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How Grocery Outlets Can Prepare for the Millennial Holiday Experience: Friendsgiving

The “Millennials are killing [insert industry, product, service, or convention here]!” trope is cliché to the point that it’s now become a self-referential joke about the commonness, and often absurdity, of the accusation. That it’s become a canard taken increasingly less seriously makes sense. The seemingly accusatory implication that a generation, collectively, showing less interest in something, financially or otherwise, is a failure or betrayal on the part of that generation is part of the issue.

 



The reality is every generation, ever, has seen the rise and fall of countless products, conventions, and trends. More importantly, if millennials are “killing” something by not spending their money on it, it’s a virtual certainty that they’re spending that money on something else. For the retail industry, which certainly includes grocery retail and the CPG marketing agencies supplying them, this should present an opportunity. For instance, the fact that millennials are celebrating the holidays in a unique and nontraditional way should be embraced by the grocery industry. At least, that’s more productive and profitable than lamentations that millennials are killing Thanksgiving with the less formal “Friendsgiving.”

The Evolving Millennial Holiday Experience

This evolution of the millennial holiday experience comes with some good news. It turns out that most of the ways that the millennial generation has been modifying the traditional Thanksgiving dynamic should prove more profitable than the Thanksgiving of yesteryear for grocery retailers positioned to take advantage of it. For example, one of the most conspicuous features of the millennial Thanksgiving is the addition of a generally less formal Friendsgiving meal.

It’s just what it sounds like, an often pre-Thanksgiving dinner and get together with close friends that’s usually held in the days leading up to the actual holiday feast. Around a quarter of millennials now cite attendance at a Friendsgiving event, that proportion being greater the younger the millennials are. And it’s a tradition that only seems to be gaining popularity. In addition to a designated Friendsgiving, the younger generation is also more likely to invite friends to their actual Thanksgiving dinners. It’s no longer strictly a family affair.

The Food and the Opportunity

As if Friendsgiving wasn’t controversial enough for the Thanksgiving purists, that most sacred of Turkey Day traditions is being, if not killed by millennials, at the very least threatened: the turkey. To be fair turkey is very much figuratively aliveas a Thanksgiving staple, but it is a bit less ubiquitous. While the chief challenger for the turkey’s crown is ham, millennials have been anchoring their feasts with duck, vegetarian and vegan entrees, even crab and lobster. Pumpkin pie remains a perennial inclusion, but the locavore, farm-to-table, and healthier-eating ethos has made pumpkin pie made from fresh pumpkin rather than a can much more popular.

As mentioned, those are virtually all good things for the grocery industry, producers of niche food products that could have new-Thanksgiving appeal, and any grocery sales and marketing agency that recognizes the profit potential of a trend. It makes sense to lean into the “new normal” by featuring displays offering sales on ham, duck, or vegan turkey substitute. Produce sections can highlight their selection of delicious little sugar pumpkins for a pie that will be a hit at both Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. Millennials are reimagining what the holidays can be, and food retailers can do so with them, or risk losing out. Fortunately, through working with an experienced food broker, grocery stores and brands alike can utilize their broker’s deep knowledge and insight into the industry and trends to help guide their stores and brands into success in today’s competitive market.

About Impact Group

Since their founding 1994, Impact Group has relied on leveraging precisely-analyzed, fact-based, and empirical data on both the trends within the CPG industry and customer buying patterns. This proven CPG marketing strategy has consistently and effectively guided their clients up productive and profitable growth and profit paths. Analyzing the industry-relevant economic metrics and capitalizing on them with their advanced proprietary technology has led to Impact Group’s recognition and respect as an innovative and leading-edge CPG sales and marketing agency.

Learn how far your brand can climb with Impact Group, at Impactgrp.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/nBZbbZ

What Does the Grocery Store Dining Experience Mean for the Future of Grocery Retail?

The rise of the internet marketplace has forced every industry to make some adjustments. Grocery retail has certainly not been an exception. Any sales and marketing agency worth its salt would tell the average brick-and-mortar retail business that the key is shifting their business strategy to an outgoing one, and to focus on making products available online. The retail grocery industry, however, isn’t positioned to live largely just online. Rows of fridges and freezers, deli, bakery, and butcher setups require real estate. The only recourse for grocery stores is to bring business to them.


 

As a result, the industry has seen an upswing in more niche and artisanal grocery stores, increased point of sale convenience, an emphasis on health and transparency, and, significantly, a reimagining of what grocery stores are and provide. There are two key components of that paradigm shift. One is a generally expanding push to control and market more of the food preparation process, like offering ready-to-cook meals and meal kits. The second is about making the grocery store food experience about more than just buying groceries. Specifically, it’s about offering a personal, sophisticated, and enjoyable in-store eatery.

Why It Makes Sense

As more of the grocery store/restaurant hybrids (aka “groceraunt”) prove successful, the explanation for their success becomes both clearer and more obvious in hindsight. Millennials, it turns out, are the ideal demographic for contributing to the success of groceraunts. While 43% of the general population eats out once a week,53% of millennials go out to eat once a week, choosing restaurants over home-cooked meals more frequently than Gen X or Baby Boomers.

