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Domenick Celentano

Food Spending Trends – A Convergence of Restaurants and Grocery Stores to Grocerants

By June 20, 2012

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Channel Migration, Migration Marketing, small format, QSR, Fast Casual, Upscale QSR... stop!

This is what is happening to the retail food and restaurant sector. It is blurring and blurring faster than we can keep up. Why?

Consumers Are Highly Segment Group - The Mass in Marketing is Gone

Eatzis points to the Convergence of Restaurants and Grocery Stores to GrocerantsConsumers want what they want when they want it! Today it is all about the consumer buying what they want, where they buy it and how they buy it. You can buy food from

  • Walmart Supercenters and Target's P Fresh
  • The Natural / Organic powerhouse Whole Foods
  • Small Format retail like Trader Joe, Fresh & Easy (Tesco) and Walmart Express
  • Dollar Stores (yes you heard that correctly)
  • Walgreens Fresh
  • Restaurants

Restaurants are as challenging in format proliferation. There is QSR, Fast Casual and Casual dining. But those lines are blurring as QSR goes upscale with McDonalds McCafe, Pret A Manger, artisan and take N bake pizza operators ( ) Not to be left out, Fast Casual Chain Panera Bread is adding drive thrus along with Starbucks. Oh and Pizza Hut is recognizing the growing trend in sandwiches with their new 'pizza wrap' called P'Zolo.

How do we make sense of this? Our Grocerant Guru to the rescue!

Steve Johnson wrote New Food Spending Trends - A Convergence of Restaurants and Grocery Stores to Grocerants to help us understand the major industry trends.

Steve says "The line between restaurants and food retailers is growing ever thinner... as consumers find fresh prepared ready-2-eat food options at a wide and growing array of outlets across almost every channel". He is spot on and when you see Walgreens with the fresh food initiative vying to become your neighborhood convenience you know the consumers meal shopping habits are changing.

According to a recent survey study from IBM the NYU Stern School of Business, Retail 2020: Reinventing retailing-- once again said that  millenials are in charge of the future. At 80 Million strong they are the main story for retailers in 2020. "They value quality over quantity, have a real passion for social causes and have grown up using the Internet for everything. Retailers who can appeal to this cohort and offer them the products and experiences they value will be the most


Why Should You Care as a Food Brand?

As steve points out "Why should you care if Walgreens is selling fresh prepared ready-2-eat and made-2-order sandwiches? Why should you care if Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Safeway and Wegmans are selling ready-2-eat and or heat-N-eat fresh pizza?  Why should you care if Coinstar is selling Seattle Best Coffee at 1,000 locations for $1.00?"

You should care because they are selling it, and you are not! And there is only so much consumer "share of stomach" to get. You want to be successful as a growing food brand or foodservice brand? Start paying attention to these major shifts in consumer shopping behavior.

More on Grocerants

What is a Grocerant?

It's 4PM, Do You Know What Your Customers will Buy for Dinner?


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