Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Little Caesars Technology will Fuel Growth

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson says that ‘looking a customer ahead’ is what industry leading companies do time and time again.  This week we learned that Little Caesars filed a patent to increase store profitability when they applied for a patent for pizza making robot.
According to the United States Trademark and Patent Office USTPO the patent granted franchisor Little Caesars Enterprises on Tuesday, the device can pull a dough-loaded pizza pan from a rack, press out the dough, apply sauce, add cheese and toppings and then place the pie in an oven.
While Little Caesars has commented about the possible deployment of the automated pizza-maker the fact is the patent was applied for and granted.  Kinda makes you think they are serious about reducing staffing levels at each unit lowering operating cost doesn’t it.  So, according to the filing, is an articulated arm that can grip the pan and move it along the various stages of pizza assembly is it’s point of differentiation.
How is technology helping you evolve?  Little Caesars is not alone in the pizza robot business as Zume Pizza has five robots (Pepe, Giorgio, Marta, Bruno, and Vincenzo) on its pizza production line. The company has secured $48 million in funding for expansion.
Regular readers of this blog know that the robotization within retail foodservice is more experimentation than reality as CaliBurger, a small burger chain, had to bench its Flippy burger-flipping robot earlier this week because humans couldn't keep up with the cyborg's pace of prepping 2,000 burgers per day. Is your company ‘looking a customer ahead’?
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.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Was Wendy’s Late to the Game

Success does leave clues integrating social media a food brand and sports always seems to payoff according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  It’s March and basketball is top of mind in the sport world in the US and this year Wendy’s is the Official Hamburger of the NCAA which is a good thing for both the NCAA and Wendy’s brand marketing efforts. .
March Madness awakens students to the possibility of success and one more game while rekindling the youth in the rest of us.  Wendy’s understands the difficult choices in filling out March Madness brackets and is instead taking a swipe at a competitor with ’The Bracket’.  According to Wendy’s, fans have two options—Fresh Beef vs. Frozen Beef. It’s that easy.
The bracket is an interactive experience that will live on Wendy’s social channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Content within the experience encourages fans to pick Wendy’s “Team Fresh Beef” and they will be rewarded with perks throughout the tournament here is how it works:
One Download Away from Exclusive Offers
Throughout the tournament, when fans pick Wendy’s as their team and download the Wendy’s app, they will receive exclusive offers each week. These ongoing deals, like a free Dave’s Single with purchase,will keep fans satisfied.
A Fresh Look for a Fresh Team
Wendy’s has also partnered with popular designer of luxury sportswear, Don C., to launch its first-ever streetwear collaboration.
“I’m excited to collaborate with Wendy’s,” says Don C. “I’m from Chicago, where being fresh is way of life, so I’m excited to team up with an iconic brand that values staying fresh as much as I do."
Wendy’s fans will be able to win items from this exclusive collection through giveaways on social media, local stops at regional tournaments and during the Final Four weekend in San Antonio.
Road Trippin’ with Team Fresh
Wendy’s Food Truck will be serving up free Dave’s Singles, challenging fans to an interactive basketball game and offering members of Team Fresh a chance to win Don C-designed swag and exclusive offers by downloading the Wendy’s app. Fans can catch the action at the following locations:
·         Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (3/16-3/18)
·         Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga. (3/22 & 3/24)
·         Final Four Fan Fest in Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the March Madness Music Festival in San Antonio, TX (3/30-4/2)
The most successful food marketing tools in a food marketing tool kit today are tools that car consumer interactive and participatory.  ‘The Bracket’ is all of that and will prove add incremental value to Wendy’s brand marketing efforts according to Johnson.
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

Sunday, March 18, 2018

7-Elevens Personalizes, Customizes, Convenience

Is 7-Eleven the ‘Top Dog’ of convenience retailing?  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® ask that question because in his minds-eye there is no doubt that with more than 65,000 stores in 18 countries, including 11,600 in North America the numbers would say so.
However that’s not why Johnson thinks 7-Eleven is the convenience stores ‘top dog’.  Johnson believes that 7-Eleven once reliant on the roller grill which was the platform for consumer interactivity including topping each hot dog with personalized, customized toppings of the consumer’s choice. 
7-Elven has adopted an integrated get fresher strategy that included the key hallmark of the grocerant niche personalization and customization according to Johnson. Here is the latest example they are launching customizable tots as the newest addition to its hot food menu.
Customers can make their 7-Eleven Tots the way they want by choosing from any 10 topping choices, as well as mustard and ketchup, at participating convenience stores. Available topping choices vary by store, but primary toppings typically include chili sauce, melted cheese, pico de gallo, diced onion, sliced jalapeno peppers, green relish and pickles. Ranch dressing is also available.
Robin Murphy, 7‑Eleven director of fresh food stated "Tots are hot"… "They're served up on appetizer menus at trendy bars and restaurants. You can ever find tots and topping bars at weddings. 7‑Eleven has its own version of a tot bar for customers to create their own favorite tasty tot concoction. We encourage culinary creativity."
Better yet made in America yes 7-Eleven Tots are made with 100-percent real Idaho and Oregon potatoes, and are cooked to be crispy and golden brown on the outside with fluffy potatoes on the inside.​​​​​​​
Murphy continued "The new potato tots are great as a hot side to a grilled Big Bite hot dog, cheeseburger, breakfast sandwich or to eat alone as a snack at any time of day".. "I think for many, they're a guilty pleasure." The suggested retail price for a small order of 10 7-Eleven Tots is $1, while the large 25-tot order goes for $2. We ask how is your team integrating the FIVE P’s of Grocerant niche Marketing?
Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing 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.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kid’s Meals Grocer H-E-B aims to Win back Families

