Saturday, July 22, 2017

Food Icon KFC Extends the Brand

Building incremental brand value for a mature chain restaurant always top of mind.  However at Kentucky Fried Chicken it has invigorated the KFC marketing team and consumers when KFC launched a new online merchandise shop, KFC Ltd., along with its first collection of quality fried chicken apparel and limited-edition goods according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.
So what can you buy from KFC well starting at just $8, the debut collection includes “KFC- and Colonel Sanders-inspired T-shirts, enamel pins, framed artwork, and more. Collection items are produced in limited-edition quantities, so when they sell out, they’re gone—the fried chicken faithful are encouraged to act fast and then keep an eye out for the next collection to be released.”
KFC Ltd. offers limited-edition apparel and goods for any occasion:
1.       Need to keep it classy for the office? Fried chicken socks will add a pop of drumstick to any ensemble. If you’re looking for a matching tie, you can’t go wrong with a classic Colonel Sanders string bow tie.
2.       KFC’s mantra is something we should all live by, and the “Finger Lickin’ Good” gold-plated necklace will let you proudly proclaim your embrace of the fried chicken lifestyle.
3.       The Colonel Sanders pillowcase will let the dreamers in your life fall asleep each night next to the man who turned his dream of building a fried chicken empire into a reality.
4.       No matter where you’re actually from, we’re all united by a shared love of tasty fried chicken. Show off your hometown pride with the softest Fried Chicken USA sweatshirt.
5.       Of all the products offered on KFC Ltd., there is one that is truly out of this world—a 400-year-old meteorite. Retailing for $20,000, this one-of-a-kind, real space rock has been molded into the shape of a Zinger chicken sandwich and serves as a commemorative memento of the Zinger’s stratospheric mission.
Steve Kelly, KFC U.S. director of media and digital stated “KFC and Colonel Sanders have been American pop culture icons for more than 70 years. Our fans were craving a way to embrace the fried chicken lifestyle, and KFC Ltd. gives them the opportunity to let their colonel flag fly,” 
Success does leave clues and Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru’s clue for today is partnerships provides outside eyes for in-side results. KFC plans to partner with other notable apparel and lifestyle brands to create one-of-a-kind collaborations available only from KFC Ltd. in the future.

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  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Friday, July 21, 2017

Consumers are Craving Convenience Stores Food

There was a time that everyone one thought consumer would not buy fast food unless they could go to Quick Service Restaurant and use the drive-thru to get a meal when they were hungry.  Today however consumer are driving to convenience stores Hand Held Food for Immediate Consumption, that is consumer Interactive and Participatory with consumer relevance according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.
In a new survey from Tyson Convenience shows consumer preferences when it comes to prepared foods at convenience stores. “Busy summers and convenience stores go hand-in-hand for meals and snacks on-the-go,” said Rob Ramsey, senior manager of convenience channel marketing for Tyson Foods. “Consumers use convenience stores as their summertime home to keep them refueled and not slow them down.” Survey findings include:
1.       The No. 1 reason (51%) American adults purchase food at a convenience store is to satisfy a craving.
2.        Many (48%) would like to see a breakfast station serving waffles, biscuits, breakfast meats and baked goods at a convenience store.
3.       Breakfast sandwiches are so popular that more than half of Americans (51%) would purchase one at their local convenience store if they wanted to have breakfast for dinner.
4.       On the other hand, pizza rose to the top of later-in-the-day prepared foods to cross over to breakfast, with (45%) of Americans interested in eating pizza for breakfast.
5.       Americans prefer to eat their snacks with two fingers (47%) while shying away from using any utensils.

Ramsey continued “Hearing directly from consumers on what they want and expect from a convenience store can be invaluable for retailers, especially during the busy summer season,”. “These survey insights, like having breakfast offerings served all-day in unique, creative ways, give retailers feedback from consumers on how to merchandise prepared food offerings to attract consumers in the summer.”

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  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tijuana Flats Joins Eating-Out While Eating-In

Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits in every sector of retail foodservice today according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson.  Chain restaurant Tijuana Flats entered the fray this week jumping on the Eating-Out while Eating-In grocerant movement with a ‘take-home taco meal kit’.

