Progressive Grocer - November 2016

Page 1

Movin’ on Up

Giant Eagle’s new Market District Express store rises to the occasion Page 24

Live and Be Well

Special section explores H&W strategies at retail Page 121

Cooling Trend

Winterizing pets can be big business Page 153

November 2016 • Volume 95 Number 11 $10 •

Deli Category Captain

6 Years

RUNNING Find out more at

®/© 2016 Tyson Foods, Inc.


the industry, CHANGING THE



toast to firsts!

Together we built the #1 brands of white and chocolate milk — and were selected as Category Captain for our first year ever. Leading with our passion for purity, we helped reignite demand for the dairy category by bringing insights, driving sales and growing profits at retail. So we’d like to say thanks the best way we know how — with a glass of DairyPure® and TruMoo®. Cheers! ¨

©Dean Foods Company | All Rights Reserved. | DairyPure® and TruMoo® are registered trademarks of Dean Foods Company. | Caribou Coffee® and design are licensed trademarks of the Caribou Coffee Company, Inc.



Volume 95, Issue 11


PG’s 2016 Category Captains

Selling Solutions 20th annual awards recognize partners looking beyond brand, aisle and category.

24 / Store of the Month The Next Level Giant Eagle’s latest Market District Express store promises more with less — and delivers.

95 / Frozen Bread & Rolls Bakers Frozen With clean ingredients all the rage, many breads and rolls rely on freezing to preserve freshness.

115 / Produce Rad Roots Consumers dig the healthful fiber, vitamins and nutrients in root vegetables of all kinds.

36 / PG Celebration Applause for Giant Eagle Heinz Field sets the stage for PG’s Retailer of the Year presentation.

103 / Meal Solutions Dinner Solved Meal solutions appeal particularly to Millennials, Gen Xers.

82 / Cause Marketing Just Causes More than ever, consumers expect, and grocers strive to provide, corporate responsibility initiatives.

111 / Produce Eternal Flavor Innovative programs and a focus on quality are making stone fruit a yearround sensation.

121 / Special Section Health and Wellness In-store Grocery retailers employ various approaches to H&W.

89 / Pasta Call it a Comeback Positioning pasta as healthful and convenient could abet its rising popularity.

144 / Health, Beauty & Wellness


Serious About Pleasure A category evolves to meet consumer needs.

89 November 2016 | |




570 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 310, Deerfield, IL 60015 224 632-8200 • SVP, Brand Director 201-855-7621

149 / Health,

Beauty & Wellness

Pain Points Marketing and merchandising arthritis products mean understanding purchasers’ needs.


153 / PG Pet Winter Prep for Pets Stock products that keep pets safe and warm to boost category sales. 158 / Technology Getting Started With Demand Forecasting Sophisticated planning is modest, but growing, in grocery. 161 / Supply Chain Culinary Inspiration The foodservice supply chain may provide some fresh ideas for retailers.


163 / Mobile Merchandisers Seasonal Standbys Mobile merchandisers are key to holiday displays.

22 / All’s Wellness Whole Grains Rising

12 / PG Pulse

166 / What’s Next Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

January 2017

168 / The Supplier Side

16 / Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight

170 / The Last Word Less of the Same


20 / Mintel Global New Products

Meat Replacements and Non-meat Proteins


EDITORIAL Editorial Director Joan Driggs 224-632-8211 Chief Content Editor Meg Major 724-453-3545 Editor-in-Chief James Dudlicek 224-632-8238 Managing Editor Bridget Goldschmidt 201-855-7603 Senior Editor Randy Hofbauer 224-632-8240 Senior Editor Katie Martin 224-632-8172 Senior Editor Anna Wolfe 207-773-1154 Technology Editor John Karolefski 440-582-1889 Art Director Bill Antkowiak Contributing Editors Elizabeth Fuhrman, Kathleen Furore, Bob Ingram, Jenny McTaggart, Diane Quagliani, Alan Richman, Barbara Sax and Jennifer Strailey ADVERTISING SALES & BUSINESS Associate Brand Director Janet Blaney (AZ, CO, ID, MD, MN, MT, NM, NV, OH, TX, UT, WY) 630-364-1601 Midwest Marketing Manager John Huff 224-632-8174 Eastern Marketing Manager Maggie Kaeppel 630-364-2150 • Mobile: 708-565-5350 Western Regional Marketing Manager Rick Neigher (CA, OR, WA) 818-597-9029 Northeast Marketing Manager Mike Shaw 201-855-7631 • Mobile: 201-281-9100 Account Executive/ Classified Advertising Terry Kanganis 201-855-7615 • Fax: 201-855-7373 Advertising/Production Manager Jackie Batson 224-632-8183 • Fax: 888-316-7987 Classified Production Manager Mary Beth Medley 856-809-0050

EvEnts • MarkEting • Digital • rEsEarch • circulation

8 / Editor’s Note Wonder Drug 14 / In-store Events Calendar

Jeff Friedman

| Progressive Grocer | November 2016

VP/Custom Media Division Pierce Hollingsworth 224-632-8229 Production Manager Anngail Norris Corporate Marketing Director Bruce Hendrickson 224-632-8214 Promotion Director Robert Kuwada 201-855-7616 Director of Events Pat Benkner 973-607-1330 Director of Market Research Debra Chanil 201-855-7605 Audience Development Manager Shelly Patton 215-301-0593 List Rental The Information Refinery 800-529-9020 Brian Clotworthy Subscriber Services/Single-copy Purchases 978-671-0449 or email at CORPORATE OFFICERS Executive Chairman Alan Glass President & CEO Peter Hoyt Chief Customer Officer Ned Bardic Chief Digital Officer Joel Hughes Chief Operating Officer Korry Stagnito Chief Financial Officer Chris Stark

The Grocery Success Company • 800.211.1172 •

“We conducted an extensive search for a technology partner that could support our continued growth. We were looking for a fully integrated solution that could take us out of the silo environment of legacy POS and item maintenance systems. ECRS has been a terrific partner, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our selection.” - Jim McCaffrey IV, McCaffrey's Food

Store Solutions

Enterprise/Back Office

Traditional checkout lanes

Real-time executive dashboard analytics

Mobile POS

Synchronized multi-store management

Accelerated Checkout®

Automatic data replication

Click & Collect / eCommerce

Online backup service

Self checkout

Massive reporting suite

EMV, P2PE, PCI-DSS certified payment processing

OLAP cube decision support system

Inventory/Supply Chain

Loyalty & Rewards

Universal Product Database (UPD)

Automated marketing campaigns

Product attribute coding and shelf labeling

Points or eCoupon delivery

Direct Store Delivery (DSD) tracking

Customer display reward moment

Perpetual ordering

Social media marketing


DemandFill order forecasting

Self-hosted email campaigns

EDI supplier integration

Trigger-based rewards

Web-based order tracking dashboard

Reporting / analytics

Specialty Success Solutions


Fuel pump integration

Success Navigation™ program

Pharmacy system integration

U.S.-based, award-winning technical support

Remote kitchen ticket printing

Consulting / project management

Membership management

Online and onsite training

Scale management

Web-based customer portal

Gift cards

Note By Jim Dudlicek

Wonder Drug


What’s Kroger’s next move? Here are a few possible scenarios.

’m sure that I’m not alone among industry observers in wondering where The Kroger Co. is going to strike next. Harris Teeter was a major score, a beloved southeastern banner with best practices, especially in online shopping, that Kroger hungrily absorbed. Roundy’s has been a double-edged sword, giving Kroger a new beachhead in the Midwest and the golden goose of Mariano’s fronting an operator that’s basically a fixer-upper. As these assimilations continued, the Cincinnati-based grocery giant became a serious contender to purchase some of the 500 to 1,000 stores that Walgreens and Rite Aid need to jettison as a condition of their $17 billion merger, whose closing has been delayed until January. What might Kroger do with a few hundred drug stores? Kroger won’t comment on pending deals, rumor or speculation. But here are a few possible scenarios. The grocer has been expanding its healthand-wellness strategy, most recently merging its specialty pharmacy subsidiary, Axium, with Orlando, Fla.-based ModernHealth, a specialty pharmacy services provider. Might Kroger launch a free-standing drug store operation? It would seem to make more sense for existing supermarket pharmacy locations to offer these expanded services. Meanwhile, there’s been speculation that Kroger could open up to 300 Main & Vine stores across the country, replicating the fresh-focused market concept that the retailer launched in February near Seattle. Kroger’s acquisition of Rite Aid locations, and moving their pharmacy operations into existing supermarkets, would free up those sites to be converted to Main & Vine stores The pilot Main & Vine measures 30,000 square feet, significantly smaller than most Kroger supermarkets. But according to a February 2016 SEC filing by Rite Aid, its average store size is less than 13,000 square feet. That would require some significant buildout or creative space planning on Kroger’s

Jim Dudlicek

Editor-in-Chief Twitter @jimdudlicek


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

part to convert the sites, rendering its smaller format too small to be worth the effort. Perhaps a better idea would be to convert the drug stores into online shopping fulfillment centers as part of Kroger’s continued expansion of its ClickList and ExpressLane online ordering services, now offered at almost 400 Kroger locations. Such centers, supplied by other Kroger stores or central distribution centers, could help fill gaps in the retailer’s online shopping network. They would provide greater convenience to consumers and give the retailer further leverage against players like Seattle-based Amazon, which is starting to open brick-and-mortar locations of its own on the West Coast. But leave it to the feds to throw a wrench in the works: The Federal Trade Commission reportedly told Kroger that it would not be allowed to purchase the Rite Aid stores just to close them and move the pharmacy operations inside existing grocery stores, fueling speculation that Kroger may pass on the deal. Could the FTC bend? Maybe, since the Walgreens-Rite Aid merger has been fraught with snags. Between the FTC’s edict to Kroger and several private equity firms steering clear, arguing that the stores up for grabs are too scattered to support a cohesive business plan, Walgreens and Rite Aid pushed their merger completion date from late October to sometime in early 2017, PG sister publication Retail Leader reported last month. Further, suggests that Kroger may have intentionally leaked that it planned to bail, to provoke a sweeter deal. All of this came while Kroger, reacting to continued deflation, lowered its earnings guidance and expected capital investments for the year, following softer-than-expected sales revealed in its Q2 earnings call. Despite the currently volatile environment, “our growth objectives are on a three- to fiveyear rolling cycle, and we remain confident in those targets,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said during the earnings call. “We are in this for the long run, and not a 12-week quarter or even a particular year. We have demonstrated our ability to invest at the appropriate times to create momentum when the environment improves.” Kroger is steered by consistently prudent management capable of maintaining market leadership through almost any storm. Whatever its next venture, expect it to be the right move at the right time. PG

SKINNYGIRL Has Good TASTE Skinnygirl® Spicy Lime Margarita, Made with Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, and Natural Flavors, 9.95% Alc./Vol. ©2016 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL (Per 1.5 oz – Average Analysis: Calories 35.7, Carbohydrates 3g, Protein 0g, Fat 0g). DRINK RESPONSIBLY

ood t get left


How Blount can help you sell to the country’s biggest audience. illennials read labels. Simply put, they demand real, authentic food, and they’ll support brands that fit with their outlook on life. The Blount Organic Soup product line fits their health-conscious views and it satisfies their love of convenience with 16-oz. heat-and-serve cups. Blount delivers delicious recipes made with responsibly sourced, local ingredients which create sales. For your share of the 75 million-strong millennial market, call your Blount sales rep at 800-274-2526. SOUPS • SAUCES • SIDES • ENTRÉES


Blount Fine Foods Culinary and Technical & Regulatory Team

What’s trending on …

After more than a year in the works, the sale of Supervalu’s Save-A-Lot subsidiary to an affiliate of Toronto-based Onex Corp., for $1.365 billion in cash, topped the leaderboard as the most widely read story on during the Sept. 16-Oct. 17 period. FMI’s decision to abandon its annual Connect industry confab paced as the second most widely read online news story, followed by PG ’s selection of Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. as our 2016 Retailer of the Year.

Save-A-Lot Sold for $1.37B

FMI Pulls Plug on Connect

Rouses Buys LeBlanc’s Food Stores

PG Honors Giant Eagle as 2016 Retailer of the Year

Ahold USA CEO James McCann Resigns Amazon Slashes Grocery Delivery Subscription Fees

Walmart Pays Hourly Workers $200M in Q2 Bonuses


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Š2016 Goya Foods, Inc. *Top selling coconut milk SKU (in grocery outlets) Source: Nielsen Strategic Planner, Total US (unit sales), 52 weeks ending 12/19/15.

January 2017 is... National Hot Tea Month National Oatmeal Month National Slow Cooking Month National Soup Month National Bread Machine Baking Month























National Strawberry Ice Cream Day

International Hot and Spicy Food Day. Ask customers to pin their favorites to your Pinterest page.








New Year’s Day

National Cream Puff Day

National Chocolatecovered Cherry Day

National Bloody Mary Day

Celebrate National Hot Tea Month by offering samples of traditional and herbal teas.

NRF’s Big Show begins in New York City and continues through Jan. 17.

Winter Fancy Food Show begins and continues through Jan. 24.

For National Oatmeal Month, share on your Facebook page ways to use oatmeal as an ingredient.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday (Jan. 15, 1929) observed.

National Pie Day — make sure the store is well stocked.

National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. How about a demo using bittersweet chocolate to make hot chocolate?

National Hot Buttered Rum Day

National Peanut Butter Day. Encourage customers to share pairings beyond jelly via social media.

It’s National Spaghetti Day, so promote pasta, sauce, cheese and wine.

National Hot Toddy Day. Set up a display to make apple hot toddies: apple cider, honey, lemons, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

National Gourmet Coffee Day

Invite customers to warm up with free samples that celebrate National Soup Month.

National Whipped Cream Day. Offer discounts on ready-made and DIY whipping cream.

National Glazed Doughnut Day

National Popcorn Day. Build a display of popcorn varieties and toppings.

Make sure your Valentine’s Day inventory and promotions are ready to go.

National Bean Day

For National Gluten-free Day, promote GF treats throughout the store.

National Cheese Lover’s Day

National Chocolate Cake Day

National Corn Chip Day. Feature corn chips, salsa, guacamole and other dips.



National Croissant Day. Bake them early — the aroma will draw customers in.

National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. Run a special in the deli department.

National New England Clam Chowder Day. Sample this perfect cold-weather pleaser.

Chinese New Year National Blueberry Pancake Day. Offer coupons on frozen and dried blueberries.

Hold a cooking class to promote National Southern Food Day.


National Tempura Day. Feature batterfried foods in the prepared food area.


National Hot Chocolate Day Email your calendar submissions to

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

PG 1116 14-15 Events bgJIMjoan.indd 14

11/17/16 9:19 AM


the industry, CHANGING THE


®/© 2016 Tyson Foods, Inc.

Front End

Market Intelligence By The Numbers

Shelf Stoppers


among regular adult beverage drinkers, what are the top preferred spirits to drink at home?

ToTal spiriTs sales reached $13.6 billion in The pasT year (52 weeks ending Sept. 10, 2016)

Top 5 spirits categories $4,500,000,000 4,000,000,000 3,500,000,000 3,000,000,000 2,500,000,000 2,000,000,000 1,500,000,000 1,000,000,000 500,000,000 0 52 Wks - W/e 09/10/16 Whiskey

52 Wks - W/e 09/12/15 Vodka

52 Wks - W/e 09/13/14



52 Wks - W/e 09/14/13

52 Wks - W/e 09/15/12

26% prefer vodka


“spirits continue to grow at consistently strong rates in off-premise locations, i.e., stores. consumers trading up to more premium spirits products is one driver of dollar growth. looking at the overall category, of the larger spirits segments, the two leading growth contributors today are tequila, growing at almost 12 percent in dollars during the last year, followed by whiskey, at 8.4 percent. There is a variety of consumer factors driving spirits consumption. These include the growing multicultural population, the aging of the american population, the ambition to more equally drive spirits consumption among genders, millennials’ thirst for exploration in their product selections, and the abundance of new product introductions every year. collectively, these factors make it imperative that retailers offer their shoppers the right products in the right stores.”


prefer whiskey

—nielsen sVp beverage alcohol practice danny brager Source: nielsen

Spotlight on Bourbon consumers of bourbon are mosT likely To purchase:

80.7% nuts




Category nuts Vitamins coffee medications, remedies, health aids



19% prefer rum

94.3% medications, remedies, health aids

Index 121 118 114 114

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


prefer tequila Source: harris poll online print January 2016, nielsen

Š General Mills

Leading Brands Leading Renovation Snacking Drives OVER 50% OF ALL

Eating Occasions Yoplait Portfolio RedeďŹ ned

Mintel Global New Products Database Category Insights

Soy, Meat Replacements and Non-meat Proteins MaRket OveRview The U.S. accounted for more than 70 percent of total new meat substitute product launches in North America in the 12 months to April 2016. Kosher and vegan claims appeared on the majority of launches. key iSSueS Product innovation in North America mainly centered on health claims, as consumers perceive meat substitutes to be overly processed and high in sodium. In response, manufacturers have positioned their offerings as natural and good for health. This was reflected in new launch activity, where 57 percent of the total launches carried some kind of natural claim in the 12 months to April 2016, an increase of four percentage points compared with the previous year.

Consumer interest in dietary protein continues to trend higher, and protein content has emerged as a key selling point of meat substitutes, particularly as they often provide the same — if not more — protein per serving and with less saturated fat at times than that found in meat-based products. The last 12 months also show that brands have been innovating around taste and texture to attract consumers. Soy, wheat and gluten may have once been sufficient to resonate with consumers seeking meat alternatives, but the allergen-free trend has begun to make its mark in the category, with recent launches free of gluten, wheat, soy and even GMO ingredients accounting for 27 percent of the total product launches in the 12 months to April 2016.

For more information, visit or call 800-932-0400.

Meat substitutes are likely to be the future option for consumers who are looking to eat healthier, live longer and support more sustainable food production. The fact that only 5.7 percent of the total launches in the category carried a protein claim last year indicates that brands should do more to communicate the high protein content in their products.

Naturally positioned meat substitutes featuring low sodium levels are likely to appeal to consumers who perceive the category as overly processed and too high in sodium. Manufacturers might want to consider developing meatless products featuring on-trend ethnic flavors, as such products will be well received by those consumers who find that all meat substitutes taste the same. Companies that develop products with a real-meat mouthfeel will have a better chance of converting consumers who don’t find current meat alternatives appealing.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


Introducing the delicious new belVita Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits • belVita now comes in a Single Serve Peanut Butter Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich

*Nielsen Panel W/E 12/26/15

• Give your shoppers so many delightful options to choose from: Crunchy, on-the-go Bites, Soft Baked and now Sandwich

• More tasty ways than ever for Nutritious Steady Morning Energy • 50% repeat rate to keep your customers coming back for more*

© Mondel ēz International group

All’s By Diane Quagliani

Whole Grains Rising Are they the best thing since sliced bread?


any popular diets of the past several years have been unkind to carbohydrates and, in particular, the carbs found in grain foods such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice. But shunning all grains — particularly whole grains — can be a missed opportunity for good health and enjoyable eating. Whole grains (e.g., oatmeal, whole wheat flour, brown rice, popcorn) include the entire grain kernel, composed of the bran, germ and endosperm, which keeps healthful components like fiber, vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients intact. With refined grains (e.g., white flour, white rice, de-germed cornmeal), all or most of the bran and germ are removed, although certain vitamins and minerals may be added back later. Whole grains are sometimes dubbed “good carbs” or “high-quality carbs” for good reason. Healthful diets that include whole grains are linked to lower risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

Retail dietitians can educate shoppers about the health benefits of whole grains, help shoppers identify whole grain foods and encourage consumption by highlighting familiar options.

Whole Grains Gain Traction Despite the healthful attributes of whole grains, many people aren’t reaping the benefits. On average, Americans consume not quite one serving daily, according to government food intake surveys, well short of the three daily servings recommended for good health by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The popularity of whole grains is rising, however, according to the 2016 Food and Health Survey conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based International Food Information Council Foundation. One in five (20 percent) people surveyed have an improved opinion about the healthfulness of whole grains, with 70 percent of them consuming more whole grains than before. Growing attention to ancient grains and sprouted grains also suggests that whole grains are gaining traction with consumers. Less-familiar ancient grains like


amaranth, farro, spelt and millet — as well as the now-ubiquitous quinoa — appear in conventional supermarkets and as ingredients in national brands of cereal, bread, snacks, frozen meals, bars and more. Likewise, sproutedgrain products such as breads and cereals, touted for easier digestion and enhanced nutrition, are also going mainstream.