It’s also no accident that so many of the groceraunts focus on coffee and alcohol. There are a lot of wine tastings, local and craft beers on tap, collections of specialty whiskeys, etc. This is due in part because alcohol turns a profit pretty handily, and, as any CPG marketing firm will point out, one of the most successful strategies for in-store conversion is keeping customers in the store. If the restaurant-preferring, locavore, niche-appreciating millennial crowd will buy a beer or glass of wine in-store, maybe with friends, and stick around to make more purchases, all the better.

Groceraunts as Food Labs

Another unique feature of the millennial food preference is the emergence of the meal kit as a multi-billion-dollar industry, one that seems primed to grow. Both in-store and delivery meal kits have been increasingly popular, and grocery outlets and chains are enthusiastic about becoming players in the trend. As direct moves to do so, the big chains, including Albertson’s and Kroger, have acquired meal kit delivery businesses as well as producing meal kits in-store.

Kroger has taken an additional step to better understand the tastes of consumers by establishing Kitchen 1883, a restaurant that also functions as a sort of food lab employing ingredients found in Kroger stores to determine what people like, what they don’t, and what’s feasible for mass-production. This trend offers an opportunity for grocery stores, the CPG brokers that supply them, and the food producers to better understand what customers would like to see and enjoy in grocery stores. Along with the traditional goods offered by grocery outlets, there’s a clear move toward more restaurant-relevant and meal kit products. And that offers an opportunity for forward-thinking grocery stores, grocery brokers, and those with independent food brands to promote the products consumers want. By working with a CPG broker with experience, brands and stores can leverage their broker’s knowledge of industry trends to help guide their own products and stores to success in the competitive grocery market.

About Impact Group

Since their founding 1994, Impact Group has relied on leveraging precisely-analyzed, fact-based, and empirical data on both the trends within the CPG industry and customer buying patterns. This proven CPG marketing strategy has consistently and effectively guided their clients up productive and profitable growth and profit paths. Analyzing the industry-relevant economic metrics and capitalizing on them with their advanced proprietary technology has led to Impact Group’s recognition and respect as an innovative thought leader in CPG brokering.

Learn how far your brand can climb with Impact Group, at Impactgrp.com

Original source: https://goo.gl/x6X8Wo

Grocery Stores That Are Emerging as Market Research and Technology Labs Means Opportunity

In 1916, the first modern, self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis by a Tennessee entrepreneur, Clarence Saunders. In the little over a century since, humanity has experienced a wave of technological innovation exponentially greater, many times over, than at any other time in human history.


 

Of course, the grocery industry hasn’t remained untouched by that technology. We’ve seen innovations in food storage, shipping, online merchandising, self-checkout kiosks, and more. Despite that, the actual brick-and-mortar grocery experience has remained virtually unchanged. Grocery stores continue to order and stock popular products that customers select and pay for. That dynamic, however, may be changing, and that could mean big things for the industry, CPG marketing and brokerage agencies, and the customer.

Emerging Technology

Much of the recent innovation in retail grocery isn’t exactly predictable as much as it seems like an inevitable step once it’s been established. A good example is the Italian grocery chain, Coop, founded by MIT professor Carlo Ratti. Coop began with stocking and setup innovations. The shelves are bookstore height, encouraging shoppers to interact with each other across rows. And rather than pairing food products with other products that they’re like, they are paired with what they are. So rather than canned tomatoes sharing space with canned corn and beans, they are displayed with fresh tomatoes; the wine with the grapes.

More exceptional are the long, reflective screens positioned over the produce and sprinkled throughout the store. When shoppers lift produce or other products up to these interactive screens, motion detectors and Microsoft Kinect sensors identify the product and display information about it. A lot of information: the product, its price, nutritional information, pesticides and fertilizers used in its production, shipping details, even possible allergy risks. Beyond the educational and convenience value, for producers of natural, organic, and/or GMO-free foods, the product itself serves as a sort of sales and marketing agency, sharing its value.

Startup Grocery Stores

Due to the tight margins for grocery retailers, the phrase “startup grocery store” isn’t one that’s heard often. However, that’s how a German grocery store, KaDeTe, is being described. Founded by the producers of a niche matcha energy drink, KaDeTe is committed to accepting only or almost only small, artisanal, independent brands. The concept is being hailed as a boon for several industry-concerned populations.

Chief among those interested in this model are customers looking for something new, and eager to participate in a market research experiment. Retail and trade analysts and researchers can gain access to a real-life, real-time microcosm of customer selection, including insights into what sort of products are successful and which aren’t, and how to best market products to ensure success. This setup could also prove useful for startups and independent food producers,as they’re able to sell their products and study sales information in a functional environment.

