Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

CPG Houses Facing Changing Marketplace

October 22nd, 2014

strategyand-logo

Where will tomorrow’s growth come from in packaged foods?

Experts abound, and some predict that smaller, more-nimble manufacturers will dominate the marketplace.

This report by the consulting firm Strategy& (formerly Booz Allen) insists that Whole Foods, club stores and dollar stores will take more and more market share away from conventional grocery stores.

Of course, pundits have been predicting the demise of the grocery store for decades, yet that model soldiers on. Grocery stores tend to become complacent because EVERYBODY EATS. During the Great Recession, food retailers were the only ones that made money (though not all conventional grocery stores were profitable, since consumers shifted their shopping patterns to value, discount and other retail options). We recall the huge kick in the *** that Walmart gave conventional grocery stores when it entered the food category years ago.

And quite frankly, many grocery retailers need that kick, as their stores had become dark, dirty and old-fashioned.

Today, the top-performing retailers continue to innovate and thrive, while those who don’t like A&P have shuffled from one crisis to another.

There is no “one size fits all” way for conventional grocery chains to take on the challenges of alternative channels of distribution, online shopping or specialty retailers. For example, Wegman’s and Publix consistently score among the top retailers in the nation based on attractive stores,  appealing merchandising and product mixes that delight their customers.

And there’s a real danger in projecting how things are now into the future. Several years ago, it looked as though Walgreen’s and other drug stores would take a big bite out of the food marketplace, but that simply hasn’t happened. Whether that’s because Americans aren’t ready to swap shopping at the grocery store for picking up dinner and a prescription remains to be seen.

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Infographic on Consumer Protein Preferences

October 21st, 2014

NPDProteinPerceptions

Thanks to the NPD Group and Food Business News.

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New Trends in “Natural” Foods

October 20th, 2014

Longtime readers will already know we’re skeptical about the spread of “all natural” foods.

The term has no actual meaning, since it is not regulated by any government agency the way “organic” is.

Maple-flavored wood chips could be sold as “all natural.”

Still, the term is beloved by consumers who lap up anything with an “all natural” label. The trend is here to stay, and so trendlets are blooming all over. Here are some from Food Business News:

  1. New sources of protein, including vegetable-based and vegetable-animal proteins
  2. “Paleo” diet-inspired packaged foods claiming to be free of grains, processed sugars, dairy and legumes
  3. Cause-related foods where companies donate a portion of profits to good causes like research to cure diseases
  4. Dialing it back to “old,” including traditional ingredients
  5. Coconut: as in gluten-free, raw tortillas made with coconut meat, coconut water and Himalayan salt
  6. Probiotics are moving out from yogurt to other things
  7. Vegan in disguise: appealing to the mainstream as better-for-you and environmentally beneficial
  8. Cosmetics from food, such as Shoosha- organic skin care products using green tea, hazelnut crème coffee and coconut cream
  9. Clean label, a trend moving across the Pond from Europe with simple, additive-free labels
  10. Transparency: more products are coming with a “story” about their sourcing
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The Start of the NHL Season: The Black Keys “Lonely Boy”

October 17th, 2014

Here’s our favorite from the HBO Special About the NY Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers (we ARE named for Broad Street in Philadelphia).

 

And live on “Letterman.”

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Troubled Darden Ousts its Own Board

October 16th, 2014

darden logo

This space has been critical of Darden for a long time.

The restaurant chain operator has been in trouble for a long time, with sales slumping and investors demanding change.

Hoping to stem that unrest, the company sold the Red Lobster banner in May of this year.

Now activist investor group Starboard Value L.P. has taken over all the seats of the parent of Olive Garden in a stunning rebuke of the company’s previous management team. Starboard had put Darden shareholders on notice in September of its intentions if it prevailed in the shareholder meeting October 10, publishing a 294 page critique entitled “Transforming Darden Restaurants.” Among the moves the investor group plans are:

  1. Operational improvements
  2. Possible sale or spinoff of Darden’s real estate assets
  3. Separating Olive Garden and the 465-unit Longhorn Steakhouse into a separate company
  4. Launching a domestic and international franchising program

Ops improvements are boiler-plate for any change-makers, so the real improvement in the bottom line may come from the sale of the company’s real estate. Chain restaurants have found it easier to operate without actually owning their doors, and franchising has been a generally successful path for avoiding expenses and transferring risk to franchisees.

The new board identified its first priority will be hiring a “transformative” CEO.

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Still Time to Register For Today’s Grocerant Webinar

October 15th, 2014

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The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May today at 4PM Eastern time.’

Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants.

The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available online for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Free Webinar on Grocerants & Channel Blurring

October 14th, 2014

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The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May tomorrow, October 15th at 4PM Eastern time.’

Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants.

The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Free Webinar on Alternative Food Marketing This Wednesday

October 13th, 2014

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The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May on this Wednesday, October 15th at 4PM Eastern time. Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants. The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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The Kings of Leon’s “Molly’s Chambers”

October 10th, 2014

 

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Webinar on Channel Blurring October 15th: Register Now

October 9th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May on October 15th at 4PM Eastern time. Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants. The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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