Thursday, March 12, 2020

[UPDATE] Chick-fil-A to Sell Select Sauces in Retailers and "Some" Restaurants... in Florida

Wednesday we shared news that Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A plans in April to test the sale of bottled versions of some of their popular sauces at Florida area restaurants and grocery stores.  This news was (unsurprisingly) met with tremendous excitement and enthusiasm... and disappointment, due to the limited nature of the test.  The company plans, as it has in years past with other items, to test the product in select locations, this time exclusively in Florida at Chick-fil-A restaurants, as well as Publix, Winn-Dixie, Target and Walmart stores.

The test, which is slated to begin in April, will include 16 ounce versions of the restaurant's Chick-fil-A and Polynesian sauce sold in groceries for $3.49 and 8 ounce versions of Chick-fil-A, Polynesian, Barbeque, Honey Mustard and Garden Herb Ranch sold via "some" Florida Chick-fil-A restaurants at an as yet undisclosed price.  All proceeds from sauce sales during the test, and if eventually launched systemwide, will benefit Chick-fil-A's scholarship fund for employees.

"Increasingly, our customers are searching for ways to enjoy our brand at home," Michael Patrick, principal program lead for Chick-fil-A's Beyond the Restaurant team, told CNN Business in an email as part of their original report.

A quick scan of the salad dressing section at local grocers shows existing consumer packaged goods (CPG) options from Panera, O'Charley's and Olive Garden, and frozen fry products from Arby's, Red Robin and Checkers, among others.

White Castle offers their burgers in frozen case packs, Auntie Anne's sells frozen pretzels,  Jamba offers frozen smoothie mixes, and Panera sells refrigerated individual portions of their soups in groceries too.  Other brands like P.F. Chang's, Moe's Southwest Grill and most notably, Cinnabon, with their creamers, pastries, cereal and even ice cream, offer branded food products as extensions of their restaurants and eateries. 

Bottled sauces are not yet a huge category for quick-serve restaurants but some, like McDonald's, have introduced limited edition offerings as they did with their Big Mac Sauce in 2017 and 2019 and others, like Whataburger, offer bottled versions of their fancy and spicy ketchup in retail stores like popular Texas grocer, H-E-B.  (The marriage of QSR and CPG is explained well here.) 

While Chick-fil-A is playing "ketchup" in the CPG space, their brand is likely powerful enough to propel their business to near immediate success.  Not only is the Chick-fil-A brand powerful, but a quick look at eBay indicates that there is already demand for the company's sauces in quantity.

Some restaurant chains, however, have not had success in introducing CPG products.  IHOP in 2012 released a line of syrups dubbed IHOP at HOME.  The line seems not to have caught on, as it's out of stock with all typical online retailers, and without so much as a single listing on eBay for potential after-market resellers.

Chick-fil-A has had mixed success with food products that they have tested in limited regions.  Among the products the chain has tested but abandoned are Spicy Nuggets and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries.

Following the decision to not roll-out the Sweet Potato Waffle Fries, a source within Chick-fil-A told ToNeTo Atlanta that the item, while popular, proved too expensive to produce and sell.  In a subsequent instance, the company piloted Spicy Nuggets, tweeting later:

Chick-fil-A in 2018 tested "Mealtime Kits," a meal kit program that includes five portioned family meals sold through the chain's restaurants, including in metro Atlanta.  Shortly after the test, Patrick called the results encouraging and told Forbes “We were really happy with the positive response from our customers.”  More than a year later there is no word on if or when the kits will be rolled out to more markets.

It's also worth noting that Walmart already sells a "Restaurant Style Chicken Dipping Sauce" for $1.92 for a 12 ounce bottle, and sibling retailer Sam's Club offers both a  frozen "Southern Style Chicken Sandwich" and "Southern Style Waffle Fries" in packaging meant to evoke Chick-fil-A

Sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Chick-fil-A sauce sales will be permitted in grocers and retailers seven days a week.  

What restaurant would you like to see offer branded products for sale?  Will you buy Chick-fil-A sauce?  What restaurant food or product would you like to see offered for sale in groceries and retailers?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Will they be able to sell them on Sunday?

Cody Cargle said...

Awesome idea I’ll definitely buy it since I now currently live in Florida! 😁

Anonymous said...

they really should change the packaging it looks like shampoo in a bottle. still love Chick-fil-A

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea I’ll definitely buy it since I now currently live in FloriDUH! 😁


Alex said...

They look like bottles of moisturizer or lotion.

S. Gresham said...

All amc local theaters closed

Anonymous said...

They look like bottles of moisturizer or lotion.
March 16, 2020 at 10:52 AM

Codester plans to smother himself in it.

Cody Cargle said...

Anonymous on March 15th and 17th Why don’t you shut the hell up and learn to be nice this corona virus has gone to your head a lot? 😑

Anonymous said...

Cool more disgusting chemicals to shovel down my gullet. Praise the Lord.

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