Grocery Brokers

Both of these models and subsequent innovation, however, are undoubtedly going to appeal to and establish opportunity for grocery brokers and their clients. Having access to grocery retailers featuring a medium that can highlight the selling points of clients’ products is an excellent resource for any producers whose responsible ingredients and production are selling points. While anyone trying to break into the grocery retail space is going to have a considerable leg up if the broker they’re contracting with has access to retailers that specialize in small or emerging brands.

About Impact Group

Since their founding 1994, Impact Group has relied on leveraging precisely-analyzed, fact-based, and empirical data on both the trends within the CPG industry and customer buying patterns. This proven CPG marketing strategy has consistently and effectively guided their clients up productive and profitable growth and profit paths. Analyzing the industry-relevant economic metrics and capitalizing on them with their advanced proprietary technology has led to Impact Group’s recognition and respect as an innovative thought leader in CPG brokering.

Learn how far your brand can climb with Impact Group, at Impactgrp.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/8BHj7B

How Your Niche Food Product Can Compete Against a Brand Giant

Entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses in food retail face an enormous obstacle: established brand giants. Of course, that’s an obstacle faced by small businesses in any market, but it tends to be a larger obstacle for niche food brands. That’s due in part because people tend to be very particular about what they choose to ingest, which can make for extreme brand loyalty.
That very personal, very particular concern about what one eats and drinks serves as an extremely powerful motivator to choose the best products on the market. This can mean that over time as different trends and health information come to light that people can be looking for products to potentially replace the brand giant they grew up with or are most familiar with.

That provides an “in” from which a shrewd food retailer can carve out a sizable chunk of market share, particularly when partnered with a competent CPG marketing agency.

Establish Your Ideal Customer and Take Them Away From Brand Giants

It can be frustrating, to say the least, for niche food and drink producers to have a product they know tastes better than, and can be competitively priced against, a leading brand, but still doesn’t gain traction. It’s even tougher when said producer knows their product is healthier to boot.

The key is knowing exactly who the customer you’re looking for is and why they would choose you over a brand giant. Once you’ve established that customer and established yourself as a preferable alternative to the brand leader, the giant’s size and dominance works in your favor. People buying something that isn’t produced by a global conglomerate are often buying it in large part because it’s not a food giant.

They’re likely buying a niche product because they believe it’s smaller-batch, with more perceived personal attention to quality. This may be due in part to higher quality ingredients that are locally sourced and a final product that is prepared in something more closely resembling a kitchen rather than a massive production complex.

Use a CPG Broker to Your Advantage

The secret weapon for any niche food producer hoping to help get their brand onto shelves is a good food broker (aka grocery broker, CPG broker). A reputable CPG broker will be familiar with the territory, including the owners of local stores and buyers from the chains. And not just locally. An experienced grocery broker should be generally familiar with national and international vendors, retailers, and wholesalers.

As their job requires selling products like yours, they know what sells and how to sell it. The nature of the business means that the top full-service CPG brokers will be part sales and marketing agency, part brand expert and ambassador, and part deal-making liaison.

It can be frustrating, but even with a great product, landing your niche item on the shelves, where it’s positioned to compete against the giants, requires more than an excellent consumable commodity and determination. There are seemingly endless amounts of work to be done, both minor and major, to not only get, but keep your items on the shelf.

For instance, your product has to be competitive and appealing in its packaging, pricing, and presentation in the store. Its high-volume production logistics have to be viable, streamlined, and financially sustainable. There also needs to be visible in-store advocacy. That might mean a prominent end-cap in a high-traffic region of the store, a window-sign, or sign at the register. On-shelf display may require fine-tuning so your product doesn’t get buried and lost.

All of that requires contacting the appropriate representatives and negotiating the terms. That’s not to say that a food producer can’t do it, but not many niche food producers are already acquainted with the grocery retailing powers-that-be like an experienced food broker is.

At the end of the day, if you’ve got a good product and are willing to adapt and jump at opportunity when it presents itself, with a good food broker you can compete against industry giants and prosper.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group focuses on employing empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients onto the most productive growth paths. This approach, which utilizes their proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They’re also a trusted sales and marketing agency. Impact Group remains large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com



Original Source: https://goo.gl/4CjJY3

Is That Hot, New Health Product Worth Investing Your Store’s Money in?

Trends are the name of the game for much of retail merchandising. It’s certainly the case for grocery purchasing (just ask a CPG marketing agency). Trends that are picking up steam can draw mini-rushes of interest and purchases. But in some cases (seemingly overnight) all that stock that had just been flying off the shelves is now relegated to the discount rack.
Then there are the products that prove to be steady trends, rather than fleeting fads. They’re the ones that peak, dip, and then plateau—but seldom disappear (like quinoa, smoothie-specific fixings, granola, goat cheese, etc.). This is one of the features that distinguishes a fad from a trend.

So how can you know if a trending health product is a long-term draw worthy or early adoption, or a flash-in-the-pan fad destined to fizzle out?

