Thursday, October 6, 2022

Food Retailers Looking Ahead with Non-Traditional Partnerships


Thinking outside of the box can help you understand why and where your customers are shopping when they are not shopping at your food outlet.  More important looking outside the box can help you look a customer ahead according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  

Convenience store retail giant BP is teaming up with Hertz to develop a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations powered by BP Pulse, the company's global electrical and charging solution brand according to Johnson that is looking a customer ahead while literally building new electricity for the BP brand.

A recently signed memorandum of understanding sets the foundation for Hertz and BP to drive the future of mobility and accelerate EV consumer adoption, according to the company.

The agreement includes the management of Hertz's charging infrastructure by BP Pulse and the customization of its Omega software, which will support Hertz's fleet of electric rental cars by automating charging when the power price is low, while providing real-time visibility to EVs, chargers and power usage.

Hertz's footprint across North America will allow BP Pulse to build and manage a network of fast-charging hubs to serve the general public and Hertz customers, including taxi and ride sharing drivers.

Vic Shao, founder of Amply Power and president of BP Pulse's fleet division in the United States, stated, "This is a landmark moment. It shows the power of bringing together BP's digital and operational capabilities with a partner like Hertz," ... "Together with its industry-leading electrification ambitions, we can change the future of electric rental cars."

Hertz has assembled a fleet of EVs through large-scale purchases from Tesla, Polestar and General Motors. Its objective is for a quarter of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024, with continued growth through acquisitions from various EV manufacturers.

The rental car company expects its partnership with BP Pulse to substantially expand its national charging footprint.

Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr, stated, "Hertz is accelerating the adoption of electrification by investing in the largest rental fleet of electric vehicles in North America and expanding the availability of charging stations,"  ... "We are excited to partner with BP Pulse to create a national charging infrastructure for the Hertz EV fleet, thereby growing the number of charging options available to our customers and providing them with a premium electric experience and lower emission travel options."

BP acquired fleet charging and energy management company Amply Power in 2021 as part of its commitment to grow mobility and fleet products and services in North America. Amply Power was later rebranded as BP Pulse and began installing charging infrastructure at 25 Hertz rental locations in multiple states in 2022.

Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, stated, "It's brilliant to be joining forces with Hertz — quite simply, they are one of the biggest names on the road,"... "Working together to deliver charging facilities and design solutions, we believe we can take the EV driving experience to the next level for U.S. customers. And this is just the start for BP Pulse in the United States."

So, BP Pulse is expanding its global network of high-speed charging for cars, light commercial vehicle, and trucks with the goal of reaching more than 100,00 chargers by 2030, with about 90 percent of those being rapid or ultra-fast chargers. The company also is partnering with fleet operators to accelerate the electric transformation of their fleets.

Building a Larger Share of Stomach Requires

Looking A Customer Ahead with

Outside the Box Partnerships

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.” 

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, smaller footprint, developing brands, fresh flowers, 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 according to Johnson. 

Houston-based BP has different retail models across the U.S., ranging from company-owned retail stores, strategic partnerships, brand licensing, wholesale, business-to-business, dealer-owned and franchise-owned. Its mobility and convenience brands in the U.S. currently include BP, Amoco, ampm and Thorntons.

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

The Grocerant Guru

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Everytable Expanding the Halo of Better For You


Building a brand with the ‘halo’ of better for you is the undercurrent driving a number of chain restaurant start-ups, and one outstanding grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food retailer. That retailer is Everytable as regular readers of this blog know our own Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson believes “Everytable has the best messaging within the food retail space and has created an outstanding price, value, service equilibrium that few if any in the food space can compete with.”

Recently, Everytable committed to expanding access to underserved residents by ensuring that at least half of the next 100 Everytable retail locations will serve low food access areas and that all retail locations participate in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program, where available.

In case you did not know, Everytable is a mission-driven food company that fights for food justice by making nutritious, fresh, and delicious food accessible and affordable for all, has announced its commitment in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

So, Everytable founder Sam Polk, together with Social Equity Franchise candidate Dee Adimora attended this momentous conference held by the White House for the first time in fifty years with a goal of “ending hunger, improving nutrition and physical activity, and reducing diet-related diseases and disparities.” 

