Sunday, September 24, 2017

Taco Bell Grows-UP

Branded chain restaurants either evolve or fade away according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Consumers today are dynamic and branded restaurant chains must be as dynamic as consumers. 
Yum! Brands Taco Bell unit is evolving with consumers, well at least in urban centers according to Johnson.  Millennials grew up with Taco Bell as a fresh food staple, enjoyed the flavor profiles, adopted branded menu items as ‘favorites’.  Now Taco Bell is going to expand selling Alcohol from test too hundreds of new units. 
Under the expanded brand name “Taco Bell Cantina” Taco Bell plans to open between 300 and 350 “Cantina” locations by 2022, bringing its alcohol-focused concept to urban areas around the country.
Taco Bell has said in a recent article that it will focus on large cities, like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York, as it looks to expand the model, which doesn’t have a drive thru. In the Big Apple alone, Taco Bell aims to open at least 50.
Mike Grams, Taco Bell’s chief operating officer is quoted as saying “The “urban in-line” units will serve wine, sangria, beer, and Twisted Freezes—alcohol smoothies with tequila, rum, or vodka.”
Grams continued “One of the cool things happening in America right now is the revitalization of urban areas, and we’re seeing millennials moving into downtown areas,” Taco Bell Cantina came to life in October 2015. The hip design debuted in Chicago and San Francisco, and was geared toward locals, millennial consumers, and those looking to go out for drinks.
So we ask if Taco Bell can evolve with its consumers can you?  Where are you selling your fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meals and meal components? Are you Looking–A-Customer Ahead?

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, September 23, 2017

Consumers, Convenience, Corner Stores and Technology


At the intersection of technology, foodservice, consumers, and convenience is one start-up that is quite possibly the next big headache for legacy grocery stores and convenience store operators according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, both former Google employees, joined to start Bodega with the aim of bringing the corner store to the consumer. "At Bodega, we're combining the convenience of online ordering with the instant gratification of real world retail. We're building hardware, software and supply chain operations to create delightful automated stores that are only a few feet away and always stocked with what you need," the company stated on its website.

That places Bodega within the front lines of the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Fresh food fast with added benefit of those one off items you ran out of that you need now according to Johnson.

Let’s pause here for a moment to make sure you understand just I’m saying.  Success leaves clues and regular readers of this blog know that McDonald’s sells more toys than any other retailer in the world. You also know that Starbucks foundation of success was built on Mix & Match bundling of retail products from coffee Machines, coffee cups, music, movies and more with coffee. Regular readers also know that mix & match bundling is a key driver of the growth of the grocerant niche.

According cofounder McDonald  stated "With Bodega, we're bringing that same ease and convenience to those of us that don't have a corner store by putting one right where you live and work,"… "We've created small, automated stores stocked with the essentials you need, right where you need them whether it's snacks at the gym or toiletries and household goods in your apartment's lobby."

Currently there are 30 live Bodega locations in the San Francisco Bay area.  McDonald continued Bodega,  wants to bring commerce to places where commerce currently doesn't exist.” According to our Grocerant Guru® “faster, fresher, and convenient each resonates with consumers today, when you add in technology it elevates relevance edifying a ‘halo’ of better for you with the consumer.”  Are you evolving with consumers?


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, September 22, 2017

Farm Fresh Focus is on Grocerant Meals


Most of you know that Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy® was founded in 1957 as a neighborhood grocery store providing world class customer service. When a retailer focus is on customer service that retailer give consumers what they want and Farm Fresh is doing just that with Quick & Easy Meals according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Today, Farm Fresh is recognized as the premier grocer in the Hampton Roads-area. Farm Fresh prides itself on providing its customers with competitively-priced products, clean stores, one-stop shopping services, and a large selection of quality national and regional brands. With Quick & Easy Meals Farm Fresh is adding customer relevance filling a consumer need-set while incrementally elevating differentiation according to Johnson
Farm Fresh’s Quick & Easy Meals are “Real Food in Real Time” according to the company.  Quick & Easy meals offers delicious and convenient meals at a price you can afford. This modern meal solution provides more variety and customization than a traditional meal kit.
The Farm Fresh Quick & Easy meals are prepared fresh in-store, Quick & Easy saves you time while providing a high-quality meal. There are no subscription fees, no cross-country shipping, and very little preparation required. Pick up Quick & Easy Meals at your local Farm Fresh store or order online for delivery.  

