Thursday, April 26, 2018

Consumers Are Experiencing 7-Eleven All Over Again



On a regular basis client’s call us and ask ‘What new food item is hot, What’s driving sales?’ The one thing that Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® continues to pontificate on is  that consumer discovery is not one thing it is a combination of new menu items consisting for grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared portable food and service’.
Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist according to Johnson it is in the bundled offering of increased fresh foods that consumers are finding discovery, product  trial and where customer migration is taking place. 
Not surprising to the team at Foodservice Solutions® convenience store chain 7-Eleven made the cut of the top retailers delivering quality customer experience. In fact 7-Eleven achieved a rating of 73 percent in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual customer experience benchmark of companies based on a survey of 10,000 consumers in the United States. 
Temkin Group asked the consumers to evaluate their recent experiences with a company across three dimensions: Success (can you do what you want to do?), Effort (how easy is it to work with the company?), and Emotion (how do you feel about the interactions?). These three scores were then averaged to produce each company's rating. A score of 70 percent or above is considered "good" and a score of 80 percent or above is considered "excellent."
The retail industry overall averaged a 74-percent rating in the 2018 Temkin Experience Ratings, placing retail in third place out of the 20 industries rated. Leading the retailers were Ace Hardware and Dollar Tree, which tied for first place with a rating of 82 percent. Rounding out the top five were Family Dollar (81 percent), BJ's Wholesale Club (80 percent) and Amazon.com (79 percent).
"Ace Hardware and Family Dollar lead a strong group of retailers. In fact, more than three-quarters of retailers earned good or excellent scores," said Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group.
More good news for retailers is that the average rating of the retail industry improved over the last year, rising 0.5 percentage points from 73.9 percent to 74.4 percent between 2017 and 2018.
Looking for new fresh foods to drive your sales? Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us  the 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. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Little Caesars Bounces Success


A restaurant brand is an invitation to a platform of food, flavor, and fun according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  For Little Caesars this year’s NCAA basketball tournament proved to be an invaluable platform for new electricity to drive brand trial and adoption.
Little Caesar Enterprises. store visits spike on April 2 thanks to the pizza brand’s unexpected “If Crazy Happens” promotion, according to consumer analytics firm Sense360. That right Little Caesars offered a free $5 “Hot-N-Ready” lunch combo if a No. 16-seed team were to upset a No. 1-seed team during the NCAA’s annual March Madness college basketball tournament.
And “Crazy Happened,” A Little Caesars company spokesperson said. .
Eli Portnoy, CEO and co-founder of Los Angeles-based Sense 360  said “Amazingly, this unprecedented event occurred when the University of Maryland Baltimore County beat the University of Virginia,” Sense 360 aggregates anonymous data from more than 100 million yearly restaurant visits and more than 300,000 yearly survey responses. The data is gathered daily according to Sense 360.
Little Caesars made good on its promise, offering the free pizza combos to anyone visiting between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on April 2. “This huge promotion caused their Brand Draw to spike from 5 percent over the past 365 days all the way to 11 percent during this promotion, which would place them in our Top 10 for that day,” Portnoy said.
Portnoy said Sense360’s “Brand Draw” metric looks at the percent of market share that a brand attracts within half a mile of each of locations. “This metric normalizes the playing field for a brand with 400 locations vs 4,000 locations,” he said, “as it just looks determines how often guests choose a brand versus all other competitors when they are within striking distance.” 
According to Sense360 data, the traffic lift was substantial. 
“The pizza chain generated a 154 percent lift in visits during the promotion while grabbing 2.95 percent of all LSR [limited-service restaurant] visits,” Portnoy said. “The promotion also did a nice job bringing in new and lapsed guests, with over 52 percent of visitors during the promotion being either new or lapsed.” 
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

