Thursday, January 18, 2018

Aldi’s Winning Consumers Hearts and Wallets


Success does leave clues and one clue that is clear is Aldi is the fastest growing grocery store in the United States according to Jon Springer of Winsight Grocery. Springer post week after week new store openings and week after week Aldi leads the way.

According to the Retail Feedback Group’s (RFG) "2017 U.S. Supermarket Experience Study Aldi has a considerable lead in value for the money and a slight edge in the checkout experience," What’s more, Millennials gave lower ratings than older shoppers for every aspect of the supermarket trip. So, lets look at the results:

1.       Supermarket shoppers gave an overall satisfaction (OSAT) rating of 4.42 on a five-point scale before 3 p.m., but this mark dropped to 4.36 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Several factor ratings were considerably lower after 3 p.m. than earlier in the day, among them cleanliness, quality/freshness, staff friendliness and value for money.
2.       Shoppers rated quality/freshness of the food and groceries (4.45) and cleanliness of the store (4.40) as the two strongest core experience factors. Associated friendliness – the highest-rated service factor – garnered a more moderate rating of 4.34, followed by associate helpfulness/knowledge (4.24), checkout speed/efficiency (4.23) and associate availability (4.19).
3.       While supermarkets did well on general variety and selection (4.38), scores were lower on natural and organic items (4.05), ethnic/international products (3.97), allergen-free items (3.97) and locally sourced items (3.96).
4.       The lowest score among all core experience factors went to value for the money spent on a visit, at 4.18. Further, meat prices (3.98), produce prices (4.03) and everyday prices (4.03) all received low scores in the supermarket channel, while advertised sales items scored much higher (4.38). Interestingly, 76 percent of shoppers consult one or more advertising/sales vehicles – traditional, social, mobile and digital – before or during their shopping visit.

Doug Madenberg, principal at Lake Success, N.Y.-based RFG  stated “These survey findings point to a critical need for grocery retailers with a physical presence to step up their game,” .. “When people shop in a supermarket, the overall experience, assortment and value proposition need to be excellent in order to earn their next visit. There are too many grocery options available online, in hard discount stores, and across other formats, for an average or subpar supermarket visit to be acceptable.”
5.       Shoppers who visited an Aldi in the past 60 days were more likely to recommend the store (4.54 on a five-point scale) than supermarket shoppers, who gave an average rating of (3.66). Also, 33 percent of those who shopped at Aldi said that they intended to shop there more in the next 12 months, versus 21 percent for supermarket shoppers and 10 percent for Walmart shoppers. In core experience ratings, Aldi shoppers gave value for money the highest marks (4.68), also scoring the deep discounter higher than supermarkets on checkout speed (4.30). Walmart shoppers gave lower scores on the all the core experience factors.
6.       Millennials scored supermarkets lowest on all core experience factors, as well as overall trip satisfaction. Boomers, however, rated overall trip experience and almost all core experience factors highest, with only one area – staff knowledge/helpfulness — rated equal by both Boomers and Gen Xers.
“The fact that overall trip satisfaction and all of the core experience factors register lowest among Millennials should be a call to action for supermarkets,” warned RFG Principal Brian Numainville. “Traditional supermarkets must find ways to make the supermarket more appealing and relevant to younger shoppers or risk becoming endangered as Boomers age and purchase less.”
7.       Overall, only 14 percent of all supermarket shoppers have tried a meal-kit delivery service in the past year, but Millennials showed stronger trial than either Gen Xers or Boomers. Blue Apron, Home Chef and Hello Fresh were the three services used most. Top reasons given for meal kit usage were home delivery (46 percent) and time savings (45 percent). Of those who didn’t use a meal-kit service, the main reasons given were that they were too expensive (48 percent) or lack of interest in meal kits (44 percent). Meal-kit users were most satisfied with ingredient quality (83 percent highly satisfied) and least impressed with value for money (65 percent highly satisfied).
8.       Overall, 15 percent of shoppers also noted that their primary supermarket offers meal kits. Among those who bought a meal kit from their primary supermarket, the main reasons given were good value (54 percent), ingredient quality (53 percent) and time savings (51 percent).

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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Bakery Chain Greggs Targets McDonald’s and Burger King


Hand held food for immediate consumption continue to grow in popularity according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Greggs is stepping up its game targeting both McDonald’s and Burger King’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a new fast-food menu that includes chicken goujons, potato wedges and pasta dishes.

