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Food Retailers Battle for a Share of the Stomach

Dollar stores, grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of IKEA, and Costco are all in a fierce battle for the food dollar. All the while consumers don’t see they’re in the middle of it of this battle as they are adopting too new avenues of fresh food distribution faster than anyone would have ever expected creating both opportunity and disruption simultaneously according to Johnson.

The U.S. census data from 2015 notes that restaurant spend ($54.9 billion) outstripped grocery purchases ($52.5 billion) for the first time.  The battle for share of stomach is evolving into a fierce battle for Share of Dollar in every sector for retail. 

Consumers do not think in terms of channels the way the industry does. Club store chain Costco, for example, sells 70,000 rotisserie chickens a day.   IKEA is now selling over $$2 billion in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eatfresh prepared food a year. 

Grocery retailers appear to be floundering as they are not really clear on their place in this battle.  It appears they would rather fill the shelves in the center of the stores than creates a platform of consumer interactive participatory fresh prepared food.  While some legacy grocery stores are testing new concepts; those test look more like yesterdaythan tomorrow’s success.

Given Johnson’s background and experience restaurants very much see grocery store fresh prepared food retail as the competition, and they are gearing up and responding to the rise of grocerant competition, grocery stores don’t consider restaurants as competition rather they worry about C-stores. .

National Restaurant Association found that “50 percent of consumers say they’d like to have restaurant quality food at home”. Foodservice Solutions® team found that 65% of consumers believe that C-store grocerant offering and grocery stores fresh prepared food is restaurant quality.  

Grocerant niche fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food can be found in every sector of retail today including the ilk of  Macy’s, IKEA, Ralph Lauren, Pinkies Liquor, or Cabela’s  serving up a competitive threat to legacy grocery stores, restaurants, Convenience stores, and Online retailers AmazonFresh  and  The battle for share of stomach continues to intensify.

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About Steven Johnson

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Do you know who your competitors are today?  Do you know what they are selling? Do you know what your customers think of their food?  No? Well, maybe it's time to get a Grocerant Scorecard completed by the Grocerant Guru.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® and a recognized food industry thought leader. Johnson excels at vertical brand and product positioning, marketing strategy and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity.  He can help place new products in non-traditional channels of distribution.

 With an emphasis in grocerant niche, his focus has been on better for you food that is fresh or prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat.  He developed and implemented of the 5 P’s for food marketing for all retail foodservice companies, including chain drugstores, grocery stores, QSR’s and particularly C-store clients.

 During the past 15 years he has developed over 7.5 billion Dollars in avenues of new business revenue for clients and companies. His experience has focused primarily on C-level sales and brand  building opportunity with industry leading international companies including: The Procter & Gamble Company, Papa John’s International, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Chi Chi’s, TGI Fridays, Fuddruckers,, Technomic, The Hartman Group.

 Prior to Foodservice Solutions, Johnson worked for the US Department of the Navy, where he led the development of Parcheesi’s Pizza Pasta Plus for global roll out and implementation including the development of the first dockside mobile pizza kitchen for use by the US Navy during the first Gulf War.

Johnson holds a Master’s of Science in Food Marketing degree with distinction from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business School Honor Society.  Johnson has received numerous awards including 3 EMMEY; Awarded by 3M for “Outside the box” thinking and team leadership. Food Marketing Award; Awarded by Saint Joseph’s University, Outstanding Service Award issued by the Boy Scouts of America.

Don't get trapped doing what you have always done. Position your company with the evolving consumer. Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P's of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? That's simple, call for Outside Eyes call the Grocerant Guru. Email Steve at: or visit: for more information. Visit us at, or tweet Steve at

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