Leveraging a key driver of grocerant niche success Quick & Easy enables and encourages Mix and Match meal component bundling to create thousands of meal combinations. With a variety of meat, produce, and deli options, Farm Fresh always has Quick & Easy Meals for you.
The Quick & Easy Cooking Bags help you make a meal in minutes. These bags come prepacked with freshly marinated or seasoned meats. Microwave or oven bake for a quick, delicious meal that increases customer satisfaction while creating a platform for personalization and customization. 
 Farm Fresh has included pre-washed, pre-cut fruit and veggies eliminate prep work. They’re perfect for side dishes, on-the-go snacks, or recipes at home. The pre-cut, pre-washed vegetables provide a quick, healthy side dish. Just microwave in the steam bag, and they’ll be ready in minutes.
Consumers can pick up a stuffed, seasoned or marinated entrĂ©e in an oven-ready foil pan. Bake in the oven for a quick, restaurant-quality meal or stop by there deli and pick up a meal that’s ready to enjoy. With a wide range of main courses and sides, there’s something everyone can enjoy. Does your company have an integrated grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food focus?

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, September 21, 2017

Break Time Stores Updated Branded Foodservice


Customers count and today convenience stores owners understand that consumers are looking for Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in every foodservice avenue of distribution including convenience stores.  As Break Time was evolving a new design for a 5,000-square-foot store that customers would find inviting and customer relevant they took time to insure that foodservice was a customer focus.

Curtis Chaney, MFA Oil’s senior vice president of retail operations stated “We felt that we needed to bring a more modern, open look to our stores so our customers didn’t feel pressured to make a decision. We feel we accomplished this with how open the store feels.’

In addition to its differences in layout and design, Break Time’s newest and 74th store stands apart from other locations on account of its foodservice offering. This is the retailer’s first location to offer Smokestack Bar B Q a new carryout food concept.

In addition to Smokestack Bar BQ, Break Time continues to offer customers Hunt Brothers Pizza, Dashboard Diner sandwiches, f’real shakes, roller grill options, a beer cave, and traditional c-store fare.

Branded and branding your foodservice offering will edify your relationship with consumers adding value, relevance and elevating your food offerings as a top of mind choice for consumers according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.


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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Evolution Fresh ‘Better for You’ Beverage Innovation

When it comes to beverages that are top of mind with consumers Starbucks is at the top of every consumers mind according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Evolution Fresh a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks and when it comes to customer relevance and beverage innovation no one is better at it that the Starbucks team.
So when cold-pressed juice trailblazer Evolution Fresh announced its 2018 innovations: seven new organic smoothies that combine cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice with probiotics, coconutmilk and other functional ingredients the industry took notice.   The Evolution Fresh new functional smoothies allow for market expansion beyond super-premium juice to include premium functional beverages expanding the halo of ‘better for you’ according to Johnson.
Customer relevance is driven by marketing messaging that is based on research and the new Evolution Fresh Daily Probiotic Smoothies and Complete Smoothies were crafted in response to increased consumer interest in gut health and healthy snacking according to statement from the company.
Ryan Ziegelmann, president, Evolution Fresh  stated “We know a growing number of people are looking for more from their juice,” ... “With our expansion into functional beverages, we are putting 24 years of experience to work to authentically expand what cold-pressed, high pressure processed juice can deliver. Our new functional smoothies combine our cold-pressed juices with ingredients with functional benefits like probiotics, fiber and plant-based protein.”
Each new smoothie was crafted to offer “7 Benefits to Help You Thrive” which include: prebiotics and live probiotics, immune health support, digestive health support, protein utilization support, energy, nutrition and plant-based ingredients. New Evolution Fresh Complete Smoothies: Probiotics + Protein + Fiber
Evolution Fresh Complete Smoothies are multifunctional beverages combining great taste with a day’s worth of probiotics (1 billion CFUs) to support digestive wellness, plant-based protein for satiety and fiber for digestion. Evolution Fresh Complete Smoothies will be debuting in three unique flavors in Summer 2018:
Organic Greens: Sweet and savory green vegetables rounded with a blend of orange, apple and pineapple
Organic Strawberry: Delicious strawberries, tart and sweet, the taste of summer
Organic Banana: A well-rounded balance of classic ripe banana, creamy vanilla and a citrus twist
What ‘better for you’ customer relevant grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat food products are you working on?  Will you be driving value added, customer relevant messaging, new menu items next year? Is your team Looking A Customer Ahead