Greggs is well known for its sausage rolls and steak bakes, is broadening its takeaway menu as Britons spend more of their food budgets on eating out. However Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside, explained how Greggs had already taken on fast-food rivals at breakfast and lunchtimes and now sees scope to become a destination for evening meals too. “We are testing a menu that will appeal in the evening, which is the part of the day when Greggs doesn’t trade,”

Leveraging innovation while expanding the menu Greggs has included items the ilk of gluten-free soup, low-calorie wraps and speciality coffees, such as its new caramel latte, and is working on vegan options. “Hot food is the last of the big food trends we have chosen to pursue,” according to Whiteside.

Greggs has now installed hot food cabinets in 100 stores and if the menu is well received Whiteside said it could extend its trading hours into the evening, when burger chains and convenience stores cash in on office workers heading home or out for the evening. Whiteside continued “We need to find out if we can we sell hot food at the times we are already open.”

After strong results in 2017, the Greggs said it would step up expansion this year with plans to add 130 sites to its 1,850-store network. It is also looking to open drive-through shops around the country and that a big wake-up call for both Burger King and McDonald’s as Gregg’s menu may just be a bit more inviting according to Johnson.  Is it time to step up you fresh prepared food offerings? 


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


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Grocerant Niche Fresh Food Fills Grocery Stores Void of Relevance

While legacy grocery stores continue to stock the pantry with buy-one get-one or buy10 for $10 the customers continue to look for grocerant niche fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food via meals and meal components that can be mix and matched into a perfect family dinner fast according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
It is no long just Foodservice Solutions® documenting the success of the importance and sales that grocerant fresh food sales are ringing up.  In a new report titled Power of Foodservice at Retail, sponsored by Hussman and The Shelby Report for FMI is now joining in.  Below are top 10 insights buying habits, purchase motivations and preferences from the report. 
1.       Focus on/optimize trip conversion. While shoppers visit the store multiple times/week, shoppers typically buy foodservice only once every 3 weeks. Cross-promote foodservice with center store and other fresh departments within the store.
2.       Strive to be top of mindWhen in a rush or not in the mood to cook, retail foodservice is not on the radar of most shoppers. Retailers need to treat their foodservice as its own business and create “share of mind.”
3.       Maximize your share of market. One-half of shoppers purchase grocery deli prepared at outlets beyond their primary store. Increasing awareness of foodservice offerings will serve to keep current customers at their primary store with higher rings and margins.
4.       Leverage technology to improve awareness of foodservice as a viable restaurant alternative. Shoppers often use technology to help with meal plans. Making efforts to have retail foodservice appear with restaurant options will open shoppers’ eyes to this option.
5.       Connect with shoppers using technology. Most shoppers are willing to sign up to receive outreach about food service offerings, with email and text being the shopper-preferred methods.
6.       Provide options for speed-focused shoppers. These shoppers have interest in grab-and-go and heat-and-eat options, along with the ability to order ahead and dedicated foodservice checkout lanes.
7.       Provide options for nutrition-focused shoppers who deemphasize price and speed but value customization. Along with healthy options, transparency with respect to ingredients, quality and freshness are important to these shoppers.
8.       Enhanced in-store amenities to capture Millennials and urban shoppers. While less important than price, speed or nutrition, Millennials and urban shopper place high importance on amenities such as seating areas, free WiFi, table service, outside patios and even entertainment.
9.       Targeted investment in expanded variety matched to the core shopper can win over shoppers at mealtime. While consumers want more options, the options need to be matched to the core shopper. Customization is also important to many shoppers, particularly frequent foodservice shoppers.
10.   Consider meal kits along with made-to-order, self-serve buffets and grab-and-go to provide more time-saving solutions. Store-developed meal kits are a natural extension for foodservice.


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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Foodservice Partnerships on Auto Pilot


