Hot Food Trends: Part 4 – Mission Accomplished

Discussion
Aug 25, 2006
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By George
Anderson



No one knows with certainty what the hottest food trends
will be over the next several years, but The Hartman Group has focused on the
“why behind the buy” to look at four that may have a significant impact on the
business. RetailWire explores each in this series of Discussions.


It’s been a long-held belief in retailing circles that consumers go to food stores looking for a set of products. To help stimulate that activity and build market basket size, retailers have used a variety of tactics, such as sales and special offers, to accomplish their goals.


While there is no doubt that some success has been attained with this approach, Jarrett Paschal, Ph. D., said recent research demonstrates consumers look to “accomplish tasks on specific shopping occasions by engaging in a compelling set of experiences.”


Of great importance to retailers, writes Dr. Paschal, is that “the channels chosen to accomplish those tasks, as well as the goals and tasks themselves, are decided at home and are frequently subject to the household debate. Likewise, those channels and occasions dramatically shape subsequent shopping behavior.”


For example, Dr. Paschal maintains that after a full day’s work, shoppers popping into a store for what’s needed for that night’s dinner are not really interested in the promotions being run. What they are looking for is “quick access to ‘fresh’ versions of certain products that are critical to mealtime preparation.”


In practical terms, according to Dr. Paschal, stores can take advantage of this shopping behavior, for example, by deploying mobile displays with “meal-relevant solutions, such as fresh-baked breads, cheeses, water, wine, etc.”


Discussion Question: Do you agree with Jarret Paschal’s
assertion “the channels chosen to accomplish those (shopping occasion) tasks,
as well as the goals and tasks themselves, are decided at home” and that “those
channels and occasions dramatically shape subsequent shopping behavior”?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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6 Comments on "Hot Food Trends: Part 4 – Mission Accomplished"


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Herb Sorensen
Guest
14 years 6 months ago
There is a lot of data and opinion based on research about what shoppers think “outside the store,” and attempts to peer into the mind of the shopper at some remove from the store, and to thereby determine what is going on “inside the store.” A lot of this totally ignores what is actually happening in the store. For example, it is a certifiable fact that the single most frequent transaction in any supermarket in the country is for a SINGLE item. That’s right, shoppers buy only one item more often than they buy 2, 3 or any other number. The second most common number of items is 2, etc. I have presented this information dozens of times, to both industry professionals and consumers. The response is pretty uniform disbelief. And it is especially inexcusable for professionals because it can be readily verified from the T-log of any supermarket. There is a growing body of brands and retailers who are learning to ask, “Did this insight come from inside the store, or outside the store?”… Read more »
Shaun Bossons
Guest
Shaun Bossons
14 years 6 months ago

It becomes a difficult decision for the retailer to satisfy the wants of two distinct customer needs.

A high percentage of customers still shop in bulk, which means that they expect to find products in traditional areas. On the other hand, we have consumers shopping for convenience and ideally would like occasion merchandising strategies, in order to find their entire basket shop in close proximity.

In reality, we start to have a combination of the two above, which can sometimes only introduce confusion in the aisle. It seems some retailers are now looking to use the edge of store area to locate “total meal solutions,” whilst allowing centre-store to hold the staple grocery, more traditional category layout. This simply leads to a battle of space.

I wait with great interest to see how this moves forward, as new retailers introduce concept stores and new banners, such as Bloom, Tesco etc…

Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
14 years 6 months ago
I am not clear on how to make practical the insight offered in the research. At one level, it seems to argue for a mobile store layout, dynamic to times of day and shopping motivations. Putting aside the economic impossibility of this level of labor, doesn’t this assume that all shoppers at a specific time of day have the same motivation? I would have thought, as has been alluded to, that there is a spectrum of shopping motivation. The four offered by another writer may or may not be inclusive…I haven’t done the research. Designing an in-store shopping experience which meets the needs of the consumer, within the constraints of economic reality, is very much a winning idea. The problem for food retailers is that the phrase “the consumer” is relatively meaningless and, at worst, is dangerous. Food retailers understand that they have segmentation within their existing demand. And that those segments have different priorities, need profiles, and value propositions. Should we organize the store by meal occasion? What do you do with ingredients commonly… Read more »
Bill Robinson
Guest
Bill Robinson
14 years 6 months ago
Consumers go to the food store to meet four primary needs: 1. To sustain their family members (balanced meals); 2. To impress their company (snacks and decoration, pre-made meals); 3. To feed their addictions (coffee, soda, sugar, sweets, cigarettes, alcohol); 4. To equip and beautify their homes (small appliances, floral). What they find at the store are rows and rows of products, organized in categories. These rows almost never speak to the primary needs of the shopper. When fish and salad are on the menu, you go to aisle 1 for produce, and aisle 14 for fish. When you want to buy a balanced breakfast, cereal is in aisle 4, but muffins, milk, fruit, coffee are scattered around the store. Food merchants would do better if they organized their stores and their merchandise categories around the needs of the shoppers. Similarly, from a business intelligence point of view, grocers should be able to infer what the primary shopping motivators are for each customer based on analysis of the products they buy. One shopper is a… Read more »
Paul Waldron
Guest
Paul Waldron
14 years 6 months ago
A great deal of important work has been done over the last two years in trying to understand the multitude of special purpose shopping occasions that drive shopper behavior, and to some degree channel selection. The work Bill Bishop did for the Coca-Cola Research Council, the work Todd Hale has done using the ACNielsen shopper panel and now this work by Jarrett, all bring out additional facets of this dynamic consumer behavior as well as trying to help the retailer and manufacturer in their quest to either cement a relationship with a behavior, or to expand their respective roles in the consumer’s life. As I have reviewed these various studies, alongside some research into online grocery shopping behavior and consumer reactions to some in-store tools that we provide, I tend to segment the drivers into three groups…entertainment, convenience and price. Consumers move between the drivers depending on the product needs at the time, and on the availability of needs fulfillment. If, for instance, the consumer is driven by convenience (“I want to get in, get… Read more »
Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 6 months ago

Many shoppers don’t like display rearrangement. They’re used to finding frozen pizza in one particular place within their store and they get annoyed when the frozen pizza is moved to another location. It’s a waste of time to search for what you want, and many people don’t see the logic of adjacencies (which related products should sit near each other).

Additionally, many people enjoy their food habits, and aren’t that adventurous about trying new things constantly. Yes, they might plan ahead as to which supermarket they’ll visit, and yes, they want to get in and out quickly when they’re time-pressed and hungry. I’m not sure what the breakthrough news is.

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