Consider the Sources and the Claims

The general nutritional information provided by mainstream scientific authorities and organizations usually turns out to be accurate. Meanwhile, hype, endorsement by celebrities, flashy pseudoscientific assertions, a lot of hopeful speculation from the media about the effectiveness or popularity of a product or diet, and brief surges of interest from the public can confuse and briefly prop up doomed fads.

Behind all the hype for virtually all of health fads that have come and gone, there’s often been steady, reliable messaging from food science and nutritional medicine experts pointing out that the fads are, at best, health-neutral to moderately healthy and helpful when combined with exercise. At worst, they are unhealthy and counterproductive. For something like kale, the legitimate experts point out that it is a bona fide healthy food that should be eaten in moderation with other healthy foods, rather than being relied on as a must-have addition to anything else consumed.

Along with relying on legitimate sources, the hyperbole of a claim can be another good indicator of a fad. Modest, positive claims about the nutritional value of something and its value as an inclusion as part of a healthy lifestyle is good. Claims that a product alone will cure cancer, diabetes, depression, and “burn fat” are seldom proved out and worth being wary of.

Use a Food Broker as an Information Source

Trustworthy intelligence regarding the staying power of a fad or trend can be hard to come by. The past performance of seemingly comparable products can provide insight, but as quickly as the marketplace and customer tastes are changing, it’s hard to know what is or isn’t a comparable product.

Fortunately, CPG brokers inhabit a strategic space in which they have a broader knowledge and inventory of past, current, and upcoming fads and trends. Their understanding of the buying habits of consumers and what sort of products they tend to buy long-term, and which are transient fads, is unvarnished. Because the thing is, when people speak with their wallets, they virtually always tell the truth.

Plus, this valuable insight into long-term buying habits provides a rare objective glimpse past hype or sales and marketing agency spin. This knowledge shines a light on the true, long-term spending habits of consumers that transcends just one location, or even one chain. A trusted and reputable food broker will be familiar with consumer trends across an entire market.

For a wise food retailer, their trusted food broker can and should be an invaluable source of information on food, health, and diet trends. That’s one of the many reasons it pays to invest in a high-quality food broker.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group focuses on employing empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients onto the most productive growth paths. This approach, which utilizes their proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com



Original Source: https://goo.gl/3P2GHp

How to Sell Your Online CPG Brand to Retail Chains

So, your niche food or drink product or brand has been doing well online. You have a website with the appropriate dedicated point-of-sales landing pages and may also be offering your product through third-party vendor sites as well.
This is the point at which online sellers of consumable goods face an all-important decision for their brand: Continue to sell solely online by focusing exclusively on digital marketing, optimization, ads, and expansion to seek additional internet-linked niche markets and the sites catering to them? Or, is it worth going after brick-and-mortar grocery stores and retail chains?

The latter can certainly be a risk, but success would change everything. However you choose to court the grocery retail market, it’s going to require an investment of time, money, and effort. The question is: Which of those investments is going to yield the greatest ROI? Which direction offers the greatest possibilities for growth?

Being Your Own Brand Ambassador

To be clear, whichever route you end up taking, you’re going to be acting as your own brand ambassador to one degree or another. You’re going to be promoting and explaining your product to your sales employee(s), a CPG marketing outfit, the owner of a local store, or a chain’s broker or purchasing agent.

Being your own brand ambassador can also mean actively pitching your product or product line to brick-and-mortar outlets. Should you choose to pitch your brand yourself, know that the path to the top is going to take baby steps—a lot of them.

The first step for personally getting your product on the shelves is—no surprise here—seeking out local retailers who specialize in healthy, local, artisanal, organic, or otherwise niche foods. There will likely be a substantial amount of cold-calling, a lot of unproductive conversations with bored or busy retail buyers and managers and owners, and undoubtedly a lot of red tape. Taking this on yourself can quickly leave you on the outside of important conversations and spread very thin in time and resources.

Benefits of Using a Food Broker

The alternative to relying on yourself or an in-house sales associate is hiring a food broker. When you hire a food brokering agency (aka a CPG broker or a grocery broker), you’re hiring a lot more than an entity to administer deals between sellers and buyers. At least you should be; which is why hiring a good agency is paramount.

The chief perk of having your brand supported by a CPG broker is the connections they bring. The relationships you or an in-house salesperson would have to build, the time required to build them, an understanding of the quirks and preferences of those contacts, and any other business-pertinent information have thankfully already been established by the food broker.

A multifaceted and dependable CPG broker can also be leveraged as a targeted sales and marketing agency. They’re familiar with not only the more general grocery trends as well as distribution, promotion, and packaging strategies that work, but also know the specifics about pricing of products comparable to yours, including your direct competitors. And while they’re doing the legwork out there, looking to find your brand new homes, you can focus on production.

As is the case in so many other areas of business, the key to finding success with a food broker is picking the right one. As close as regional food retail communities can to be, those without good reputations don’t tend to last. Find the brokers that have experience with products like yours and are willing to establish a specific, targeted strategy for your brand.

With a good product and a good broker to partner with, the sky’s the limit.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group focuses on employing empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients onto the most productive growth paths. This approach, which utilizes their proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com



Original Source: https://goo.gl/rNurg7

Meal Kits: Fleeting Fad or Here to Stay?