While regular readers of this blog know Steven Johnson, our Grocerant Guru® and senior food industry strategic advisor has been pontificating that partnership’s would be a continued leading industry trend in 2018.  The simple fact is he missed the fact that auto-pilot would be partnership that just might elevate food delivery to new a level of consumer awareness.
This week when Pizza Hut announced that it is one of the partners in a Toyota-led effort to develop self-driving delivery vehicles. Then they showed the picture it even looked like they were trying to ‘one-up’ the now famous Domino’s delivery car.
Toyota unveiled the e-Palette concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show as part of its “mobility service business alliance” that also includes Amazon, Uber, Mazda and Chinese ride-sharing company Didi. So here is the scoop according press reports:
The first U.S. road tests of the e-Palette, an autonomous battery-electric vehicle that looks like a toaster on wheels, are at least two years away, according to a company press release. The business alliance will create a “broad-based ecosystem” of hardware and software to help companies take advantage of the new technology.
The e-Palette is being pitched as not only a potential human-free delivery vehicle for Pizza Hut, but as a possible mobile kitchen for the global pizza chain. Starting early this year, Pizza Hut and Toyota will jointly test communication technology in pizza delivery vehicles to gather data on driver patterns and behaviors, the release says.
Domino’s last fall tested delivery via driverless cars outfitted with pizza ovens as part of a partnership with Ford. However we have all seen Domino’s cars on the road and don’t you for one minute think that they are through elevating their game.

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.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Foodservice Chains use Flavor to Garner Favor

Research is a compilation of information as regular readers of this blog know we gather and share as many of our daily followers found us when other posted some of research.  Well from time to time we like to point out that others are doing good work as well. 
One such report our team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® read was Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report we like it believe it to be valuable and so here are some of the highlights that they point out about customer preference for flavor around the country: 
Northeasterners
Northeasterners are inclined to enjoy globally-influenced flavors. Technomic’s 2017 Flavor report found that 46% of Northeasterners surveyed find ethnic flavors appealing or extremely appealing.
In convenience foodservice, this can translate to Mexican-inspired roller grill foods, empanadas and unique toppings or condiments. Northeasterners also gravitate toward tangy flavors, with 46% of Northeasterners saying they find those flavors appealing/extremely appealing. To cater to those flavor desires, consider toppings such as sauerkraut or pickled vegetables as well as barbecue sauce and other tangy condiments.
Midwesterners
Of all the regions surveyed, Midwesterners tended to report interest in more “comfort-food” style flavors. For instance, 60% prefer savory flavors and foods while 51% prefer sweet flavors and foods. For these customers, offering familiar foods and tastes are key to drawing them in.
Hot dogs—perhaps especially “Chicago-style” hot dogs—as well as other indulgent options such as Polish sausages, Philly cheesesteaks and cheeseburgers are all appealing to Midwesterners. Be sure to offer the expected condiments with these foods as well.
Southerners
For Southerners, drawing inspiration from local barbecue trends can prove helpful. According to the Technomic report, 67% of Southerners like savory flavors, while 56% favor smoky flavors. And because there are a handful of state-specific barbecue sauces known in the region—such as Alabama white sauce, North Carolina mustard sauce, Carolina-style vinegar barbecue sauce and more—it can prove beneficial to offer these local favorites. Chili dogs and fruit salsas can also be popular choices among these shoppers.
Westerners
Finally, West Coasters and Westerners seem to be a bit more adventurous than diners around other parts of the country. For instance, Technomic’s Flavor report finds Westerners are interested in bold, bitter, savory, umami and even floral flavors.
Foodservice Solutions® team has conducted Grocerant ScoreCards all around the country and it is clear that many national chains are missing out on edifying the local franchisee or restaurant menus with local, sustainable location specific flavors.  What is worst they don’t have a plan to implement such a program?  That said our strategic advisors we get it and have a formula, action plans, and process that can work for you.  

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.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kohl's wants Non-Traditional Grocerant niche Retail Partners


When you can’t beat them join them.  Kohl’s department store’s like all retailers wants to drive top line sales, bottom line profits while edifying customer loyalty.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® knows Kohl’s is making the right choice for a retail partner as they look for the proper foodservice company as grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat prepared food is the leading driver of retail growth in every retail sector.

Kohl’s announced that they are planning to partner with retailers like convenience stores or grocery stores to lease the white space left by the roughly 300 stores it has “right-sized” over the past several years, CEO Kevin Mansell told CNBC.

Kohl’s has created new operationally smaller, more profitable stores within its roughly 87,000-square-foot boxes. That downsizing leaves unused footage, which Mansell said would benefit from traffic-generating retailers like those that sell food.

Mansell  stated "If we had our preference, we are going first after well-capitalized companies, and preferably ones that have high traffic in grocery and convenience," according to Johnson the retail success of grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh the undercurrent of retail in person sales growth.
The department store brings with it strong real estate, big parking lots and its own traffic. A food and apparel duo would be able to compete against a number of retailers employing similar strategies, like Target and even Walmart, according to CNBC.

