Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Competitive Grocerant Marketing

More often than not the question of the day is ‘What’s for Dinner’ the first thing consumers do today is think about asking Google What’s for Dinner.  A recent Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® study found every day at noon in the United States 83% of consumers do not know what’s for dinner, and at 4 PM 69% of consumer still do not know ‘What’s for Dinner’ according to our Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.
A  recent study by Market Track, which surveyed 16 product categories, 80% of respondents said they would do online price comparisons in all categories before making a purchase in a physical location. "Even with consumers indicating their preference to purchase items in-store, the highly competitive online environment is impacting brick-and-mortar results. Decreases in profit margins can be attributed to shoppers being armed with more pricing and comparison information,” said Traci Gregorski, senior vice president of marketing at Market Track.

Our Grocerant Guru® found that consumers begin thinking about ‘What’s for Dinner’ seriously by 4 PM. The ability of consumers construct a family meal utilizing real-time menu’s, special of the day, pricing and other online information such as ratings, locations and reviews at their disposal the path to purchase in many cases today can be found in the ‘palm of the consumers hand’ within the smartphone’.

In fact Market Track found that for those aged 21 to 29, 47% primarily shop via mobile, 31% indicate they prefer online and 22% prefer to make a purchase in store.  So the question becomes can your brand compete with marketing communications from the likes of Google, Amazon, or Facebook? Will consumers start buying dinner from Amazon instead of going out to dinner? The team at Foodservice Solutions® thinks that could be the case.

Amazon’s Click and Collect just might work after reading this in the Market Track study “Of all respondents, 87% shop on Amazon and 1 in 3 do so at least once a week. The selection of products is the No. 1 reason for shopping the e-commerce giant.”  If dinner, meal kits, or grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food are available at Amazon can you brand compete?  How often do consumers visit your App, website, or brick & mortar store?  Do they visit once a week, twice a week, three times a week, or once every 21 days?

Do your restaurant, grocery, convenience stores or grocerant marketing communication tactics and look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fresh is First within all categories of Foodservice

Regular followers of this blog know that grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits within all sectors of retail foodservice according to recent Nielsen data and Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Progressive Grocer’s 2017 Consumer Expenditures Study found Five key areas specifically caught our attention, and underscore deeper consumer motivations that will only continue to impact the competitive landscape in 2017 and beyond they are:

1.                   Fresh is foremost: Fresh produce and proteins continue to account for the majority of supermarket growth, while categories dominated by canned/shelved/boxed items are struggling. As consumers continue to gravitate to “real foods” and easy-to-understand ingredient lists, this trend will continue. Making different choices with key center store items while simultaneously driving private brands will be necessary to capitalize on this trend.
2.                   The health halo: Health perception is reality, and health-driven categories are growing (fresh, organic, healthy snacks), while products with perceived compromises lag. Meeting shoppers’ demand for a health “intellectual alibi” is critical, but overstepping on maximum health credentials will not pay dividends.
3.                   Excellent experiences: Alcohol and party foods won out over pantry-filling items last year, a continuation of the consumer’s appetite for new “experiences.” Supermarkets that note this need, and assort and merchandise around events/parties/celebrations, will enjoy a warm reception from consumers.
4.                   Instant gratification for the win: What used to be a need for convenience has evolved into demand for instant gratification on the go (e.g., meal kits or cereals), continuing to win out over time-intensive foods tied to a place. Many supermarkets are quickly moving to this offering, but being first to market with convenient products, highlighting prepared offerings and even innovating private-brand packaging to be ever more convenient will all add marks in the “W” column.
5.                   New is nice: Interestingly, categories driven by small/ new brands are driving growth, while those categories dominated by national brands are often in decline. While some might argue the correlation with the less loyal Millennial population, the trend is more pervasive than that, and consumers, as noted above, are fundamentally seeking new experiences, new products and new brands with which to foster relationships they can be proud of. Investing to prominently display new brands and products ensures that retailers are seen as on the leading edge as well.