First off, what are meal kits? As the name promises, meal kits are a collection of all of the ingredients you’ll need to create a specific meal—proportioned ingredients, spices and sauces, and step-by-step instructions—combined in a single kit. Meal kits are usually ordered online from companies such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron. They typically arrive once a week as a subscription service, have two or more servings per meal, and usually are designed to be completed within an hour or less.

Who is Buying Meal Kits?

Although the age, income level, and general situation of consumers buying meal kits vary considerably, they tend to be more popular with a younger demographic. Perhaps predictably, the specific younger demographic most likely to order and eat meal kits are urban, middle- to upper-middle-class millennials, with men being slightly more likely to use a meal kit service than women, according to a survey conducted for MONEY.

Why Are They Buying Meal Kits?

The combination of relatively haute fare and the convenience of pre-prepped ingredients has proven to be a good fit for the up-and-coming generation of consumers. A good fit valued at $4.65 billion as of 2017; which explains the interest shown in the niche market by the food industry and every sales and marketing agency working in the food retail space.

Are Meal Kits Hurting Traditional Food Retailers?

It’s hard to say how much trade is being siphoned from grocery stores by the meal kit industry. It’s clear that they do represent just one branch of the internet food provision phenomenon that’s taken a significant bite out of grocery stores’ bottom line. However, even the statistics that are available on the popularity and prevalence of meal kit services aren’t entirely telling because it’s a market with a very transient customer base that makes determining the long-term toll being taken difficult to determine.

How are Traditional Food Retailers Responding?

Everyone wants a bite of the meal kit pie. The major supermarket chains are scrambling to get in on the action with their own dedicated meal kit brands and by acquiring established kit distributors, and they’re willing to commit serious capital to do so.

Albertsons acquired meal kit service Plated in September 2017 for $300 million. And Kroger announced in May 2018 that it would pay $200 million for meal kit provider Home Chef, and would shell out an additional $500 million if Home Chef’s in-store and online numbers met Kroger’s sales goals. That’s in addition to Kroger’s bespoke Prep+Pared meal kit brand. Wal-Mart has also gotten into the action, and launched its own meal kit brand in March 2018.

Are Meal Kits Here to Stay?

Like pretty much every other retail trend, whether or not meal kits are here to stay is a complicated issue. The short answer is: Signs point to yes. With a multi-billion dollar-spending customer base and the fantastic sums being invested in the meal kit niche by the mega-corporations of food retail, it’s likely meal kits will be on the shelves and in people’s homes for the foreseeable future.

That said, it’s worth keeping in mind that the internet meal kit model features a notoriously fickle customer base. In fact, a study by Second Measure found that Blue Apron retained only 15% of its customers after their first year with the company. Similarly slim retention statistics were found to apply to the other meal kit services as well. Where did those customers go for their food after canceling with the online services? Back to the brick-and-mortar grocery stores. So while meal kits are seemingly here to stay, it could be that many paying for meal kits in the future might just be doing so inside their local grocery stores.

Working with a reputable sales and marketing agency such as Impact Group can help place and keep your product on the shelves and keep your brand on the forefront of industry trends so you stand out and stick around.

About Impact Group

When Impact Group was founded as a CPG marketing agency in 1994, they focused on leveraging empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and marketing trends to guide their clients into the most productive growth paths. This approach, utilizing proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com




Original Source: https://goo.gl/jbRfzU

Can “Retailtainment” Be Harnessed for the Grocery Space?

According to George Ritzer, in his book Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption, “retailtainment” is defined as: “the use of sound, ambiance, emotion and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in the mood to buy.” Less clinically, it’s making the act of shopping an experience-driven undertaking, rather than a necessary chore.

So far, retailtainment has largely been deployed in retail outfits such as Target, Barnes & Noble, Armani, Lululemon, and mega-malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota and the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, to name a few. While some of these stores may sell grocery items, they don’t exclusively.

It’s no surprise that retailtainment has become so popular that more than 75% of millennials report that they’d prefer to spend their money on a memorable experience or event than on a desirable item. Needless to say, the retailer who can leverage retailtainment to capture the attention and cash of 3 out of 4 millennials in their market—providing an experience while entrancing them to buy—is going to be doing very well. It’s a demographic that no sales and marketing agency can afford to ignore.

However, at first glance, retailtainment may not seem to be a trend that lends itself to the grocery market. Some researchers have suggested that the merger of entertainment and retail is more conducive to customers when they are in a place, mentally and physically, to spend more disposable income. Although committed readers and anglers may disagree, no one needs to be spending money in Barnes & Noble, or in Bass Pro Shops (or their in-store bowling alley). Groceries, however, are a necessity.