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Freshii Flying High


The best way to introduce your food brand to consumers is via sampling your food, taste testing, and social media today according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson. Next month Freshii will be doing just that when they begin selling food on hundreds of Air Canada flights each day. 
This October, Air Canada travelers will get a new option for their meals from Freshii. The Toronto, Canada healthful fast-casual chain has an agreement in place “serve a selection of its food on hundreds of Air Canada flights per day” beginning on October 1, 2017.
Freshii CEO Matthew Corrin stated  “The sky is the limit when it comes to delivering on the Freshii mission of making healthy food convenient and affordable to citizens of the world,” and the team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that this is a great new avenue of distribution for Freshii. .
Corrin continued “I am a frequent Air Canada flyer myself, and I am proud to partner with this global airline to support their innovation for the benefit of their customers and our guests alike.”
Freshii menu items the ilk of “Pangoa Bowl and Fiesta Wrap will be available on Air Canada flights for lunch and dinner, and its Avocado Smash Box will be available for breakfast. Specific menu items can be seen on the onboard menu in seat pockets of certain flights in North America offering the airline’s Air Canada Bistro.” So if you are not eating on chances are you will see someone else doing so or read about it on the plane.
This is a win, win according to our Grocerant Guru® and  Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines at Air Canada stated “We’re excited to bring Freshii’s innovative meals and snacks as a new option to our North American onboard bistro service.
New non-traditional locations are nothing new for the 332-unit Freshii chain.  They have placed food in non-tradtional location including restaurants in Target stores and has made public entreaties to Subway operators and frozen yogurt franchisees in its effort to grow.
This is clearly not a first  as Airlines have been offering branded food and beverages on flights. Virgin America serves Philz Coffee, and JetBlue Airways has served Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for years. Delta Airlines serves Starbucks Coffee. The regional airline Sun Country will deliver Jimmy John’s subs on some flights.
Thinking about exposure, incremental customers remember that Air Canada is one of the 20 largest airlines in the world and served nearly 45 million customers in 2016. The airline provides passenger service to 64 airports in Canada, 57 in the U.S. and 95 in Europe. I ask you where are you selling food?

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

Monday, September 18, 2017

Why did legacy Grocery stores Abandon consumers?

Complacency, mediocrity, and apathy clearly played a role in why and how traditional grocery stores capitulated retail food market share to other retailers.  Did you know that today there are 29 restaurants in the United States for every one Grocery store according to the team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Our own Grocerant Guru® stated that “the simple fact is the customer has moved and grocery stores have not moved with the consumer.  Time stared, consumers  preferences for meal preparation have evolve from cooking from scratch to meal assembly utilizing grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food.”

Inmar Willard Bishop Analytics new study titled: Future of Food Retailing 2017, ”predicts that while there will be modest growth in dollar share for the traditional grocery channel, there will be massive fluctuations within the channel. Here is what they see happening:

1.       "By 2021, dollar share for the traditional grocery channel will reach 44.4 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent," according to the study.
2.       "The number of traditional supermarkets will decrease by 24.6 percent. This decline is offset by double-digit growth in store counts for fresh-format, limited-assortment, and super warehouse formats." (Note most will be by non-grocers)
3.       The convenience channel will see a slight increase in share, reaching 16.5 percent by 2021, the study estimates.

Inmar Willard Bishop Analytics formally ‘Willard Bishop’ a stalwart food industry research house findings have to be alarming to legacy grocery stores. Given that the team at Foodservice Solutions® has not been forced to sell out to a media company the way Technomic and Willard Bishop have we believe our insights just may be more valuable to grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores, and chain restaurants. 

Do your foodservice offerings look more like yesterday than tomorrow?  Are you doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  How are you selling food and to whom? 


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.