Today’s entry in our ongoing series of food and beverage marketing trends takes a look at a trend we call “Channel Agnostic.” The shift is spurred by consumers who want meals, meat, produce, prepared food and groceries at more venues – not just the grocery store. The result is a revamped business model for restaurants, c-stores, grocery stores, discount stores and providers of food-on-the-go.
WHO’S DOING IT
Sheetz and Wawa, two mainstays of the northeast, are famous for taking the c-store model to a new level. Both offer basic groceries and made-to-order breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, as well as fresh fruit, salads and a side variety of side dishes. Kroger recently announced new prototypes in some of their c-store brands, most notably Kwik Shop and Loaf ‘N Jug.
And while c-stores are evolving to become more like grocery stores, grocery stores are also changing to become more like c-stores. Grocers across the country are developing more ready-to-eat, sit-down dining options, and perhaps no one is doing it better than Wegmans. This Rochester, NY-based chain offers a food court with options that range from hot dogs and chips to sushi and chardonnay.
As reported previously on this blog, restaurants are also joining the fray with an ever-expanding line of restaurant-quality dinner options available in grocery store freezer aisles.
Drug stores are also making a pitch for consumers’ grocery dollars. Pictured above is, believe it or not, the grocery section of a Walgreens. CVS and Duane Reade are also aggressively remodeling stores to include grocery and deli.
WHO’S THE TARGET
The Channel Agnostic trend targets independent thinkers. Those are consumers who are letting go of the notion that food only comes from certain places. These consumers are able to evaluate the value proposition wherever they are, and embrace more convenient and versatile food offerings when they find them.
HOW TO TAP INTO THIS TREND
How can food and beverage marketers take advantage of channel agnostic shoppers? We’ve discovered more than a few ways, which we happily share in personalized presentations of our 2012 trend outlook. To schedule a presentation, either in person or via webinar, contact Pavone’s director of business solutions Mary Lorson at email@example.com. Also, for a look at 2011 trends, feel free to request a copy of that report on our website.
MARKETING LESSON: To succeed today, food and beverage brands need to think beyond the grocery store shelf.