Promoting Whole Grains at Retail Although whole grains are making headway, many consumers still aren’t aware of them and their health benefits, or are wary of trying them. Some common barriers to trial are thinking that whole grains won’t taste good, are expensive or are hard to prepare. To counter these barriers, tap into your retail dietitians, who can educate shoppers about the health benefits of whole grains, advise recommended amounts in a healthful diet, help shoppers identify whole grain foods, and encourage consumption by highlighting familiar options like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice and popcorn. To promote less-common whole grains, host tastings to give shoppers a no-risk way to experience the nutty flavor and satisfyingly chewy texture characteristic of many varieties. Providing simple recipes, basic cooking information, lists of quick-cooking whole grains, and delicious whole grain selections in the deli or on the salad bar can help, too. And since the gluten-free trend is still going strong, point out the many whole grains that are glutenfree, including traditional options like corn and rice, as well as trendy ancient grains like amaranth, millet, teff — and, yes, quinoa. PG Registered dietitian Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, specializes in nutrition communications for consumer and health professional audiences. She has assisted national retailers and CPGs with nutrition strategy, web content development, trade show exhibiting, and the creation and implementation of shelf tag programs.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Our new $50MM campaign is our biggest ever. $50MM marketing spend on a brand-new campaign 28 weeks of all-new commercials on national TV Most FSIs ever—8 beginning November 6 In-store displays, billboards, print ads, digital and PR Direct sales and merchandising support

Call your W∑nderful Sales Repr © 2016 Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC. All Rights Reserved. WONDERFUL, GET CRACKIN’, the Package Design and accompanying logos are trademarks of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds LLC or its affiliates. WP16210



Fish Fillets | Breaded | Shrimp | Shellfish | Value-Added | Oven Ready | Soup Bowls Ourfi quafiifiyfi frozfinfi fifiafoodfi producfififi incfiudfifi afi varififiyfi offi frozfinfi fifififi fifififififififi vafiufi-addfidfifi rfififiauranfifi quafiifiyfi brfiadfidfi ififimfififi fioupfi bowfifififi andfi morfi!fifi Tfififi Sfiafi BfififiÂŽfi brandfi rfiprfififinfififi afi compfififififi fiinfifi fifiafifi appfiafififi fiofi afififi fifivfifififi offififiafoodfifiovfirfififi makingfiifififiafiyfifiofifiakfifififiafoodfifiofifififififiabfifi.fiAfifionfifioffififififi fifiadingfififiafoodfibrandfififiSfiafiBfififififiafifiyourficafififiandficufifiomfirfificovfirfid.

For more m information, contact a Sea Best seafood expert. 866.950.2378 | |

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

Store of the Month


Next Level

Giant Eagle’s latest Market District Express store promises more with less — and delivers. By Jim Dudlicek and Meg Major


iant Eagle launched its Market District concept in 2006, aiming to be, in the words of CEO Laura Karet, “the best passion-for-food store in North America.” Visit one of the company’s 13 marvelous Market District stores, and now two Express models, and it would be difficult to disagree that the Pittsburghbased regional chain — Progressive Grocer’s 2016 Retailer of the Year — handily delivers on that goal. Indeed, the success that the multiformat retailer has had with its foodie-focused format is tied closely to its 150,000-square-foot flagship store in Robinson Township, Pa., which has served not only as a culinary, dining and shopping destination, but also as an experimental test bed for new programs since its debut as the third Market District in 2009. November 2016 | |


Store of the Month

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

a SteP uP the Bexley Market District express features table by Market District, a full-service restaurant and bar offering gourmet meals and an extensive beer and wine list. the eatery has become a popular destination for area residents.

In its quest to innovate and better serve the needs of local shoppers, Giant Eagle took the concept in the other direction, with a “best-of ” experience in a more compact, intimate setting. The food, fuel and pharmacy retailer’s latest offering — Market District Express in Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus — clocks in at around 30,000 square


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

feet as the banner’s first two-story location. The new-concept Market District Express offers customers everything they need to complete a full weekly shop as they explore the bi-level market. “Our destination stores have become very popular with customers looking to find the best of both their everyday grocery needs as well as those

Stock up for the

Holiday Baking Season.

Be Prepared — Make sure grocery aisles are well stocked for the holiday sweetening season. The holidays mean increased volume sales for baking sugars. suga Granulated Pure Cane Sugar, Suga Pure Cane Brown Sugars and an Powdered Sugars. Be sure to provide customers customer the best in quality that they expect from Domino® Sugar and C&H® Sugar – the Real Way to do Sweet™!

Expanding our Portfolio

Creating Innovative Products

Meeting Consumer Needs

store of the month

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

brew mAsTers The store carries more than 400 craft, imported and domestic beers, including ample varieties from local breweries.

specialty and hard-to-find items,” says Brian Ferrier, regional VP of operations for Giant Eagle Inc. “The introduction of Market District Express allowed us to bring the Market District experience into diverse and vibrant communities where the larger footprint of the more traditional store may be prohibitive.” The Bexley Market District Express is also home to the newest addition to central Ohio’s thriving food scene — Table by Market District. The signature eatery offers a full-service restaurant experience, complete with dedicated seating for 115, and a menu inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients and the Bexley

All in Good Taste According to Brian Ferrier, regional VP of operations for Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, the new Bexley, Ohio, Market District Express aims to be the “best in fresh, local, organic, trendy and foody.” A key component of that is Table by Market District, a 115-seat restaurant with a fresh, seasonally inspired menu and an inviting atmosphere that has fast become “a community destination for residents of Bexley and the surrounding areas,” Ferrier asserts. With prices ranging from $6 to $11 per plate, Table “is the perfect lunch or dinner destination,” he adds.


And whether it’s the restaurant staff, department employees or folks on the sales floor, it’s the associates who are making it all click. “Market District Express makes grocery shopping more convenient than ever, but it is the team members that are the lifeblood of the company,” Ferrier emphasizes. “Skilled team members with a passion for food are always on hand to assist customers and answer their culinary questions. From the butchers that will advise on selecting the right cut of meat, to the chefs who thoughtfully prepare every meal at table, our team members bring the store to life for customers every day.”

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Sugar worries shrinking your sales? ¨ V8 Veggie Blends to the rescue.

Contact your V8 representative to place your Veggie Blends order and ask about display incentives.

Š2016 CSC Brands LP

#wtf Where’s the fudge? The center store, of course!

Ernie Keebler is #trending online, reaching millions of consumers across the United States. Keebler elfin craftsmanship is back with exciting, new SKUs – Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes, Cookies & Créme and Pumpkin Spice. Better still, later this year, Ernie and team plan to put the entire Chips Deluxe line into resealable packaging. So get excited and display Keebler products prominently, because the buzz is on. Learn more at

®, TM, © 2016 Kellogg NA Co.

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

community (see related sidebar below). In addition to gourmet meals, the restaurant features one of the most extensive beer and wine lists in the Columbus area, including 18 craft beers on tap, wine by the glass, and a selection of some 1,200 bottled varieties available in-store for the retail price plus a $10 corkage fee. Beyond the restaurant bar, the store carries more than 400 craft, domestic and imported beers, including offerings from local breweries like North High, Seventh Son and Columbus Brewing. “Customers dining at Table by Market District have the ability to order from the menu of wine by the glass and hundreds of craft, domestic and imported beers by the bottle and on tap,” Ferrier explains. “Additionally, they appreciate the extensive selection of wine available for purchase in-store for restaurant consumption.”

Store of the Month

Wants, Needs and More Designed to make the shopping experience more convenient and pleasurable, the new Market District Express features an array of high-quality foods, meal solutions for the home chef, and the culinary expertise of 70 supermarket and 40 restaurant team members who bring the store to life. “The most unique design feature may be the location’s two-story format, allowing us to provide a complete shopping experience in an intimate store environment,” Ferrier says. Complete with an elevator, the Bexley Market District Express offers perishable and grocery items on the first floor, with health and beauty, paper goods, beer, wine, and other offerings upstairs. Other departments cater to routine shopping needs. The deli offers lunch meats and cheeses sliced to order, side salads, salsas, hummus, dips and spreads. The bakery’s items include cupcakes, muffins, doughnuts, cookies, croissants and bagels. On-site butchers offer freshly cut meats, Market District Express-made sausages, marinated meats, gourmet burgers, and varieties of beef, pork and poultry. Seafood includes swordfish, tuna, marinated

couNter MeaSureS the destination deli department offers a medley of traditional and upscale favorites, as well as topshelf service.

Continued on page 34

November 2016 | |


Store of the Month

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

1st Level

2250 E. Main St. Bexley, OH 43209 Grand opening: Aug. 18, 2016 Total square footage: 30,000 Selling area: 26,000 square feet Employees: 70 grocery, 40 dining Checkouts: 7 Hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

2nd Level

November 2016 | |


Store of the Month

Giant Eagle Market District Express, Bexley, Ohio

RiPE foR GRowth the produce section features organic as well as conventional items, many from Columbus-area farmers.

Continued from page 31

Area customers have quickly come to appreciate the unique combination of our intimate neighborhood grocery offering, alongside inventive features highlighted by our restaurant and Curbside Express.” —Brian ferrier, regional VP of operations


filets, shrimp and crab cakes. Produce selections come from across the globe as well as from local Columbus-area farmers, with the assortment ranging from exotic to organic to conventional fruits and vegetables. Speaking of local, curated products come from more than 20 regional purveyors, ranging from pasta sauce to potato chips, all sourced from within 150 miles of the store. Rounding out the location, the health, beauty and wellness section features natural and organic cosmetics, vitamins and personal care products.

Curbside Enthusiasm In a further boost to the format’s promise of ease and convenience, shoppers can get all of their needs met without having to leave their vehicles, with the chain’s click-and-collect Curbside Express. “As customers become more familiar with the benefits of shopping with Curbside Express, we have seen the offering become more popular,” Ferrier notes. “Each week, the number of Curbside Express orders increases as more customers take advantage of this unique convenience service.” According to Ferrier, the Bexley community’s re-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

sponse to the store has been overwhelmingly positive. “In the weeks since our August opening, area customers have quickly come to appreciate the unique combination of our intimate neighborhood grocery offering,” he says, “alongside inventive features highlighted by our restaurant and Curbside Express.” As the latest chapter in the continually unfolding, innovative history of this multiformat food, pharmacy, fuel and convenience retailer, Market District Express is further evidence that Giant Eagle keeps upping its game to better serve a dynamic market with changing needs in a highly competitive retail environment. PG

® ™ © 2016 Jelly Belly Candy Company


2.8 oz. Disney•Pixar Finding Dory Bag

24 ct. Disney •Pixar Finding Dory Caddy

7.5 oz. Disney•Pixar Finding Dory Gift Bag

1 oz. Disney•Pixar Finding Dory Bag

4.25 oz. Disney •Pixar 5-Flavor Finding Dory Gift Box

Get ready to make a big splash with gift and impulse items featuring the loveable main characters from Disney • Pixar Finding Dory. Filled with a delicious Fin-Tastic Mix which sparkles with the brilliance of a coral reef, our jelly beans are fat free, gluten free and always OU Kosher certified. Disney • Pixar Finding Dory is loved by both girls and boys of all ages, so don’t forget to contact your sales representative today!

Contact us today • 800-323-9380 • Kosher Certified © Disney / Pixar

Downtown Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field provided the ideal backdrop for members of the Progressive Grocer/EnsembleIQ team to formally present Giant Eagle with PG‘s 2016 Retailer of the Year award. During the Oct. 6 luncheon event, the multiformat retailer honored company associates who marked milestone years of service.

Below: Jeff Friedman, SVP/ group brand director for PG/ EnsembleIQ, congratulates Giant Eagle associates; PG Chief Content Editor Meg Major discusses how Giant Eagle was chosen as Retailer of the Year; and PG Editor-in-Chief Jim Dudlicek explains the quilt theme of the Retailer of the Year feature article in the October 2016 issue.

Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet and Meg Major display PG’s $5,000 Retailer of the Year donation to Giant Eagle’s Team Member Care Fund.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet and EVP Jerry LeClair extend appreciation to company associates for their integral role in enabling the Pittsburghbased retailer to earn PG’s highest honor, bestowed on one national supermarket organization annually.

Meg Major presents PG’s Retailer of the Year award and donation to Giant Eagle’s Team Member Care Fund to the retailer’s CEO, Laura Karet.

Below: Giant Eagle EVP Jerry LeClair savors his moment with the Retailer of the Year trophy.

From left: PG/ Ensemble IQ’s Jeff Friedman and Steve Frenda, Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet, GE EVP Jerry LeClair, and PG’s Meg Major and Jim Dudlicek.

PG’s Retailer of the Year Event Sponsors

November 2016 | |


New look. Expanded capabilities. Proven results.

A d dr es s c h a ng ing sh opp er t r ends an d r e inve nt your sto re p e r i meter , w it h ne x t ge n er at i on p er im ete r tho ug ht le ader sh ip. Par tn er w it h T ys on Fo ods to sim p li fy a nd in s p ir e t he s ho p pin g e xp er ienc e, by usi n g th e p er i m et er to cre at e eng agi n g dest i natio ns and s o lut i o ns. W hat ca n re in ven t ion lo ok l ik e fo r yo u?

Shopper trends are creating a ‘new’ grocery trip. Gain in-depth understanding of shopper behavior and mindset through custom research and data.



Trips to grocery are steadily declining. Turn shopper insights into actionable results with effective strategies to engage at retail level .

E-commerce is a disruptor to brick and mortar shopping. Leverage our extensive category expertise to create shopper solutions that drive store sales.



Improve total store experience using complete perimeter solutions and fresh ‘destinations’ to drive maximum sales growth.

©2016 Tyson Foods, Inc.

Proud to be awarded for

Category growth with focus on the shopper through insights, assortment expertise and space optimization

Leading growth with iconic flavor brands


eorge Carlin may have said it best. “Everybody’s gotta have a little place for their stuff,” the late comedian famously declared. “That’s all life is about. Trying to find a place for your stuff.” And make no mistake, grocery stores are full of stuff — stuff that retailers and their CPG partners want to sell. But it’s not enough anymore to just sell stuff. People can buy stuff anywhere, in a growing number of virtual and brick-and-mortar channels. Retailers need to continue to evolve their strategic partnerships with CPG manufacturers to justify why this particular store is the best place to buy that particular stuff. And stuff rarely stands alone anymore — it’s all

interconnected with other stuff. Consumers need this stuff, that stuff and the other stuff all in one place, merchandised in a manner that effectively presents shoppers with the solutions they seek. Effective long-term partnerships need to evolve to a higher degree of collaboration and information sharing than that with which either retailer or supplier has historically been comfortable. But partnerships that have grown closer and more open through the sharing of shopper insights — which technology allows to be gathered more deeply and effectively than ever before — have proved to be the most effective in driving sales, not just of a particular brand or product, but also of the entire basket. That means banner loyalty, repeat sales and long-term success. Now in their 20th year, Progressive Grocer’s Category November 2016 | |


CATEGORY MANAGEMENT Captains awards honor CPG companies for category management aptitude, best demonstrated by collaborations with their grocery retailer partners. This year, there were 62 winners among those selected as Category Captains, our top honor, and Category Advisors, our honorable-mention designation.

Leading the Pack Retailers and suppliers are working together to maximize the profitability of every department in the store. These partnerships are generating solutions tailored for specific consumer need states that address unique demands at local and regional levels. Some examples of effective initiatives that stood out in the minds of our editors this year: Spirits supplier Beam Suntory worked with its partner retailers to develop shelving principles that deliver incremental growth while allowing customization for specific regions and store clusters.

Methodology Progressive Grocer ’s annual Category Captains competition recognizes the outstanding category management initiatives implemented in the retail grocery sector over the 12-month period ending Sept. 2. The list of winners reflects some of the best strategic thinking and execution in the category management field, as revealed in the winning companies’ summaries on the following pages. Our Category Captains awards program is predicated on the accuracy and completeness of the entries submitted for consideration, all of which are weighed on an equal footing. As such, the best entries not only deliver a selection of facts relating to a manufacturer’s or a brand’s most recent category management achievements during the specified measuring period, they also tell a compelling story of challenges confronted, strategies developed and implemented, and the collective results of trading partners working together toward a common goal. In essence, the actual entry submitted is the key to the judging process in this competition. In winning entries, a company’s importance and influence in a given category are represented as comprehensively as possible. This keeps the awards process dynamic from year to year, as well as leaving open the possibility that up-and-comers can be recognized alongside well-established players. The award criteria factored into the judging of the entries are as follows:

Mars Chocolate North America’s Wrigley division leveraged research to identify key need states at the front end that cross several store categories.

Creativity in merchandising, marketing, promotion and advertising

Coca-Cola launched a strategic merchandising incentive to grow sales of beverages and complementary categories, with displays in nontraditional areas of the store.

Demonstrated commitment to meeting retail partners’ specific needs

Seventh Generation is driving category trial and growth through “twinning,” the pairing of conventional and green/ natural products in targeted end cap displays.

Effectiveness at facilitating shopper-centric solutions focused on consumer need states

Dean Foods is doing it all that it can to rouse a sleepy fluid milk category by answering demand for clean-label products and additional marketing investment to reignite excitement. Hormel Foods’ Deli by Design program leverages research to pinpoint key culinary trends and work with retailers on globally inspired products.

Application of shopper insights Innovative, dynamic category management tools Effectiveness at differentiating a line or brand within a category Effectiveness at lifting sales for a brand’s products in the category Effectiveness at lifting an entire category’s sales for a retailer Effectiveness at growing sales beyond the category

Fact-based evidence of market-specific or account-specific sales results that support the vendor’s claims of excellence Product innovation To win the premier Category Captain award, contestants are required to demonstrate excellence in all of the above criteria in their entries. Category Advisors also exhibit high competence, but to a lesser degree and/or in fewer of the above areas, and thus are ranked lower overall than the threshold set for Category Captaincy. Both designations reflect outstanding contributions to the industry at the category level. There may be multiple Captains in a particular category if our editors believe the competing entries to be worthy of such merit. There may be Advisors in categories where no Captain is awarded if our editors believe that the entries didn’t merit top honors but deserved recognition. Lone entry in a particular category doesn’t guarantee selection as a winner.

Tyson Foods’ Velocity Process uses


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

We double-sales-dare you.

P∂M P∂MS might be small but they’re big on profits. Not only are they the #1 seller in the category making up 85% of all fresh arils sales when they’re in season, P∂M P∂MS can actually double your revenue. Talk about seed money. To sweeten the deal, P∂M’s multimillion-dollar marketing campaign includes national TV, multiple full-circulation FSIs and in-store POS. Back that up with the largest merchandising team in the industry and it becomes obvious—this little aril has a lot of juice. Order now at or contact your local sales representative at 877-328-7667.

© 2016 POM Wonderful LLC. All Rights Reserved. POM, POM WONDERFUL, POM POMS, POM POMS WONDERFUL and the accompanying logos are trademarks of POM Wonderful LLC or its affiliates. PA16091 Source: IRI 12 Weeks Ending December 28, 2014, Total Arils Dollar Sales, MULO & Total US Grocery.

CATEGORY MANAGEMENT data to uncover growth opportunities within a retailer’s prepared food department and expose service lapses that impact retailer loyalty. The Idaho Potato Commission demonstrates the strength of the Idaho brand in driving sales not only in

produce, but also the whole store. Insights plus collaboration will equal success for the long haul. Delivering solutions beyond traditional store boundaries is going to demonstrate relevant innovation to shoppers looking for convenience, quality and value. PG

Category Captains Index Alcoholic Beverages – Beer Category Advisor: Anheuser-Busch

Snacks Category Captain: Hormel Foods Category Captain: Jack Link’s Category Advisor: General Mills

Alcoholic Beverages – Spirits Category Captain: Beam Suntory

Toaster Pastries Category Captain: Kellogg Co.


Alcoholic Beverages – Wine Category Captain: E&J Gallo Winery Baking Ingredients – Mixes Category Captain: J.M. Smucker Co. Category Advisor: Pinnacle Foods Baking Ingredients – Nuts Category Captain: John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. Baking Ingredients – Oils Category Captain: J.M. Smucker Co. Candy & Gum Category Captain: Wm. Wrigley Co./ Mars Chocolate North America Canned & Packaged Beverages – Coffee Category Captain: Massimo Zanetti Category Advisor: J.M. Smucker Co. Canned & Packaged Beverages – Juice Category Advisor: J.M. Smucker Co. Canned & Packaged Beverages – Soft Drinks Category Captain: The Coca-Cola Co. Category Captain: Dr Pepper Snapple Group Canned & Packaged Foods – Dry Packaged Potatoes Category Captain: Idahoan Canned & Packaged Foods – Grains Category Captain: J.M. Smucker Co. Canned & Packaged Foods – Seafood Category Advisor: Bumble Bee Canned & Packaged Foods – Spreads Category Advisor: J.M. Smucker Co. Commercial Baked Goods – Bread Category Captain: Flowers Foods Commercial Baked Goods – Sweet Goods Category Captain: McKee Foods Ethnic Foods Category Captain: Hormel Foods Ready-to-eat Cereal Category Captain: Kellogg Co. Category Advisor: General Mills


Dairy – Milk Category Captain: Dean Foods Dairy – Yogurt Category Captain: General Mills Deli – Meat & Cheese Category Captain: Dietz & Watson

Breakfast Category Advisor: Kellogg Co.

