Cereal Tycoon by Joe Musser
Take Away Grab & Go Food Lesson 1 - Reformat Products for Guest's Needs & Easier Purchasing : Review your product mix for opportunities to reformat your fresh offerings into a more easy to buy customer centric format. Consider packaging, labeling, and customer education by use of compelling labeling and signage. Review opportunities for private labeling your convenience foods with a trademarked brand. While this may seem logical many retailers continue to offer items in irrelevant sizes for quick or single serve consumption. Other retailers have entire categories (bakery, fresh produce, sweets) which are not packaged in manners to purchase without the assistance of an attendant or greater effort on the customers behalf. While uncooked oats are not a grab & go food, Crowell's understanding of his customer's needs and translating his product, message, and packaging to suit can clearly apply to modern food retailing.
Minding the Store by Stanley Marcus
Take Away Grab & Go Food Lesson 2: Build Distinctive Signature Product Mix Offerings: Finally, offering a world-class high-quality product offering requires distinct food products, research and often a customized distribution system to become successful. Take for example the story of Wil Wright's Ice Cream Parlor on the Sunset Strip. This incredible "extraordinary" ice cream was sampled for Neiman & Marcus's signature Zodiac restaurant. The initial sample shipment cost over $20 per gallon but passed the flavor and quality test! The two businesses worked together to develop a specialized method of train and refrigerated truck transport to offer the best which ended in a long term partnership and delighted customers who much appreciated a served single bowl or the ability to purchase by the gallon when they specially entertained their friends.
Secrets of Selfridges - PBS Video
When considering innovation in modern retailing, Harry Selfridge comes to mind. Challenging the norms of merchandising, Harry became successful in Chicago working for Marshall Fields & Company. Wikipedia states either Seflridge or Marshall Field were credited with the famous saying, "The customer is always right." His knack or "craziness" was well rewarded when he left to set up shop in what his contemporaries thought was against all odds. Selfridge relocated to London, selected a "unlikely" location of enormous size, and filled the store with elaborate displays, merchandise, complimentary entertainment, and a seasons sales team. The shop was an instant success. The proximity to merchandise and ability to browse and enjoy one's time within the lovely environment contributed to what we would now call "dwell time." As a result, his excited new & loyal guests alike tended to stay longer enjoying his well selected merchandise and desirable fun filled environment and in turn likely spent more impulsively and regularly growing Selfridge's success.
Many lessons from these past successful innovators can help us take bold moves in today's food markets as we strive to build creative and unique food programs aimed to meet our customers grab & go food needs. Best of luck advancing your retail food marketplace!