Ikea started adding restaurants within its stores 58 years ago. Today Ikea Food represents some $1.8 billion in sales from its restaurants as well as the foods it offers including its renowned Swedish meatballs. Fast Company's story on the chain this week revealed two things that are notable. First is that the company reported that 30% of its customers go to Ikea not to buy furniture but rather to dine at its restaurants. The second its that Ikea Food's Managing Director, Michael La Cour told the magazine that they are looking at rolling out stand alone restaurants. Supermarkets should take notice. I have little doubt that Ikea's Swedish Food Market that sells their food products as well as DYI kits for items on their menus would be part of the stand alone restaurant, possibly producing the most powerful grocerant format yet.
Note: Next week's New Product Reviews will broadcast on Facebook LIVE on Thursday at 1pm Eastern
What I'm watching this week, and you should too:
Heading to DC? Next Friday April 28 Beyond Meat will be sampling its Beyond Burger from 12:30pm to 1:30pm in the Cannon House Office Building in Room 121. Honorary hosts are Senator Cory Booker, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Congressman Ted Deutch, Congressman Jamie Raskin and Ethan Brown CEO and Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute will share their thoughts on plant based meat substitutes and the health and environmental upsides of plant protein to members of Congress.
Great column in Bon Appetit about Orchard Grocer on the Lower East Side (home of world Famous Katz's) that is vegan. If you love deli's check out the 2010 doc by Yuri Dashevsky Katz's That's All with a star studded foodcast with their favorite Katz's stories.
Yesterday was National Weed Day (better known as 4/20), and it seems like with each day cannabis is becoming more mainstream. A few of the brands that celebrated on social media with a wink of course, was White Castle (showing their burger in its sleeve with the words "hot box"), Ben & Jerry's pushing their Chill-aco before it goes up in a puff of smoke and Uber offering a discount of $4.20 to "celebrate 4/20 responsibly."
Facebook Messenger's new update is a huge opportunity for retailers and brands for integration. Topline is that Messenger can scan a website and automatically create a bot to answer questions. And a great tool for online ordering. Strategy is that Facebook is your go-to place to do everything. For retailers why invest in stand alone apps when you can just integrate in Facebook. Store addresses, hours, even what's on sale. Facebook opening its Chatbox framework to developers has really pushed this technology forward.