Deli – Prepared Foods Category Captain: Hormel Foods Category Captain: Tyson Foods Category Advisor: Blount Fine Foods

Meat Substitutes Category Captain: Kellogg Co.

Protein Snacks Category Advisor: Hormel Foods

Vegetables Category Advisor: Pinnacle Foods

Variable-/Fixed-weight Meat Category Captain: Hormel Foods


GROCERY – NONFOODS Laundry Detergents Category Captain: Seventh Generation

PERIMETER – VARIABLE-/ FIXED-WEIGHT PRODUCE Apples/Cherries/Pears Category Advisor: Stemilt Growers

HEALTH, BEAUTY & WELLNESS Digestive Health Category Advisor: Bayer HealthCare

Avocados Category Captain: Del Monte Fresh Produce Category Advisor: Avocados From Mexico

Foot Care Category Advisor: Reckitt Benckiser

Bananas Category Captain: Chiquita

Hair Care Category Captain: Unilever Infant/Toddler Nutrition Category Captain: Abbott Nutrition Oral Electrolytes Category Captain: Abbott Nutrition Sexual Well-being Category Advisor: Reckitt Benckiser Sun Care Category Captain: Bayer HealthCare Upper-respiratory Care Category Advisor: Bayer HealthCare

Berries Category Captain: Dole Fresh Vegetables Brussels Sprouts Category Captain: Green Giant Fresh Celery Category Captain: Duda Farm Fresh Foods Fresh-pack (Commodity) Vegetables Category Captain: Dole Fresh Vegetables Mushrooms Category Captain: Monterey Mushrooms

Vitamins & Supplements Category Captain: Pharmavite Category Advisor: Bayer HealthCare

Packaged Salads Category Captain: Dole Fresh Vegetables Category Advisor: Fresh Express


Potatoes Category Captain: Idaho Potato Commission

Fresh Baked Goods – Cakes Category Advisor: CSM Bakery Solutions

Value-added Vegetables Category Captain: Mann Packing Co.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

They know what they want. So do we. What makes the Millennial generation tick? Blount R&D Chef Benjamin Murray and Technical & Regulatory Specialist Kim Owens have solutions. Millennials: Raised on gourmet, culturally diverse, eager to explore and try new recipes, knowledgeable about food and insistent on its authenticity – like the organic pumpkin used in Organic Blount Savory Harvest Bisque. Blount’s experts can help you attract Millennials with clean, healthconscious, gourmet recipes. If you need real insights into this huge audience and the real food they demand, give us a call at 800-274-2526.

16 oz Organic Savory Harvest Bisque

GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Alcoholic Beverages — Beer

Category Advisor


In summer, the beer category brings in $1.4 billion in incremental opportunities, according to Anheuser-Busch, the king of beer makers. To take advantage of this seasonal popularity, Anheuser-Busch Inbev (ABI) pioneered a new feature strategy. Through a series of consumer tests, as well as pilot programs, ABI identified the optimal pack size and discount structures to drive greater lift. One variation of this feature approach was ABI’s Buy Two 12-packs and Get One Free promotion for Bud Light, Budweiser and Michelob Ultra. The promotion was also executed against “above premium” brands, including Goose Island IPA, Stella Artois and Shock Top, with a focus on 6-packs. Over the Memorial Day weekend, approximately 20 states participated in the promotion, which drove significant category gains, according to ABI. Bud Light, Budweiser and Michelob Ultra 12-packs increased 112 percent in dollar sales compared with the previous selling period. The promotional strategy also benefited the category in total, with dollar trends in participating states exceeding control states by 1.9 percent.

Alcoholic Beverages — Spirits

Category Captain

Beam Suntory

The spirits category has enjoyed a 7.4 percent four-year compound annual growth rate, yet suppliers have been slow to deliver shopper-centric insights. Beam Suntory worked to change that by aligning itself with Kantar Retail, Chase Design, Nielsen and Consumer Dynamics. The partnership resulted in a deep-dive, full-aisle research initiative that unlocked some winning growth solutions for the category. The 23-week project, begun in October 2015, included a shelving analysis with regression analytic modeling. It led to six grocery-shelving principles that deliver incremental category growth, while also allowing local customization for grocers’ specific regions and store-specific clusters, according to Beam Suntory. The company is currently testing its shelf principles with four retailers, and several other companies are in line to reset their spirits sections. So far, the initiative has resulted in an average of 16.6 percent category growth in test stores.

Alcoholic Beverages — Wine

Baking Ingredients — Mixes

Category Captain

E&J Gallo Winery

As E&J Gallo Winery sees it, simply merchandising a store with product is no longer enough to meet consumers’ needs. To stay relevant, retailers and suppliers need to develop a deeper understanding of shoppers, their occasions and influencers. In 2015, Gallo partnered with several key retailers to better understand the shopper psyche. The company’s internal tool segments wine consumers into wine shopper profiles based on a combination of their underlying emotional needs, attitudinal interaction with the category, and total path to purchase. Gallo advanced this research to meet the specific needs of each of its retailer partners. The company was able to overlay retailers’ internal shopper segmentations with its shopper profiles to identify areas of opportunity. With one of its retailer partners, Gallo helped better serve shoppers who like premium wines. The retailer tested a new shelf set and directional signage in 300 of its stores. Premium wine was moved into its own type by flavor set. The test stores saw a premium shift, with premium-plus sales showing trends three points higher than the control stores. Additionally, average ring increased 19 cents versus the control stores in just 14 weeks.


Category Captain

J.M. Smucker Co.

The dessert baking mix category has been declining in dollar and unit volume over the past three years due to smaller households, Millennial behavior and betterfor-you eating trends. Armed with these insights, Smucker’s launched Pillsbury Purely Simple, offering a clean-label proposition (no colors, preservatives or artificial flavors) and a variety of product types (cake, brownies, cookies and frostings) to meet different trending consumer needs, including snacking, personalization and experience. The line made significant gains in 2015 and 2016, boosting Millennial penetration in four key baking mix subsegments. Smucker’s continues to partner with retailers to capitalize on key consumer trends critical to future growth.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


Increase your sales with the #1 brands and continued innovation brought to you by Jif® and Smucker's®.

We take a total aisle approach

We put our shoppers first

• Developing holistic category insights

• Evolving our portfolio to meet their needs

• Attracting shoppers with new products

• Providing better-for-you alternatives

• Investing in total category to drive growth

• Offering options for everyone and every occasion

©/TM/® The J.M. Smucker Company.

Innovation brought to you by The J.M. Smucker Company family of brands.

GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Baking Ingredients — Mixes

Baking Ingredients — Nuts

Category Advisor

Category Captain

Pinnacle Foods

John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc.

The $3.5 billion baking mix category is experiencing declining penetration and frequency. Among the reasons: Traditional bakers are becoming empty nesters and no longer bake with the same frequency. In response, Pinnacle rolled out Duncan Hines Perfect Size Next Generation, a line of complete turnkey baking solutions, complete with disposable pan and icing, allowing for smaller portions for smaller households. Using analytics and qualitative consumer research, Pinnacle formed a hands-on, entrepreneurial team to more deeply understand the consumer need and develop the product concept. Pinnacle reported tremendous positive feedback and results from its retail partners and consumers on bringing innovation into this historically price-driven category.


A d v e rt o r i A l

Speaking with...

Victor Zaborsky

Vice President, Marketing, Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP)

Progressive Grocer: When did The Great American Milk Drive first launch and what was the catalyst for creating the initiative? Victor Zaborsky: Milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at Feeding America food banks. This means kids in need may be missing out on the 9 essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, milk provides. The Great American Milk Drive launched in 2014 to help Feeding America provide its nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs with highly requested, nutrient-rich milk. This first-of-its-kind national campaign brings together the nation’s food banks, milk brands, dairy farmers, retailers and consumers to help deliver much-needed gallons of milk to the families who need it most in their own communities. PG: What has The Great American Milk Drive achieved to date? VZ: Thanks to the generosity of shoppers and support of retailers, this season, The Great American Milk Drive is delivering its 1 MILLIONTH GALLON of milk to Feeding America. This is a major milestone, and yet, there’s still more to do: more than 46 million Americans, including 12 million children, are served by Feeding America network food banks each year. Beyond donations, The Great American Milk Drive is raising awareness that even basic staples like milk – and the nutrients that help feed a childhood – are missing for many kids who face hunger. To date, the program has earned more than 800 million media impressions, in addition to more than 2.7 billion paid media impressions. PG: What role can grocery retailers play in The Great American Milk Drive? VZ: Nearly 90 percent of all Great American Milk Drive donations are made at the register, directly benefitting each community’s local Feeding America food bank and driving new shoppers in-store. All donations are converted into retail vouchers, driving the people served by Feeding America in-store to redeem vouchers for the full-dated white milk gallon or half-gallon of


Since peaking in 2014, recipe nuts have been declining. Starting last year, Sanfilippo’s Fisher brand implemented product innovations and a fully integrated 360-degree marketing campaign. Insights-driven innovation led to Non-GMO Project verification for Fisher’s entire product line, health claims and an enhanced on-pack brand story. Display-ready cases reduced stocking time and corrugate waste, and provided a cleaner look on shelf. New 32-ounce stand-up bags met heavy users’ needs and retailers’ goal of maintaining revenue during commodity deflation. Fisher amplified the brand’s cachet through value-added recipe content plus strategic partnerships on social media, the Food Network and with complementary products. Retailers embraced the efforts, which led to new distribution with three major chains.

their choice. Data shows that 14 percent of voucher redeemers are NEW shoppers, 18 percent are new milk shoppers and 73 percent purchased an additional item. The program is fully optimized for retail and offers free, turnkey resources including beautiful POS, compelling social media content, customizable press materials, in-store event support and more. PG: When is the best time to activate The Great American Milk Drive? VZ: The Great American Milk Drive is supported by year-long national marketing and advertising and can be activated at any time that fits your retail calendar. This year, more than 14,000 stores participated in The Great American Milk Drive in 2016 more than a 65% increase from 2015, driving increased shopper awareness and affinity. Whether you’re looking to activate at a single store or across a national chain, MilkPEP can help you customize The Great American Milk Drive to benefit your local community, drive shoppers to your dairy aisle and increase the purchase of milk gallons for your local Feeding America food bank. PG: How can retailers who want to participate get involved? VZ: Start planning your 2017 Great American Milk Drive activation today! Contact MilkPEP at or 1-800-945-MILK to learn more about how you can activate The Great American Milk Drive in your community. 1

News America retail data 2016.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

GO FROM Farm TO SALES TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRENDS Gain insights from MilkPEP’s in-depth Dairy Case Dynamics research to improve the shopper experience, drive milk sales, and elevate category performance for your stores.

USE THE POWER OF PROTEIN Move more milk and other protein foods with an integrated cross-merchandising campaign that makes milk the center of the protein meal solution shoppers are looking for.

SHOW SHOPPERS YOU CARE Make a positive impact in your local community and on your sales with The Great American Milk Drive.® It’s a turnkey program that provides nutrient-rich milk to kids and families in need through a partnership with Feeding America.®

Start strong in store and drive milk category sales in 2017. Contact Melissa Malcolm at MilkPEP to learn more. 1-800-945-MILK |

©2016 America’s Milk Companies.®

GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Baking Ingredients — Oils

Candy & Gum

Category Captain

J.M. Smucker Co.

Aiming to jump-start this stagnant category, Smucker’s conducted landscape research revealing growth in better-foryou (specialty, coconut, olive oils) offset by declines in traditional segments (base oils and shortenings), plus a demand for simple, real and recognizable ingredients with minimal processing. Additionally, coconut oil is attracting new households, especially those headed by Millennials. Smucker’s leveraged internal shopper card data to identify Millennials with premium spending habits as key targets. Data also suggested that shoppers usually have a preference between refined and unrefined coconut oil, with little cross-purchasing between the two. The company worked with retailers to adjust shelf space to boost household penetration and sales, and shore up a waning category.


Category Captain

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co./Mars Chocolate North America Knowing incremental purchases in transaction zones like the front end are critical to retailers, Wrigley and Mars conducted extensive global research to learn more about shopper behavior and experience to develop customized recommendations and maximize cross-category sales at checkout. One retail partner noted that Wrigley’s “ability to bridge all these categories together is somewhat unique. They are not looking myopically at their business, but at what is best for our company.” Research indicated choices must easily satisfy three key need states: refresh (gum/mints), reward (chocolate/ confections) and remind (batteries, lip balm, etc.). Results have been impressive: One national grocery retailer following Wrigley’s recommendations experienced a doubledigit dollar sales lift, with strong growth in unit sales, household penetration and basket size.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Canned & Packaged Beverages — Coffee

Category Captain

Massimo Zanetti

Massimo Zanetti Beverage (MZB) showed grocery retailers how to maximize coffee sales by expanding the coffee section and stocking a category-disrupting innovation: certified compostable singleserve coffee brew pods. One major Northeast retailer moved the entire category so that the coffee category space could grow by the additional 20 percent needed to accommodate MZB’s assortment and merchandising recommendations. MZB also applied consumer insights to the singleserve coffee segment, which is driven by consumer concerns about the environment. This led the company to launch a 100 percent compostable package to retain and grow the single-serve shopper base. At an MZB retailer partner carrying the compostable pods, the single-serve segment represented 50.6 percent of total ground coffee sales. The coffee segment was up 15 percent versus 2015, even as the category has leveled off, showing that while overall sales in the category have slowed, compostable innovation is driving growth in the single-serve format. Canned & Packaged Foods — Juice

Category Advisor

J.M. Smucker Co.

Leveraging strong growth in the natural beverage segment (versus flat movement elsewhere), Smucker’s is helping retailers embrace natural as part of their strategy. Smucker’s demonstrated to one retail partner that most of its stores would be drastically under-spaced within the next two years. Leveraging store-level planogram and sales information, the company showed how devoting 4 feet to natural juice would ensure that the retailer would be able to meet the growing demand. Smuckers’ approach, including shopper insights, optimal space allocation and product innovation, has led to many wins for its retail partners’ overall beverage strategy.

Canned & Packaged Beverages — Coffee

Category Advisor

J.M. Smucker Co.

With away-from-home coffee experiences eroding home consumption, Smucker’s launched Dunkin’ Donuts KCups to bring a well-known coffee shop brand directly to retailers and consumers as part of a total category strategy that has expanded the total $9.5 billion coffee category and driven incremental aisle trips. At one Northeast retailer, acceptance of the new items reversed slowing K-cup segment growth and contributed to total category growth. Smucker’s category leadership team performed a key-account audit and made assortment recommendations to accommodate high velocities of new items while accounting for total category synergies. The result: Segment and total category growth rose significantly over the prior year. Managing assortment and merchandising for retailer partners continues to be a top priority for Smucker’s. Canned & Packaged Beverages — Soft Drinks

Category Captain

The Coca-Cola Co.

In the past year, Coca-Cola launched a strategic merchandising incentive for its large-store customers that helped grow sales of not just beverages, but also of multiple adjacent categories. The cross-category bundle offer was designed to leverage consumer insights to make shopping easier and drive sales. It allowed retailers to bundle together multiple categories of Coca-Cola beverages with products that complement the beverages in self-standing merchandising solutions. The displays were placed in various areas of the store where Coca-Cola products and the complementary items wouldn’t otherwise be available. As a result, the initiative built basket size and drove incidence and incremental sales, along with profit growth, for both Coca-Cola and its retailer partners. Coca-Cola tested multiple meal-based bundles in 2015 and 2016, all of which garnered strong results, according to the manufacturer. November 2016 | |


GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Canned & Packaged Beverages — Soft Drinks

Category Captain

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

A leading national grocer turned to Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) to help drive shopper engagement in the struggling carbonated soft drink category. Through their category management partnership, the companies aimed to increase basket rings, drive trips and grow loyal household engagement. Together, they developed a one-of-a-kind tailgating experience that featured recipes, an ESPN homepage takeover on the internet, and in-store displays. The program delivered $11.9 million in category growth, driving 2.7 points of market share and a 2.8 percent increase in loyal households. DPSG accounted for 33 percent of the dollar growth, with only 9 percent of the category sales. Total category dollar sales grew 4.9 percent. Based on the success of the program, the retailer has signed on with DPSG once again to roll out a similar initiative this football season.

Canned & Packaged Foods-Dry Packaged Potatoes

Category Captain


To drive growth in the flavored mashed potato segment, Idahoan teamed with retailers to develop shippers and other displays to bring the category from center store into the perimeter. These displays paired potatoes with such items as rotisserie chickens, hams and turkeys. Retailers that actively merchandised the category via out-of-department displays experienced growth rates much stronger than the category norm. The company worked with a major Midwestern retailer on optimizing assortment and merchandising by segment first, then brand. The retailer also switched from a horizontal brand/segment block to vertical blocks making it easier for shoppers to locate and purchase multiple flavors, thereby increasing overall basket size. The category at the retailer had been down 7.8 percent, but is now growing at 5 percent. Additionally, to improve perceptions of the category, Idahoan made a large investment in digital advertising highlighting the authenticity, flavor variety and usage ideas of its packaged potatoes. Canned & Packaged Foods — Seafood

Category Advisor

Bumble Bee

Canned & Packaged Foods — Grains

Category Captain

J.M. Smucker Co.

While nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers are interested in ancient grains, only about 3 percent are buying them. Smucker’s is working to close that gap by marketing products that fit the needs of diverse consumers, leveraging education and shopper insights, and focusing on sprouted grains, growth of which has exploded in recent years. Smucker’s partnered with a leading national retailer to create a 4-foot segregated set for natural and organic grains, beans and rice, including one shelf dedicated to sprouted items, featuring an information panel about the perceived benefits of sprouting. Sales skyrocketed, delivering excellent shelf efficiency. The retailer plans to continue this momentum by engaging consumers through shopper marketing programs.


In late 2014, Bumble Bee Seafoods leveraged a cross-functional team to identify ways to grow the canned tuna category and bring more shoppers back to the center store. Through research, the company found that consumers lacked knowledge about the difference between albacore tuna and light tuna. To reverse that trend, the company developed an albacore tuna media campaign that included television and digital marketing. The program delivered on several growing food trends, including healthy eating, food knowledge and clean ingredients. After the initial rollout, overall category awareness was up 6 percent, while household penetration increased 1.2 percent.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Your Recipe for Growth Only one major brand has delivered growth in the recipe nuts category this year.

Fisher recipe nuts offer unique benefits Integrated marketing program builds category and brand growth through partnership with Food Network No Preservatives and Non-GMO Project Verified product Stand-up, resealable packaging makes Fisher easier to merchandise and shop We look forward to continuing to drive category growth and, as

THE #1 BRAND IN THE RECIPE NUT AISLE, keeping the section packed with shoppers.

To learn more about Fisher, call 847-214-4318

GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Canned & Packaged Foods — Spreads

Category Advisor

J.M. Smucker Co.

Smucker’s has driven its Jif Natural brand into the betterfor-you need state across shopper trips in the peanut butter category. Its category leadership and shopper insights teams employed market research to ensure optimal placement for natural items within the core categories. Jif continued to push innovation in the category to meet evolving consumer needs, supporting the launch and expansion of new products with strong marketing and in-store support, ensuring interaction with consumers at each point in the path to purchase. Smucker’s demonstrated that capitalizing on evolving consumer needs such as better-for-you protein can drive category expansion and sales growth. Commercial Baked Goods — Sweet Goods

Category Captain

McKee Foods

After successful promotional events with a Texas retailer revealed that Little Debbie Zebra Cakes had strong name recognition with Hispanic consumers, McKee Foods saw an opportunity to create a sub-brand of products to drive incremental sales and new customers to the category. Category insights and the opportunity to drive the all-important Hispanic shopper to the category and build incremental sales were eventually presented to other retailers outside of the south Texas markets. Retailers nationally saw the opportunity and seized on it. In addition to the products’ appeal to Hispanics, insights showed that the items appealed across many demographic lines. Because of the appeal and incremental opportunity, the products also secured space at a major big-box retailer. As a result, the three new products have sold $19.4 million in a category that grew $16.2 million. At the bigbox retailer, where the category grew $14.9 million, these products drove $5.9 million in sales.

