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Friday, February 24, 2012

Fast food meets the family dining room

Observation:   This week, I had the pleasure of talking about Consumer DNA with a really sharp marketing team in Orlando.  One of the things we discussed was the impending churn that we can expect in the in- and out-of-home dining category.  During the recession, lots of folks down-graded from upscale to family casual restaurants, or from family casual to fast food, or from fast food to eating at home.  As the recovery picks up steam, the folks who lost market share will try regain it, and the folks who gained share will try to retain it.

When I got back into the office this morning, an FMI newsletter led me to this story from the Orlando Business Journal, explaining how Winn-Dixie is expanding their take-home meal solutions menu.  Click here to see the story.

Implications:   This is another way consumers will be comparing Apples to Oranges… meaning that restaurants don’t just compete with other companies in their category; they must worry about another category they compete with (grocers).

Who are the direct competitors you’re focused on?  (The people who sell pretty much the same thing you sell?)  And while you’re focused on that obvious competition, are there other categories taking a bite out of your sector?  How might you defend?  Or, how can you play offense… and grow beyond your core business to find new veins of revenue?

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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