Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Should a Restaurant Evolve into a Grocerant


Regular readers of this blog know that as restaurants continue to evolve in foodservice the most likely space and best fit just might be the Grocerant Niche. That space is wide open it is not dominated by Restaurants, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores, Drug Stores, or Dollar stores according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson; who stated “retail foodservice is now about the consumer empowerment, complexity free food, it’s about Grocerant Ready-2-Eat, and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.

The battle is one for share of stomach the retail channel is less important than ever.”

A Grocerant is a term used to describe any retailer that sells fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Today, it can be any retailer from Ikea to a traditional brick-N-mortar outlet the ilk of Kroger, ecommerce outlet like Amazon, or non-traditional retailer the ilk of Everytable or Green Zebra Grocery. The word Grocerant and term Grocerant Niche were coined by Steven Johnson of Foodservice Solutions® shortly after the first Eatzi’s opened in Dallas, Texas in 1996. 

The word / term GROCERANT first appeared published in an Op-Ed article titled “CALL THEM GROCERANTS in Foodservice Director, August15, 1996. Then again in an Op-Ed article titled “Home-meal-replacement niche is the future of foodservice” in Nation’s Restaurant News, August 191996. Both authored by our own Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson


Success does leave clues and Foodservice Solutions® has left many.  In fact, you all know the old adage “imitation is the highest form of flattery” we the industry leading team at Foodservice Solutions® is FLATTERED.  Let’s look at what other just now singing the praises of the grocerant niche are saying:

  1. "Neither restaurants nor grocery stores are the future of food shopping. Instead, what could dominate is a hybrid of the two – grocerants." - Forbes
  2. Grocerants have already become the second most appealing of all foodservice segments in North America. According to a recent survey by Datassential, value and customer service are viewed as the key strengths of this emerging segment that make it so appealing. In fact, 18% of consumers in the U.S. are buying grocery prepared food more frequently this year.
  3. The grocerant trend is taking off in Europe as well, with several key retailers investing in the concept. Across the modern trade landscape in Europe, we see numerous retailers looking to lure millennials into their stores with grocerant offerings. Auchan Poland has rolled out Bistro snacking corners, and Ahold Delhaize has introduced instore foodservice bakeries. Their Deli Kitchen foodservice points are located within the actual selling area and offer both takeaway meals and a seating area for instore consumption.
  4. In addition to salads, dessert bakery items and breakfast bakery items are the top grocerant prepared foods that consumers want to purchase. More than anything, consumers are buying prepared food from groceries to replace a meal. But these same consumers view fresh bakery items as a key part of the meal. Carrying the right assortment of fresh bakery items – muffins and croissants for breakfast; cake slices, squares, and brownies for dessert – creates opportunities to capitalize on this growth.
  5. In-store advertising is critical to the success of grocerants, as most consumers learn about grocerant offerings once they're inside the store. Signage above serving stations and at the entrance to the store are the most preferred and popular ways of communicating grocerant offerings. In addition to offering the right products at the right prices, it's also important to optimize store placement and promotion. Don't assume consumers will find your grocerant offering – tell them you have fresh prepared meals and desserts that provide the quality and convenience they seek.
  6. Grocerants offering amenities most commonly found at LSR's should realize the strongest growth. According to a recent survey by Datassential, the grocerant amenities most appealing to consumers include: 1) beverage fountain in seating area, 2) large condiment / plastic silverware / napkin station, and 3) remote seating area. In-store execution will continue to be a major driver in trip conversion. Offering amenities that make it more appealing for shoppers to consume a meal in the grocery store should greatly enhance the likelihood of grocerant success.

Success does leave clues  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed, Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email:

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