Commercial Baked Goods — Bread

Category Captain

Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods leveraged a key consumer trend to grow packaged bread sales for its retail partners. Recognizing consumer preferences for simpler, healthier eating, the company provided a merchandising strategy and planogram automation to incorporate fresh organic breads into commercial bread shelf sets. It identified stores with high organic sales potential and created healthy/organic sets to showcase new offerings, encourage trial and position retailers as destinations for healthy bread options. Organic breads are leading the category, up 25.5 percent versus the prior year, according to Flowers, maker of the premium brand Dave’s Killer Bread. The company’s category management toolbox included insights from IRI scan and panel data, loyalty card data, and trip mission studies, along with the latest planogram technology.

Ethnic Foods

Category Captain

Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods and MegaMex Foods, a joint venture of Hormel and Herdez Del Fuerte that offers a variety of Mexican foods in the United States, conducted a Mexican aisle optimization study that enabled retailers to grow their Mexican aisles, outpacing all other center store growth. The research uncovered three recommendations: assortment optimization to maximize impact for the total aisle; adjacency optimization by organizing the category flow and adjacencies across Mexican foods, and adjusting space allocation to reflect category performance; and aisle optimization to create a distinct destination for Mexican foods — separate from international foods. Retailers that implemented these strategies saw double-digit increases, surpassing growth in the rest of center store. For example, one Northeast retailer achieved 12 percent Mexican aisle growth, which is five points above total store growth, while another retailer achieved total MegaMex Foods growth of 13 percent and total Mexican aisle growth of 13.5 percent. November 2016 | |


GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Ready-to-eat Cereal

Ready-to-eat Cereal

Category Captain

Kellogg Co.

Kellogg Co. leveraged trends toward health and fun through two successful new ready-to-eat cereal offerings: Special K Nourish cereal and indulgent Smorz, a relaunch of a cereal popular in the early 2000s. The company also created more shoppable aisles through increased focus on segmented sets. Overall, retailers with segmented sets saw a 2 percent increase in base sales in the category over nonsegmented sets. This helped shape Kellogg’s cereal category strategy, along with shopper insights tests. For example, at a major retail account, 60 percent of shoppers entering the store saw the cereal aisle, but only 13 percent spotted products in the aisle. Although 77 percent of those shoppers converted into cereal buyers, improving the percentage of shoppers who spotted products in aisle would drive higher conversion and increased category sales. As a result of these findings, the account is making improvements to drive more visual brand cues in aisle.

Category Advisor

General Mills

General Mills continued to bring a level of differentiation and thought leadership to the readyto-eat cereal category. With mainstream brands like Cheerios, as well as the natural/organic Cascadian Farms line, General Mills has invested heavily in health messaging in recent years. In just one example, Gluten Free Cheerios has led to a differentiated consumer usage across the business, driving dollar trends up 6 percent. In the past year, General Mills has gathered new in-aisle shopper-based consumer decision insights, which helped determine the need for better size variety. The company also developed new display insights that focus on improving cereal category display performance. Its “Play for Display” center store research demonstrated that cereal is one of the most underdeveloped dry grocery categories and could help retailers capture more total-store incremental dollars. Meanwhile, General Mills turned to analytical tools to help retailers optimize their shelf space. Retailers that employed the supplier’s principles have realized 1 percent to 4 percent increases in category dollar sales, according to the company.


Snacks — Meat Snacks

Category Captain

Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods’ in-store research indicated that findability of its Skippy P.B. Bites and similar snacks is easier when they’re grouped together as a snacking subset within the peanut butter aisle. One retailer that implemented the subset found that Skippy P.B. Bites sales are incremental to total nut butters, with 3 percent of sales coming from new category buyers who hadn’t purchased the category in the prior year. Further, Skippy P.B. Bites are 53 percent incremental to the subset items, with 40 percent of sales coming from new households. A big-box retailer’s subsets increased its total peanut butter category by more than 4 percent over the prior year in the six weeks following rollout. Hormel also worked with retailers to improve the arrangement of other items in the category, moving larger sizes of peanut butter from the bottom shelf to the middle of the set, which increased category dollars and consumption.


Category Captain

Jack Link’s

Leveraging its understanding of snacking trends and the meat snack category, Jack Link’s helped a large Upper Midwest retailer grow the category, specifically bagged jerky. Working with the company, the retailer increased the in-line set in a high-volume store from 4 feet to 8 feet, and grew secondary display through pallet programs and expanding jerky into the checkout. Additionally, Jack Link’s developed online, mobile and in-store solutions to drive excitement around the meat snack category. Following these changes, this retailer’s meat snack category was up 18 percent over the last 52 weeks and 27 percent over the last 26 weeks, growing faster than both its remaining market and total U.S. food. Additionally, the jerky segment grew nearly twice as fast as the category over the last 26 weeks, 19 points faster than the remaining market, and 34 points faster than total U.S. food in both dollar sales and unit movement.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Thank you to Progressive Grocer for awarding The Coca-Cola Company as the Category Captain for Grocery— Canned & Packaged Beverages. Cheers!

Š 2016 The Coca-Cola Company



Talking with…

Ed Gamarano

Senior Director Category Management, Beam Suntory

Progressive Grocer: As one of the world’s leading premium spirits companies, Beam Suntory has a strong pulse on the Spirits category. What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing, particularly in the grocery retail channel? How important are spirits for grocery retailers today, and why should they invest time and resources, which are often in short supply, to the category? Ed Gamarano: In general, spirits rank among the top 10 categories for the grocery channel and it only continues to grow. Adult Beverage (i.e., beer, wine, and spirits) is the largest category within the grocery channel and with a +7.4% 4-year growth CAGR, the spirits category has the largest four-year growth CAGR across such beverage categories as beer, wine, bottled water, milk, juice, coffee, and non-carbonated, and carbonated beverages. Spirit trends such as these show this category is destined for continued growth in the channel. PG: What are the most important growth areas that retailers should be aware of? EG: With 90% of grocery channel spirit sales coming from the shelf, it is a critical area to get right and the most important growth opportunity for grocery retailers.

Through our partnership with industry leaders such as Kantar Retail, Consumer Dynamics, Nielsen, and Chase Design, Beam Suntory has created shelf schematic recommendations that deliver cutting edge suggested best practices that are pressure checked against relevant metrics. PG: Do you have examples of what grocery retailers’ response has been to your best practices? EG: We have presented our recommendations to +30 grocery retailers/divisions. The response has been that Beam Suntory is “refreshing” and “cutting edge.” Our thought leadership to challenging the status auo, and “Thinking Out of the Bottle” has strengthened our strategic relationships throughout the country and opened the door to even more learning and growing. The Beam Suntory category management team is fast-tracking to become the “Irreplaceable Spirits Insights Supplier of Choice.” We thank our partners for joining us on this journey.

With the grocery channel experiencing higher leakage in spirits than the other adult beverage categories, grocery retailers need to turn more of their spirit shoppers into buyers. The Beam Suntory category management team has identified relevant metrics that optimize our shelf schematic recommendations by making the category more shopper friendly. PG: Beam Suntory has developed “best practices” with industry partners to deliver a “Total Spirits Solution.” What does that mean for grocery retailers as far as their spirits category is concerned? EG: Beam Suntory “Challenges the Business Status Quo” and “Thinks out of the Bottle” to be in front of growth opportunities.

Drink Responsibly. ©2016 Beam Suntory Inc. Deerfield, IL


B fi a m fi fi u n t o r y fi h a s fi p r o v fi n fi fi n fi x t - g fi n fi r a t i o n fi s o fi u t i o n s fi t h a tfi c a n fi h fi fi p fi y o u r fi b u s i n fi s s fi i n fi 2 0 1 7 fi fi O u r fi b fi s t fi p r a c t i c fi s fi u n fi o c kfi c a t fi g o r y fi a n fi fi s h o p p fi r- c fi n t r i c fi i n s i g h t s fi t o fi fi fi fi i v fi r fi a fi t o t a fifi s p i r i t s fi s o fi u t i o n fi




GROCERY — FOOD & BEVERAGES Snacks — Grain Bars

Category Advisor

General Mills

Convenient wholesome foods is a $4.9 billion category that’s down slightly from the prior year. As the grain segment has declined, General Mills has

stepped up to inject innovation and new shelving principles. Earlier this year, the company introduced Nature Valley Biscuits with Nut Butter, as well as Larabar Bites. Meanwhile, its category managers advised retailers to try a “gold-standard total bars shelf layout,” which incorporates natural/organic items and the kid segment. They also recommended space expansion for the grain snack segment. Retailers that have expanded their space to an optimal 12 to 16 feet have seen an increase in grain category sales rates upwards of 16 percent, according to the company. Toaster Pastries

Category Captain

Kellogg Co. ®


100% EMPLOYEE OWNED making award winning dressings, dips and cheese w w w. l i t e h o u s e f o o d s . c o m | 1 . 8 0 0 . 6 6 9 . 3 1 6 9


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Kellogg Co. launched and supported bigger and more incremental innovation using licensed partners and strategic limited-edition offerings. The innovation plan targeted core shoppers and was strengthened by a balance of broadly appealing and novelty flavors, including Maple Bacon and Watermelon. Licensed partners expanded Kellogg’s reach to secure valuable category displays. The platform recruited lapsed users and attracted new teen/young-adult households by addressing unmet needs/barriers to consumption through product innovation, which drove growth. Test results indicated that because of the highly impulse-driven nature of the category, the first 4 feet of the aisle act as a secondary display for toaster pastries and improve off-shelf purchases. Category dollar sales increase significantly when on the first 4 feet of the aisle; further, the entire aisle increases in both sales and penetration. Toaster pastries on the end of the aisle appear to draw the shopper down the aisle, which benefits the aisle as a whole.

FROZEN FOODS / NONFOODS Frozen Meat Substitutes

Frozen Breakfast

Category Captain

Category Advisor

Kellogg Co.

Kellogg Co.’s strategy for frozen breakfast leadership focused on delivering category strategies that drive sustainable growth within the frozen department and frozen breakfast. The company focused on evolving its macro space story to deliver solutions that optimize and organize the department. Using retailer-specific data, Kellogg developed a category story identifying key consumer segments, breakfast occasion trends and food preferences within the category. Balanced growth in frozen breakfast across carrier and handheld products is key for retailers to drive long-term sustainable growth. Retailers doing this grew 7.2 percent from last year, while those driving unbalanced growth grew only 1.1 percent from last year. Kellogg identified items that would drive incremental demand and deliver balanced growth. Kellogg also provided category leadership across carriers and entrées to deliver incremental growth through such innovations as Special K Crustless Quiche, Eggo Oats & Berries, and four licensed Eggo waffle items leveraging Disney and Marvel properties. Frozen Vegetables

Category Advisor

Kellogg Co.

This year, Kellogg Co.’s MorningStar Farms (MSF), the meat substitute brand leader, led nationwide resets to implement new consumer-preferred packaging with resealable bags, appetizing food photography, and a display-ready case to create a more organized shelf set. The company provided the strategic insights that natural/ organic meals and meat substitutes are distinct from mainstream healthy meals and should be shelved separately. The research also reinforced the need for a healthy-living destination. Those retailers that implemented such a destination grew the meat substitute category twice as fast as those without the destination. Kellogg identified the least incremental brands in retail assortments and recommended replacing them with offerings that would drive incremental demand, and also pinpointed duplicative brands. Retailers that removed the duplicative offerings experienced 11.3 percent growth and 10.8 percent velocity growth for the meat substitute category. In the realm of product innovation, Kellogg introduced a total of 11 SKUs through September.

GROcERy — NONFOODS Laundry Detergents

Pinnacle Foods

Pinnacle Foods launched its Birds Eye Disney Sides to reinvigorate the brand and the $3 billion-plus frozen vegetable category by targeting the pickiest eaters through the combination of kid-friendly veggies, pasta and sauce with Disney character graphics and pasta shapes. Additionally, with frozen veggies considered the “gateway to healthy eating,” Pinnacle aimed to change the perception that the category is overly processed and lacks flavor. The company delivered solutions that resonated with key households, including Millennials and Boomers, to drive category growth and retailer margin. Pinnacle reported positive results for partners signing on to meet intersecting needs for a healthy lifestyle, meal prep shortcuts and a flavorful eating experience.


Category Captain

Seventh Generation

Recently acquired by Unilever, Seventh Generation is driving category trial and growth through “twinning,” the pairing of conventional and green/ natural products around a common theme. Faced with a perception of low availability, the company partnered with a national retailer to increase awareness, drive conversion to green/natural products, and understand the relationship and consumer interaction between various conventional and natural brands. Seventh Generation designed an end cap display as a destination for shoppers looking for sensitive-skin laundry products, a growth segment; the initiative including special pricing, signage and ad support. The result: Twinning stores saw double-digit sales for the featured products and overall category. This technique is being expanded to other categories.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016



Category Advisor

Bayer HealthCare

Gastrointestinal issues are most likely to be treated with over-thecounter (OTC) products only, making digestive health an important category for retailers to get right. Bayer, which purchased Merck’s OTC business in 2014, has become the only manufacturer with a presence in the six largest segments of the category. The company helped advise retailers this year using insights from some major new shopper behavior studies, including a Shopper Decision Hierarchy. Its research provided a framework for the way manufacturers and retailers can merchandise, promote and target shoppers. First, a maintenance approach targeted consumers who already suffer from digestive health issues, and therefore must continue to take care of symptoms as they occur. Secondly, consumers could be more proactive by taking products such as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce gastric acid production. Last, products such as fiber and probiotics helped shoppers take the most proactive approach. Within this framework, Bayer identified four levers needed to activate the desired behavior: targeting, education, promotion and merchandising. The program is still early in its execution, but retailer feedback already has been overwhelming, according to Bayer.

Foot Care

Category Advisor

Reckitt Benckiser

With the $1 billion-plus foot care category languishing, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) aimed to connect with shoppers more emotionally and less functionally with a new brand and product line. Its launch of Amope appears to have reinvented this sleepy category, and the upward trends have continued in 2016. RB invested significantly in consumer insights, redefining the category for shoppers and retailers, and identifying three core segments: aid, comfort and care. Amope, which targets women and gifters, also represents a significant trade-up opportunity. Over the past year, Amope has introduced new shopper marketing programs, created secondary placement opportunities, and introduced new on-shelf displays and education.

Hair Care

Infant/Toddler Nutrition

Category Captain


In a crowded category in which 40 percent of shoppers buy on deal, Unilever worked with retailers to help them move away from aggressive promotion and toward product equity and meaningful innovation to drive healthy category growth. Through effective and efficient promotion, product mix, consumer education and expanding regimen usage, Unilever helped perceived purchase on promotion swing down for the first time in five years. Unilever also pushed for smarter innovation that drove regimen usage and bigger baskets. As such, the company effectively helped retailers avoid the pitfall of continued promotional devaluation.


Category Captain

Abbott Nutrition

Abbott Nutrition joined forces with a national retailer to boost sales of its PediaSure brand while growing the overall infant/toddler nutrition category. The strategy included executing a 360-degree shopper marketing program, as well as featuring PediaSure in a checklane display for the first time, at a national retailer. Meanwhile, the retailer implemented a new pricing strategy communication at the shelf, with promotional offers/coupons focused on the purchase of multiples. All of this work paid off: Total kid/toddler nutrition sales jumped an impressive 10.2 percent, while PediaSure sales grew 11 percent, and the number of households buying PediaSure grew 14.3 percent. Stores that implemented the checklane displays outsold the nondisplay stores by 42 percent, while producing half the rate of out-of-stocks observed in nondisplay stores.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Ahaa Amazing avocados. When you need a steady supply of high-quality produce picked at the peak of ripeness, Del Monte delivers. Our network of 23 strategically located North American distribution centers and fresh cut facilities lets us easily distribute ripe, pre-conditioned, and green

avocados right to your door. As a leading supplier of fresh Hass avocados in the U.S.—and a go-to for a wide range of whole and fresh cut fruits and vegetables—we provide the consistent quality you depend on to keep customers happy.

The Nature of the Best | 1-800-950-3683 |

/DelMonteFreshProduce /DelMonteFresh

© 2016 Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.

@DelMonteFresh DelMonteFresh


Category Captain

Abbott Nutrition

A national retailer was looking for growth opportunities in the $200 million oral electrolyte category, and Abbott Nutrition, maker of Pedialyte, was a natural fit as a category management partner. Abbott leveraged its strong brand performance and category leadership in helping the retailer plan additional placement throughout the store to boost impulse purchases. Abbott’s research discovered that 71 percent of shoppers expect to find Pedialyte outside of the baby aisle, and 60 percent of parents like to stock up before dehydration hits their households. The manufacturer also recommended expanding the oral electrolyte section within the baby aisle. In addition, the companies worked together to plan special promotions throughout the year. Since the implementations, the retailer has seen an amazing 22 percent growth in sales.

Sun Care

Category Captain

Sexual Well-being

Category Advisor

Reckitt Benckiser

An often-forgotten category, sexual well-being is challenging to manage as retailers struggle with how to merchandise it, best educate shoppers and manage privacy concerns. Reckitt Benckiser (RB) invested in insights and innovation, and uncovered hidden growth potential in the condom and lubricant segments. RB’s Durex brand is growing, with a focus on new products at higher price points that are driving category sales growth, while KY is investing in innovation and connecting with consumers in new ways. New shopper insights over the past year have uncovered the decision hierarchy for this $637 million category, new paths to purchase and different drivers for selecting different types of retail outlets.

Upper-respiratory Care

Category Advisor

Bayer HealthCare

Sun care delivers one of the highest market baskets in beauty care, yet more than 1.7 million fewer households shopped the category between 2012 and 2015, according to Bayer. After the company took over the Coppertone business as part of its merger with Merck in 2014, it identified challenges and opportunities for growth. Bayer invested in shopper and consumer insights, and began constructing a strategic thought leadership plan that was shared with retailers in spring 2015. The overall theme of the new initiative was “Putting the U Back in Sun.” Its three pillars were: 1) Personal — Find ways to increase consumer education and motivation about the risks associated with sun exposure, specifically for Millennials; 2) Relevant — Retailers must focus on the entire category rather than a single segment to ensure growth (and also pay attention to item and brand proliferation that can make shopping a challenge); and 3) Enjoyable — Sun care should be associated with fun time and family. Since Bayer has introduced its new efforts, category dollar sales at multioutlets during the past season have improved 2.5 percent.

Bayer HealthCare

Upper-respiratory care, the largest segment within over-the-counter health, continued to experience annual growth, as well as strong productivity. However, the category is broad and fragmented. Bayer worked with several retailers to test new shelf configuration and signage, all the while incorporating critical shopper insights to enhance shopability. Its strategy, dubbed “Maximizing Upper Respiratory,” delved into treatment options, symptoms and duration for shoppers who suffer from upper-respiratory ailments. Out-of-store communication stressed regional and seasonal occurrences of allergies. Bayer also worked to identify which segments and subsegments are part of the category, and which ones are ancillary. In addition, the company identified optimal adjacencies for the category and determined the best assortments for each retailer, given space constraints. November 2016 | |



Vitamins & Supplements

Category Captain


Using loyalty card data, Pharmavite helped retailers better understand cross-purchasing relationships among different brands, identifying ones to be advertised together and recommending which should be positioned adjacent to one another. Since the majority of vitamin consumers are searching for a specific product type or a product addressing a specific need state, Pharmavite divided 80-plus product segments into 19 need states and designed a power sector consolidating the category into 13 producttype groupings. The company also worked to improve sections’ lighting, color and ambience for a warmer, more engaging shopping experience. Pharmavite advised retailers on merchandising sections based on need state and power sector organizational segmentation, which involved positioning these product groups adjacent to one another to address multiple need states or the need for multiple power sectors. At retailers where Pharmavite is the category advisor, vitamin category dollar sales grew 6 percent, while only growing 4 percent at other retailers.

Category Advisor

Bayer HealthCare

Bayer’s recent category review of vitamins and supplements unveiled several key factors. First, consumers are increasingly being influenced by other products that claim to fulfill their nutritional needs. Second, retailers themselves have at times lost sight of the connection between the category and broader health-and-wellness trends in their stores. Finally, from a shopper perspective, the complexity of the category keeps increasing, with more than 400-plus items on the shelf. Armed with these insights, Bayer created a category management plan around the need for “Reconnection,” urging retailers to reconnect the broader health-and-wellness arena with consumers, shoppers and, of course, their own stores. To help reach more Generation X and Millennial consumers, whose usage lags behind that of aging Americans, Bayer developed a social media strategy. Some retailers supplemented the campaign with category-focused direct-mail campaigns. Since the introduction of Bayer’s program in mid-2015, the category has seen a strong positive trend: IRI dollar sales have improved from flat sales in 2014 to growth of 4.3 percent in 2015.