At the recent White House conference, White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, Adimora spoke on the panel “Making Healthy Choices Easy: Why improving food environments matters” where she shared her experience with hunger, and the barriers against making healthy food choices as a former fast-food worker. Adimora worked in the fast-food industry for 30 years before she joined Everytable: “I ate where I worked,” which eventually led to a surprising diabetes diagnosis. Now, Adimora shares her experiences with Everytable customers looking for a healthy alternative. Adimora focused her message on access and the critical role that affordability plays in providing more nutritious food choices. "We can have the access but if it’s not affordable for everyone it doesn’t make sense,” said Adimora.

In conjunction with the White House conference, Everytable announced that Store Managers like Adimora will be able to own their own franchise location. Everytable’s innovative Social Equity Franchise Program fosters economic empowerment among entrepreneurs from marginalized communities by providing a clear and supported path to business ownership. Serving as a model approach to franchising, a system largely devoid of diversity and representation by people of color and women, the program provides critical access to capital for qualifying graduates plus in-depth, hands-on training to empower and prepare entrepreneurs to operate Everytable restaurants in their own communities. Everytable commits to expanding this program beyond Los Angeles with an intention to invest $100 million in providing financial capital, training, and mentorship to aspiring small business owners across the country.

Sam Polk, CEO, Everytable, stated, “My personal definition of success is when Dee and thousands of other talented entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds grow wealth through owning multiple Everytable franchises. We will be closing the racial wealth gap, and promoting food equity, one person at a time,”.

Addressing affordability, Everytable commits to expanding access to underserved residents by ensuring that at least half of the next 100 Everytable retail locations will serve low food access areas and that all retail locations participate in the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program, where available. Even as inflation drives up food costs, Everytable will keep meals priced affordably between $5-10. Additionally, Everytable is re-launching its Pay It Forward program allowing guests to purchase a meal for someone in need, now in partnership with nonprofits in every market where Everytable stores are located.

Additionally, Everytable commits to growing its pilot program of medically tailored meals currently only in Los Angeles County across the country to include additional health plans and providers. Everytable will also work to add dietician-approved menu items across all business channels including stores and e-commerce to meet the nutritional needs of people with diet-related disease, such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic kidney disease.

Polk continued, “We believe access to affordable and nutritious food is a human right,” … “By expanding these programs we’re continuing the fight for food justice, and supporting the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of ending hunger and increasing healthy eating.”

Everytable believes it is a revolutionary ready-to-eat concept with meals priced according to each zip code’s median income, and chef-prepared meals made from scratch in a central commissary kitchen, Everytable’s business model drastically reduces the cost of standard restaurant operations.

Everytable stated it has made an immense impact on underserved communities growing to 44 storefronts total, including over 25 stores opened in 2022 alone and is on track to finish the year with 54 locations total. In 2021, the company expanded beyond the greater Los Angeles area into Orange County and San Diego County. This spring, Everytable launched its e-commerce delivery service in the Bay Area with plans to open storefronts in the Bay Area in 2023. Furthering the brand's expansion beyond Southern California, Everytable also opened its first four New York locations this spring, with a total of six stores slated to open by the end of the year.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Does your messaging look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Targeting Digital Natives Walmart Ups its Games


Walmart is targeting the next generation of consumers with interactive participatory marketing that it hopes to edify its relationship with a new generation of consumers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  

In what it hopes is branding coup, Walmart recently debuted 2 digital play experiences that tie back into products and the store experience. Going where the digital natives are Walmart is expanding its leadership with new omnichannel options for Gen Z.

Walmart recently introduced two spaces in the popular Roblox platform. Through Roblox, users can virtually explore Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.

Is this gaming or a foot in the door of the metaverse? So, Walmart Land features several immersive experiences, such as a virtual store of merchandise dubbed “verch.” The digital space also offers three experiences, including an Electric Island inspired by music festivals, a House of Style with virtual dressing rooms and posing challenges and Electric Fest, a motion-capture celebration with performances by popular artists. On that note, celebrities are part of the entertainment, like Noah Schnapp of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and country artist Kane Brown.

