The collapse of Palmer & Harvey yesterday has sent a shockwave through the convenience and wholesale channel. It is deeply distressing for the 2,500 employees whose jobs have been terminated with immediate effect and of course extremely worrying for the 90,000 outlets who rely on P&H deliveries for their very livelihoods. Sadly however the demise and failed rescue packages have been well documented, so the writing was on the wall. The final nail in the coffin was perhaps Tesco’s £3.7bn takeover of food wholesaler Booker which got the go-ahead from the competition authorities. This effectively gave the green light for Tesco Booker to take in house the valuable contracts that P&H held to supply Tesco and One Stop stores.
As a leading foodservice agency we always keep up to date with the latest trends in the market and as part of this on-going commitment we regularly attend the MCA de-briefs. This month we were particularly interested to see that their latest event covered the contract catering sector*, as this is an area of the foodservice market which many of our clients target and one that is often overlooked by the wider world, despite being responsible for feeding us from cradle to grave. The morning briefing encompassed both the wider market, from their Eating Out Panel and a deeper delve into the contract catering sector. The complete report is very comprehensive and available to MCA Forum members or to purchase, but below are some of our key take outs to whet your appetite.
(vlog by Neil Brenson)
As a leading foodservice agency, the food-to-go market, which is predicted to grow to £23.5bn by 2022* has been top of mind at Jellybean Creative for some time (as you can see from our previous blogs: here, here, and here), so it was with great interest I sat down to hear about this unabating trend from a global perspective when I visited Lunch!
IGD, the global food and grocery experts, are undertaking a major insight programme around food-to-go and Gavin Rothwell their Senior Insights Manager has the enviable job of travelling the world searching for what makes a great food-to-go proposition. Here are some of his findings:
Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room , situated in its homeland Seattle, it’s just one mile away from the first ever Starbucks site. Billed as a ‘coffee experience’, this really is a brand showcase and is set up to educate, inform and inspire. There are wider rollout plans already underway for launches in other big cities worldwide.
Sweetgreen is a US-based salad bar/healthy meal solutions chain with a huge focus on provenance and seasonality, which they use as a selling point e.g. Get your asparagus soup today, as it will only be available for the next week and then it’s gone until next year!
Panera Bread is a two-thousand strong American bakery serving up healthy, balanced and nutritious menus, using good ingredients and a host of flexible meals for almost every occasion. A simple idea they introduced was including an apple as the default in a meal deal instead of something sweet.
Toss & Turn is a chain of salad and soup bars in Singapore and Hong Kong whose motto is ‘Eat Well, Live Well’. Amongst other menu items, which they describe as ‘leafy goodness’, they’ve been offering their customers the ‘Smoothie Bowl’ for some time and have an all-day dining menu including gourmet thins, wholesome soups and succulent sandwiches.
Espresso House is the largest coffeehouse chain in the Nordics with a focus on in-store environment and a strong food range with a multitude of choices. Sweden has the 2nd largest organic market in the world, so it caters for this market by making sure that 10% of their range is organic.
Centra is Ireland’s leading convenience retail group, who have developed their own coffee shop brand – Frank and Honest, Gourmet Coffee Company . They’re leading the way in food-to-go because they offer various different solutions from self-serve machines, to coffee shops with baristas serving up premium salads and cakes. They have built up such a good reputation that they’re being approached to set-up across the country.
Whole Foods Market are continually innovating, with every individual store offering something different. The Boston store is working with individual street traders to offer something local to its clientele.
PCC Community Markets in Seattle boast open kitchens showing just how proud they are of what they do. Their chefs create original recipes from scratch using fresh, seasonal ingredients, so customers can pick up a hot slice, whole pie or grab a take-and-bake pizza for later.
Food Central in Miyana, Mexico is one of the best case studies because it meets every single food-to-go option available in the market. Essentially it’s a huge food court offering the widest variety of food options to satisfy every taste bud!
All these examples from across the world show that there’s not just one way to achieve success and that understanding the customer is key. Expect more fusions between foodservice and retail food-to-go operations as the food spaces develop. Shopper trends are pointing to a further increase in the role of food-to-go ahead, so we can look forward to enjoying more exciting options on the go!
If you want to find out even more, Gavin will be speaking at the IGD Food-to-go conference in London next month.
*IGD Forecast August2017
Convenience retailers rely on, trust and act on the advice of other retailers. Ask any convenience retailer and they will tell you the same. As a marketer specialising in convenience retail trade and category communications for leading food and drinks brands, reaching and influencing convenience retailers is what myself and the Jellybean team do day in and day out. Now I could write a few thousand words here in this blog and take up a lot of your valuable time labouring the point about the rise of influencer marketing, the power of peer to peer endorsement and the role of ambassadors, but I won’t. The simple fact is… and I’ll say it again… convenience retailers, rely on, trust and act on the advice of other retailers. So, it stands to reason that food and drink brands should be really collaborating with convenience retailers and making damn sure they get retailers to be the champions of their brands.
As the leading foodservice agency, we had the pleasure of attending the 2017 Eating Out Market Data Briefing at the prestigious M by Montcalm in Shoreditch. These MCA events provide a wealth of insightful information about the foodservice industry, such as market forecasts, menu analysis, consumer activity and current trends. It’s a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in the market – which is why Jellybean is always there.