CPGmatters: Kraft Promotes Meal Solutions with Custom Retail Programs
By Dale Buss
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a
current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Kraft Food is amplifying
its retailer-specific in-store marketing program for Meal Solutions in
an effort to take greater advantage of the growing trend of budget-conscious
consumers cooking more at home during the recession. Its partnerships with
Meijer and other major grocery retailers around the country involve on-site
tactics ranging from floor clings to at-checkout discounts to end-cap coolers.
“Ultimately, we’re looking
to create a point of difference for our key retailers with meal ideas that
provide solutions for their shoppers. They’re not just a bunch of promotions,” Denny
Belcastro, Kraft’s vice president of Customer Development and Industry
Relations, told CPGmatters.com.
The Meal Solutions initiative
began a couple of years ago with Kraft’s conversations with consumers,
who told the company that they’re looking for easier ideas for weeknight
One early innovation
from that research, under the Meal Solutions banner, was Lunchtime Solutions
Stations at some retailers that addressed what appeals to consumers about
away-from-home meals. The stations, Mr. Belcastro explained, “were designed
to capture the interest that’s been keeping specialty sandwich shops growing
when many other restaurants are feeling the economic pinch.”
And speaking of the
pinch, the more Kraft talked to consumers recently, the more evidently
this had become a huge factor in their decisions about food and meals. “They’re
looking for ways to stretch their budgets, while still being able to please
their families with variety,” Mr. Belcastro said. These concerns about “economic
conditions made us adjust programming ideas around affordable meals and
how shoppers can cook ‘restaurant-inspired meals’ at home.”
For example, with Meijer,
Kraft first introduced last winter a “Dining In Makes $ense” campaign that
offered discounts on future Meijer shopping trips with the purchase of
multiple Kraft products.
In addition at Meijer
stores, Kraft applied “Dining In Makes $ense” floor clings that carried
images of meals made from Kraft products and directed shoppers to the company’s
web site for recipes such as Deep Dish Pizza Casserole. And there was a
tie-in to the online MealBox program that Meijer and Kraft have been running
on Meijer’s web site, which provides “budget-boosting” coupons and other
In the store, both the
MealBox and “Dining in Makes $ense” logos also have appeared on customized
Kraft pallet displays.
With other partners,
Kraft has been using an Affordable Meals end-cap cooler that leverages
its Kraft Kitchens, its agency and its retail sales force to rotate new
recipes, point-of-sale materials, and print materials in the store – every
two weeks. At other customers, Kraft tailors its recipes and purchase incentives
to preferred vehicles for that retailer, reinforcing their key positioning
with local shoppers.
“Every customer has
a set of growth consumers they’re looking to satisfy, and we collaborate
with them to do just that,” Mr. Belcastro said. So Kraft has “created several
different in-store destinations for different key customers.” Some
focus on dinner, some on snacks and some on sandwiches, he said.
What do you think of Kraft’s Meal Solutions and other similar programs?
What type of sales lift can grocers expect from such programs? How
can retailers better tap into the meal planning opportunity and the
overall cook-at-home trend?