C-stores New Electricity equals New Products


Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® understands that consumers are dynamic not static and that brands need to be dynamic as well.  One way he suggest convenience stores stay dynamic is with new Ready-2-Eat, Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and new CPG products as they help drive the new electricity need to elevate brand relevance. Success does leave clues
Johnson continues to pointed out over the past several years that empowering consumer choice around grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food would garner incremental customer transactions, larger share of food dollars, and larger share of stomach.
C-store are t\are going to thrive they will new a new electricity to drive incremental top line sales and bottom line profits with new strategic partnerships. According to Johnson; partnerships specifically strategic partnerships with CPG manufactures that offing new product in 2018. 
Johnson stated “in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as digital hand held marketing, local fresh food,  grocerant consultants, better-for-you food and food products, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, delivery, and voice ordering.
The next generation of C-store retail must embrace artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar but with a twist.  IRI in a New Product Pacesetter report found: “All of the top 10 convenience channel Pacesetters are pure indulgence products (except for bottled water), which reflects consumers' ongoing desire for healthier-for-you indulgences”
Thousands of new brands hit retail shelves during 2017, with 49 percent of the top-ranking brands hailing from small manufacturers — defined as those earning less than $1 billion annually — and accounting for 26 percent of Pacesetter dollars. Overall, the top-selling 200 new brands captured cumulative year-one sales of more than $4.6 billion.
Note IRI found that the top 100 food and beverage champions, median year-one sales were $14.5 million, excluding outlier Halo Top, which earned year-one sales of $342.2 million (ranked No. 1).
All of the top 10 New Product Pacesetter brands were new market entrants, though many of these benefited from the equity their manufacturers already enjoy in the marketplace, like Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee (No. 3), Nestlé Splash (No. 4) and Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch (No. 7), according to IRI.
In the dinner sector, the largest launch was SmartMade by Smart Ones (No. 6), a frozen meal inspired by ingredients and cooking techniques used at home. Eighteen of the 76 food Pacesetters are breakfast solutions, which cater to consumers at both ends of the wellness spectrum by offering both indulgent flavor experiences, such as Kellogg's Cinnamon Frosted Flakes (No. 19) and healthier, on-the-go options, like Jimmy Dean Delights Frittatas (No. 23).
So just what is your New Electricity? 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.  If you are manufacture do you have an ideal target client? If you are a retailer are you looking for the perfect ideation? Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us

Monday, April 23, 2018

Royal Cup Coffee & Tea Expands Brand Relevance



Success does leave clues and companies the ilk of Royal Cup Coffee & Tea has collected many clues since 1896 creating a platform for success according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
To that end simply look at Royal Cup Coffee & Tea’s home page here is how it starts: “with appreciation and reverence, we acknowledge the past with excitement and optimism, we work toward the future” The simple fact is since 1896 Royal Cup Coffee & Tea have evolved with successfully with consumers.
Now they are diving head first into the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat beverages and food.  Royal Cup Coffee & Tea, has found new electricity with a new line of shelf-stable, ready-to-drink cold brew coffees the company’s first liquid product introduction following its acquisition of Icebox Coffee.
Johnson believes there is one dominate element that will power success within retail foodservice over the coming years.  Johnson calls it the new electricity that is partnerships specifically strategic partnerships.   The new electricity must be very efficient for the supply which includes
Restaurants, supermarkets, conveniences stores, dollar stores, and department stores selling fresh food and drinks.  Retailers the ilk of Royal Cup Coffee & Tea  that want to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food

That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships that create incremental points of distribution more now than ever before according to Johnson. The new cold brew line at Royal Cup Coffee & Tea includes three flavors: French Roast, French Roast Lightly Sweetened and Rain Forest Bold, a Rainforest Alliance (RFA) Certified cold brew. Each flavor profile carefully was selected through extensive research and testing of multiple cold brew blends and competitive products.

Bill Smith, CEO at Royal Cup  stated “We are thrilled to reveal the launch of Royal Cup’s first shelf-stable, ready-to-drink cold brew line—the result of many months of hard work, impressive collaboration and timely execution,” .. “As an organization, we are committed to innovation and to identifying new ways to produce, market and sell the coffee and specialty beverages our customers have come to know and love.”
What new avenues of distribution is your company looking at?  Are you evolving with consumers?  Is your brand ‘looking a customer ahead’? Do you have the partnerships in place to drive incremental sales and long term profits? Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us has done just that.  Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tops Friendly Markets Finds Success with Chef’d Meal Kit’s



Grocery stores must continue to evolve with consumers or risk capitulating more and more customers as they migrate to new avenues of fresh food distribution according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
After a successful debut of Chef’d meal kits late last fall, Tops Friendly Markets has expanded the line, which is now available in more than 80 stores. Customer relevance is equals new electricity for Tops Markets team. 
Johnson believes there is one dominate element that will power success within retail foodservice over the coming years.  Johnson calls it the new electricity that is partnerships specifically strategic partnerships.   The partnership with Chef’d is clearly the new electricity for consumers.  Grocery stores
that want to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing new partnerships with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food suppliers

