For our last market research blog of 2020, we decided to review the year by looking through a guilty-pleasure lens, so to speak. This means looking at the year’s blogs that dealt with alcohol, junk food, and even CBD. It was a tough year, we all did what we had to do to get through it. See you in 2020.
Urban Plates--the freshness-forward, Cardiff, CA based restaurant chain serving sandwiches, salads, and braises in a made-to-order cafeteria format since its opening in 2011--is in the middle of a carefully-executed expansion strategy that will see it triple its store count by 2023.
Why has the chain succeeded where so many other similar concepts have failed? According to co-founder and CEO Sadar Nadhir, "Urban Plates is changing the way America eats. Guests desire affordable high-quality, customizable meals served in a convenient yet inviting atmosphere with fine-dining hospitality.” Though Nadhir may be inclined to exaggerate for obvious reasons, it's hard to argue with his restaurants’ successes.
Beyond Meat is moving beyond niche, debuting in two QSRs—Del Taco and Carl’s Jr.—over the last several months. Formerly restricted to Whole Foods grocery aisles and pretentious burger joints like Hopdoddy, the entirely plant-based burger patty (peas, faba beans, soy, and beets are the main ingredients), is quite popular. It counts Bill Gates and lifetime ‘it’ boy Leonardo DiCaprio as celebrity investors, to say nothing of General Mills, Tyson Chicken, and even the SPCA on the corporate side.
Forgive us if we channel The Big Lebowski as we declare: Sometimes, there's a device…Sometimes, there's a device, well, it’s the device for its time and place. It fits right in there.
It’s been quite the year for rebranding. IHOP went all IHOb on us, AdWords became Google Ads, and now Weight Watchers is dropping the “eight” and “atchers”, rebranding itself WW.