Familiar restaurant chain brands are showing up in the aisles of the â€˜competitionâ€™: supermarkets. The reason: The Great Recession. With more families cutting back by eating at home instead of dining out, some chains have decided to bring their brands to the home front, reports Julie Jargon in the Wall Street Journal.
Starbucks Corp., in the wake of traffic declines in its stores, launched a line of coffee-flavored ice cream in April sold in the grocery frozen foods aisle. Last month the company started handing out coupon books to its coffee-shop customers with dollar-off deals on the ice cream and its 10 oz. packages of Starbucks coffee also sold in supermarkets.
Burger King has announced plans to begin selling Apple Fries in the produce section of grocery stores. The product is currently marketed as part of the burger chain’s kid’s meals. The apple fries are skinned and sliced to look like french fries. The supermarket version will be packaged in fries-type containers (as in the restaurants) along with a packet of low-fat caramel dipping sauce.
Other chains following suit in this trend â€”
- California Pizza Kitchen began offering microwaveable Flatbread Melt sandwiches in March, through a licensing agreement with Kraft Foods.
- Dunkin’ Donuts has begun selling its coffee in supermarkets across the U.S.
- T.G.I. Friday’s has been successfully marketing many of its popular appetizers such as mozzarella sticks.
“Restaurants are thinking, ‘If we can’t capture those consumers in our own stores, we’ll get them at home and, when the economy improves, they’ll return to our stores,’” says Bill Cross, quoted in the WSJ article. Cross is vice president of food licensing for a company that has brokered licensing deals for restaurant chains.
Website WalletPop.com has an article on its website that compares 20 restaurant chain food items with their grocery store versions. Check it out. It’s a fun read.
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