Steven Johnson our own Grocerant Guru® has understood that new non-traditional avenues of fresh food distribution have been opening up over the course of the past five years.  All new avenues of fresh food distribution are experienced expanding customer trial and some have had very successful customer adoption. Is your company garnering new customers?  Do you know what food retail attributes are most attractive to consumers today? Does your brand look more like yesterday than tomorrow?

Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  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 a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Foodservice Sales a Battle for Share-of-Stomach

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson coined the term Grocerant after his first visit to Eatzi’s back in 1996.  Johnson and was published in both FoodService Director and Nation’s Restaurant News in August  the same year in an opinion article called, Call Them Grocerants.
Since 1996 Foodservice Solutions® primary focus has been assisting others drive top line sales and bottom line profits with the Grocerant Niche filled Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and what a journey it has been. 

The Grocerant Niche is all about Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food that is deemed ‘better-for-you’ by consumers.  It’s about the consumer migration away from traditional restaurant meals eaten out, away from CPG pantry stocking from legacy grocery stores, and away from high priced milk and bread from convenience stores too fresh food fast for takeout, takeaway, to-go, and drive-thru’s meals to go or delivered or in many cases today a simple meal kit. 

Foodservice retail today is about Share of Stomach.  The question becomes who is winning the battle of What’s for Dinner?  While foodservice trade media, the ilk of Progressive Grocer, Supermarket News, Nation’s Restaurant News, Convenience Store News and the National Restaurant Association all stepped up their focus on the grocerant niche each tries to define it as their own.  They are all wrong the grocerant niche is customer-centric. 

It’s the about the consumer and foodservice retailers battle for share of stomach. Defining it for your category only limits your ability to understand the customer, meal periods, the ‘new meal’, and accept that there are new avenues of fresh food distribution.

The team at suspects that all of the attention, accolade, and success that our own Grocerant Guru® has had helping industry titans and start-ups find success with in the grocerant niche has caused quite a stir. In fact daily readership of our blogs posted to our social media accounts has hit a new record of 26,250 views per day,   thank you.  

The team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® thanks all of you for assisting us become the global leader in the grocerant niche and maintain that leadership.  Why, all of the attention now? Increased customer migration, evolving consumer consumption patterns, and increased access to Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. 

Evolving meal occasions day-parts, channels, and snacking have help evolve the battle for Share of Stomach. The Grocerant niche is here to stay. Consumer migration from legacy points of fresh food distribution too new points of fresh food distribution that highlight take-out, take-away, and on-the-go consumption will continue to drive change in the retail foodservice landscape. 

Today the grocerant niche is fast becoming a disruptive force driven by ongoing customer migration according to our Grocerant Guru®. It’s was 2015 that we saw Americans spending more eating out than on groceries for the very first time.  That reallocation of spending has created by what Foodservice Solutions® team has coined Eating-Out while Eating-In.

Success does leave clues and since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  has picked up important customer relevant clues and exceled helping others drive top line sales and bottom line profits leveraging insights from those clues. You too can drive incremental top line sale and bottom line profits.  Visit: www.GrocerantGuru.com or Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us for information on how you can edify sales at your operation. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Amazon Courts Millennials

