March 8th, 2016

How High Speed Home Delivery Will Change How We Eat in 2016

Posted in Consumer Trends, Food Trends, Marketing, Product Innovation, Promotions, Restaurants, Retail, Trends

If you are craving a burger, but don’t feel like leaving the house, you’re not alone. According to Technomic’s 2016 food trends, the shift to eating in is driving significant growth in the easy order app sector, allowing consumers to order from the comfort of their couch. This trend toward cozy dinners in front of the TV, while watching Netflix in your pajamas, is just beginning to pick up traction. And it’s not limited to fast food either: Safeway and Meijer will deliver your groceries. It’s estimated up to 17 percent of grocery shopping to be done online by the year 2023.

Let’s look at some of the major players in the food delivery sector:

Uber: this rideshare giant has cornered the market in transporting people. They even have some novel offerings, such their ‘puppy delivery service’. Essentially bringing adoptable puppies to you for a play date. This summer they delivered free ice cream if you ordered through the app. A partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group allows riders to earn points towards their stay at participating hotels. And yes, Uber is getting into the food delivery business with Uber Eats, their food delivery platform. Serving 12 cities, including Paris and Toronto, they guarantee a 10 minute delivery within a very limited delivery range. Once you order the food, you just pick it up curbside. How simple is that?

Amazon: they have the drones, they have Amazon Prime, and now they have Amazon Prime Now, which can deliver anything from groceries to cleaning supplies in under 2 hours. That time is cut in half with an order of food arriving within 1 hour. The current delivery area is limited, serving only seven cities as of March 2016. They do have an advantage over the Uber model in that they seem to cover a larger area, you just have to wait a little longer. They even offered free cookies during the holiday season as a promotion.

Postmates: also an up and coming delivery service that features a plethora of items for delivery. Get your groceries and lunch with a delivery fee starting at an affordable $4.99. They also offered for the holidays a “12 days of Christmas” promotion where you could choose from an array of gifts to be delivered each day of the promotion. They have signed agreements with Chipotle, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Doordash: established in 2013, they are a relative fledgling in the delivery service industry. Regardless, DoorDash has already managed to secure contracts with Taco Bell, KFC and Dunkin’ Donuts. They are also in a pending litigation with In-N-Out regarding delivery of their food without permission. The lawsuit calls into question the issues of food safety and trademark infringement. Brand identity and food safety are pretty critical to any chain establishment, so the outcome of this lawsuit could set the tone for the future of delivery service companies.

EatOutIn: This model employs an interface where the order is sent to the restaurant and an independent driver in the local area are notified when a delivery is ready. One of the first entrants into this market, the company has been serving the Austin, TX area since 1986 with recent expansions to San Antonio and Houston.

Grubhub: one of the pioneers of the food delivery industry and the one you are probably most familiar with, Grubhub has the largest delivery base, including over 1000 cities and more than 40,000 restaurants. Their “Track Your Grub” feature gives real time updates on the status of your order. The recently merged with Seamless and formed GrubHub, Inc. in August 2013. Dedicated to bringing the best delivery dining experience, the company offers 24/7 order support to its customers.

 

February 22nd, 2016

Marketing Your Food Brand to the Customers You Love

Posted in About Allison, Consumer Trends, Food Trends, Marketing, Promotions, Restaurants, Trends

We all know that proper marketing of your food brand is just as critical as the food you serve your customers. Effective marketing differentiates your concept from the next, defines your audience, and connects you to them in a positive way.

One of the most powerful ways to bond with your customers is through emotion. Your beliefs and values are what attract customers to your company, so your brand and marketing are critical to maintaining loyalty. How you convey your mission to your customer sets the tone for any future interactions.

Here are some ways that well-known brands are building successful consumer relationships:

ZPizza: their Nice zSLice program is a partnership with 200 nationwide schools to reward kindness. Each October during National Bullying Prevention month, teachers can offer complimentary coupons for slices of pizza to students as a way to reward kind behavior towards others. The initiative also includes pizza parties and materials that educators can use in the classroom.

Chick-Fil-A: just announced in early January, the “Moms” valet service is a new program to help hectic families make the ordering process easier. Parents with little kids can first order through the drive-through, requesting a valet. Once they receive their order in the car, they dine in the restaurant, at an assigned table including the exact number of high chairs that the family needs. The idea came from seeing young families struggle with the ordering process all while trying to wrangle the little ones. Once again, Chick-Fil-A honors its commitment to its family values.

Red Mango: the company created its Raw6 one-day juice cleanse with the help of Erika Bernhard, a registered dietician with Crave Nutrition Solutions LLC. The Raw6 retails for $42.00 and includes 6 specially crafted fruit and vegetable juice combinations. The program, developed with the healthy consumer in mind, provides a juice cleanse that is easy and approachable for the consumer. The products provide a healthy cleanse option without having to compromise on nutrition.

&Pizza: the brand has been offering free “&” tattoos to its employees, more commonly known as the “tribe”, for the past year. It also offers the free tattoo to its loyal customers once they spend $1500.00. They consider their brand, a “human” brand, and the “&” tattoo is clearly aligned with their core value set and celebration of “oneness”.

Pizza Patron: in an effort to their appreciation to veterans, Pizza Patron just launched its “Veterans Por Favor” program. Fully qualified and honorably discharged veterans will get the $20,000 fee on their first restaurant waived by the company. The program, set to run through the end of 2016 and available in Texas, makes a franchise offering a reality for candidates with the qualifications but not the bankroll.

Nekter Juice Bar: in a program clearly targeted to consumers trying to eat healthier, Nekter has designed a program to instill healthy habits in its consumers. Titled “21 Days of Nekter”, it represents the minimum number of days it takes to instill a new habit. As part of the program, they also offer a 6 bottle cleanse, including Activated Charcoal Lemonade and Green Nut Milk, as well as two seasonal soups (“Creamy” Tomato and Butternut Squash).

DQ: in a new twist, DQ is offering their blizzards served to the customer upside down. This is a call out to their values of quality and started January 1st. If your blizzard is not served to you upside down, your next one is free. The new program highlights the company’s philosophy of offering innovative and unexpected flavors and trends.

How do you connect with your consumers? In the end, your ability to interface effectively with your audience is critical to your brand success.