Akron and Youngstown, Ohio; and Phoenix, Tucson and other municipalities in Arizona; can place an order through Saucey's website or app for selections ranging from a bottle of wine to a six-pack of beer to a variety of convenience items, including soda, candy, snacks and more.

News of the partnership comes soon after the retailer's parent company, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., announced increased focus on delivery and distribution, including the investment of nearly $55 million by its Circle K Venture Fund.

Chris Vaughn, CEO and Founder of Saucey, stated, "We're thrilled to be able to expand our delivery range in the midwest," ... "Demand for convenience items in tandem with alcohol has been steadily on the rise for years. Through this new partnership, we're able to provide even more Ohio residents with a broader assortment of products in even more categories than previously available."

Vaughn continued, "Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for the delivery of alcohol, food, consumer goods and basic convenience items has skyrocketed".

Yet there is more as Circle K is taking another swipe at the grocery sector food has partnered with online grocer Farmstead to explore innovative supply chain, distribution, e-commerce fulfillment and marketing models. Regular readers of this blog know that the Halo of better for you is a mainstay within the grocerant niche. 

Now, Farmstead is the first online grocery brand to offer fresh produce, locally sourced fare plus national brands, delivered for free, at better prices than local supermarkets. That’s a big thing within the C-store sector. The partnership is expected to bring notable advancements to both parties’ operations:

·         Opening up new formats for e-commerce fulfillment in U.S. suburbs using Farmstead’s Grocery OS tech stack and Circle K’s retail footprint

·         Improving Farmstead’s national supply chain for non-perishables and convenience items

·         Collaborating on distribution

·         Co-marketing across a variety of new projects

In addition to forging a commercial agreement with Farmstead, Circle K has made an equity investment in the company via its Circle K Venture Fund, which was created to invest in companies developing forward-looking solutions that are shaping the future of convenience.

Circle K is proud to have invested in Farmstead, as part of its effort to cultivate and support retail innovation that transforms the customer experience in its stores and beyond.

Pradeep Elankumaran, co-founder and CEO at Farmstead, said the market is in the early innings of significant change in the U.S. food system, which requires new supply and technological alliances. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Circle K on that journey,” he said, “with its scale and decades of multinational experience in the convenience industry, and to be advancing with Circle K as an investor.”

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.”  That said, what are you waiting for?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All 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. 

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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