Then Walmart’s Universe of Play provides content for entertainment and also highlights popular toys ahead of the holiday season. Users in this community can check out different toy worlds and take part in immersive games with branded products and characters. The Universe of Play also enables users to unlock rewards, including coins that are redeemable for their avatar’s verch.

Most the readers of this blog will have to ask their kids or grandkids to go online and give them a try  on

Anyone can freely access Walmart Land on and discover Walmart’s Universe of Play on any device including PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon devices, Xbox consoles, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

In case you did not know, by opening up these experiences through the Roblox platform – which claims to encompass 52 million daily users – Walmart is seeking to connect with younger and digitally-active consumers.

William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S., stated, "We’re showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,"… "Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play."

Each week, Walmart has approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. This will be an interesting first step into the Metaverse for Walmart and a potential bumper branding bonanza.

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

Monday, October 3, 2022

Help Subway Cater Teachers Lunches


School is well underway in most of the USA and teachers are scrambling to lean every student’s name, create good weekly lesson plans, and enjoin students with the love of learning.  The team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® encourages everyone to help Subway by submitting a nomination for a Subway catered teachers lunch at your school.

Subway and ezCater announced the Catering for Educators contest, encouraging nominations for hardworking educators who will win one of 2,022 Subway catered lunches. In a recent survey, more than half of teachers said they work through their lunch break, and nearly 40% said they skip meals to get work done.

Subway and its franchisees across the country, in partnership with ezCater, are stepping up to honor and appreciate educators and school faculty for their efforts to educate our youth – especially after the back-to-school buzz fades.

Starting September 21, people can log on to to nominate the faculty and staff at their favorite school, and tell America why these educators need to be celebrated with a free Subway catered lunch. The nomination period runs through September 30, and people can nominate one school per day. On October 27, Subway and ezCater will team up to deliver Subway catered lunches to the 2,022 schools with the most nominations, all in a single day.

"Our schools and their talented, hardworking staff are the bedrock of our communities, and the sacrifices they make as part of their job often go unnoticed," says Jenn Saunders-Haynes, Director of Catering at Subway. "Alongside our ezCater partner and our 11,000 franchisees across the country, we are proud to step up to recognize educators and faculty. ezCater's nationwide catering platform and expertise in feeding workplaces make them the perfect partner for the Catering for Educators effort. We look forward to receiving the nominations and learning about the incredible individuals nurturing our next generation."

"Lunch, and a lunch break, are essential to everyone's workday," says Mike O'Hanlon, Chief Customer Care and Operations Officer at ezCater. "We are thrilled to partner with Subway to help grow their catering business and to give hardworking teachers and faculty some recognition and a much-needed break."

The 2,022 catered sandwich deliveries feature Subway's 'refreshed ' catering options which launched earlier this year, as part of Subway's transformation journey to improve across all aspects of the brand. Headlined by new and easy-order menu choices, convenient delivery and pick-up options, as well as improved packaging, Subway's new catering program is designed to make group dining occasions even better. As part of its catering overhaul, Subway also debuted as one of the largest catering providers on the ezCater marketplace, a leading nationwide corporate food solution.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter


Sunday, October 2, 2022

What’s for Dinner, for Generation Z, its Fast Food First.


Success does leave clues and if you want too garner the attention of Gen Z consumers you had better start thinking like a QSR according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® who stated “David Portalatin and his team at NPD left plenty of success clues on how to garner new Gen Z consumers in a new report from NPD.  Here lets take a look:

The new report from NPD reveals that older Generation Z consumers, ages 18 to 24, in the United States are discerning when choosing restaurants. Noting although price matters to this group, their taste preferences and definition of value dictate the type of restaurants they visit. ... Gen Zs skew towards quick-service restaurants (QSRs), particularly fast-casual restaurants that balance value and a focused menu.  

David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America, stated, "Now is the time to reach these young adults as they enter their peak restaurant usage stage," said. "Restaurant operators can differentiate their brand with Gen Zs by focusing on creative spins on classic foods, engaging relevant messaging, and generating value beyond price." Gen Z Menu Preferences and more:

1.       NPD highlighted that when deciding to eat out, Gen Zs choose the food they want before the restaurant. Many are seeking more from their restaurant foods and beverages, including local, low-calorie, organic, sustainable and plant-based options.

