Dr. G in the News

As an industry expert Dr. George's insights and opinions are frequently sought...

Starbucks started selling its pumpkin spice latte Tuesday, as the Philadelphia region’s heat index hit the 90s, Anthony R. Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer, August 30, 2022

August 31 2022 No Commented
  • “Yes, it’s mighty hot, but so is the competition in the preseason coffee-product university.”
  • “The season jump-start is likely a “competitive response” to convenience stores, such as Wawa, which has its own pumpkin-spice arsenal, and other quick-service food places that are marketing their own varieties.”


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Take Note: Walmart’s Limited-Edition Ice Cream Drop Feels Like A Trend, Tom Ryan, Forbes , March 21, 2022

August 9 2022 No Commented
  • “The choice of limited edition flavors aside, the concept of exclusivebrands has real market differential potential.”
  • “These brands give consumers permission to bypass their normal‘go-to’ store in search of exclusive/limited edition brands.”
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For Aldi, Inflation Translates Into Faster U.S. Expansion, George Anderson, Forbes, February 15, 2022

August 9 2022 No Commented
  • “Aldi has been best known as the ‘silent killer.’”
  • “Aldi enters new markets with little fanfareand quickly develops a sizable consumer following.
  • I see Aldi as thesupermarket equivalent to Dollar General – rapid expansion withofferings designed for their respective target markets.
  • What beganas a corner store in Germany is now poised to make a realdifference in the U.S. The [Albrecht Brothers] should not be takenlightly by competitors.”
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Taco Bell Pushes Higher For Drive-Thru Customers (Literally), Tom Ryan, Forbes, August 21, 2021

August 9 2022 No Commented
  • “A terrific concept that enhances the customer’s desire forconvenient, speedy and contactless service.”
  • “Like the EZ Pass concept this highlights the ability to quickly pickup mobile orders. When I drive through the EZ Pass lanes I alwayswonder why people wait in line to pay a toll. Same here.”
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How to Reopen Restaurants? McDonald’s Has a Playbook. George Anderson, Forbes, May 15, 2020

July 19 2020 No Commented
  • Kudos to McDonald’s for developing a playbook which other restaurants, particularly independent operators, could copy, modify and implement to meet their particular operational needs.
  • The playbook is complete and provides many options to franchisees.
  • The key is worker protection and customer perception that the eat-in option is not only safe, but more pleasant than in-vehicle dining.
  • We will never return to normal.
  • However, the question is what will the “new” normal look like after this crazy time in our lives.
  • Give McDonald’s credit for its leadership position on developing an inside seating game plan that attempts to address the new normal.
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Why Peapod, America’s First Online Grocer, Will Abandon the Midwest. Tom Ryan, Forbes, February 27, 2020

July 19 2020 No Commented
  • This is a good example of strategic retreat.
  • The godfather of home delivery recognized the variables to keep its operations profitable and growing.
  • The Midwest operation was responsible for less than 9 percent of Peapod’s sales and I suspect it was not profitable.
  • Given the changing marketplace in the Midwest noted in the article, Peapod retreating to its comfort zone on the East Coast makes strategic and financial sense.
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Kroger Ups The Ante With 30-Minute Delivery Needed By No One Is Sure Who. Matthew Stern, Forbes, June 25, 2019

July 25 2019 No Commented
  • Upping the speed on last-mile delivery has been a perennial theme as brick-and-mortar retailers try to keep up with and surpass the service level offered by Amazon.com.
  • Some members of the BrainTrust, though, noted that 30 minutes could be raising the bar too high.
  • “Even Domino’s abandoned the 30 minutes or less guarantee for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a public perception of safety.”
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Will a healthier Wawa be a more successful Wawa? Matthew Stern, RetailWire, April 19,2019.

July 20 2019 No Commented
  • Wawa has constantly reinvented itself, from a traditional c-store based on its roots as a dairy farm with the usual emergency items like bathroom tissue, ketchup and the like, to its Florida stores which look more like fast casual restaurants. The first Wawa opened 55 years ago this week and the first Florida Wawa opened in 2012.
  • The original thinking was to replicate its northern successes in the Sunshine state. Instead, it pioneered the c-store of the future with the aforementioned focus on meal solutions.
  • Going forward, its emphasis on heath and wellness, combined with its focus on the two younger generation represents its latest reinvention of the customer experience.
  • Given my knowledge of the Wawa leadership team, I have few concerns. I think it will continue to use technology to enhance the customer’s interactions with its offerings. Delivery will become an everyday option. The biggest challenge will be the ability to provide the variety of chef-driven meal and beverage solutions within the space and time constraints of its stores and customers.
  • Reinvention is its way of life.
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Is Philly soda tax solely to blame for closing of West Philly ShopRite? Laura McCrystal, Philly.com, January 17, 2019

January 24 2019 No Commented
  • “To blame the sugar [and sweetened beverages] tax alone might be inappropriate, but to say it’s not related might also be inappropriate,” said Richard George, a professor emeritus of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University.
  • An Aldi store opened on City Avenue less than two miles away from the Shoprite in December 2015 — one year before the beverage tax went into effect.
  • “We always refer to Aldi as kind of a silent killer,” George said of the no-frills grocery chain.
  • Days after Brown announced that he would close the West Philadelphia ShopRite, Acme announced that its Gladwyne store would shut down in February.
  • The two stores have similarities; both are smaller and more outdated than other supermarkets in the area. But they also have differences; the Acme did not have to deal with the city’s beverage tax, but is in a more affluent neighborhood and has had to compete with more upscale stores such as Whole Foods.
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“From boomers to millennials, people aren’t eating out as much” Erik Sherman, NBCNews.com, October 16, 2018

October 17 2018 No Commented
  • “If you go to a restaurant, you’ve got to get showered and dressed, you’ve got to get the kids in the car.”
  • “Then you have a gratuity on top. People say, I just want to stay home.”
  • “That’s why fast casual dining like Chipotle or Smashburger are growing five times as fast as the restaurant industry in general.”
  • “Though what counts as home cooking has also changed. Dinner can be a precooked rotisserie chicken. They buy potato salad and make a salad.”
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