Monday, April 30, 2018

FIVE P’s of Grocerant Niche Food Sales Success



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson identified, quantified, and qualified five key drivers of fresh prepared food sales.  Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s turned into an integrated marketing program for many fresh food retailers including Chain Restaurants, Chain Convenience Stores, Chain Liquor Stores, and Service Dili’s around the world.  The FIVE P’s are: 


When grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh and prepared food are thrown into consumer view of options a retailer is offering they become top of mind for consumers are return visits.  Integrating the FIVE P’s will help you increase customer frequency, build loyalty while simultaneously increasing unit margins driving top line sales and bottom line profits.

Simply look at the US retail foodservice growth and sales leaders of today. Trader Joe’sChipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, 7-Eleven are all growth leaders.  Trader Joe’s leads in sales per square foot at over $1,750 per Sq. Ft. Chipotle, Five Guys and 7-Eleven are all growing units and garnering share of stomach from everyone else.  All are members of the grocerant niche. 

One of the most interesting new developments is bundling of the meal components with a “better for you” focus.  It’s a mix and match game that is very empowering for the consumer.  Consumer’s select by meal occasion what “better for you” attribute they want.  It can be fresh hamburger, low salt, cooked to order, or green packaging.

Don’t discount the value of consumer choice or limit the world of “better for you”.  Mix and match of small portion, fresh products, green packaging all are contribution to making meal time a time of convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization and consumers are responding.

Are you looking a customer ahead? Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Subway’s Problems: Price, Portability, Possibility



Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson was the first to identify, quantify, and qualify the restaurant sector “65 Inch HDTV Syndrome” back in 2012. The undercurrents behind the 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome have not abated but rather they have become more pronounced according to Johnson.
Take Subway for example since 2012 customer traffic has declined by 25%. The leading reason has been Subway’s franchisee’s desires to get away from the $5 foodlong according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant ScoreCards.
While Subway is seen by consumers as a ‘fresh / better-for-you’ brand when price was the impetus for customer adoption and migration it is natural to see customer trial and migration continue. According to Earnest Research, another consumer perceived ‘better-for-you’ brand Chick-fil-A had the largest growth in orders from former Subway customers from 2015 through 2017.
However once again not a surprise for the team working at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® but the next three most likely destinations for Subway customers defections in 2017 were ‘third-party delivery services’ Grubhub, Postmates and DoorDash. Regular readers of this blog know that back in 2013 Technomic edified Foodservice Solutions® meal portability as a key driver of consumer choice.
The line between consumer empowerment and choice offered by ‘third-party delivery’ services have elevated the path to purchase in a very competitive retail foodservice landscape. Branded meal and menu possibilities offered by ‘third-party food aggregators’ enhance consumer choice and will continue innovating providing customized meal solutions for families of any size.
The question today becomes ‘where will you be selling dinner’? The second question is how can you sell both meals and meal components competitively on a non-branded platform? Success does leave clues and the team at www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  can help you do just that. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wahlburgers On your Grill are What’s for Dinner


Building a brand with consumer relevance requires giving the customers what they want according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. The brothers Wahlberg are understand that consumers are dynamic not static so they are extending their brand Wahlburgers fast-casual restaurant brand into the grocery channel with a new line of beef products available in supermarkets.
Chef Paul Wahlberg is bringing Wahlburgers into consumers’ homes with a new line of beef products which is the new electricity driving sales at Wahlburgers. 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 incremental 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, local fresh food,  grocerant positioning, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, better-for-you, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, delivery, and voice ordering.
Wahlburgers developed in strategic partnership with ARKK Food Co., will include ground beef, pre-formed patties, pre-formed sliders and brick pack, all made with the same proprietary Wahlburgers Angus blend of brisket, short rib and chuck found in its restaurants across the country.
Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg stated “In all our restaurants and now in our new retail product, we offer a custom blend of angus brisket, chuck and short rib for great texture and flavor,”, who, along with his celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, founded the restaurant chain in 2011. “We wanted to provide the best cuts of angus beef that’s always fresh, never frozen to ensure that every bite is tender, juicy and packed full of rich flavor.”
Looking for a big push the new retail beef products will be available at grocery store locations nationwide, with an initial launch over the next 30 days at Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Safeway, Shaw’s and Winn-Dixie. Upon rollout, Wahlburgers beef will be available at 1,300 stores.
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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Amazon’s is a Food Marketing Powerhouse



Success does leave clues and Amazon continues to outwit, out position, out market food, and lots of other products than most any other retailer.  During Q1 2018 there were stories of product shortages at Whole Foods, shelves emptied, pundits call the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon as a costly mistake.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® knew they were all wrong.
The simple fact was consumers were flocking to Whole Foods buying up everything in sight. In fact Amazon’s grocery sales grew by nearly 50 percent in quarter one of 2018, and consumers are starting to see the ecommerce giant like any other grocery store, according to a new report from One Click Retail. During Q1 2018 Amazon’s grocery sales saw an increase of more than $200 million, recording a total $650 million, with particularly strong performance in coffee and cold beverages.
Here is what was notable the fact that  milk and cream were one of the fastest-growing subcategories: 152 percent year over year. With that subcategory joining such other household staples as shortening and oil, baking mixes, and salad dressings, perishables, once a typically avoided ecommerce sector, may now be seen as acceptable for online delivery.

One Click Retail  went on to say that “The growth of milk and cream signals a long-awaited shift in consumer behavior,”… “Consumers are becoming less selective about what groceries they’re buying online and are beginning to treat Amazon just like any other grocery store.” Here is Breaking them down, Amazon’s top-selling U.S. categories in Q1 include:
·         Coffee, with year-over-year sales gains of 44 percent, which earned more than $145 million during the period
·         Cold beverages, with year-over-year sales gains of 40 percent, which earned more than $14 million during the period
·         Snack foods, with year-over-year sales gains of 38 percent, which earned more than $79 million during the period
·         Breakfast foods, with year-over-year sales gains of 26 percent, which earned more than $50 million during the period
·         Coffee, with year-over-year sales gains of 46 percent, which earned more than $45 million during the period
We have been talking online grocery sales up and just think about all of those empty shelves at Whole Foods now stocked full as the algorithms catch up to the sales trends.  Where are you sales growing 50% plus or better?  Amazon Go is launching 6 more units this year and the sales numbers continue to stellar.
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


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.