Retail foodservice success can be found at the intersection of Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food aka the Grocerant Niche elevating retail foodservice customer relevance while garnering customer adoption according to Tacoma, WA based Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson of Foodservice Solutions®.
The undercurrents of competition within the fresh food space have not reached such a tipping point since the invention of refrigeration according to Johnson. Today consumers are in search of complexity free meals with full flavor. Success does leave clues one clue is consumers move forward not backward, they are dynamic not static according to Johnson.
Most of you know the William Gibson quote: “The future has already arrived; it’s just not evenly distributed.” In retail foodservice today there are those that are growing top line sales, bottom line profits, customer counts, and those who are slowly dying. Where is your company? There is no middle ground.
Let’s look at some numbers C-Stores sold $73 billion of prepared food and beverages last year up 72% from 2010 according to the WSJ. Consumer migration too grocerant niche non-traditional outlets continues to grow in fact the NPD group reports that Grocerants generated 2.4 Billion visits and $10 Billion in Sales in 2016. TheStreet.com found "By our estimate, alternative formats and e-commerce market share in consumables will increase from 30.4% in 2016 to 44.9% in 2022,"
The battle of for food dollars is a battle for ‘Share of Stomach’ according to the Grocerant Guru®.
Chain restaurants are now battling for sales with Grocery stores, C-stores, Liquor stores, and Drug stores. Legacy food retailers risk being marginalized by new concepts with smaller footprints, lower cost of goods and faster service. Food retailers must understand the new dynamics in the industry and react properly in order to accelerate growth. Foodservice ‘braggability’ is more often found within the grocerant sector.
Today, eating-out while eating-at-home, takeout food, mix & match meal components are leading ways in which people are looking to differentiate themselves, simplify their lives, same time with meal customization, personalization and Mix & Match bundling all are hallmarks of the booming Grocerant niche according to the Grocerant Guru®
Many legacy restaurant operators seemingly have a “inside the four walls” mindset coupled with brand protectionism polices more reminiscent of the 1980’s than 2017. Steven Johnson the Grocerant Guru® says that kind of thinking traps a brand in a quagmire or a footprint malaise that is unresponsive and simply not consumer relevant today.
So what is Grocerant food in 2017? Foodservice Solutions® Steven Johnson, the Grocerant Guru® says a "Grocerant item means any retail food item that is Ready2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat with the option of portability Traditionally these items can be found in grocery stores in the deli / lifestyle section, C-stores in the prepared food area and prepackaged, ready to eat items and in restaurants under the To-go, takeout or take away or delivery section of the menu or on the website."
Its 4 PM: your customers are just beginning to think about what's for dinner and 80.6% of American consumers are unsure about what's for dinner at noon and 61.3% are unsure what’s for dinner at 4 PM. Time Starved Consumers are looking for high quality Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared meals or a meal component. So what is working in the Grocerant Space in 2017? Carrie Williams, senior manager of shopper insights for Coca-Cola, shared some of the insights from grocery store research, which was fielded to help retailers participate in Family Meals Month in September. Here is some of what she found:
1. Nearly three-fourths of grocery shoppers purchase prepared foods, and half of all grocery shoppers purchased a Fresh-to-Go meal in the past month.
2. One in 10 grocery shoppers buy Fresh-to-Go meals frequently (defined as 5+ per month).
3. Most shoppers of Fresh-to-Go meals have children. They buy these meals because they are busy and it’s convenient.
4. Most Fresh-to-Go meals are eaten at home, especially for dinner.
5. Nearly two-thirds of store visits are driven by a specific meal need, and 78 percent of purchases from the deli area are not impulse buys.
If you are running a retail food outlet those numbers indicate grocerant platform adoption continues to grow and you should be thinking about adding grocerant items. Is your company evolving with consumers? Are you ready for some fresh ideations?
Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday than 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.