2.       When it comes to choosing what to eat, classic menu items — like burgers and chicken options that are unique, craveable, and can't be replicated at home — appeal to this group. Snack-oriented foods, bottled water, and non-carbonated soft drinks are also popular with Gen Zs.

3.       Chicken sandwich offerings are essential to Gen Zs, particularly those with value price points or a spicy profile, added NPD, which recently merged with Information Resources Inc. to create a leading global technology, analytics and data provider.

4.       In the past 12 months ending July 2022, Gen Zs made 5 billion restaurant visits; 4.3 billion of those visits were to QSRs and 736 million were to full-service restaurants.

5.       Quick-service traffic was flat compared to a year ago, while Gen Zs fast casual visits were up 4 percent in the period compared to a year ago. Members of the consumer group favor major fast-casual chains that provide the menu items they want, value for the money, and messaging that reflects their interests, like organics and sustainability, according to NPD's recently released Winning Gen Z Consumers study. 

6.       The report also discovered an increase in spending in categories like apparel and overall inflationary pressures have heightened Gen Z's price sensitivity, in which half of the consumer group revealed that higher menu prices have impacted their restaurant visits.

We recommend, you take some time and check out just what, The NPD Group has to help clients grow their businesses in today's retail landscape and prepare for the future. 

Or if you are, looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Winning New Lunch and Dinner Customers Requires Starting with an Invitation


Recent Grocerant Scorecards reveal that 34.7% of customers at your restaurant are first time visitors.  If you want to garner new customer you must extend a branded invitation with customer relevance according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

A new report from Intouch Insight Ltd. found that convenience does not trump brand loyalty for today's consumers. For example, the report found that when it comes to coffee, 70 percent of shoppers prefer their favorite brand over the most convenient cup. Brand messaging can help you tell your story, sell your food, and promote your service according to Johnson.

Cameron Watt, president and CEO at Intouch Insight, stated, "In a world where channel blurring is forcing c-stores to compete with other verticals such as grocery or quick-service-restaurants, leaders need to go beyond being the most convenient option to being one that also offers top-quality products, speedy and accurate service, and a variety of shopping methods,".

Let’s get to it, when it comes to foodservice, 76 percent of consumers have purchased ready-made meals at a c-store, with these numbers rising higher among shoppers in their 30s (87 percent). The quality of ready-made food also rated highly among respondents, but for c-stores to remain competitive, they must maximize the reasons why their shoppers would choose their brand over a traditional competitor, according to the Convenience Store Trends Report. 

Now, Intouch Insight found, consumers gravitated toward c-stores for grab-and-go meals because they can purchase gas at the same time, it can be faster than a drive-thru and it is located along their commute. However, they can be steered away because of high prices and lack of alternative shopping methods that allow them to remain in their vehicle.

While consumer adoption of alternative last-mile services such as curbside, delivery, and mobile ordering was initially slow, the report also shows a 47 percent increase in use among c-store since Fall 2021. Overall, prepared food and groceries are the most popular purchases, bought most frequently through third-party apps.

Watt continued, "We found that a vast majority of those who purchased fuel from a c-store preferred to keep their transactions at the pump. At the same time, shoppers are increasingly engaging with convenience retailers through third-party applications and delivery services, which implies that c-store operators are going to have to find new ways to make room for in-person customer interaction,". "Now more than ever, it's critical to ensure shoppers feel acknowledged and valued no matter how they are engaging with your brand."

The report also revealed that loyalty programs are a strong tool to attract more customers and influencer purchases. Ninety-four percent of consumers are part of at least one loyalty program, and 76 percent would choose a brand with one over a competitor. 

The report noted that, convenience stores didn't even crack the top three most popular types of programs trailing behind grocery, restaurants and fast food. According to Intouch Insight, mystery shopping data showed that only 28 percent of cashiers mentioned their c-store's loyalty program and not all locations had signage/materials promoting the program.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Does your messaging look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.