PERIMETER Fresh Baked Goods — Cakes

Category Advisor

CSM Bakery Solutions

CSM Bakery Solutions continued to capitalize on the success of its Hershey and Reese’s Mousse Cakes program, bringing new shoppers to retailers’ bakery sections. Sales data cited by CSM show that the Hershey cakes represented 1.7 percent of all dessert cake dollars, and 20.9 percent of total dessert cake growth, in the 52-week period ending May 28. Meanwhile, Hershey/Reese’s cakes accounted for 33 percent of the mousse cake segment of dessert cakes, and represented 74 percent of the segment dollar growth, for the same time period. CSM’s recommendations for merchandising and promotional plans, including holiday-themed displays, helped drive retailers’ success, according to the company.


Dairy — Milk

Category Captain

Dean Foods

For years, the milk category suffered from declining sales and consumption. A commodity mentality prevailed, with shoppers perceiving all products as being alike, and retailers responded with promotions below cost. In 2010, Dean Foods decided to lead the charge for category transformation. Its collection of 60-plus local milk dairies began to work toward building the first truly national milk brands. Since that time, Dean has rolled out a Five-Point Purity Promise that aligns to consumers’ desires for dairy without hormones and antibiotics; built two strong milk brands, Dairy Pure and TruMoo; simplified business by offering a national UPC; shared promotional strategies that create real value around the milk purchase; and invested more than $35 million in consumer advertising, PR and shopper marketing to reignite passion for the category.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

PERIMETER Dairy — Yogurt

Deli — Meat & Cheese

Category Captain

General Mills

The yogurt category remains poised for growth — in fact, it’s projected to attain a 6 percent compound annual growth rate by 2020, according to General Mills, maker of Yoplait. The company continued to offer its category management expertise to retailers to capitalize on that growth. In the past year, General Mills has consulted its retail partners to consider expanding their yogurt space, noting that stores that recently expanded by just 2 feet saw 4 percent higher growth than stores that remained space-neutral. In March, the supplier released a new yogurt category growth story based on consumer insights that highlight opportunities to optimize the shelf set, assortment and merchandising. One key insight was that retailers must allocate an optimal mix of segments and brands on the shelf to drive growth, especially as Greek trends start to plateau nationally. In terms of innovation, Yoplait launched Plenti Oatmeal meets Greek Yogurt at the beginning of 2016. The brand also introduced Annie’s Organic Yogurt to appeal to the ever-growing kid segment, and Go Big for teenagers.

Category Captain

Dietz & Watson

While most of the industry buzz related to deli is around prepared foods, deli meat and cheese remain important pillars, accounting for a collective 38 percent of national deli sales, according to Dietz & Watson. During the past year, Dietz & Watson prioritized category management partnerships to provide retailers with a deeper understanding of their deli performance and consumers. Internally, the company began to focus more on data and analytics, hiring seven new analytic managers to better understand retailers’ deli case performances. It also used consumer insights and point-of-sale data to develop new store-specific planograms. In just one example of success, Dietz & Watson helped a regional grocer grow its share of the cheddar cheese category. After identifying an opportunity gap, the supplier suggested adding an additional cheese flavor to the bulk case, and followed up with limited-time offer promotions on two other cheese flavors. In one year’s time, the retailer increased its cheddar cheese market share by an impressive 4.7 percentage points.

Deli — Prepared Foods

Deli — Prepared Foods

Category Captain

Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods’ Deli by Design program aimed to create a total deli experience. Leveraging internal research, the Hormel team found that prepared foods flourish with the aid of three major trends — global cuisine growth, elevated home-style products and desire for protein — and worked with retailers on such solutions as authentic and globally inspired products. Further, to increase awareness and drive trial in a category that typically doesn’t receive media support, Hormel executed an “Already Ready” Hormel Gatherings party tray campaign in 2016. The campaign encompassed social media expansion to Facebook and Pinterest, targeted digital banner ads, involvement with the mobile shopping app Shopkick, digital video, Pandora radio ads, and a public relations “Play On” Party in Chicago. This integrated marketing plan, together with sales execution, led to a 10.5 percent dollar sales lift, an 8.5 percent volume increase, and a 1.7-point rise in total U.S. distribution, among other positive results.


Category Captain

Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods continued to demonstrate leadership in managing the popular deli prepared food category, most recently with its Velocity Process, which provides retailers with actionable, data-driven recommendations. The process uses thirdparty and proprietary data to uncover growth opportunities within a retailer’s prepared food department. First, with its Acceleration Plan, Tyson can pinpoint stores that are under- or overperforming based on velocity and demand indices. Next, the Vector Plan provides the retailer with an operational blueprint for achieving maximum velocity. Tyson worked with a major northeastern retailer to identify opportunity gaps in its prepared chicken business. Within eight weeks of implementation, the three test stores experienced double-digit sales increases. Further, Tyson continued to refine its brand-agnostic “Consequence of Failure” study, which exposes service lapses that impact retailer loyalty and future visits.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

KNOWING HOW CONSUMERS JUGGLE COFFEE AT HOME WILL EARN YOU MORE SALES IN YOUR AISLE. Category research indicates that consumers switch between coffee brands and formats based on drinking daypart, seasonality, occasion and convenience. Leverage Massimo Zanetti Beverage’s category insights to increase sales and drive growth in the coffee aisle.



PERIMETER Deli — Prepared Foods

Protein Snacks

Category Advisor

Blount Fine Foods

Blount Fine Foods, a leader in the fresh retail soup category, continued to grow the segment and attract new customers. This year, the company announced the national launch of a full line of premium organic soups. Blount Organic’s national promotional program, a first for the company, has been elevating consumer awareness of fresh soups. Meanwhile, Blount worked with a new roster of major grocers to roll out fully integrated fresh soup programs. The most successful retailers took Blount’s advice and cross-sold between their deli-based, hotto-go prepared food programs and value-added SKUs in their refrigerated food sections, according to the company. Blount’s most familiar brands, Legal Sea Foods and Panera Bread, helped draw shoppers’ attention, while its private label lineup offered great quality at a slightly lower price point. Variable-/Fixed-weight Meat

Category Captain

Hormel Foods

Since Hormel Foods introduced its all-natural, fully cooked taco meat line, the total heat-and-serve category has grown 4 percent. Additionally, ingredient meats are up 6 percent, with Hormel taco meats making up 45 percent of the growing segments. Hormel discovered that meal solution promotions work for these types of products: When its taco meats were displayed with Wholly Guacamole and shredded cheese, the result was a 245 percent unit lift and 230 percent dollar lift, driven by ACV display support of 55 percent. The refrigerated dinner group category grew $7.5 million at a major West Coast retailer, with Hormel products accounting for 14 percent, or $1.1 million, of that growth. Further, Hormel conducted research finding that usage supersedes temperature state, kits and snacks act as nearly a separate category, and value is the top consideration for purchasers, enabling the company to develop a high-level decision tree to help guide recommendations for retailers.


Category Advisor

Hormel Foods

After its research showed that refrigerated protein kits and snacks function as an independent category, and that consumers seek a snacking destination in the processed meat case with segmentation for kids, adults and value offerings, Hormel Foods collaborated with retailers to create a mobile-snacking protein set within the lunchmeat wall. An East Coast retailer tested the snacking set in 11 stores, which had almost 60 percent more dollar sales and units than its other stores; the concept was accordingly rolled out to all of the retailer’s locations. Two other major retailers that have dedicated significant space to refrigerated mobile snacking grew mobile-snacking sales and the segments where the space was sourced, aided by successful promotions. The refrigerated protein snack segment has grown 52 percent this year, and the space dedicated to the mobilesnacking set hasn’t negatively affected the segment where the space was sourced, proving the previous redundancy in the lunchmeat wall.

PERIMETER — VaRIablE-/FIxEdWEIghT PRoducE Apples/Cherries/Pears

Category Advisor

Stemilt Growers Stemilt leveraged Nielsen data to create custom reports for its Fruit Tracker templates, which helped its retailer partners explore how their assortments were performing compared with the rest of the market. Partnering with Washington State University, Stemilt conducted consumer surveys on new items, organics, pricing, selection, packaging, merchandising and other purchase factors. This real-time research allowed Stemilt to guide retailers on selection, pricing, packaging and signage. This three-pronged approach added value to Stemilt’s ability to advise retailers on where produce categories are headed in the future. Stemilt plans to use this data to create short videos to deliver category guidance more quickly and effectively.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


Category Captain

Del Monte Fresh Produce When a regional grocer began to experience lackluster avocado sales, Del Monte Fresh developed a pricing and promotional strategy to help it be more in line with the market, resulting in more competitive average retail pricing, and an increase in the number of ads the following year. The company conducted an ongoing analysis of the retailer’s and total market’s sales results, pricing, and dollar and pound share; employed demographic software to identify the retailer’s typical consumers, as well as its stores’ most significant competitive threats; and used ad-tracking data to help evaluate the retailer’s and its competition’s promotional activity. For the most recent 52 weeks, the retailer’s Hass avocado category surpassed the rest of the market in both dollar and pound sales growth. Dollar sales rose more than 15 percent versus the prior year, and volume sales saw a gain of nearly 35 percent.


Category Advisor

Avocados From Mexico In 2016, Avocados From Mexico (AFM) rolled out several innovative marketing initiatives. Building on the success of its inaugural Big Game campaign, AFM launched an “Avos in Space” commercial during the 2016 Super Bowl, and supplemented the excitement with social media engagement. The supplier also produced a float for Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, upping awareness during a major food holiday. In the spring, AFM joined forces with prominent New York City food trucks, popular bloggers and others to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. In supermarkets, AFM kicked off a fruit-labeling program to help drive brand awareness. The nationwide effort placed AFM stickers on the fruit at retail for the first time ever. This program supplements the many shopper marketing programs that AFM continued to produce throughout the year, including its new AvoLifestyle Challenge. The organization’s efforts are paying off, as avocado sales increased more than $145 million for the 2015-16 season.


©2016 Hormel Foods, LLC

Proud to be a 2016 Deli/Prepared Foods Categor y Captain


Category Captain


During the past year, Chiquita helped further evolve the banana category by re-engaging with consumers via the launch of its Just Smile campaign, and by equipping retailers with recommendations for more thoughtful, fact-based promotional activity. The supplier also inspired shoppers’ paths to purchase through a social media engagement strategy. The Just Smile campaign leveraged a variety of content across social media platforms, and also included traditional advertising in outdoor venues. It successfully garnered 301 million impressions. In New York, where many ads were placed, one retailer saw volume sales increase 3.3 percent. To help its retailer partners in category management, Chiquita tapped Nielsen Perishables Group to obtain a better understanding of banana promotional activity and create retailer toolkits for future promotional strategies. The supplier had determined that some retailers were promoting bananas at more of a discount than was necessary to capture sales.


Category Captain

Dole Fresh Vegetables Dole used its category management experience in packaged salads to rethink the berry category, which has traditionally followed a primitive open-market, supply-demand relationship between growers and retailers. In 2016, the supplier worked with six select retailers to implement its trusted category-planning principles. Dole downsized its supply position, focusing instead on consistency and predictability. Retailers’ promotions were strategically matched with consumer demand. As a result, the six retailers grew seven points faster than national trends. Dole also invested heavily in shopper and consumer research in the past year. Its new insights helped guide a footprint for best practices in pricing, merchandising and promotions. The company even developed a first-of-its-kind consumer decision tree for the berry category, working with Nielsen and IRI. Not surprisingly, Dole has won category captaincy for berries at some of the country’s largest supermarket operators.

THANK YOU for helping us earn the 2016 awards for Category Captain.




Brussels Sprouts

Category Captain

Category Captain

Green Giant Fresh

With total U.S. Brussels sprouts growth at more than 20 percent, Green Giant Fresh (GGF) decided to add convenience to a growing segment with a Trimmed & Peeled Brussels Sprouts line. Two Northeastern retailers have experienced double-digit incremental sales lifts since stocking GGF value-added Brussels sprouts in their stores, and expect to see even stronger results heading into the 2016 fall/winter holiday season. GGF also supported retailers with planogram schematics, category management, point-of-sale materials, and recipe cards. Additionally, GGF is introducing a customized category management portal to better meet the ondemand needs of a strategic national retailer partnership.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods Celery is among the top 10 vegetable categories in fresh produce, but a rapidly changing consumer demographic has affected the segment in recent years. Duda Fresh Farms stepped in this year to bring a new level of excitement to the category. The company took a four-pronged approach comprising market, consumer and retailer research; innovation; consumer promotions; and category management initiatives. Research that Duda commissioned discovered, among other things, that healthy snacking trends provide a growth opportunity in celery. Duda responded by developing a snacking celery stick line built around a baseball theme, launching the item with a national promotion featuring instant redeemable coupons and a strong online marketing campaign centered on social media. Duda’s innovation helped grow the snacking celery segment by 18.9 percent. One major retailer saw snacking celery sales increase an amazing 52 percent, quarter over quarter.


SUSTAINABLE RETAILING May 23–25, 2017 Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel • Chicago, Illinois The Green Retail Decisions Innovation Summit is an invitation-only event that brings retailers of all channels and solutions providers to discuss technology, innovation, sustainability and the future of green retailing. Now in its sixth year, this year’s summit will offer high-quality networking, keynotes and panels discussing hot industry topics, one-to-one meetings and boardroom briefings. Past attendees have great things to say about the summit:

Always time well spent.

“The best part is leaving with an action plan!” to meet and discuss how to improve our “Fantastic chance energy efficiency and sustainability.”

Retailers: For more information or to request an invitation, contact Laura Liebeck, or at 845-440-7974

Suppliers: To become a sustainability partner or summit sponsor, contact Jory Cener, or at 914-522-2872 Produced by:

November 2016 | |


PERIMETER — VARIABLE-/FIXED-WEIGHT PRODUCE Fresh-pack (Commodity) Vegetables


Category Captain

Dole Fresh Vegetables

In the past year, Dole Fresh identified an opportunity to rejuvenate several idle segments of the $20.7 billion commodity vegetable category. The company launched a proprietary variety of celery hearts that has been a great success with consumers. In fact, Dole’s celery heart sales grew 30 percent across the total U.S. market. To help revive whole-head lettuce, the company created a line of chefinspired salad kits featuring whole heads of romaine lettuce. Test markets of Dole’s Chef ’s Choice Caesar Salad Kit, supported by a shopper marketing campaign and in-store demos, exceeded performance expectations, according to the company. Meanwhile, Dole’s retailer partners took advantage of best practices developed by the company’s category management team. These guidelines were created using custom research and retailer performance data analysis.

Category Captain

Monterey Mushrooms After Monterey Mushrooms helped a big-box retailer test assortment across 10 percent of its stores, employing everyday retails and a promotional strategy rotating all items over an eight-week period, units, total category pounds and sales increased markedly at the test stores, with net profits growing 19.9 percent, versus 8.9 percent at all of its stores. The retailer is now transitioning all stores. To help another customer maximize category sales and profits to support other department promotions, Monterey evaluated the market, adjusted everyday retails and store sets, and created a promotional strategy that grew category sales and net profits by double digits. By evaluating the market, reviewing assortment, setting everyday retails and creating a promotional plan, Monterey helped a Mid-South retailer boost organic mushroom sales from a 6.7 percent share to a 19.4 percent share of category sales, while overall category sales, unit and pound growth all outpaced that of the market.

Packaged Salads

Packaged Salads

Category Captain

Dole Fresh Vegetables

At the end of 2015, Dole expanded upon its Chopped Kits line, providing additional size offerings and flavor profiles to maximize product mix performance. This benefited its retailer partners by engaging new households and trading consumers up from lower-tier segments, which helped drive higher profitability. In one example of its category management leadership, Dole worked with a regional retailer to institute a promotion strategy designed to optimize Premium Classics’ promotional performance. After implementation, the retailer experienced increased promotional efficiency and continued growth in packaged salads. In another example, Dole helped a retailer deal with traffic loss by rolling out an aggressive joint promotional/shopper-targeted strategy to recapture and re-engage the most loyal households in the packaged salad category. The results were significant, growing high-loyalty households by 6 percent.


Category Advisor

Fresh Express

Fresh Express invested in some of the most sophisticated tools to help drive a 360-degree view of the packaged salad category. Its category management team could now gain visibility into trip mission, category leakage, buyer conversion, product switching, cross-purchase/copurchase activity, trial and repeat, and a host of other drivers to help elevate the level of engagement with its retail partners. Additionally, the supplier commissioned an in-depth consumer decision tree analysis to gain an understanding of the consumer decision process for salads, helping drive new assortment and merchandising strategies. In the past year, Fresh Express worked closely with multiple grocers to rethink their packaged salad sections. In one instance, the company helped a retailer create an all-new category business plan for salads.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

CELEBRATING 4 YEARS IN A ROW as a leader in perimeter fresh bakery. We take pride in using our global expertise and capabilities to create solutions that help our customers better serve consumers.

To learn more, please visit or give us a call at +1 (800) 241-8526. Copyright Š 2016 CSM Bakery Solutions LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Value-added Vegetables

Category Captain

Category Captain

Mann Packing Co.

Idaho Potato Commission The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) continued to develop its category management tools with retailer-focused data demonstrating the strength of the Idaho brand in driving sales not only in produce, but also the whole store. The group’s work with a major southeastern grocery chain showed how the presence of Idaho potatoes over generic products increased the likelihood of return visits. IPC provided all retailers with in-depth, brand-agnostic category reviews to gauge performance among sister stores as well as competitors, with actedupon recommendations routinely bringing positive results. IPC also continued year-round retailer contacts through its quarterly Potato Retailing Today publication, POS materials and Big Idaho Potato Truck tour.

Mann Packing Co. joined forces with a Southwest retailer on a vegetable tray/snacking set. Mann’s Snacking Favorites trays increased the retailer’s overall value-added vegetable sales by 12 percent, proving so successful that the retailer is now converting them to its own brand. The company partnered with a Central region retailer to grow its overall category by focusing on sugar snap peas and offering various sizes without cannibalizing the category. The introduction of a family-size bag added 18 percent incremental sales to the retailer’s existing sugar snap pea business. A national retailer that transitioned core convenience vegetable items from bags to clamshell packaging showed 50 percent growth. Mann’s was able to define where the growth actually came from, thereby keeping the retailer from increasing cost and waste. PG

April 26 – 28, 2017

The Drake Hotel | Chicago, IL

ANALYTICS IS THE FUEL THAT POWERS THE MODERN ENTERPRISE. Put your company in the driver’s seat by mastering the ability to understand, predict and react to consumer behavior. •

etwork and connect with other CG and retail company business intelligence and IT leaders • Enhance your understanding of cutting-edge topics like predictive analytics, self-service analytics, semi-sentient technology and data visualization.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER Suja Chandrashekaran, CIO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Former SVP and Global Chief Technology Officer & Chief Data Officer at Walmart



Albert Guffanti PRODUCED BY

Paula Lashinsky


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

TEAM ATTENDANCE IS ENCOURAGED! For special offers, contact



The Fresh Advantage We are honored to be awarded since 2001.


Cause Marketing

Just Causes More than ever, consumers expect, and grocers strive to provide, corporate responsibility initiatives. By Bridget Goldschmidt

W milk oF humaN kiNdNess The Great american milk drive, milkPeP and Feeding america’s joint effort with retailers to donate milk to needy kids and families, began in 2014.


hether it’s feeding the needy, fighting a dread disease, making the earth a cleaner place, lending a hand to America’s heroes or helping the survivors of a cataclysmic event, cause marketing is on full display in America’s supermarkets, along with bagged apples, canned peas and quartered chickens. The reason for this, according to one expert observer, is because of grocers’ unique connection with their shoppers. “Perhaps more than any other type of retailer, food retailers have frequent, long-term relationships with consumers, and the opportunity to build strong bonds with the communities in which they operate,” says David Hessekiel, founder and president of the Rye, N.Y.-based Cause Marketing Forum, which provides businesses and nonprofit organizations with the information and connections they need to form alliances. “While some stores stand out in terms of special services, in many cases food retailers are dealing with commodity products. Cause marketing

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

programs that generate positive associations can be extremely valuable to food retailers.” That value shouldn’t just translate into increased sales to consumers. “In addition, food retailers have large numbers of employees and high employee turnover,” Hessekiel notes. “Cause marketing programs that enhance job satisfaction and pride in being associated with a retailer can be highly valuable to food retailers.” “Cause marketing campaigns tie stores to their communities, to their customers, and they create good corporate citizenship,” observes David McConnell, president and CEO of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Making Change, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that collaborates with thousands of retailers nationwide on point-of-purchase fundraisers. “Demonstrating social responsibility increases consumer loyalty, because it matters to customers — and store associates — that food retailers show support for their community and social causes.”