Not to say that there haven’t been some forays into grocery retailtainment. Trader Joe’s has established a Hawaiian shirt, Tiki culture nautical theme that contributes to the fun, crunchy, laid-back Jimmy Buffett-esque brand association that’s done the chain no harm. And Whole Foods has certainly succeeded in cultivating the local co-op with eatery and coffee shop vibe. But these are both more cultivated chain themes than active retailtainment campaigns.

So how can grocery stores, CPG brands, and the CPG marketing agencies that service them capitalize on retailtainment? While patrons enjoying themselves in the grocery store certainly can’t hurt and likely drives loyalty, the priority isn’t integrating entertainment into grocery retail to generally entertain customers while they shop, it’s to entice them to purchase and try out products, whether they’re new on the shelf or old favorites.

Some of the retailtainment experiential draws can be variations of the ones that work in non-grocery retailers. Anything that keeps customers in-store longer is, statistically, going to make money for the store and the brands within. Consider the book reading and book signing retailtainment events at retailers like Barnes & Noble—could this be paired with a cooking demonstration and an author who’s a chef or blogger to inspire (and/or feed) your customers?

Could kids make Halloween-themed snacks with a trusted mom blogger or founder of a product on the shelves? Meanwhile, could parents whip up a fresh vinaigrette using brands sold in-store, or watch local chefs put together creative concoctions and then vote on the winner? Couldn’t most college kids use a basic cooking class, or compete against others to win a gift card and then stock up on essentials afterward? And surely there’s something one could do with football and tailgating season upon us.

Consider your store or product’s target audience and location, as well as the time of year, and the retailtainment opportunities can seem limitless. And beyond just hosting or pitching these events to stores or the community, post about it on social media, before and during. There’s no better source of exposure than parents communicating on social media about the activities and events a business and/or brand offers for them and their kids; likewise with millennials sharing a photo to show off a new skill or creation.

Since groceries fall in a necessity category, and aforementioned researchers have cited success with disposable income and retailtainment, it may make sense for grocery outlets and brands themselves to offer experiences perhaps related to food and drink as “lifestyle-elevating commodities.” This could mean promoting wine and cheese instead of trying to engage consumers to purchase milk and cereal. A number of grocery stores already employ in-house sommeliers and specialty cheese sections, a combination that seems well positioned to be the primary purveyor of educational wine and cheese tasting events. Product-centric “cooking shows” featuring professionals demonstrating the deliciousness and versatility of a brand or a commodity likewise leverages food as an experience to be savored.

Whatever specific tack stores choose to take, it’s clear that retailtainment has the potential to capture a huge share of today and tomorrow’s consumer base. Work with a trusted CPG broker to understand and adapt to industry trends so that your products stay on the shelves and in front of the eyes of consumers.

About Impact Group

When Impact Group was founded in 1994, they focused on leveraging empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients into the most productive growth paths. This approach, utilizing proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com




Orginal Source: https://goo.gl/ySyQio

Is Cultured Meat the Next Big Thing in Grocery Retail?

A new industry trade association recently formed this September after the Good Food Institute’s Good Food Conference on UC Berkeley’s campus. The members of this fledgling organization were all representatives of the “cultured meat” industry—meat that is grown from animal cells in a lab (and therefore doesn’t require an animal from which to harvest said meat).

Their first order of business was to replace the term “clean meat”—which, it was argued, might imply that traditional, live animal-based meat was less clean by comparison. The association settled on the phrase “cell-based meat” to resolve the issue, though it’s certain there will be more hurdles on the road ahead for this association and eventual product.

Despite science fiction authors, futurists, scientists, and even world leaders having predicted the arrival and even takeover of cultured meat for years (Winston Churchill declared that it would make the current practice of animal-based meat production an “absurdity”), the viability of animal-free, clean meat right now is by no means a sure thing. And skeptics have cited a number of possible drawbacks.

However, the case for cultured meat is extremely compelling, and if it became a viable product, it would change everything; not just for the grocery retail industry or consumer packaged goods (CPG) brokers, but for human life around the planet.

So what are the potential benefits and drawbacks of cultured meat?

Benefits of Cultured Meat

The benefits of cultured meat have the potential to be massive. If it became a cost-effective practice, an influx of cell-based meat would have tremendous environmental benefits. For one, cultured meat takes less space to produce than traditional animal-based meat. This means numerous acres of land could be repurposed or used for reforestation, parks, and agriculture efforts to feed human beings rather than to feed and support livestock.

This repurposing would almost certainly improve the ecology of places not directly involved in ranching or meat production, as cattle farming alone is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas production. That’s more than the greenhouse gas emission pollution from all of the world’s transportation systems—cars, trucking, planes, ocean shipping, trains, etc.—combined.

Not to mention, the markets that cell-based meat could potentially open up could prove a huge boon for those earlier-mentioned CPG marketing agencies. A number of religious scholars have pointed out that the production of meat from non-animal sources might bypass doctrinal food restrictions, even for pork. And it’s not unfathomable that those who have given up or reduced their consumption of meat due to moral or ethical reasons might, with cell-based meat, reconsider.

What food broker agency wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to provide pork or beef to large, newly interested parties? Consider the opportunity for food brokers, food brands, and consumers alike when “guilt-free meat” hits the market.

