CPGmatters: Major Marketers Collaborate with Kroger to Simplify Shopping for Beverages, Snacks
By Dale Buss
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of
a current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Kroger is testing
a new display idea for one of its most popular categories: beverages. The
idea behind the former initiative is to create a handy destination that
brings all the beverages in the store together in a four-aisle section
where signage and color codes help shoppers select their drinks quickly
the Refreshment Center concept last winter at an unspecified number of
its roughly 2,500 supermarkets in 31 states.
Ocean Spray has
joined Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Lipton and Tropicana
as major participants in the Refreshment Center concept.
reserved for specific categories that are identified by color: green for
Ocean Spray and other juices, red for carbonated beverages, blue for water
and sports drinks. Color-coded floor strips and other indicators help identify
the categories. In-line headers carry lifestyle images and appropriate
phrases. The juice headers, for example, say “healthy, fruity, flavorful,” while
sports drinks “restore, refuel, replenish.”
“The color coding
makes Refreshment Center visually appealing, and it was the most obvious
way to go,” Steve Logan, sales manager of the Kroger team for Ocean Spray,
told CGPmatters. “And
we were all for the informational wording. Where waters wouldn’t necessarily
need that kind of thing, we thought, ‘Let’s tell the consumer at point
of purchase what juice is all about.’ Our brand is all about tasting good
and being good for you, so we wanted to differentiate it from, say, coffee.
And Kroger wanted to make it simple, not complicated. They didn’t want
the categories to argue.”
Ocean Spray sales
at Kroger stores overall were up by more than 10 percent for the year ended
in May compared with a year earlier.
Ocean Spray and other brands including PepsiCo’s Lipton and Tropicana are
housed in semi-permanent floor stands. Outer gondolas span the length of
the department in the stores experimenting with the Refreshment Center
housing carbonated beverages and water, while the interior aisles feature
shorter gondolas, two of which run into coolers devoted to energy drinks
and New Age beverages including enhanced waters and teas. End-caps include
permanent three-sided displays from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s Gatorade. Generic
displays showcase beverage brands as “Weekly Features.”
Mr. Logan believes
bringing all beverages together in a Refreshment Center makes sense. “Traditionally,
they’re scattered throughout the store, but this puts all the choices in
one area for shoppers. And there are high levels of relationship among
all these beverages. Consumers don’t necessarily have a switching mentality
when they enter the area; you’d be surprised how highly complementary the
relationships are among different types of beverages,” he said.
Kroger also has
been experimenting with a similar aisle-arrangement program in the snack
aisle, using color-coded graphics to identify six distinct categories,
such as orange for “Multi-Pack” and green for “Sensible Snacks.” PepsiCo’s
Frito-Lay unit gets special attention in this initiative, with aisle signage
calling out its specific product lines.
What do you think of Kroger’s Refreshments Aisle? Should grocers be making
more unified statements around categories such as beverages and snacks?
In particular, would more consumer education be beneficial around these