Feeding the Need Unsurprisingly, hunger relief is a focus of many food retailers’ cause marketing efforts. Hessekiel affirms that “hunger organizations are a natural fit for grocers, and numerous strategic alliances exist between food retailers and local and national anti-hunger groups.” Ahold USA’s banners, for instance, count fighting hunger among their top cause marketing activities. “Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York, Giant Carlisle, and Giant Landover announced new three-year initiatives, totaling $9.1 million, to increase access to healthy, nutritious food for children across their markets,” notes Marissa Nelson, SVP of responsible retailing and healthy living at Quincy, Mass.-based Ahold USA. “Fighting Child Hunger grants were awarded to 24 regional food banks that were encouraged to go beyond the scope of their current distribution networks to reach children in areas of greatest need and provide healthy and nutritious food.” Nelson adds that the retail divisions have also donated bakery and other dry goods to regional food banks, along with “millions of pounds of highquality meat products … through the Meat the Needs program.” Further, to encourage employees to pitch in at local and regional anti-hunger organi-


46% of shopping trips are quick trips and beverages are consumed within 2 hours 87% of the time. Consumers are unwilling to go to extraordinary measures to find cold beverages. Place cold Red Bull by the register in your store and watch your energy sales soar! Source: 2013 Smart Revenue + Red Bull Path 2 Purchase


Please Give Nonprofit Making Change has found that checkout donation programs, such as this one to help build homes for military veterans, to be particularly successful.

Cause marketing programs that generate positive associations can be extremely valuable to food retailers.” —David Hessekiel, Cause Marketing Forum


Cause Marketing

zations, the banners offer an Associate Volunteer incentive providing a monetary donation to a food bank in recognition of an associate’s time volunteering there. The Washington, D.C.-based Milk Processors Education Board (MilkPEP) is working with grocers on a hunger relief initiative with a difference. In 2014, the organization, comprising milk companies and dairy farmers, teamed up with Feeding America to create The Great American Milk Drive, which aims to boost availability of fresh milk at food banks and deliver gallons of milk to needy children and families. In this endeavor, MilkPEP helps Feeding America provide milk to its nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, with supermarkets such as Hy-Vee and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy ranked as trusted allies. “Retailers across the country are activating The Great American Milk Drive with free turnkey resources, including beautiful POS, compelling social media content, customizable press materials, in-store event support, and more,” asserts Victor Zaborsky, MilkPEP’s VP of marketing. “We offer a variety of ways retailers can get involved to positively impact their community and their business.” In devising the initiative, MilkPEP sought the best way to raise funds for its cause. “Through consumer research, we found that the grocery checkout counter is key — and the preferred touchpoint for collecting donations,” says Zaborsky. “This insight has helped create the structure of our program keeping shoppers in mind, and nearly 90 percent of all Great American Milk Drive donations have been made by shoppers at register. We work closely with retailers to develop custom programs and have a vast amount of resources to help our retail partners drive milk sales and bring new shoppers in store.” That view is shared by Making Change’s McConnell, who says checkout “has always been our sweet spot. It’s the single most convenient point in the shopping process where consumers can be provided with the opportunity to make a decision about supporting a cause or program.” He adds a caveat, however: “The retailer has a captive audience at the checkstand, but it can be a very short window of opportunity.” Other key elements of robust cause marketing campaigns, according to McConnell, include “strong graphics and messaging, the creation of an in-store environment that makes it easy for consumers to give, and excellent communications support externally to the customer and internally to

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

the store team to report results of a campaign.” In helping the food-insecure through the MilkPEP/Feeding America program, grocers also help their own bottom lines. “The Great American Milk Drive can help retail partners lift their fluid milk sales without discounting, drive foot traffic in-store, and bring in new customers by doing good while strengthening their community presence,” says Zaborsky.

Matters of Health Health is another cause marketing priority for grocers. At Ahold USA, children’s health is a particular area of concern. “The Stop & Shop and Giant Landover divisions raise funds in support of pediatric cancer each year,” says Nelson. “Year after year, division store associates enthusiastically engage customers to help fight childhood cancer in local communities. In return, their customers receive a free coupon book. … In partnership with our vendors who helped provide high-value coupons as a thank-you to customers, the divisions were able to donate $5.6 million in 2016 to be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/ The Jimmy Fund, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and The Children’s Cancer Foundation. This critical funding enables these organizations to conduct groundbreaking research and care.” Continues Nelson: “The Giant Carlisle division raises funds two times per year for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals. Again, working with valued vendor partners, seasonally relevant coupon offers were offered to thank customers for donating during the CMN Balloon campaign, and the Candles for Kids campaign will be held later this year. In total, these two fundraising campaigns are on track to raise more than $1 million for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in 2016.”


Through consumer research, we found that the grocery checkout counter is key — and the preferred touchpoint for collecting donations.” —Victor Zaborsky, MilkPEP


Cause Marketing

On the women’s health front, there’s Pink Ribbon Produce, timed to run during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, during which three retailers, Harris Teeter, Meijer and Price Chopper, promoted the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in the fight against the disease. For its 11th iteration last month, the program supported the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. (NBCF), based in Frisco, Texas. “We work closely in-store with the produce managers to ensure that our point-of-sale materials are put up,” says Debbie Augustine, founder and executive creative director of Roseville, Calif.based Augustine Agency, which developed the promotion. “All of the produce partners receive a shelf wobbler in addition to signage and consumer takeaways throughout the department. The consumer takeaway provides information about breast cancer awareness, tips, and healthy recipes from our produce partners. All of this promotion is tied into our online presence with our website and social media campaign. One new addition this year [was] in-store demos at selected stores. Any time we can interact directly with the consumer, the easier it is to get our message across.”

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Measuring Success For cause marketing programs at retail, what does success look like? Augustine gives a straightforward answer: “We measure the success of the campaign by comparing sales and movement data pre-, during and post-campaign.” For others, there are additional factors to consider. “Success is measured against a quarterly scorecard showing our performance in the five key priority areas of the Ahold USA Responsible Retailing strategy: Healthy Living, Community Well-being, Our People, Responsible Products and Care for the Environment,” explains Nelson. “The success of these efforts relies on division associate support as well as comprehensive, cross-channel communications to customers. As one example of detailed measurement, recipient food banks report back to the divisions regularly on how they are using their grants and the number of children they are able to reach.” “Visibility and accessibility of the campaign materials, strong and effective messaging, easy donation options, and, most importantly, store operations’ team buy-in involving an ‘ask’ will all help make a program successful,” notes Making Change’s McConnell. “Post-campaign, it’s impor-

tant to communicate results to the customers who gave. Customers want to know how their donations are used, and the human impact. Measurements of success are a combination of total dollars raised as well as reporting how the funds helped support a particular nonprofit. Success can and should definitely be measured in terms of number of meals served, number of families sheltered, number of kids who received a hot meal after school, or the number of veterans provided with a home.”

As for what the future will bring in the realm of cause marketing, evolving tech is sure to play a significant role. “While still believing in the power of our current point-of-purchase fundraising strategies and tactics, we also realize the need to use technology to drive the future of cause marketing with customers using smartphones, tablets and apps to make donations at the register or online through a store’s website,” says McConnell. “As we move forward in developing this approach, it will allow us to leverage targeted marketing approaches we don’t have access to today,” he adds. “For example, we envision a shopping scenario where a customer can walk down a particular aisle and receive a message on their phone along with a discount coupon — or just a notification — for a specific product located in that aisle that’s tied to a cause. The power of the technology has the potential to make it easier, quicker and more cost-effective than traditional in-store fundraisers.” PG

pink promise pink ribbon produce enlisted three retailers to help fight breast cancer in october with fresh fruit and vegetables.

For more about cause marketing, visit

in cooperation with


Messe Berlin North America 520 William Street · Suite E Fredericksburg · Virginia 22401 Tel +1.540 372-3777 Fax +1.540 372-1414




Call It a


Positioning pasta as healthful and convenient could abet its rising popularity. By Randy Hofbauer


t has suffered some solid blows in recent years, but the pasta category is now on track to enter a renaissance. In its 2016 “Food Trends” report, Menlo Park, Calif.-based tech company Google notes that between January 2015 and January 2016, search results for pasta, as a whole, rose 26 percent. And it’s not just pasta that’s trending: In these searches, associated keywords had to do with cooking styles (e.g., baked, casserole, stuffed); complementary proteins (e.g., sausage, chicken, lobster); and dish types (e.g., pomodoro, primavera, alla vodka). Considering that key search days were Friday, Saturday and Sunday — days when people typically have more time to cook — the findings suggest that consumers aren’t interested just in pasta, but also in learning ways to prepare it, leaving grocers with the opportunity to help pasta purchasers via clever merchandising. Pasta types such as rigatoni, tortellini, gemelli, penne, fusilli and linguini, in particular, have been “bubbling up in volume” in keyword searches, Google says in its report, and they also are appearing in this manner on shoppers’ lists. This suggests that consumers shop the pasta category by shapes. Erica Starrfield, brand manager for Buitoni, a re-

frigerated pasta brand from Glendale, Calif.-based Nestlé, sees this on the refrigerated side, noting that her company has found that shoppers search the refrigerated case for ravioli or tortellini rather than for cheese pasta or spinach pasta. “This drives the need to merchandise the shelf according to this decision process, not by filling flavor,” she says. “Buitoni has gone one step further and designed its packaging to aid this shopper navigation, adding color bands based on pasta form. This will help guide shoppers when browsing the shelf.” The same goes for the dry side: Sandra Blakemore, director, pasta and boxed dinners at Oak Brook, Ill.-based food manufacturer TreeHouse Foods, says grocers need to display more than just the basic spaghetti, elbows and penne — some of the more successful retailers display a wide assortment that includes more unique varieties, such as trottole (shaped like tiny tops), a good option for date nights. Along with type, tier matters in pasta merchandising. While many consumers may go for the value end, grocers have a prime opportunity to position pasta as an indulgence, incorporating premium items in their displays and demos, including bronzedie-cut pastas, specialty shapes and other highermargin varieties, Blakemore says.

Consumers want to be able to see a recipe in a magazine and then find that cut of pasta in their local store.” —Monique Deschaine, Al Dente Pasta Co.

November 2016 | |




plum plAcEmEnt plum market, in Ann Arbor, mich., teamed with Al Dente pasta co. to merchandise a full range of pasta covering various price points, origins, grain types and more.

Monique Deschaine, founder and co-owner of Whitmore Lake, Mich.-based Al Dente Pasta Co., wholeheartedly agrees. “In many stores, there is not a single artisanal producer ... there can be six varieties of rigatoni and not a single version of spinach fettuccine or egg pappardelle — pastas most likely to be on the cover of magazines like Bon Appétit,” she says. “Consumers want to be able to see a recipe in a magazine and then find that cut of pasta in their local store.” When showcasing these products, grocers should use a wide amount of space but feature only a select number of brands, Deschaine adds. For example, Plum Market, in Ann Arbor, Mich., boasts floor-to-ceiling displays with pasta but a minimum number of brands, with each offering a plethora of choices: Italian and American, big and small producers, short and long cuts, egg and flavored noodles, vegan and gluten-free options. “Stew Leonard’s does the same thing,” she says of the Norwalk, Conn.-based grocery chain. “This makes it simpler for the consumer to quickly find what they want.”

All About Empowerment Of course, with so many options on display, consumers lacking the necessary amount of time or know-how to cook pasta dishes are more likely to be intimidated than inspired. This is where cross-merchandising and -promoting to create meal solutions can play into merchandising and empower the shopper. For instance, grocers, pasta suppliers and food bloggers can team up to create content that includes recipes, videos and how-to demonstrations, says Liz Housman, director of marketing at Dakota Growers, a division of St. Louis-based Post Holdings. These can be updated regularly so grocers can have “evergreen” content to share across a number of platforms.



t Sea Sal



“Baked rigatoni pie, casserole and stuffed [pasta] have been popular recipe searches for weekend cooking adventures,” she notes. Additionally, meal-centric circular ads supported with end aisle merchandising help grocers generate significant sales lifts and build basket rings. Mix-and-match promotions of relatable items also drive velocity, and focus on seasonality additionally helps. For instance, Housman notes that certain pasta shapes work well in summer salads. Lasagna noodles and ribbon-like egg noodles are among the most seasonal pasta shapes — think winter warmers such as lasagna and chicken noodle soup. And for consumers with almost no time or expertise, grocers can prominently display and call attention to “nodrain” pasta, a new type of pasta that cooks by absorption, launched by Bannockburn, Ill.-based Barilla US under its Pronto brand. Although a significant number of consumers in the United States say they’re interested in more convenient pastas, launches of such products remain low, suggesting that items such as Pronto no-drain pasta could improve sales in

Fill Up On Pasta Erica Starrfield, brand manager for Buitoni, a refrigerated pasta brand of Glendale, Calif.-based Nestlé, notes rising consumer interest in vegetable-filled and -infused products, advising grocers to market the added benefits of a ravioli containing not just carbs, but also fiber and protein. Even non-filled or -infused pasta can be marketed with an eye toward health. Elisabeth D’Alto, a registered dietitian with Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., tells ShopRite customers that half of their plate should come from non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter from a whole grain or starch, and the remaining quarter from a lean protein source. Her store also sometimes features pasta in its Helping Families Eat Better meal-of-the-week program or its monthly wellness end cap program. “In September, for example, we included Banza pasta — chickpea[-flour-based] pasta — on our wellness end cap, because our theme was ‘Pasta Night’ for Family Meals Month,” she explains. Jewel-Osco, a Chicago-area banner of Boise, Idahobased Albertsons Cos. Inc., also works with its suppliers to support pasta via a health-conscious message. Samantha Woulfe, a Jewel-Osco community dietitian, says her team operates a Build a Better Basket program, in which dietitians work with suppliers and category managers on a one-week ad promotion of a product featured in a Dietitian’s Choice recipe. The product — which can be pasta — and recipe also are featured in the retailer’s blog, in its quarterly dietitian newsletter and on point-of-sale signage.


U.S. Alliance Paper, a TAD softer at PLMA.

Softfifififififififitfiofifififi,fithififiyfifififiwfifiwillfiffifitufififioufifi fifififi(fihfioufihfifiifi-fifiififi),fiFSC®ficfifitififififi,fi100%fi fificyclfifififififificofitfiolfibfififififififififiofiuctfififofififivfifiyfi fififimfifitfififififitifififioffiyoufifififififififififiofififimfi–fiffiomfi vfilufi, StofifibyfiofififichfifiulfifififimfifitififififitfithfifiPLMfifi fihowfitofifiificufififififiwfififififififififiofififimficoficfifitfifi fifififiofifiofitufiitifififibyficofitfictifififiStfivfifiSfififif, VPfiSfilfifi,fifitfi631-254-3030

fi Fullfififififififioffitfififiitiofifil,fifificyclfifi, fi FSC®fiCfifitififififififififififififififififififififififififififi fi

fi Comfilfitfifilifififioffififififififitowfilfi, bfithfitififiufi,fifififikififififififififficifilfitififiufifi

fi Flfixiblfifilfibfilififi,fififickfifiififififififi fiififilfiyficofifififiufifitiofifi

fi fifiifiy,fififilicfitfififiouchfififififiEfifithfiFififit fi cofitfiolfibfififififififofifilfifififififivolumfi.

2016 PLMA Show, Island Booth H2105-2209 631-254-3030 ©2016fiU.S.fifiLLIfiNCEfiPfiPERfiINC


the segment, Chicagobased market research firm Mintel reports in its April 2016 “Pasta, Rice & Noodles” Category Insight piece. The pasta is a one-pot product, to which, after the hot water is absorbed, consumers simply add pasta sauce, possibly providing even another crossmerchandising option: pasta sauce and no-drain noodles together, with preparation instructions. But even with all of these options, some pasta can be limited in merchandising options. Refrigerated pasta, in particular, can pose a problem: It might not be top of mind when shoppers rush into the store searching for dinner, Buitoni’s Starrfield points out, and is often placed in the dairy section, which is misaligned with where shoppers expect or want to find pasta. “They want us to be near other dinner solutions like fresh vegetables, fresh bread, premium cheese or seafood,” she says. “We should be placed in the deli section whenever possible,” particularly along with freshly made pasta sauce — pesto being the top seller here — to drive home the “fresh” message and flavor, especially considering consumers’ growing desire to eat more fresh, healthful foods.

Hope for the Health-minded Speaking of more healthful foods, while a number of barriers may contribute to consumers’ bypassing the pasta section in stores, perhaps the biggest concern is its reputation as carb-heavy. Increased interest in betterfor-you eating makes merchandising pasta a tricky endeavor for grocers. Pasta typically is a hard sell with weight management customers in particular — and takes a bit of explaining, admits Elisabeth D’Alto, a registered dietitian with the ShopRite arm of Keasby, N.J.based Wakefern Food Corp. “When I tell them they can eat pasta, they sometimes look perplexed, not sure if they heard me right,” she says. “However, pasta … is no longer just a ‘carb’ food nowadays; many pasta products are actually marketed towards consumers who are watching their waistline, because of their higher protein and fiber content, both of which contribute to satiety and fullness.” PG For more about pasta, visit


When I tell [shoppers] they can eat pasta, they sometimes look perplexed, not sure if they heard me right.” —Elisabeth D’Alto, Wakefern Food Corp.

Refrigerated & Frozen

Bread & Rolls

Bakers Frozen With clean ingredients all the rage, many breads and rolls rely on freezing to preserve freshness. By Bridget Goldschmidt


evenge may be a dish best served cold, but most people like their bread and rolls hot, or at least warm. Although long available, thaw-and-serve and brown-andserve bread and roll products in the frozen food section are garnering


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

more attention as consumer interest in clean-ingredient decks rises. “Because we use absolutely no preservatives, the benefit of freezing our 100 percent grain-free bread is the ability to prolong its shelf life and allow consumers the opportunity to enjoy it as they please, all while knowing they are getting a ‘clean’ product they can feel good about,

Refrigerated & Frozen

Bread & Rolls

Frozen to Fresh

We place stickers on the freezer door to communicate to consumers that they can find healthy bread products in the frozen section, too.” —Freya Ivory, BFree Foods

without any additives,” says Amanda Orso, founder of New York-based Barely Bread, who adds that because the product line, made with alternative flour sources such as almond, coconut and sweet potato, “both freezes and thaws extremely well, it allows consumers the opportunity to enjoy our products at the pace that works for them and their families.”


Stock up our line of Savory Breads, in addition to our award winning Swirl breads we’re adding: California Tomato Basil Italian Olive Focaccia - Parmesan Garlic & Herb

Muffuletta on Italian Olive Focaccia Bread


INTERNATIONAL S i n c e 19 19


2016 Inspected 5 Generation Bakers McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania May 16, 2016 412-444-8200

BFree Foods, an Irish company with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, usually offers its glutenand wheat-free breads in the frozen section, but lately it’s been trying something different. “We are … working with some retailers to merchandise BFree products thawed in the bakery section around the perimeter of the store,” says Freya Ivory, the company’s marketing manager. “We have specially designed BFree grocery store racks that emphasize our unique selling points for consumers searching and shopping for healthier products. Because BFree products check so many boxes — allergen-free, no added sugar, non-GMO, suitable for vegans — we are becoming less of a niche brand and more mainstream.” Ivory expects the merchandising strategy to catch on with grocers. “Some retailers are definitely ahead of others in terms of healthy product alternatives that they offer, and we believe 2017 will see a lot more stores expanding their healthy product offerings,” she says. “More retailers will move products that were once considered ‘niche’ into more mainstream locations and continue to offer brands like BFree in the fresh bakery section.”

This past summer, Barely Bread introduced what Orso calls “a full product line of breads, bagels, baguettes and rolls in order to support any meal or eating occasion.” She adds, “Our products meet the needs of consumers adhering to almost any diet or lifestyle, including Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb and diabetic, as well as all ‘clean’ eaters looking for a product free of preservatives and other fillers and additives.” In the case of gluten-free products in particular, freezing can be especially crucial. “Gluten-free bread is traditionally full of preservatives and very often ‘gas flushed’ to allow a longer shelf life because sales rates for gluten-free are not as fast as traditional bread products,” observes Freya Ivory, marketing


my Vision

GARY ZICKEL Chicago, IL Manager of Food Operations, Mariano’s Attendee since 2001

Whether brainstorming an exciting new prepared-foods concept or getting down in the trenches to make sure every sushi bar, grilling station and smokehouse is running just right, my days are hectic enough to make it difficult to stay on top of key developments in our fast-expanding segment. Which is why, each May, I carve out time from my busy schedule to attend NRA Show®. It’s here—walking the Show floor, attending seminars, connecting with industry experts—that I find the inspiration to continually improve my operation. And keep my customers coming back for more.

