What’s keeping shoppers away from the frozen aisle?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer magazine.
A recent Concentric survey of primary shoppers who spent at least $100 during a given trip to the supermarket found that only 46 percent visited the frozen section. What’s keeping the rest away?
For starters, answers Bob Shaw, president of Concentric Marketing, the department is cold, both literally and figuratively. While retailers can’t do much about the temperature, they sure don’t need to emphasize it with penguins and snowflakes either.
“It’s like hanging a big can above center store,” he remarks. “The goal is for consumers to look at products in the section as just food, not frozen food.”
As for the ambience, well, there is none. With all the products tucked behind glass doors, “It’s very sterile and aseptic, a problem made inherently worse by the clean store movement,” reports Mr. Shaw.
As a result, says Diane Harper, VP of consumer insights and analytics for The Schwan Food Co., most consumers don’t linger any longer than they have to. She says, “Because they aren’t spending any time in the aisle, they may not realize what else is there, including new products, international flavors, better-for you options, etc.”
Among the suggestions to make the department more hospitable is adding a little “theater”, such as Lunds & Byerlys’ full-size chandelier or mixing in different types of freezers.
Signage is critical — perhaps more so than in any other part of the store — because consumers can’t always see what’s behind the glass.
Highlighting specialty items like gluten-free, paleo-friendly, ethnic fare and organics can go a long way toward overcoming the misconception that frozen food is unhealthy. A frozen meal solutions endcap that combines products into a single display, even if it includes non-frozen items, not only promotes impulse purchases but draws consumers into the section.
While you’re at it, how about communicating to shoppers that frozen fruits and veggies, for example, are just as nutritious as fresh?
“Understand why customers in your store are going to the frozen aisle and why shoppers that never go there aren’t and then run with that,” says Brittany Sutton, Cadent’s manager of business analytics.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why do you think many shoppers avoid the frozen aisle? What suggestions would you have to increase traffic to the department?