Edifying your foodservice brand with the most technology savvy set of consumers ever, Millennials is the goal of every foodservice retailer.  Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believes that Amazon is five steps ahead of everyone other retailer on the planet.
As Amazon debuts a “New Pickup Service for Need-It-Now Items it seems that it makes Fast Food Restaurants looking like a covered wagon.  Why? The new service will have your order is ready within two minutes at five locations at the first five locations that they roll them out at.  Yes, within TWO MINUTES.
Simply put Amazon is establishing new standards for delivery when it comes to meeting Millennials immediate demand, wanting what they want when they want it.  Instant Pickup, a free service offering Prime and Prime Student members a selection of daily essentials available for pickup in two minutes or less at five of Amazon's fully staffed pickup locations in Los Angeles; Atlanta; Berkeley, Calif.; Columbus, Ohio; and College Park, Md. 
Foodservice retailers does I ask you does your speed of service look more like a covered wagon than fresh fast food? Within the next twelve months will you service look more like 1999 or 2019 more like yesterday or tomorrow?
Here is why I ask Amazon’s Instant Pickup will include snacks, drinks and electronics, as well as some of Amazon's most popular devices. Remember the term ‘big data’ Amazon knows just what those Millennial college students what and when they want it.  This Instant PickUp is a big data driven ideation that will garner Millennials buy-In while edifying a branded relationship with Amazon that may last forever.
An Amazon spokesperson stated "As shopping behaviors continue to evolve, customers consistently tell us that they want items even faster. Whether it's a snack on-the-go, replacing a lost phone charger in the middle of a hectic day or adding Alexa to your life with an Echo, Instant Pickup saves Prime members time.”
Currently Amazon operates 22 staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses across the country. All Amazon customers can ship their orders to a pickup location, and Prime members receive Free Same-Day and One-Day delivery. So when was the last time you reviewed you operating standards?  Outside eyes can drive top line sales and bottom line profits. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869

Friday, August 18, 2017

What’s For Dinner? Odds Are Handheld Food for Immediate Consumption

What is the cost of your loyalty program according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma WA based Foodservice Solutions® it just might be time to evaluate if you are winning customers or buying them. 
With food cost deflation at hand and consumers still recovering from the great recession there is a battle for share of stomach underway. Today current research indicates that Portability and Price are key drivers of customer traffic in path to purchase according to Foodservice Solution® team. 

Back in the day Technomic edified Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Food Marketing  the undercurrents of change and success within the food industry were forever changed.  That changed can traced back directly too Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food marketing.

Increasingly the role of price and portability are being used with greater emphasis than ever before according to Foodservice Solutions® team. The clear result can be found in customer migration from legacy chain foodservice retailer to new non-traditional food retailers the ilk of Ikea

The FIVE P’s of Food Marketing were first introduced back in 1994. Since then they have been implemented, and integrated by foodservice companies including Full Service Restaurants, Chain Drug Stores, Grocery Stores, QSR’s, and C-Store clients.  The 5 P’s are:

After repeated successful retail food industry adoption of Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of Fresh Food Marketing, Technomic conducted qualitative and quantitative research then compiled the following infographic highlighting the importance and consumer relevance that portability play’s today.  The Technomic infographic is entitled Pertinence of Portability:

McDonald’s 2 for $2.50, Burger Kings 5 for $4 or Wendy’s 4 for $4 are targeting the 50% of consumers over the age of 18 that are single.  These are meals and priced to be pantry busters.  The simple fact is a single person cannot cook a hamburger at home for a $1.00.  Why would anyone cook from scratch and spend more money while earning less than they did before the great recession?

Food commodity deflation continues as a back drop, fast food retailers see an opportunity to drive solid customer counts increases in 2017 regaining customers lost to grocery stores and C-stores the past 8 years. You have all heard the old adage time is money.  Handheld food for immediate consumption is driving top line growth and bottom line profits while garnering market share in 2016 because time is money.

Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jack in the Box On Trend, On Technology, On Time

Success does leave clues and time and time again industry leading companies share success clues with us.  In the case of Jack in the Box evolving with the customer is something they have done very well and according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Jack in the Box’s ability to integrated technology with consumer relevance is one clue to their success. 
In a recent study conducted by Morgan Stanley found “The portion of restaurants’ sales coming from delivery could top 40% by 2020, roughly a sevenfold increase from current levels”.  Jack in the Box understands the consumer as well as any retailer in the food space thus they announced this week that they would expand food delivery with DoorDash using  Marble, the maker of autonomous ground-delivery robots”.