THIS IS MY SHOW REGISTER NOW ©2016 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

©2016 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

Refrigerated & Frozen

Bread & Rolls

manager of BFree Foods, an Irish company with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, which makes gluten- and wheat-free breads. “When products are ‘gas flushed,’ the oxygen is drawn out of the packaging and gas is added to prolong the shelf life,” she adds. “While not harmful to consumers, this process can remove moisture from the products and make them quite dry and crumbly. Freezing bread products allows BFree to offer artificial- and preservative-free products in regular packaging, allowing the texture and quality of our breads to remain as if they were freshly baked.” In September, BFree rolled out Brown Seeded and Plain Hot Dog Buns, “made with a unique blend of flours, starches, protein and fiber,” according to Ivory. “Like all BFree products, the new hot dog buns are free from wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts and soy, making them free from all major allergens and completely vegan.”

We are proponents of educating our consumers with demos and sampling opportunities not only instore, but also in surrounding businesses and fitness studios [that] we know our consumers regularly frequent.” Tough to Merchandise —Amanda Orso, Barely Bread

Despite the fact that they have plenty to offer health- and quality-seeking shoppers, such products are often overlooked in the frozen section, where merchandising can be problematic. Space is a big issue, for example. “Having enough space in the frozen aisle is probably one of the biggest challenges there is — especially with limited end cap display access — so that can sometimes be the biggest burden when it comes to merchandising,” admits Bill Spear, category manager at Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’, which operates more than 130 stores across the Grand Canyon State. “At Bashas’, we pride ourselves on working very closely with our vendors to merchandise as effectively as possible. During the holidays” — when he notes that

Freezing it Right When Barely Bread developed its innovative line of grain-free breads and rolls, it worked hard to maintain product quality in the frozen section. Amanda Orso, founder of New Yorkbased Barely Bread, says that “our company dedicated a lot of time and energy to perfecting our freezing process. In our R&D efforts, we directed a lot of resources towards managing the moisture level in all of our recipes. We have seen other bread brands that seem to have excessive moisture, which therefore freeze into what feel like solid blocks of ice and then don’t neces-


sales of frozen bread and rolls are particularly brisk — “it’s extremely important to ensure that our best product performers have prime product space.” Noting that “freezer cases are often crowded, foggy and sometimes cluttered,” Orso notes that Barely Bread “worked very hard to create packaging that would stand out among the masses and entice consumers.” Continues Orso: “We are also proponents of educating our consumers with demos and sampling opportunities not only in-store, but also in surrounding businesses and fitness studios [that] we know our consumers regularly frequent. … Social media is also a big part of promoting Barely Bread, and we rely heavily on our customers and influencers to spread their love of our brand.” “Traditionally, retailers carry their gluten-free products in the frozen grocery aisle in the center store, which is getting less and less foot traffic” in an age of perimeter-shopping consumers, says Ivory. “At BFree, we try to overcome this by placing stickers on the freezer door to communicate to consumers that they can find healthy bread products in the frozen section, too.”

‘The Way of the Future’ Regardless of the difficulties involved in merchandising them, frozen bread and rolls look set to gain in popularity beyond the holiday season. “We believe this is the way of the future,” affirms Orso. “People want products without preservatives; and more and more people understand that freezing and refrigeration both act as natural preservation.” “Continued freshness and quality will always be top of mind for Bashas’ and for our customers,” notes Spear, “and this includes frozen bread and rolls that are made available in-store.” PG

sarily thaw well. We didn’t want that to happen to Barely Bread.” That wasn’t the only aspect of freezing that concerned the company, however. “We also directed resources towards identifying an ideal freezing process, for example, the ideal pallet configuration, in order to allow the proper amount of air flow while freezing, and then also on identifying the right freezer facility — all to ensure that our bread froze quickly, and therefore had a lower likelihood of developing ice crystals,” explains Orso. Barely Bread is satisfied with the results, she notes: “Those aspects were an additional undertaking from an R&D standpoint, but well worth it.”

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

NextinBIG THING salami...isn’t salami!



D’Artagnan’s new Line of Saucisson Sec 3 distinctive flavors — Pork, Duck and Wild Boar — offer superior quality, taste and variety to meet the evolving demand of your customers.

Antibiotic and hormone free No added sodium nitrates or nitrites No preservatives or additives Shelf-stable Small case count Display program

For more information, visit us at or call 1-800-DARTAGNAN and ask for your Retail Sales Department

Meal Solutions

Fresh Food

Dinner Solved

Meal solutions appeal particularly to Millennials, Gen Xers. By Randy Hofbauer


lue Apron. Hello Fresh. Plated. These and other services have become saviors for today’s busy foodies who desire to rule their kitchens but lack the time — and, in some cases, the expertise — to so much as boil an egg. These services, which deliver boxes of pre-measured and -packaged ingredients, along with corresponding recipes selected by the customer, have exploded into a $1.5 billion market over the past five years and are projected to double that amount in the same timespan to come, according to Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Md.-based market research firm, in its April 2016 report “Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S.” Grocers have reason to fear these services and their rising popularity: Why would consumers

spend valuable time in a brick-and-mortar store when they could order neatly bundled ingredients to arrive at their doorsteps? But they also have reason to take share of their own: Broken down by servings, meal kits equal roughly $10 per person, compared with the $4 per person from meals cooked using components purchased in a store, explains The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. “Retailers that are most successful with these programs are positioning them as premium taste, but not premium cost,” says Andrew Moberly, director of category solutions with Stamford, Conn.based branding firm Daymon Worldwide. As an example, he points to one grocer that offers solutions with all of the components necessary to make a family meal that costs about $3 to $5 per person.

Whenever I work with customers regarding meal planning, I always tell them to plan around the protein.” —Elisabeth D’Alto, Wakefern Food Corp.

November 2016 | |


Fresh Food

Consider the prospect of having to open a 5-pound package of chicken breasts, only needing 1 pound, and having exactly 30 minutes to get dinner ready.” —Andrew Moberly, Daymon Worldwide


Meal Solutions

Draw Millennials, Gen Xers Meal solutions could appeal particularly to Millennials and Generation Xers, considering their refined tastes but busy schedules and relative lack of cooking experience. Polling a group made up of Gen X and Millennial shoppers, meat processor Cargill notes that 68 percent of those who consume red meat say cooking shows their creativity, but 49 percent believe it’s hard work. Additionally, while 69 percent seek new recipes, 50 percent say they have limited time to cook, and although 56 percent often try to copy restaurant recipes at home, 47 percent know how to prepare only a few meals. Combined with the fact that 41 percent of consumers say that they purchase valueadded meat and poultry products — up from 23 percent a year ago — the data suggest not only that meal solutions could be important in gaining the attention of Millennials and Gen Xers, but also that meat could play a central role as a component. Elisabeth D’Alto, a registered dietitian with the ShopRite division of Keasby, N.J.-based retailer cooperative Wakefern Food Corp., agrees about the centrality of meat to grocers’ meal solutions. “Whenever I work with customers regarding meal planning, I always tell them to plan around the protein,” she notes. “This helps to make your shopping and meal planning so much easier.” For its part in helping grocers, Cargill has recently been working to reinvent its Today’s Kitchen line of meal kits, which offers not only protein-centric solutions, but also easy methods of cooking. Grocers can work with the Minnetonka, Minn.-based processor to offer solutions from beef and pork roasts with ready-to-cook vegetables to internationally inspired skewers, giving customers the chance to “explore new and interesting meals without the time-consuming prep work” while

still being able to “bolster their foodie reputation,” says Tammy Shaw, VP of Cargill beef marketing. Additionally, to address the 54 percent in Cargill’s research who say that they would cook more often if they had less to clean up, Today’s Kitchen offers cook-in-bag packaging for slow cookers. In addition to being convenient, cook-in-bag packaging also can add a healthy element to a meal solution. For instance, Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper Supermarkets offers Create, Take & Bake Seafood Dinners, customizable fresh seafood meals prepared at the department counter that can be steamed at home in one package within minutes. Customers simply select a portion of seafood, a portion of fresh-cut vegetables and a sodium-free spice blend, all of which are packaged in a steamer bag that cooks quickly in the oven, ending in a sensible, healthful meal that is properly portioned.

The Proper Portion “Portion” gets particular emphasis from Daymon’s Moberly when it comes to developing meal solutions. For instance, with meal kits — takeaway or delivery — uncooked meat is prepackaged in the exact portion needed for a recipe. “This may seem like a simple concept, but consider the prospect of having to open a 5-pound package of chicken breasts, only needing 1 pound, and having exactly 30 minutes to get dinner ready,” Moberly says. “The customer likely will not be making that recipe tonight, opting for something that will fit within the allotted time.” Jewel-Osco, a Chicago-area grocery banner of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. Inc., addresses the importance of portioning with the Perfect Pairings program, now being implemented chain-wide by the grocer’s meat and seafood merchandising team. The grocer first began the program after a local chef began teaching cooking classes to patrons of the Kinzie on the Rocks bar in a Chicago JewelOsco. The now-expanded program incorporates multiple categories — including uncooked, portion-packed protein items, which save guesswork and reduce potential waste — to create simple meal solutions. Local chefs develop the recipes, and components are available in a convenient bunker that always features a protein item and a fresh produce item. “The recipe will be featured in our ad, and there will be in-store signage to support the program,” a Jewel-Osco spokeswoman says.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

The taste of THANKSGIVING in every DELI slice

Our legendary Thanksgiving taste is now available year-round at the service deli, with Butterball’s Signature Thanksgiving Roasted deli turkey. Made from premium whole turkey breast and browned in oil, it’s holiday quality flavor that your deli shoppers will love each and every season. For more information about Butterball Deli Turkey, contact your Butterball Sales Representative or email ©2016 Butterball, LLC. BUTTERBALL is a trademark of Butterball, LLC.

Fresh Food

Meal Solutions

Paired For PerFecTion For its Perfect Pairings program, Jewel-osco merchandises ingredients for an individual recipe, including portioned proteins, in dedicated bunkers.

Theme Time Themes and occasions, too, help support meal solution programs, observes Tracy Miller, director of product innovation and management at St. Cloud, Minn.-based poultry processor GNP Co., which offers the Gold’n Plump brand. For instance, ground chicken, shredded cheese and taco shells can be put together in a single display to communicate a “Taco

Tuesday” dinner, supporting a weekly American tradition in many households. Additionally, holidays — especially those in the winter — can be a prime time to offer meal solutions with packaged meats, especially considering how much help hosts could use preparing anything from appetizers to desserts. For its part, Gold’n Plump works with select grocers to develop promotional solutions based on its chicken meatballs, pairing them with similar items for holiday entertaining. The campaign is timed to coincide with the winter holidays, when meatballs are particularly popular. And some go to greater lengths than others to communicate such themed messages, tying in multiple platforms to create one message, both inside and outside the store, surrounding meal solutions. Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets, for instance, combines its Menu magazine with in-store messaging and displays to help patrons answer not just the commonly asked question of “What’s for dinner?” but also “Do I have the time or expertise to make that?” “Can I take that to go?” and, perhaps most important, “Will I even like this dish?”

Go Big or Go Home


A Family of Artisan Butchers Goes for Taste-bud Gold!

Godshall’s Quality Meats (GQM Inc.) faced a dilemma most producers would love to have. A popular flagship SKU, whose following was beyond loyal; evangelizing the brand on social media. Godshall’s was so busy keeping up with the ever-expanding demand for Turkey, Maple Turkey, Chicken and Beef Bacons, that many of the family’s cherished recipes never got a chance to be shared. But that’s about to change! Starting in Q4 2016, Godshall’s is rolling out a shopping-cart full of delicious specialties that are aimed straight for the flavor and clean label preferences of modern consumers. First up are CRUMBLZ, a line of all-natural, uncured, Fully Cooked Turkey Bacon Crumbles with Bold Flavors like Chili Lime, BBQ, and Smoky. Too exciting for just salads, CRUMBLZ pack enough smoked, seasoned zing to make a perfect ingredient for pizzas, wraps, sauces, pastas, soups and center plate pleasers!


Next are a line of five ALL Natural, Fully cooked and delightfully seasoned turkey breasts. From Cranberry and Maple Apple, to Peppercorn Honey, Cuban Spice and BBQ Seasoning, these turkey breasts are ready to enjoy right out of the package or served piping hot as a main course. Godshall’s is offering more, and consumers are eager to bring these family favorites home!

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


Fresh Food

Meal Solutions

For example, in one issue, Wegmans used an Asian theme and ran a number of Asian-inspired recipes, among other related content. Typically, the grocer features special signage and displays surrounding the current Menu theme throughout the store, often incorporating and merchandising ingredients from various recipes from the issue in a single central area to ease shopping.

Keeping your perimeter fresh…

With one recipe in the issue — for Dashi Beef & Mushrooms — the magazine provided step-bystep instructions along with the ingredients needed, including several store-brand items, and even running a Ready to Go logo announcing a prepared version available at the Asian section of the grocer’s Market Café bars for those who might not have time to cook, even with all of the ingredients and instructions in one convenient place. This is where brickand-mortar grocers have an advantage that mail-order meal kits don’t: Prepared versions of select recipes in each issue can be tried before purchasing ingredients, eliminating the risk of spending money to make a disappointing meal.

…one pouch at a time. Shopping habits are changing as consumers look to the grocery store perimeter for fresh food, snack or meal ideas. Robbie pouches are designed with the latest technology in fi lms, proprietary venting and zipper closures to answer the consumer’s craving for freshness.

Call 1-800-4-Robbie or visit


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Deli Does It Of course, whether from the meat counter or pre-packaged in a refrigerated case, packaged meats alone aren’t the only protein options for grocers developing meal solutions. The deli can provide choices, too, while eliminating part of the cooking process. Taking advantage of this reality, Nestlé Professional, the Glendale, Calif.-based foodservice division of global food manufacturer Nestlé, has introduced a program that pairs prepared meats at the deli, such as rotisserie chicken. “Meat has always been available at delis,” says Todd Muller, brand manager for Nestlé Professional. “The variety is new, and what Nestle Professional is trying to bring is the rest of the meal around the protein. Whether it’s premium, quality sides or our new home meal-solution kits, the goal is to create a restaurant-quality, fresh meal for the deli customer. Our new products include sauce, seasoning and pasta, and allow the deli operator to add their own protein to customize the home meal solution and make it their own.” After the meal is prepared, customers simply take it home and pop it in the oven. Further, the program can kill two birds with one stone: Deli operators can simply open packaged meat close to its sell-by date and use that in the meal solution, thus eliminating potential food waste. For example, deli operators can add rotisserie chicken to Nestlé cavatappi noodles and cacciatore sauce, or seafood atop Nestlé Chipotle Mac & Cheese, for what Muller calls a “spicy twist to a traditional favorite.” PG


3 out of 5 millennials

don’t define themselves as a “millennial.” Who are you marketing to?

Hear what millennials are really saying. Learn more at

Powered by :


Fresh Food

Eternal Flavor Innovative programs and a focus on quality are making stone fruit a year-round sensation. By Jennifer Strailey


hile the season for sought-after domestic stone fruit is short and sweet, thanks to a heightened focus on quality among Southern Hemisphere growers and strategic ripening programs here at home, it’s always an exciting time for juicy mangoes, nectarines, peaches, cherries and more. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the first retailer in the United States to implement a year-round ripe and ready-to-eat mango program. In partnership with the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board (NMB), the mega-retailer’s senior director of quality control, Gary Campisi, and senior produce merchant, Wynn Peterson, spearheaded the program, which has produced significant year-over-year growth in the mango category since its inception in 2012. Peterson and Campisi were named the 2016 Mango Retailers of the Year at the NMB’s Annual Mango Industry Reception, held during the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Orlando last month. Walmart was selected from more than 100 retailers that partner with the NMB across the United States,

for going above and beyond in the mango category. “Our mango-ripening program has been so successful with the help and assistance of the mango board,” says Campisi. “They helped to educate our quality control team across 40 distribution centers. “We wanted this ripening program to be as good as our other ripening programs for bananas, avocados and pears. Once we started ripening mangos, we saw an increase in sales,” he adds. An investment in pricing and promotions were also essential to the program’s success,” says Peterson. “We knew that if we gave the customer a good experience, they would come back for more.” Walmart also recognized that consistency of quality was critical to driving sales. “You have to build that trust and offer a ripe mango every time,” Campisi asserts. “You can’t disappoint the customer, so it’s really important to be consistent.” The NMB also worked with Walmart to provide education on how to tell if a mango is ripe and how to cut it.

You have to build that trust and offer a ripe mango every time.” —Gary Campisi, Walmart

Q4 Mango Outlook While mango supplies typically slow in the fourth quarter, the NMB reports that this year’s crops from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru are expected to overlap, while offering consistently high volumes. As such, the board is encouraging retailers to promote mangos through the end of the year. Extended availability is good news for both retailers and consumers. Programs like the one at Walmart are further moving the dial on mango consumption. “We’ve seen mango volume grow by 50 percent in the last 10 years,” notes Rachel Muñoz, director of marketing for the NMB. “This can be attributed to the work done within our marketing programs, which includes directto-consumer media campaigns, retail promotions, foodservice outreach to increase mango on menus, nutrition outreach, and a new website launch.” The NMB finds that both average dollars per store per week and volume were up in 2015, compared with the previous year. November 2016 | |


Fresh Food

Stone fruit was one of the highlights of the 2016 Chilean stone fruit season.” —Karen Brux, Chilean Fresh Fruit Association


What’s more, fresh-cut mango sales were $59.2 million in 2015, up 29 percent from 2014 and a staggering 47 percent from 2013. Looking ahead to 2017, the board plans to continue its Ripe and Ready-to-Eat program to help bring a riper fruit to consumers. “We are also going to be focusing on a varieties campaign that will educate consumers on the top [mango] varieties available in the U.S.,” says Muñoz.

Forever Summer As countries from Peru to Brazil to Argentina to Chile continue to focus on improved quality, more U.S. retailers are taking a second look at stone fruit from the Southern Hemisphere. “Stone fruit was one of the highlights of the 2016 Chilean stone fruit season,” enthuses Karen Brux, managing director North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, in San Carlos, Calif. “The fruit was juicy and flavorful, and more retailers than ever promoted it to their customers.” In 2016, the association ran its first-ever series of peach demos, accompanied by large displays, at a major nationwide club store. “Even though there was a display of considerable size, many consumers were just walking by it and heading to their ‘typical’ winter fruits,” Brux recalls. “Of those who tried the peaches, most were pleasantly surprised and bought a large clamshell. We need to keep investing in this type of consumer education.” An exploration of new varieties is further helping to elevate the quality of produce from the Southern Hemisphere, according to Karin Gardner, marketing communications manager for Oppy, in Coquitlam, British Columbia, who sees increased potential from peaches and other stone fruit from below the equator. “Peaches have led the stone fruit category in annual volume movement and dollar sales for the last three years and possibly more,” she says. “Southern Hemisphere growers are introducing new peach varieties that are better suited to the production and transportation processes required for the North American market, delivering better flavor and consistency.”

While encouraging consumers to try these fruits is key to driving sales, Brux admits that retailer education is equally important. “Chile’s quality has been improving year on year,” she asserts, “and retailers are discovering that it’s a valuable offering to their shoppers and produce department.” In terms of supplies, the outlook this season is bright. Volumes are up not only for Chile’s peaches, but also for its nectarines, plums and cherries as compared with last-year totals. When it comes to creating in-store excitement with Chilean stone fruit during the winter, Brux recommends promoting unique varieties like the lemon plum. Available January through February, lemon plums from Chile are another way retailers can add excitement to winter fruit displays. Found only in Chile, this exotic fruit is a novel hybrid of citrus and plum. The fruit changes from yellow to red when it’s ready to eat. Supermarkets can also take advantage of the association’s partnership with Tajin to run flavorful cross-promotions. The 2016 partnership, which will run again in 2017, included demos and contests with the Mexican produce-seasoning company at numerous California retailers, including Vons, Albertsons, Stater Bros., Mi Pueblo Foods, Super King Markets and Northgate Markets.

Cherry on Top According to Forever Fresh, a vertically integrated sales and marketing company in Philadelphia, Chilean cherry production is expected to be up 35 percent over last season. “The Chilean growing season has been near perfect,” asserts Evan Myers, general manager of Forever Fresh. “We’ve had a perfect winter that has provided significant chill hours for high cherry production.” Forever Fresh expects to market more than 400,000 cases of fresh Red and Rainier cherries in North America this season. Airfreight arrivals will kick off the Chilean cherry season this month, with additional vessel arrivals continuing through the end of January. Further, Forever Fresh will offer new air cherries from Argentina, with arrivals starting in mid-February and continuing through the first week of March. The cherries are available in traditional standup pouches and Forever Fresh’s new controlled-atmosphere 1-pound top-seal clamshells. PG For more about stone fruits, visit


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016



Committed to unparalleled excellence 365/24/7, Avocados From Mexico is honored to be recognized in the avocado category. Leading the way as the #1 selling brand of avocados in the U.S., Avocados From Mexico supplies more than 2 billion pounds of avocados while consistently supporting our retail partners with the resources and tools necessary to make their produce business soar. Many thanks to manufacturers, our retail partners and to Progressive Grocer for the privilege of being recognized with the Category Advisor Award.

