Sunday, January 15, 2006

Step up to the plate?

Pity poor ConAgra whose earnings fell 32% and has now made a bad investement in a proprietary loyalty program for K-12 Schools.

While I'm not pleased by the direct shot they take at Foodservice Rewards (see image) I am pleased with the program's flaws:
  1. Their data collection method is distributor velocity reports - but as Evan Carlson of Schwan's Foodservice points out "how many distributors are happy to supply velocity reports by individual customer every month just for this program and just for those participating?"
  2. And as they themselves point out,"it’s understandable that some distributors just don’t have the capability to duplicate velocity/purchasing reports. So, in that case, all you need to do is copy your monthly records verifying your purchases and forward them to Step Up to the Plate".
  3. Furthermore, how many schools are purchasing from just one distributor? So how many reports does one need to gather? As Theresa Harrell of the Conroe ISD points out "I like the peel-off reward codes and being able to enter them at my leisure. Unlike invoice copies, they don't get lost while we wait to send them in."
  4. Unlike Foodservice Rewards, whose points never expire, their points expire each school year. Nice for ConAgra, bad for the participant.
  5. Only 14 merchandise awards? vs. over 2,000 awards + an awards auction?
  6. "You will receive awards between 6-8 weeks from the date you’ve redeemed points" vs. 96% which ship within 48 hours from FSR.
  7. By pulling out of Cool School Cafe as that program's largest sponsor, they weaken a good program and create a third competitor in the K-12 school segment.
  8. Misleadingly, they try to make SUTTP look like a multi-manufacturer program, when the 6 brands participating are ConAgra's (vs. 65+ and thousands of products for FSR.) But "there are more sponsors and brands coming every day." We'll see.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Serve It Up in K-12

Frito-Lay's Serve-It-Up program provides an interesting twist on K-12 loyalty programs by awarding points for menu placements. Is this functionality FSR sponsors would like to see?

We could host a mail-in form and process entries (just like mail-in reward codes) and use the discretionary deposit feature to award points for menu, signage, advertisement, equipment or other placements that can be verified through a photo or print submission. Give us your feedback!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Longest-running loyalty program

MasterFoodServices has the longest running loyalty program in the industry. Company lore has it that the program was started just after WWII and the original (and only) rewards were ladies hosiery and men's white Arrow shirts. Today the Uncle Ben's Premium Points Program continues to involve thousands of loyal operators who mail in tokens clipped from from their individual rice packets.

If you are an FSR sponsor and know Tim Farno or Rodney Naylor personally, please bend their ears about the benefits of a coalition approach next time you see them. After analyzing 10 million cases claimed across 60 brands, you are familiar with a key benefit of joining
Foodservice Rewards: Participating brands acquire twice as many new operators from the pool of enrolled members as they add each month, something that can't be achieved with a solo program.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

I was a New Orleans virgin until NACUFS

The National College and University Foodservice show was held this week in New Orleans. Insights: Purdue University is sitting on 10,000 codes. The Foodservice Director didn' t know he could mail-in or get a scanner. I wonder how many other Group Feeders have the same issue? Perhaps it's time to send this segment post-paid collection envelopes. That, and create a 20 or 30 code-at-a-time entry screen.

We also have to work the Sponsors' trade show contacts harder to get signage up at shows. The new freestanding signs will be a big help. The Value Plus sponsors had excellent execution and a booth that drew traffic and were signing up operators.

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