Yes, Robot delivery , it will be an on-demand delivery platform operating in more than 500 cities nationwide for DoorDash that will begin testing deliveries under a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under the pilot program, DoorDash will be using Marble’s robots to deliver customer orders in select neighborhoods.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with DoorDash as we continue to build towards the city of the future, a city in which on-demand delivery is accessible to everyone,” says Marble CEO Matt Delaney. “DoorDash has a strong reputation for top-tier restaurant partnerships and innovative logistics technology. We’re excited to have our robots work with them to expand options for delivery and reduce urban congestion across communities to create a more enjoyable neighborhood experience.”
To celebrate the Marble-DoorDash partnership and initial pilot program, the companies partnered with restaurant chain Jack in the Box in early August to test out a delivery in the North Beach neighborhood and showcase the partnership. This delivery demo expands upon the ongoing relationship between Jack in the Box and DoorDash, which recently increased Jack in the Box’s delivery options to more than 830 restaurants across 229 US cities. 
The Morgan Stanley report found “demand for off-premise transactions is surging most sharply for coffee and burger chains.  Almost half the respondent base (45%) had ordered delivery in the prior six months, and 85% had visited restaurants. In addition 43% of delivery patrons opted for at-home or at-office service instead of going to a restaurant, up from 38% in 2016.

Jack in the Box understands that the customer is dynamic not static and to maintain customer relevance they need to evolve with the consumer.  Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Firehouse Subs Evolving with Consumers

The consumers is dynamic not static and Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson as regular readers of this blog know chain restaurants muse be dynamic as well.  In the case of Firehouse Subs it is clear the chains leadership has the pulse of the consumer right.
When Firehouse Subs noticed a shift in customer traffic patterns they took a close look they found that the “Dine-in incidents declined as take-out business steadily rose”.  Don Fox, Firehouse’s CEO knew that was a problem.  In Firehouse’s DNA is its steamed meats and cheeses and just try wrapping those sandwiches in paper or foil, however, and the differentiator suddenly cuts the other way: The bread is soggy. Moisture builds up the food quality goes down.
Don Fox, Firehouse’s CEO stated “It’s just that it wasn’t as good as what we were serving in the dining room. In the dining room we don’t package the food at all,” … “We serve the food plated in a basket. Great visual appearance. Every sandwich made and heated to order. That’s the ideal serving condition.”
Once the problem was defined the team at Firehouse Subs focused on how to  bridge the to-go food quality gap. It took a lot of work to identify, quantify and qualify the problem and create a new system wide packaging lineup.
The new packaging It consists of three bagasse containers, which are “100 percent compostable eco-friendly material made from the fiber mass of sugarcane. There’s one for Firehouse’s new smaller subs, one for medium sandwiches, and a container ideal for large orders. The containers are also microwaveable and heat tolerant up to 212 degrees, designed to handle hot food, grease, and be cut resistant.”
Fox stated “From a green perspective, it’s an environmentalist’s dream. But the key benefit is it’s just excellent for the presentation of our product,” … “Far, far superior to anything we’ve done in recent years. We really feel we’re in the best position we’ve ever been to deliver an experience for our take-out customers that’s now on par with our dine-in experience.”
It must be noted that to execute and implement the change it too a year. Fox says Firehouse had to find a manufacturer who could produce the vast quantity his growing chain needed. It required tooling at the plants and ramp-up time.
“The manufacturing capacity out in the packaging universe was fairly limited,” Fox says. “… The logistical challenges were a little different because the cube size for shipping was a lot different than the wraps. It does add cost to the PNL but we feel it’s well worth the investment on the PNL to improve the guest experience on the off-premise consumption.”
Success does leave clues and identifying, quantifying, and qualifying a problem is step two.  Step one is our success clue of the day the customer is dynamic not static paying attention to the consumer first. 

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 Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant