Unilever and Jewel-Osco Go Grouponing Together

Discussion
Jul 28, 2011
George Anderson

Groupon and Incentive Targeting announced today that they are working with Unilever and Jewel-Osco on a promotion that allows consumers to purchase $15 worth of Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike and Popsicle ice cream for $9.

Customers place their order through Groupon and then can pick up the deal using their Jewel-Osco Preferred Customer Card. If they don’t have a card, they are invited to join. Consumers don’t need to bring anything other than the card to the store to get the deal.

This is not the first deal that Groupon has done with a CPG company or grocery chain this year. General Mills ran a program in April while Big Y ran another last month.

"We think this is a fabulous deal and a great way to let our consumers bring home a selection of their favorite ice cream in the heat of the summer, as well as to introduce new consumers to our products," said Marc Shaw, director of shopper marketing for Unilever North America, in a press release.

"We are thrilled to begin testing Groupons for grocery in Groupon’s hometown," said Kat Kozitza, Supervalu’s director of interactive and direct mail marketing. "As one of the leading retail grocery chains in Chicago, Jewel-Osco offers an extremely convenient way for shoppers to pick up their Groupon deals."

While Groupon has been criticized for appealing to deal seekers instead of loyal customers, a source familiar with the matter told RetailWire, "Supervalu sees this first Jewel-Osco Groupon as one test of the platform. Provided that all tests go well, the intent on all sides has been for this to become a regular Supervalu program."

Discussion Question: Will Groupon become a more prominent marketing tool for CPG and grocery retail now that it can be tied to loyalty programs?

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11 Comments on "Unilever and Jewel-Osco Go Grouponing Together"


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John Boccuzzi, Jr.
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John Boccuzzi, Jr.
9 years 9 months ago

The offer that Unilever is providing through Jewel-Osco is not only attractive but a great way for both brands (Unilever Ice Cream Brands and Jewel-Osco) to get their name in front of people. I see this approach growing over the next year or two. What makes this so attractive for the retailer is the tie-in with their loyalty card. It will be interesting to see if Jewel-Osco uses that data to create future programs specific to consumers that took advantage of a Groupon deal. I also wander if Jewel-Osco plans to share the data with Unilever.

Like all great things, I am sure the deals will get watered down and become less attractive over time, but until then, “Let them eat Ice Cream.”

Tony Orlando
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

It will grow with large regional chains if the price is right for the chain’s advertising budget. Competition is fiercer than ever, and these marriages of internet coupon sites with stores will continue to be experimented with for awhile. If successful, they will grow even more. We’ll see what happens.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
9 years 9 months ago

This approach will continue to attract for the value it represents. Groupon is instantly recognizable as a “great deal”; the quality of products from Unilever and Jewel an excellent value. New types of collaboration will continue to appear as both retailers and CPGs seek new ways to stay competitive.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

This is such a no-brainer that it will spread wildly and thoughtlessly. It ultimately will be the new couponing tool offered by a myriad of the Groupon wannabes.

For CPG companies, it will become another “Let’s do it” tool without strategic consideration.

Anne Howe
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

Given the recognition the Groupon brand has for a “deal” and its ability to draw consumers in to respond, I’m guessing we’ll see more, not less, of this type of promotion. Retailers are fighting for share of shopper wallet, and if this will bring them in the door, the chances are good they’ll buy more while they’re in the store.

I’d prefer to see deals on healthier options than ice cream, however. There are opportunities for supermarkets to offer better deals on organic food, given the success of Whole Foods, even in this tough economy. These are the trips the corner supermarket needs to recover in order to thrive.

Roy White
Guest
Roy White
9 years 9 months ago

In an era in which promotion is more necessary than ever, supermarket participation and linking their loyalty cards is a logical, and potentially powerful, next step in the expansion of couponing sites. This is a real plus for supermarkets. Coupon sites broaden the reach of retail outlets with their email, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and by prompting people to “share” the deals with others. The coupons can simply be printed, and also downloaded on your mobile. Supermarkets will benefit in a several ways — greater exposure, increased traffic, and more sign-ups for loyalty programs. It’s up to the retailers to take advantage of this by prompting greater sales of the couponers in the stores and wiser use of loyalty card data.

Lee Peterson
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

The concept of Groupon will be huge, but whether or not it’ll be Groupon is a different story. Isn’t it only a matter of time before someone does it better/bigger/faster? What’s that ‘law’ the tech guys talk about all the time? Yeah, that will happen to Groupon in about 5 minutes.

Ben Sprecher
Guest
Ben Sprecher
9 years 9 months ago
[Full disclosure: my company, Incentive Targeting, is the one that created this deal.] I’m enjoying the comments here, and excited that the BrainTrust sees the power and potential of these new kinds of deals. John Boccuzzi, as always, makes a good point about the risk of these deals becoming watered down, which is something that will require discipline and diligence to avoid. And on the data use question, I can assure you that leveraging the loyalty data for insights on program effectiveness is absolutely key for this program. In fact, given the huge discounts that drive Groupon’s excitement, I don’t believe that our brand or chain partners would be willing to run these programs *without* that data. Because this program is built on our core shopper marketing and analytics platform, we can leverage the built-in capabilities to explore the data. We look at shoppers who bought the product for the first time, who shopped the category for the first time, or who are new to the chain. And we’ll ask if the deal delivered an… Read more »
Roger Saunders
Guest
9 years 9 months ago

A marvelous word from the Creole-Cajun culture of Louisiana/South Texas — “lagniappe” — has wonderful application to taking care of our MOST LOYAL customers. Lagniappe is something extra, an unexpected small gift of appreciation.

Groupon’s strategy of linking retailer loyalty programs and CPG promotional funding creates a powerful link for each party. No need to provide lagniappe on an every occasion basis. Demonstrate that it is a “something special” moment, and it’s a winning strategy.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
9 years 9 months ago

Well, this is the direction Groupon had to go in to be successful, isn’t it? Where their fees are paid by CPG manufacturers rather than retailers like local restaurants and spas? And, the hookup with loyalty programs refreshes those programs while encouraging additional membership — but a loyalty program is not necessary to tap into CPG dollars. And, you KNOW that retailers will be watching Unilever and others to make sure that every dollar they pay to Groupon comes out of their national promotion (advertising, couponing) budgets rather than the retailers’ co-op dollars.

Odonna Mathews
Guest
Odonna Mathews
9 years 9 months ago

The concept needs to be tested and evaluated in the marketplace. It seems to provide a destination visit for the retailer and additional business for Groupon.

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