In an effort to win back family business once the mainstay of the grocery business Texas, based H-E-B took a direct shot at chain restaurants when the company's Central Market location in San Antonio, Texas, has launched family focused meal kits for kids. The kid-friendly entree choices the ilk of spaghetti and meatballs and chicken quesadillas are designed to appeal to and feed only kids.
The meal kit are priced at $6.99 to compete with fast food restaurants and feed two kids. The meals come with pre-portioned ingredients and require some cooking, Ok we know that at fast food restaurants now cooking is required but you can serve a meal they like at home and your kids will know you cooked for them.  That just might be more important than you think.
H-E-B is the only grocer at this time targeting kids with specific kits designed to appeal to the younger palate. Scrumpt, Nurture Life and some other companies do offer subscription based meal kits for kids, and the "kid meal kit" space seems to be exploding accord to new reports.

1.        A new target consumer has emerged in the fast-growing meal kit industry – kids. H-E-B has launched meal kits for kids at its San Antonio Central Market store, according to Retail Leader. The new line features entrees such as spaghetti and meatballs and chicken quesadillas. Each kit costs $6.99 and feeds two.
  1. H-E-B joins Yumble, Scrumpt and Nurture Life in the children’s prepared meals space. HelloFresh co-founder Dan Treiman helped launch Yumble last summer and it is now available in 26 states with expansion planned this year.
  2. The home meal kit category has grown to $5 billion, according to Packaged Facts. Although online players like Blue Apron and HelloFresh dominate the market, grocers like Kroger, Albertsons, and now Walmart, have steadily grown sales. According to Nielsen, sales of in-store meal kits grew 26.5% last year, to $154.6 million.
McDonald’s Happy Meal just might be under attack as both H-E-B and Yumble have promised “fun” in their offerings, and Yumble’s boxes include activity sheets and trivia cards. It will also take some promotional pushes to get the word out that these targeted kits exist. H-E-B will need to promote the new offerings in store circulars and online, and, if they haven't already, position the kits next to their grown-up counterparts. H-E-B currently offers dinner-for-two meal kits ranging in price from $14 to $18. Think about it fun for mom, dad, and kids. 
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

Friday, March 16, 2018

Is Boston Market Getting On Track

Regular readers of this blog know that Boston Market’s sales building conundrum has not been a anything that could not have been predicted.  However the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® wonders aloud ‘could it be that Boston Market is back on track’?  Our Grocerant Guru® just might be the hold out saying it’s still too early as tactics and strategy at Boston Market have over the past 7 years lacked a cohesive grocerant niche focus.’  
However in an effort to edify sales Boston Market announced a limited time offer  (LTO) for $109.99, a Heat & Serve Ham Dinner for 12.  The offer included spiral-sliced or boneless ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, cinnamon apples, sweet potato casserole, fresh-baked cornbread and two apple pies—can be picked up in restaurant or delivered directly to your door through the Boston Market Home Delivery program.
Boston Market Vice President of Marketing, Tim Hartmann stated “Easter and the arrival of spring are an ideal time for reflecting over a traditional holiday meal,” says. “With multiple festive offers and ways to celebrate, consumers can find everything they need at Boston Market to serve a truly special and delicious Easter meal this year. After all, less cooking time means more family time."
The full menu of Boston Market Easter meals include:
·         Heat & Serve: Chilled complete meals, entrees, sides or pies to feed four to twelve are fully cooked and can be ordered ahead of time for pick up at any Boston Market restaurant on March 29 and March 31 from 11 a.m.—8 p.m. or Easter Sunday from 8 a.m. —4: p.m. Complete Easter Dinners or Essential Easter Dinners include ham, turkey or both starting at $69.99. Complete Easter Dinners feature everything needed for a complete feast, including entrees, sides, cornbread and dessert; Essential Easter Dinners include an entree, sides and cornbread.
·         Home Delivery: Anyone in the continental United States can now order a chilled complete Boston Market meal and have it shipped directly to their door. Choose from six pre-cooked Easter feast options at BostonMarket.com and place your order before March 27. Each order will ship frozen and once fully thawed, be ready to heat and serve within two to three hours.
·         A La Carte: Enjoy chilled, fully cooked main dishes, individual sides or desserts, which can be picked up at Boston Market locations nationwide between March 29 and April 1.
·         Easter Meal: Join Boston Market March 30 – April 1 for a honey-glazed, hand-carved ham meal served with a choice of two sides, fresh-baked cornbread and a slice of apple pie for $12.99 while supplies last. The full menu will also be available.
·         Catering: For as low as $10.49 per person, Boston Market can cater hot, Easter meals for pick up or delivery from March 12 through April 1. Perfect for groups of five to 5,000, the create your own Easter buffet option includes a choice of ham, rotisserie turkey and signature rotisserie chicken.
This offer is not Boston’s Market’s first grocerant niche offering nor is it probably the best LTO that they could have brought to consumers.  However once again they are thinking in the right direction. The team at Foodservice Solutions® does wish they would integrate a cohesive customer focused grocerant niche foodservice positioning in order to garner incremental customer adoption.
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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

McDonald’s Old Partnerships Make for New Electricity

Looking A Customer Ahead McDonald’s renews a successful platform.  Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist as according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  There are very few foodservice companies that understand that as well as McDonald’s according to Johnson.
Success does leave clues and McDonald’s has in the past had outstanding success with a partnership with Disney the team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that this renewed relationship / partnership will be the new electricity  that will fuel incremental growth at McDonalds.
Happy customers equals Happy Meals and this renewed Happy Meal Deal with Disney  clearly creates new electricity to drive sales for both Disney and McDonald’s with a focus on customer relevance.
In the minds-eye of Johnson, there is one dominate element that will power success within retail and foodservice over the coming years and that is partnerships. Johnson calls it the new electricity that is partnerships specifically strategic partnerships.   
The new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh food, grocerant Mix & Match bundling, foodservice consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing.
Retailers the ilk of McDonald’s to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable in some form.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
This new multiyear agreement enables McDonald’s to promote movies on its meals, starting with "Incredibles 2."  The multiyear, “non-exclusive” deal enables McDonald’s to cross-promote Disney movies on its Happy Meals.
The deal will start with the Pixar Animations Studios movie “Incredibles 2,” which debuts in theaters on June 15. That will be followed by the Disney movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2,” which debuts on Nov. 21.
This agreement is important as it has improved the nutritional content and lower the calories in its Happy Meals it is those changes that paved the way for the chain’s first marketing relationship in more than a decade with a focus on kids.
McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley stated  “This relationship combines the ingenuity in food and entertainment to encourage more balanced meal selections in our Happy Meals and inspire families in fun and innovative ways,” McDonald’s and Disney had co-promotional deals for years, with movies such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Finding Nemo” on the burger chain’s Happy Meals. But Disney ended the relationship in 2006 over nutrition concerns.
Success does leave clues the consumer is dynamic not static according to Johnson.  How has your company evolved?  Who should you be partnering with to find your new electricity? Have you evolved to the point you need new partners or should you be rekindling previous relationships? 
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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Domino's Success Equals Technology & BOGO’s for March Madness

Customer relevance is always top of mind at Domino's Pizza  according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. That’s why it is important in your one of your best months of the year for sales to combine price and speed of service into a marketing program according to Johnson.
Domino’s will not lose market-share this March as it is filled with customer relevance as it kicks off college basketball’s biggest month by offering a buy one menu-priced pizza, get one free deal for carryout customers who order online through March 18.
Jenny Fouracre, Domino’s spokesperson  for Domino’s stated “The first week of tournament games has officially begun, and we wanted to give basketball fans a special deal as they’re gathering around the TV,”  “Fans can take advantage of two carryout pizzas for the price of one when they order on any of Domino’s digital ordering channels.”
As regular readers of this blog know College basketball’s tournament month is a busy time for Domino’s, especially near the end of it. Domino’s sold more than 2 million pizzas during the 2017 semifinals and championship game night combined.
Fouracre continued “Basketball teams aren’t the only ones preparing for a spot in the finals,”. “Domino’s team members and stores across the country are gearing up in their own way to handle the game day rush. It takes training, focus and hustle to make great-tasting pizzas during these busy days.”
Integrated Technology is Important
Domino’s integrated technology will drive speed of service, ordering and the overall customer relevance according to Johnson as carryout customers may take advantage of the BOGO deal by ordering online at http://www.dominos.com, via Amazon Alexa, Slack, Facebook Messenger, voice ordering with Dom or any of Domino’s ordering apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8, and Kindle Fire. The free pizza must be of equal or lesser value than the purchased pizza.
Domino’s and Basketball Facts
1.        During the 2017 college basketball tournament, Domino's produced enough dough to match the weight of more than 19 million basketballs.
    1. It takes 69 Domino’s pizza boxes stacked from the floor of a basketball court to reach the hoop.
    2. It takes more than 4,500 Domino’s pizza boxes to cover a 4,600-square-foot basketball court.
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