Jeff Culhane, SVP of merchandising for Williamsville, Tops Markets stated  “Chef'd answers the question for the person who says, ‘I still want to feel like I've done all the cooking myself, but I don't want to dedicate two hours to go through the whole process,’” …“They are a great option for those looking for a well-balanced meal, too,” he said, pointing to fresh ingredients and minimal preservatives, which provide “a good balance between protein, carbs, and veggies.”
In addition to Weeknight Chicken Pad Thai and Herb Crusted Flank Steaks, the latest additions to Tops’ subscription-free Chef’d meal kits include:
  • 20 Clove Garlic Chicken
  • Black Truffle Butter Sirloin Steak
  • Smoky Maple Pork Loin
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • Fried Chicken and Waffles 
This helps Chef’d grow as Tops Markets operates 169 full-service supermarkets. Where are you selling food today?  Consumers are dynamic not static is your brand evolving with consumers fast enough?  Where is your new electricity? What new avenues of distribution are you developing?
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




Saturday, April 21, 2018

Doing Good Is ‘Better-4-Businnes’ at White Castle


Lifelong customers are an attribute to any brand as they provided a platform to build top line sales and bottom line profits; according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based www.FoodserviceSolutions.us White Castle understand the importance of life long customers and is going pursuing a new generation of consumers.
Recently White Castle, announced a new partnership with Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, Gilmarie. The artist’s new song, Make a Bold Move, was co-commissioned by White Castle and is featured in the chain’s new Hispanic national advertising campaign, and downloads of the song will directly benefit her dream of attending Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2018.
White Castle has new electricity in doing good.  How do you plan to drive incremental top line sales and bottom line profits according to Johnson; partnerships specifically strategic partnerships will be driving retail success in 2018. Are you looking for a partnership to drive sales?  
Johnson stated “in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as digital hand held marketing, music, local fresh food,  grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, better-for-you, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, delivery, and voice ordering.
Make A Bold Move, which was released on International Women’s Day, is dedicated to the empowerment of young Cravers and encourages them to be bold to keep working to achieve their dreams. Helping young women, Hispanic’s, and the Arts  White Castle, is doing all of the right things to edify a relationship with today’s customers and tomorrows White Castle’s brand fans. . 
 Gilmarie stated “I’m more than grateful for the opportunity White Castle has given me. My dad grew up blocks away from White Castle in New York, so everything that’s happening is of great significance to me and my family. It gives me the motivation to keep working hard to achieve my dreams,
Gilmarie continued “During the process of writing the song after hurricane Maria, I knew I was reminding myself that I had dreams to follow, and if I worked hard enough, they were going to come true. I then realized that there are many other young people out there with their own dreams, and this song could help to inspire to them.”
Are you looking for a new electricity to drive sales? 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 have the clue you need to propel your continued success.


Friday, April 20, 2018

Grubhub & Venmo Complements Millennial & GEN Z’s Path to Purchase


Foodservice Solutions® interns have used Venmo to pay restaurant bills, bar bills, rent, and utilities bills in the past. Venmo is a platform that invites sharing eases the path to payment and edifies relationships between friends.
When the team at Foodservice Solutions® read that Grubhub was going to up the enter a venture with Venmo to drive awareness with its cashless payment options for time-pressed diners, especially Millennials our team wondered aloud ‘wow what a perfect fit.’
Grubhub a leading online and mobile ordering platform thousands of restaurants has partnered with Venmo, a peer-to-peer payment app favored by younger diners. The integration allows restaurant customers to pay bills or split a virtual check using PayPal’s Venmo.
Sam Hall, chief product officer for Grubhub stated “Adding the ‘split the bill’ feature provides an additional level of convenience our diners have come to expect from us. This is a big deal because Grubhub has a portfolio of other apps, such as Eat24 and Seamless, work with more than 80,000 restaurants in 1,600 U.S. cities and London. Diners ordering from restaurants such as Burger King, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, Wienerschnitzel, Subway, Krispy Kreme and Buffalo Wild Wings can now pay using their Venmo account.
Grubhub said more than 60 percent of the company’s orders are placed on mobile devices, so the partnership with Venmo makes sense. The app also allows users to send a payment to other Venmo users via iMessage on iPhones with iOS 10 or later.
Now think about this for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, Venmo processed $10.4 billion in payments, an increase of 86 percent year over year. Peer-to-peer payment users are projected to grow to 126 million by 2020, from 53 million in 2014, according to Statista. Grubhub and Venmo can complement consumer’s choice of payment options at your retail foodservice operation. 
So just what is your New Electricity? 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