Mansell noted that not all of Kohl's roughly 300 right-sized stores will necessarily lease space, at least at the onset. Kohl's may partner with several retailers in group rollouts, and potentially partner with some as a one-off. The retailer would consider partnerships with competitors, he added.

Mansell declined to say whether Whole Foods is one of its in-store partners. Kohl’s already has a partnership with Whole Food’s new owner, Amazon, through which it sells Amazon products and accepts returns.  "It's not about Whole Foods, Aldi, or anybody else … we want a partner, ideally in food or convenience, to help drive traffic,"

Regular readers of this blog I am assured are not surprised that a department store wants to add grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food. Neither was anyone here at Foodservice Solutions® there is a reason for that, because this is just what we do.  Are you ready for grocerant products?


 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, January 12, 2018

Pizza Hut Sensing Competitors Weaknesses Targets Larger Share of Pizza Sector

Domino’s CEO announced he will be departing, Papa John’s CEO just left and Papa Murphy’s CEO is still listening to franchisee so the oldest legacy national pizza brand that has capitulated market share for 20 years is stepping up. So what do you think they are doing now?
Well according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® “under the skillful tutelage of Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed  Pizza Hut will be empowered to leverage product innovation, pricing, and marketing acumen to position Pizza Hut with top-of-mind customer relevance driving top line sales and bottom line profits.
Pizza Hut announced its $5.99 Medium Two-Topping pizza deal, the first of its kind for the Yum! Brands chain.  Pizza Hut is targeting its primary target customers while firing a warning shot to the pizza sector they mean to garner market share in 2018 as they leverage price to gain a larger share of stomach according to Johnson.
Zipporah Allen, vice president of marketing for Pizza Hut  stated "Great tasting pizza at a great price is a no-brainer,” ... “We know our pizza stands above the rest, so we’re excited to give our customers an offer to satisfy their craving.”
According to Johnson, McDonald’s success with deliver help expand the food delivery space all the while empowering consumers to choose something other than pizza as a first choice for the office get together, family meal, or student non-traditional meal leaving the pizza sector a bit flat footed.
The consumer is dynamic not static and clearly Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed understands that the retail foodservice business model is evolving fast and brands must evolve as fast or fasters according to Johnson. In fact Pizza Hut announced a global partnership with Toyota to look at the future of pizza delivery with a self-driving car the Toyota E-Palette.
Let’s be clear here the foodservice space is evolving very fast, as regular readers of this blog know  department store chain Kohl’s is planning to partner with retailers like convenience stores or grocery stores to lease the white space left by the roughly 300 stores it has “right-sized” over the past several years, CEO Kevin Mansell told CNBC just yesterday.  Let’s admit it, most retailers know that Grocerant niche fresh food is booming.  That was just in case you missed it according to Johnson. That is the a contributing force driving restaurant chains to evolve or fade away if they want to admit it or not.
Johnson believes legacy restaurants must invest in garnering segment market share in 2018 any way they can because the fast evolving retail foodservice business model is going to displace those who do not. By now you know that Walmart & K Mart raised both wage and employee benefits. The increases to $11 per hour while simultaneously expanding maternity and parental leave benefits have elevated the restaurant employee retention and acquisition problem to a new high, one where yesterday’s solutions are today’s quagmire.

The undercurrents conditions impacting the growth of the foodservice sales have been well documented by the team at Foodservice Solutions®.  We ask is your restaurant, c-store, or service deli prepared for today’s retail conditions or yesterdays.  Why do we ask?

Well, recently we spent time listening to many foodservice CEO’s talk about implementing delivery as a strategy.   It’s kind of like thinking restaurant delivery is the answer to sales woes.  Restaurant food delivery is integral and maybe required in-order to maintain customer relevance today.  However we must caution operators that food delivery as a strategy was valuable 20 years ago. Today, food delivery is simply a marketing tactic of yesterday.   
Today food delivery is simply a tactic being implemented by followers who were unable or unwilling to see the forest through the trees back in the day or last year.  It must be noted if a food company is touting food delivery as a strategy the only thing clear is that they still don’t see the forest as the weeds they are standing in are simply too high according to Johnson.

In Q4 2017 restaurant same-store traffic declined 1.9% in the fourth quarter, including a 1.8% decline in December after very weak numbers in 2016.  That my friends is an example once again that the restaurant business model is broken.  Has your brand created a new platform capable garnering incremental customers and sales while driving store cost down edifying the franchisee while driving corporate profit? Why not?


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