Tijuana Flats, a Tex-Mex dining experience, recently launched “Hardly Homemade” take-home taco meal kit—a feasible, easily accessible takeout selection that allows simple options for family dinner, and is a viable solution for smaller offices looking for a group lunch option.
The meal kit is priced at $31.99, the Kit is available on UberEATS  and will be available for take-out only via direct order from all Tijuana Flats stores beginning on July 24. Additionally, all orders placed now through July 31 will include a free large side of salsa. 
The inclusive meal kit includes all of the essentials, including protein (chicken and beef), toppings (jalapeños, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and cheese), and tortillas and chips, the Kit supplies guests with all the at-home ingredients for taco night. The Kit’s tagline, “Hardly Homemade’.
Larry Ryback, CEO at Tijuana Flats  stated “We developed the ‘Hardly Homemade’ Kit as a way to offer a quick and convenient meal for families that didn’t require them to place full catering orders,”… “With the new school year just around the corner, we think now is the perfect time to launch this concept as families begin preparing for the return of after-school practices and homework sessions. “
Our own Grocerant Guru® continues to believe that “Meal kits are cooking training wheels for Millennials”.  The team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that restaurant meal kits extend the brand value, build ‘flavor cravings, while edifying brand value but Price Matters. Is this meal kit priced right?

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  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Grocery Competition Focus is on Quality & Price

There is little doubt that regional grocery store chains have had an easy time competing with each other and repositioning when a company the ilk of Wal-Mart came along and garnered some of their customers.  Most regional grocery stores simply raised prices and touted food quality and service as a differentiator and it worked according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.

Consumers are now resetting the Price, Value, Service Equilibrium according to Johnson and the new formula is:

(Mobile Access + Digital Payment + Delivery) X (Price + Food Quality + Speed) = Value

A new report from Bain & Company grocery store discounters are increasingly picking up customers from segments that tended to be more focused on traditional US stores.  According to the respondents, good value and low prices are the most important features shoppers, cited by 60% and almost 60% of respondents respectively. Around 50% of respondents convenient location and fresh produce.

For the most part the Bain report found respondents across various traditional stores, mass stores and clubs agree that store-brands are just as good – while, when including those neutral to the proposition, the vast majority of respondents (at around 80%) agree.

The Bain report went on to day that “One area of potential concern for traditional retailers is that, once people have tried (discounter) Aldi products, they tend to find them as good as, or better than, national name-branded products. For staples for instance, around 97% at least agree with the statement, while 95% agree with the statement for other dairy products. Canned food and nonperishables too was found to be strongly agreed to by respondents, at around 95%.”  These are good numbers and cause for concern.

Respondents were the least keen on fresh meat / seafood, baby and pets and personal care, at 80%, 75% and 70% at least agreeing that the categories are as good, or better than, national name-brand products. The fact is WinCo, Aldi, and Lidl private branded products are according to consumers GOOD.

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chick-fil-A Pantry Busting with Family Style Meals

Steven Johnson is the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Johnson excels at identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity one such activity is grocery store pantry busting and Chick-fil-A’s new family style meals are another great example of Pantry Busting.

Most legacy grocery stores are unable to evolve fast enough to maintain customer relevance, thus paving the way for continued capitulation of retail market share to the dollar store and restaurant sectors.  There is no doubt that the dollar store sector has devastated the ‘center of the store’ for traditional grocery stores and according to Johnson the restaurant sector is about to target the fresh sector of the grocery stores doing the same thing.
Chick-fil-A pantry busting ideation: Family Style Meals. Chick-fil-A is testing meal kits, including new sides, to meet a growing consumer demand it says affects nearly 40 percent of current dinner customers. The team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, found that at noon 83.7% of consumers do not know what’s for dinner and at 4PM 68.7% still don’t know what’s for dinner.
Matt Abercrombie, manager of menu development at Chick-fil-A stated that “Thirty-six percent of Chick-fil-A dinner diners take their meal to go, the chain says. …Our customers told us that they wanted an even more convenient way to share meals at home or on the go, so we worked directly with a group of parents to design every part of Family Style Meals—down to the cutlery caddy that features five unique conversation starter questions to help customers connect over mealtime,” … “Mealtime should be an enjoyable experience that brings family and friends together, not an extra stress in the day.”
 According to Johnson Chick-fil-A  is evolving from fast food to fast meals with the Family Style Meals they are testing through November 18. So, what can you get? Chick-fil-A says:
1.       They include one entrée, two sides, and eight Mini Rolls to serve four people, with the option to add additional entrees, sides, and beverages. Customer feedback will decide if the menu items stick.
2.       These include: Chick-n-Strips (12-count); Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Breasts (4-count); Chick-fil-A Nuggets (30-count), and Grilled Chicken Breasts (4-count).
3.       Side options include: Bacon Baked Beans, Fruit Cup, Mac & Cheese, Side Salad, and the Superfood Side. The Family Style Meal starts at $29.99.
4.       There is also a lighter Grilled Chicken Breasts, Side Salad, and Fruit Cup with two Mini Rolls option, which comes in at less than 300 calories per serving.
5.       Additionally, Chick-fil-A is testing Bacon Baked Beans and Mac & Cheese in the three cities.
6.       Note: “The Bacon Baked Beans are kettle-cooked with bacon and brown sugar for a sweet and savory taste,” Chick-fil-A says in the release. “The Mac & Cheese side is a classic macaroni and cheese recipe featuring a special blend of cheeses including Cheddar, Parmesan, and Romano.”
Success does leave clues and retailer must focus on customer interactive participation, transparent marketing, fresh local sustainable food products, new non-traditional points of fresh food distribution, and technology that makes retail food knowledge and availability seamless. Chick-fil-A is hitting on many of those key points and Pantry Busting while expanding their customer base.

Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Foodservice Solutions Nine Insights Driving Food Sales Today

Chain Restaurants, Legacy Grocery stores, Convenience stores, and Dollar stores all have rediscovered that unless you continually evolve your sales will stagnate, customer counts will decline and most important you customers will migrate to other channels, new retailers, and new avenues of distribution according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.
So if you are wondering where your customers might have gone consider this fact / insight from the NPD Group “Grocerants generated 2.4 Billion visits and $10 Billion in Sales in 2016”.  That is a lot of fresh prepared food my friends when meal components were mix and matched made many a customized family meal.  Here are
  1. Technomic: Nearly half of consumers (48%) look for low prices from restaurants so they can go out to eat more often.
  2. NRA: 80% of U.S. millennials report using Wi-Fi in restaurants over the past year
  3. Foodservice Solutions: Professionally prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meals offer Variety  and Variety is key to driving purchase frequency 
  4. Technomic: 34% of consumers say kids-eat-free specials are very likely to influence them to visit a restaurant, up from 27% in 2015
  5. Nielsen: Millennial interest in fresh prepared as a way to incorporate it as side dishes and main meals positions the deli as an important gateway to future generations.
  6. Foodinsights: 96% of Americans want to be healthy but there is confusion on what health means and how to get it. Consumers are willing to experiment with ‘better-for-you’ foods.
  7. NPD Group: Packaging matters 73 73% of people say they would be willing to pay more for a product that offered total transparency.
  8. Foodservice Solutions: 62% of consumers are highly satisfied with the value for money spent at fast food Restaurants.
  9. Technomic: Millennials matter as they dine out at least three times a week on average, compared to 40% of all Americans that eat out once a week.
 What clues are important to drive your business forward?  Are you Looking a Customer Ahead?

Success does leave clues  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, Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email:

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Starbucks' Innovation Continues to Drive Retail Sales Growth

Not all chain restaurants practice brand protectionism in fact according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson one chain restaurant excels at evolving it business model, extending it industry leadership and has for 46 years; that company is Starbucks.
The one thing that Starbucks does better than any other chain restaurant is follow one of Foodservice Solutions® success clues that the team at Foodservice Solutions® developed by identifying, quantifying, and qualifying retail foodservice success. The clue is Build, Measure, Learn, and Repeat.
That is exactly what Starbucks did and customers can now find Starbucks Draft Nitro Cold Brew in nearly 1,000 company-operated stores across the United States. The product has also expanded globally into 16 markets around the world.  Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is expected to be available in nearly 1,500 stores in 26 markets by the end of 2017.
Sandy Stark, senior vice president, Starbucks U.S. Beverage Category and Global Innovation  stated “The category of cold coffee is heating up,” … “We have always offered iced options but the launch of our cold brew platform in 2015 was a catalyst for our ability to bring in new options like Nitro. As a result, we are seeing less seasonality with cold coffee as it becomes a year-round drink for our customers.”
The Team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that what Starbucks does better than any other chain restaurant is looking beyond the four walls of its stores. Today Starbucks Cold Brew bike, allows licensed partners—such as those located on retail or college campuses—to bring Nitro to customers in a new and unexpected way. The Starbucks Cold Brew bike, a two-tap system on wheels, holds 2—4 kegs and serves Cold Brew coffee on-demand as an extension of a licensed store. There are currently two in operation with an additional eight more expected to follow later this year.
The installation of Starbucks Draft taps in stores has paved the way for Starbucks to continue innovating and testing new products. Are you looking beyond your four walls?  Are your customer counts growing? Do you need help new avenue of distributions ideations, new product ideations new marketing ideations?

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information.