Downsides of Cultured Meat

That’s not to say that there would be no drawbacks, however. Right now, cultured meat is still prohibitively expensive; a pound of cultured beef is estimated to cost around $2,500. Of course, as supporters note, and as is the case with other scientific advances, the more we learn and experiment, the less expensive and more efficient the production of cultured meat will become.

There’s also the more nebulous concern that people just might not be comfortable with the concept, and the reality, of cultured meat. It’s possible that the masses wouldn’t be comfortable eating meat not harvested from an animal, but instead a petri dish. Even if it were to become affordable, would consumers embrace it? And how would it taste?

Although it’s hard to imagine, considering the potentially massive rewards, it’s likely that there’s a sales and marketing agency in existence that would love the opportunity to change the way we think about—and purchase—meat.

About Impact Group

When Impact Group was founded in 1994, they focused on leveraging empirical, fact-based data on consumer buying and CPG marketing trends to guide their clients into the most productive growth paths. This approach, utilizing proprietary technology, has resulted in Impact Group emerging as one of the most effective and respected players in the CPG space. They remain large enough to make an impact, but streamlined, efficient, and nimble enough to specialize, optimizing growth for any client’s niche.

Take your brand to the next level with Impact Group at Impactgrp.com




Original Source: https://goo.gl/zxUkgT

Growing Your Brand’s Center of Store Presence

The eating and grocery shopping patterns of Americans are changing, directing many away from the center aisles in the store. Instead, people are shopping the perimeters for fresh and healthy foods. These behavioral changes have resulted in a stagnation of growth for center-aisle brands.
Luckily, there are workarounds to limit stagnation and fuel growth in the center aisle. Working with a CPG sales and marketing agency that offers deep expertise on center of store best practices can increase brand awareness and lead to success. The strategies that these agencies utilize to increase center aisle success include:

Trackable in-store executions

The key to driving sales is producing consistent insight into how your products are performing. This can be completed by using a variety of technological resources such as in-store surveys, handheld devices, and online portals that monitor brand performance.

Delivering consistencyThis requires a regular in-store presence to ensure pricing, promotions, and placement are in compliance with your standards. One should also verify that shelves are visually correct, fully stocked, and that pricing and promotions align with brand standards.

Elevating the in-store experience

Setting yourself apart from the competition is imperative. Creating a shopping experience unique to your brand is an excellent way to drive revenue growth. Encourage deep connections with your consumers with recipe drink pairings, branded recipe cards, or in-store demonstrations.

Any demonstrations should go beyond samples and be a fun, unique experience—something that a talented food broker could easily assist you with. Keep your shoppers in the store longer with “retailtainment”—a mix of shopping and entertainment. A fun experience such as live cooking demonstrations or wine-tasting events will keep shoppers entertained and they’ll shop much longer. A positive, memorable interaction with your brand is sure to generate excitement and buzz around your products.

Anticipating trends

The most successful brands adapt and change before they need to. They are innovators because they either influence change or adapt to it quickly. Understanding the mind of your consumer is critical to brand success. For example, PepsiCo purchased KeVita, a kombucha beverage company. They are cognizant of the fact that their consumers want more than soda, they want drinks that are natural and possess health benefits, and PepsiCo is adapting to meet those needs.

Making your brand resonate with consumers

The best way to resonate with customers is to ensure your brand is its true, authentic self when marketing to consumers. Help potential and existing consumers connect with your brand and mission by maintaining active, engaged communication with them via social media, a blog, and newsletters. Wendy’s, for example, has garnered a strong Twitter following as the brand’s persona on this platform resonates with their target audience. By displaying a sense of humor and poking fun at other companies, this brand is driving conversation about their company and products while building a camaraderie with their consumers.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group is one of the first sales and marketing agencies to focus specifically on emerging brands in the CPG industry. The company leverages fact-based selling and proprietary technology to help its clients find the best path to market and grow responsibly. With a foundation in CPG marketing and expertise as grocery brokers Impact Group can set you apart with their experience. Large enough to make an impact, but nimble enough to specialize, Impact Group can take your brand to the next level by driving aggressive growth and sales.

For more information visit Impactgrp.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/yJdcrj

Resonating with The Next Generation of Shoppers

Millennials get blamed for a great many things. They’re responsible for “killing” everything from chain restaurants to straws. They have high expectations, yet these expectations don’t align with previous norms. Coming of age during a staggering recession, their commitments and preferences are much different than the boomers before them.
Millennials are very much a generation who vote with their dollar. Research has shown they prefer companies that give to charity. And, while they are money-conscious, they are certainly willing to spend money on a brand that gives back, be it via charitable donations or a buy-one-give-one model. This generation expects brands to be actively engaged in giving back and has no problem earnestly avoiding brands that misstep.

Brands don’t have to adjust to millennial preferences alone. They can work with grocery brokers to quickly adapt and change to inspire the next wave of shoppers to commit. While the process definitely isn’t easy, below are some tips and examples of how to adapt to millennial needs.

