The rapid rise of third-party delivery services and order-ahead technology has challenged restaurants to create pickup areas to avoid congestion at the counter. Chipotle Mexican Grill has installed a simple shelving unit at 1,000 of its restaurants, and tech startup Eatsa has created a digital shelving unit that illuminates the customer's name when the order is placed on it.
Plant-based, ready-to-drink smoothie company Koia has earned $8 million in sales, thanks in part to a nationwide distribution deal with Whole Foods Market in 2016 that led to the brand's status as the chain's most profitable protein item last summer, Nielsen said. The company is releasing two lines this year and is projecting a 150% increase in retail sales in 2019.
Wingstop generates more than one-quarter of its orders through digital channels and the chain has a strategy to continue growing its online and mobile sales, CEO Charlie Morrison says in this podcast. The chain has booked 15 consecutive years of same-store sales growth, and in 2018 it was the top-performing restaurant stock.
Third-party ordering can be a double-edged sword for small and independent eateries, said Erick Kobres, technology chief for Revel Systems. Delivery apps can boost sales for restaurants with well-established digital plans, but eateries that turn over marketing and branding tasks to third-party players risk losing control of their customer data, he said.
Lay's is bringing its Fried Pickles With Ranch potato chip variety back to stores after distributing them for a limited time last year. The chips are available at Sam's Club for less than $4 per bag.
Facial hair remains on-trend, but shaving still accounts for the biggest segment within the men's grooming space, said Pankaj Bhalla, director with Gillette and Venus at Procter & Gamble. While 43% of men ages 18 to 24 are clean-shaven, just 1% of men entirely avoid grooming their facial hair, he said.
Rise Brewing has forged a distribution deal that will bring its ready-to-drink, nitro cold-brew coffees into 2,000 Walmart locations in April. The beverage company has seen success in the specialty channel, but the new deal allows for a broader visibility among everyday consumers, said CEO Grant Gyesky.
Coca-Cola is building on its relationship with K-pop boy band BTS for a Lunar New Year campaign. The marketing program contains new bottle and can designs featuring the faces of BTS members along with positive messages for the new year.
Dutch chocolate company Tony's Chocolonely has debuted its products in the UK at Selfridges stores, with launches on tap at Whole Foods Market, Waitrose and Sainsbury's stores in upcoming months. Tony's Chocolonely has a mission of ending child labor under illegal conditions in the cocoa industry.
Fry's Food & Drug Stores, Giant Eagle and Ralphs had the most loyal customers in 2018, according to a report from inMarket. Publix Super Markets and Smith's Food & Drug Centers rounded out the top five food retailers that have the most brand-loyal customers, according to the report, which was based on the average frequency of shoppers' return visits.
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