Authenticity

Transparency and company values are very important to this generation. They want companies to have missions and processes that they align with and understand. The underwear and sportswear brand Aerie, for example, is very transparent about its ideals.

This brand has committed to the public that their models will never be photoshopped. They are also passionate about representing all bodies, and regularly display models with disabilities and models of varied sizing in a fresh, authentic way. In addition, for every unedited photo someone uploaded to social media sporting their brand, Aerie recently donated funds to eating disorder research and support. As a result of these ideals and commitments, their market share is rapidly growing and quickly replacing better-known brands.

Innovative products

Innovative products that target health and wellness are extremely popular among this generation. Superfoods, kombucha, whole foods made from whole ingredients, and foods rich in protein are all items they’re after. What they don’t want are overly processed, sugar filled, low-calorie, low-fat options. For example, Greek yogurt has eclipsed low-fat options almost entirely; the simple process, rich protein source, and ease of eating Greek yogurt has overtaken the need for a low-fat alternative filled with artificial ingredients.

Because infiltrating the health food market can be difficult, consider hiring a natural food broker to aid you on your journey if you fall into this sector.

Community engagement

You are no longer judged on your products alone. Millennials want companies to be engaged in the community, and they want you to prove it. Brands like Warby Parker, for example, resonate with this group because for every item sold, another is given away to someone in need. While millennials are very price conscious, they are absolutely willing to spend money on a product if it provides aid to someone else.

Competitive pricing

Thanks to their upbringing, millennials are very money conscious. They save more than previous generations, and thanks to the enormous debt that comes with advanced schooling, they are used to pinching pennies every way they can. That’s why they are willing to shop generic and utilize coupons. The kicker is they want those coupons to be digitized and simple to use at checkout.

A grocery broker has experience with leading brands through adapting to consumer preferences. If you need direction and guidance on how to market to millennials, consider contacting a grocery broker today.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group is one of the first sales and marketing agencies to focus specifically on emerging brands in the CPG industry. The company leverages fact-based selling and proprietary technology to help its clients find the best path to market and grow responsibly. With a foundation in CPG marketing and expertise as a fresh food broker, Impact Group can set you apart with their experience. Large enough to make an impact, but nimble enough to specialize, Impact Group can take your brand to the next level by driving aggressive growth and sales.

For more information visit Impactgrp.com


Original Source: https://goo.gl/zVz2hf

Why People Are Going Crazy for Kombucha

It may feel like kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is the latest health craze to hit supermarket shelves, but it’s experienced a great deal more than 15 minutes of fame. In fact, kombucha has been popular in China as a health elixir for more than 2,000 years.

Its prominence on store shelves continues to grow as CPG brokers meet the high demand for highly portable kombucha. So, what is kombucha and why does demand continue to grow?

To put it simply, kombucha is a fermented sweet tea (derived from green, black, or white tea leaves). For a more scientific definition, Wiley Online Library puts it best by stating, “[kombucha] is obtained from the infusion of tea leaves by the fermentation of a symbiotic association of bacteria and yeasts forming ‘tea fungus.’ A floating cellulosic pellicle layer and the sour liquid broth are the 2 portions of kombucha tea” The floating cellulosic pellicle layer they refer to is also known as a “scoby,” which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” and looks reminiscent of a mushroom within the brew. This is why the drink is sometimes referred to as “mushroom tea.”

While picturing this process might lead you to believe the taste is lacking, it absolutely isn’t. Talented CPG marketing and increased popularity of the drink has resulted in a saturation of options to the market. Offered flavors are varied and seemingly endless including vine-ripened fruit and an assortment of herbs, so you can actually enjoy this healthy drink. A smidge sweet, slightly tart—with tiny effervescent bubbles that burst on your tongue, kombucha is a multiple sense experience, engaging both your palette and your nose.

Kombucha has garnered a cult following for more than its taste. The long list of health benefits has encouraged daily imbibing among fans. It’s riddled with probiotics that line your gut with healthy bacteria aiding in digestion and a healthier digestive tract. It also contains antioxidants that aid your body in fighting free radical damage. From a strengthened immune system to a healthier liver, kombucha packs a healthy punch.

This craze isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, expect to see even more of it on your store shelves as brands like PepsiCo get involved in the action.

Working with a CPG sales and marketing agency will ensure your product takes center stage. They will help you wade through the best path to market for your brand and utilize their store relationships to find your product a place to flourish.

About Impact Group

Founded in 1994, Impact Group is one of the first sales and marketing agencies to focus specifically on emerging brands in the CPG industry. The company leverages fact-based selling and proprietary technology to help its clients find the best path to market and grow responsibly. With a foundation in CPG marketing and expertise as a food broker, Impact Group can set you apart with their experience. Large enough to make an impact, but nimble enough to specialize, Impact Group can take your brand to the next level by driving aggressive growth and sales.

For more information visit Impactgrp.com


Original Source: https://goo.gl/NWRfUi