Think Big. Think Mightie. With 28% growth this past season, Mighties has driven double-digit kiwi category growth two years running. Stock Mighties, the delicious, nutritious and easy-to-eat snack that is dramatically increasing kiwi consumption. | 213-612-9957

Mighties is a trademark of Sun Pacific. Based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Perishables Group FreshFacts® Service for Sun Pacific’s custom kiwi category, 24-week period ending 4/30/16, for Total US Grocery . Copyright © 2016 Nielsen


Fresh Food

Rad Roots

Consumers dig the healthful fiber, vitamins and nutrients in root vegetables of all kinds. By Jennifer Strailey


rom earthy beets to satisfying sweet potatoes to fresh turmeric, nutritionpacked root vegetables are on every health-conscious consumer’s radar. Root vegetables are a healthful source of fiber, and many are high in vitamins and powerful sources of antioxidants. More enticing still, these storehouses of nutrition are available in the winter when many locally grown vegetables aren’t in season. Progressive grocers can make the most of this tasty trend with displays and in-store demos that showcase the diversity and depth in this superhealthful category.

Surge in Spice Roots Spice roots, including ginger, turmeric and galangal, not only season a full spectrum of popular cuisines, they also deliver handsomely on the healthand-wellness score. “Without a doubt, turmeric is our No. 1-selling root,” affirms Steven Zapata, assistant store manager in charge of produce for Bravo Supermarket, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. He finds that recent press about the health benefits of turmeric is driving demand. Indeed, from its powerful anti-inflammatory effects to its strong antioxidant properties, turmeric is making health headlines. Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s Specialty Produce, which has named turmeric “this year’s hottest trend in food,” points to scores of magazines and leading food and cooking websites that tout fresh turmeric for its bright color, vibrant flavor and more concentrated level of curcumin, the compound that gives the root its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. “We see more retailers adding fresh turmeric to their produce departments because shoppers are asking for it,” says Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s. The company offers fresh turmeric root from Jamaica and Fiji in convenient 4-ounce, 6-ounce and 8-ounce clamshells, as well as in bulk. Caplan

recommends merchandising fresh turmeric alongside other flavorful roots like ginger and beets. The Pembroke Pines Bravo sells around 30 kinds of tropical roots. Beyond turmeric, what’s hot in a given week often depends on the price and whether the item is advertised in the store’s circular, according to Zapata. “People love specials,” he enthuses, pointing to a recent malanga sale. “We sell three times what we typically sell in a week when it’s on special.” Bravo carries malanga blanca — its most popular malanga root — as well as malanga lila and malanga amarilla.

Tropical Root Tactics Tropical roots in general are increasing in popularity as ethnic cuisines and more adventurous eating become the norm. These roots are also now grown in more areas of the globe than ever before. “In tropical regions of the world, root crops are an important and major source of food. While many roots are originally from certain continents, they are now grown around the world, with roots of Asian and African origin now common in the Americas, and vice versa,” explains Marc Holbik, of Ecoripe Tropicals, a Miami-based importer and distributor of tropical fruits and vegetables, including a wide

Without a doubt, turmeric is our No. 1-selling root.” —Steven Zapata, Bravo Supermarket

November 2016 | |


Fresh Food

More retailers are learning to cater to the diverse cultural demographics of their area, and carrying tropical roots helps bring in customers.” —Marc Holbik, Ecoripe Tropicals


selection of tropical root vegetables. To avoid confusion in this extensive category, Ecoripe groups its tropical root selection into six main groups: taro roots, malangas, yams, spice roots, sweet potatoes, and cassava or yuca, the last of which Holbik notes is the third-largest source of carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and corn. “Originally from South America, it is now grown throughout the tropics,” he says. “Here in the U.S. market, we distribute cassava from Costa Rica that is waxed to preserve its freshness, and has one of the strongest demands in terms of volume.” Like Zapata, Holbik sees an increase in demand for tropical roots from both immigrant communities that originate from tropical regions and increasingly healthconscious Americans of other ethnic backgrounds. “More retailers are learning to cater to the diverse cultural demographics of their area, and carrying tropical roots helps bring in customers. As these roots [become] more available, they provide an alternative to other consumers looking for more healthy foods in their diet,” affirms Holbik. When it comes to merchandising tropical roots,

Holbik recommends that retailers group them together with tropical fruits to draw attention to the category. “As demand increases, the roots can then be integrated with other, more common roots,” he says.

Sweet Potato Surge Consumers are sweet on sweet potatoes. An excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C, manganese, potassium and dietary fiber, these tubers are also delicious and satisfying. According to Black Gold Farms, in Grand Forks, N.D., sweet potato consumption went from 5.2 pounds per capita in 2009 to 7.6 pounds in 2014. The sweet potato grower, shipper and marketer also

Sweet and sound.

When you’re grown in the safety of a peaceful greenhouse, looked after by nurturing Associates, and tenderly handpicked off

the vine–how can you not grow up to be sweet?

Tomatoe aised ight. © 2016 NatureSweet Tomatoes

Fresh Food


points to the latest data from Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen Perishables Group, which show that for the 52 weeks ending July 2, sweet potatoes now account for 17.4 percent of total fresh potato dollar sales. This month, Black Gold is shipping sweet potatoes from Dawson Farms, in Delhi, La. “The sky’s the limit for this healthy, sweet and versatile potato,” asserts Leah Brakke, Black Gold’s director of new business development. From Steamin’ Sweets to 3-pound bags to cartons, Black Gold offers a range of “Legendary Louisiana Sweet Potatoes.” Convenient and value-added sweet potato products are helping drive sales in the category, notes Laura Hearn, marketing and business development director for Nash Produce, in Nashville, N.C. “Today’s consumers want to purchase something that is eye-catching, informative, convenient to transport and store, but most importantly, quick and easy to prepare,” she explains. “We have worked to create an entire value-added product line that is ideal for people on the go who want a healthy alternative with minimal cooking time or cleanup.” Nash offers an easy-carry tote bag with 2 to 10 pounds of potatoes, individually wrapped microwave potatoes, and bulk. According to Hearn, the most popular items are those offering the greatest ease of preparation, namely, the 1.5- pound microwave steamable bag of petite potatoes, the 2-pound gusseted bags and the tray-packed sweets. The aforementioned products are also available in purple or white sweet potato varieties. Nash reports an exponential increase in demand for these items since their introduction to the marketplace. “The convenient items are where the growth is in produce,” asserts Hearn. “I see much potential in continuing to build out the convenience/value-added product offering in sweet potatoes. In fact, we are working on introducing a new item this year, but it is in the early stages, so too soon to disclose.” PG For more about root vegetables, visit


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


©2016 Flowers Foods


Y . Y .


At Nature’s Own, we believe in getting the most out of Life. We bake our Life breads to not only answer simple nutrition solutions, but to be delicious to the last bite. They’re six reasons for shoppers to fill their carts so they can live Life to the fullest.


HEALTH & WELLNESS IN-STORE Volume 5, Number 5 • •

November 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS 123 128 130 134 139 142

Health-and-wellness Landscape Transparency is the New Normal Trending in Health Claims that Count Winning RD strategies Having the Conversation: Tips from MyPlate

Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions


Provides Skin Hydration*

The #1 Brand for Hair, Skin & Nails◊

Helps with the Appearance of Fine Lines Around the Eyes*

Promotes Hair Strength*

Beauty Starts on the Inside™ © 2016 Nature’s Bounty, Inc.


* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. ◊ Source:

Nielsen xAOC 52 weeks ending 6/25/16. †Individual results may vary. ‡VERISOL® and Bioactive Collagen Peptides ® are registered trademarks of GELITA AG.


Health and Wellness In-store Grocery retailers employ various approaches to H&W. By Joan Driggs


he grocery retail industry recognizes that the shopper is in control, with more choices than ever on where and how to shop. When it comes to health and wellness, consumer control includes need as much as want, and there’s a lot of upside for retailers heeding the healthy call. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness, according to Andrew Mandzy, director of strategic health-and-wellness insights at Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen. Rather, there are many factors that inform a shopper’s path to health, including rising health care costs, demand for transparency, and an aging population. Mandzy was part of the Progressive Grocer-sponsored “Courting Today’s Health-Oriented Shopper” symposium at the Path to Purchase Expo, held in September in Rosemont, Ill.

access to health insurance for the first time. While millions of these Americans are Millennials who’ve landed jobs with benefits, many more millions gained access through the Affordable Care Act. The traditional health care system can’t support the influx of those in need. The grocery industry, however, is embracing the age-old connection between food and health. Initiatives can be simple, such as shelf tags that alert shoppers to product attributes, or as advanced as in-store clinics that provide ongoing support for chronic conditions. As consumers grapple with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or even an allergy, they’re scrambling for solutions. Supermarkets are in a unique position to provide the support they need to take ownership of their own health.

Health Scope Since 2010, 20 million Americans have gained

Retail to the Rescue What at one time set retailers apart from one anNovember 2016 | |



other — in-store pharmacies or dietitians — is now becoming part of the grocery landscape. Food Marketing Institute (FMI) reports that 95 percent of stores employ dietitians at the corporate, regional and store levels. Hy-Vee is a standout, as the West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain has a dietitian in nearly all of its 240 stores in eight Midwestern states. FMI reports in its 2014 Retailer Contributions to Health & Wellness survey that “almost all stores [29 retail banners reporting] have pharmacists on staff.” More than half — 54.2 percent — of respondents to Progressive Grocer’s 2016 Retail Pharmacy Review indicate that their pharmacies are actually part of a larger “wellness department” within the store. Many are expanding the size and scope of offerings to be a one-stop health destination for shoppers. This move toward complete care is exemplified by Cincinnati-based Kroger, which supports nearly 200 Little Clinics across various banners and 10 states. These clinics offer such broad services as screenings, vaccinations, physicals and treatment for many common illnesses. At the retail level, these wellness professionals interact with shoppers where the traditional medical

community can’t — at the shelf. Learning how to shop for healthful items, meal planning, reading labels and other initiatives are the unique province of grocery retail. And data indicate that shoppers are taking notice: Nielsen reports that 45 percent of Americans are reading food labels, and half are consciously eating more fruits and vegetables in an effort to address health and wellness.

Health Costs If good health isn’t enough of a motivator, Americans are also increasingly concerned with how they’re going to pay for health care. According to Nielsen’s Strategic Health Perspectives, a survey of more than 10,000 U.S. adults conducted in 2016, 43 percent of respondents consider reducing their out-of-pocket health care costs to be a top priority. The high cost of health care is a key reason that people are looking to more affordable over-thecounter (OTC) medications, and are being less compliant with prescribed medications, taking them less often or in smaller doses than recommended. But it’s also true that people want to own their own ailments, and include OTC, exercise and better eating among solutions they can control.

Aloe Vera Beverages: What To Look For WHAT TO LOOK FOR


From the Leaf or Powder?

Is the aloe vera reconstituted from cheaper powder, or naturally extracted from the actual aloe vera leaf?

ALO Drink uses only aloe vera directly from the aloe vera plant, not reconstituted from powder.

Aloe Vera Content & Quality?

What is the actual % of real aloe vera in the drink? What about the size of the aloe vera pulp?

ALO Drink has among the highest real aloe vera content in the market at 25%. Whereas all other brands use a single stage filling process where the pulp, juice, and water are filled in one step, ALO uses a proprietary 2-stage, sequential bottling process that allows for the largest pieces of aloe vera pulp in the market.

Contains Real Fruit Juice?

Cheaper aloe vera drinks use artificial flavors or minimal juice to flavor their drinks.

ALO Drink uses real fruit juices for great tasting, unique, natural blends that contain 15% to 30% juice depending on the flavor—the highest among RTD aloe vera drink brands.


Are the ingredients certified to contain only non-genetically modified ingredients? Non-GMO verification is increasingly important to American consumers. The Non-GMO Project is spending considerable time and resources to educate consumers on GMOs. Whole Foods Market, in fact, has very publicly announced the complete phase out of any products containing GMOs over the next couple years.

ALO Drink is the only ready-to-drink aloe vera beverage that is Non-GMO Project Verified.

Market Position?

What is the brand’s position in the marketplace?

ALO Drink is the #1 aloe vera brand in U.S. grocery channel and has an 87% market share in the U.S. natural channel. ALO is growing consistently year-over-year in all channels of trade including grocery, mass, food service, club, and convenience; and is now available in 70 countries worldwide. *SPINS 52 week as of August 7, 2016

Goodness From Inside Out™

Always refreshing and always free of artificial flavors, preservatives and colors


Americans Focus on Health and Wellness


have seen a doctor at least once


are trying to eat healthier


have gotten health information online


read food labels to make healthier choices


are consciously eating more fruits and vegetables

Source: Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives Survey, June 2015

Nielsen’s Mandzy reports that 87 percent of Americans are taking some steps to be healthy or managing a condition, from following a specific diet or exercise (66 percent each), to taking vitamins or supplements (75 percent), among other steps. The usage of food as medicine goes beyond “superfoods,” as evidence can be found in the sales growth of more traditional foods — even snack foods — that are made with more healthful ingredients such as kale, lentils or ancient grains. According to Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert, foods labeled with a health attribute have enjoyed a sales increase of 13 percent versus overall flat sales. Retailers can support shoppers’ desire for affordable health solutions with merchandising strategies for more common ailments, including seasonal allergies in the spring and cold/flu relief in winter.

In Search of Solutions Technology has enabled shoppers to search for solutions with their fingertips. An online survey of more than 1,100 consumers by Nielsen in April 2016 found that 74 percent of respondents use Facebook to share health-and-wellness information and tips, one-third of respondents turn to Instagram, and nearly as many use Twitter. Other social media employed by at least 25 percent of respondents include Google+ and Pinterest. Retailers are also turning to digital platforms and social media to share their commitment to health and wellness. FMI reports that 81 percent of retailer respondents to its 2014 “Retailer Contributions to Health & Wellness” study report that they have a dedicated space on their website to engage with customers on the topic of health and wellness. With increasing access to information comes a greater demand for transparency. (See transparency story on page 128.) Just as retailers are investing in health-and-wellness professionals, they also need to educate all staff on products and messaging. Ages in America The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation, topping 75 million. But Nielsen data indicate


that Boomers account for 49 percent of all spending on consumer packaged goods. By 2017, half of Americans will be 50 or older, and are projected to account for 70 percent of total disposable income. By 2050, 19 million Americans will be older than age 85, putting an even greater strain on health care. For retailers, the more meaningful element of the generation gap will be how Boomers and Millennials approach health and wellness. Among findings from the International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2016 Food and Health Survey: Boomers view moderation and portion size as more important than the general population (32 percent vs. 22 percent). Boomers are more likely to define healthy eating as including certain foods (30 percent) than Millennials (17 percent), including whole grains (80 percent versus 70 percent), protein from plant sources (75 percent versus 63 percent), and omega-3 fatty acids (71 percent versus 59 percent). Even beyond particular food types, Boomers are more interested than the general population in the health benefits of foods, particularly weight loss, healthy aging and bone health. And — in especially good news for retailers — when it comes to whom they turn for information on what to eat, Boomers are more likely than Millennials to trust traditional experts like health care professionals (73 percent versus 58 percent) than less conventional sources like bloggers (8 percent versus 18 percent). Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to purchase foods that are organic and vegetarianfed. Mandzy reports that they’re more focused on transparency driven benefits such as values-driven products. Because the population will continue to age, it’s in the best interest of retailers to adopt programs and strategies to serve the health-and-wellness needs of shoppers on the terms that they’re most comfortable with, with messaging that imparts the value of the purchase, and in a way that demonstrates full transparency for the products and the retail banner. PG

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

FIND YOUR HAPPY WEIGHT Try the NEW Atkins Meal Bars!

ma de

w it h



Transparency is the New Normal Tech-enabled consumers are impacting the cultural wellness shift. By Joan Driggs


ew tools, new, healthier rules. As the population becomes increasingly comfortable with the rapid development of fingertip — not to mention hands-free — technology, we’re becoming empowered to dig a little deeper and ask more questions. For shoppers, the result is more informed purchasing decisions. For companies that don’t have the answers shoppers seek, the result could be lost sales. Consumers “want total transparency around us, on us, in us,” said Michael Forhez, global VP, consumer markets at Trenton, N.J.-based 1WorldSync, during his presentation, “Invest in Transparency Initiatives that Make a Difference,” at the Progressive Grocer-sponsored “Courting Today’s Health-Oriented Shopper” symposium at the Path to Purchase Expo in Rosemont, Ill., in September. In the grocery retail space, transparency can be either an attribute, such as a product’s origin or ingredients, or a value, such as sustainability or animal welfare. According to Forhez, consumers “are asking tough questions and making hard judgments on such issues as GMOs, environmentally sensitive, sustainability, animal welfare and Fair Wage practices. These judgments affect — and may determine — the viability of brands throughout grocery retail.” In Nielsen’s 2016 global report “What’s in our Food and on Our Mind,” 44 percent of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that they trust industrially prepared foods, and 73 percent feel positively about companies that are transparent about where and how their products are “Transparency made, grown or raised. is disruptive. According to Andrew Mandzy, diConsumers have rector of strategic health-and-wellness the right to know, insights st Schaumburg, Ill.-based and we have the Nielsen, as quoted in the report: responsibility to “Consumers want to eat more healthfully, but they can’t do it alone. They disclose.” need help from food manufacturers —Rick Davis, Kellogg Co. to offer products that are formulated


with good-for-you ingredients.” Retailers play a part in this mix as well, and need to provide a healthful, well-curated assortment at a perceived good value. Perceived value is key here, as more than two-thirds of respondents — 68 percent — report that they’re willing to pay more for foods and drinks that don’t contain “undesirable” ingredients.

Industry Response Consumer packaged goods companies are responding to this demand. For the largest companies, the response appears to be in the form of snapping up smaller companies that are already answering the call. In just the past year or so, merger-and-acquisition activity includes Hormel’s purchase of Justin’s Specialty Nut Butter and Applegate Farms, Danone’s purchase of White Wave, The Coca-Cola Co.’s investment in Suja Juice, General Mills’ purchase of Annie’s, The Hershey Co.’s purchase of Krave, and Campbell Soup Co.’s purchase of Garden Fresh Gourmet. Further, companies are reviewing and reformulating their portfolios to reduce sugar and remove from

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

brands unwanted ingredients like artificial preservatives and dyes. CPGs and retailers are also committed to transparency initiatives. Denise Morrison, CEO of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell, was quoted earlier this year as saying, “Transparency is the coin of the realm.” Her company, along with Mars Inc., Kellogg Co. and General Mills, announced earlier this year that it would voluntarily label GMO ingredients in its products. Campbell is also among the 30 companies that support the SmartLabel initiative put forth by the Washington, D.C.-based Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). SmartLabel was among the transparency initiatives discussed during Forhez’s session at the “Courting Today’s Health-Oriented Shopper” symposium. For the symposium, Forhez brought together a panel of industry executives, each representing a different approach to transparency. Dave Bennett, SVP of procurement and exclusive brands at Chicagobased IGA, which represents 1,100 independent retailers in 43 of the lower 48 states, told attendees: “Health and wellness isn’t new. It’s a focus of independents, who want to sell what shoppers want to buy. IGA has been on top of this trend for 30 years. It’s a living, breathing opportunity we all should be taking advantage of.” It’s not an easy leap to make, however. Rick Davis, VP and global lead, Office of Data Acquisition and Governance, a new position at Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg, noted at the symposium: “Transparency is disruptive. Consumers have the right to know, and we have the responsibility to disclose. “It’s our duty to know and answer the question before it’s asked,” he continued, “but [Kellogg has] 1,200 attributes, and we need to know every step of every ingredient, and we’re not there yet.” According to Davis, the company is currently in the process of “de-Kelloggizing” the company’s Kashi brand. When Kellogg purchased the company, which offers natural and some organic products, in 2000, some of the valuable relationships Kashi had with farmers, who in turn could provide the nutritional information back to the source, were lost. “It’s uncomfortable for us,” acknowledged Davis. “We need to invest in new capabilities that we weren’t geared for.” Jim Flannery, GMA’s senior EVP, spoke about the SmartLabel initiative, which he says “is the next step in our industry’s commitment to transparency.” SmartLabel provides the information consumers — not to mention dietitians, nutritionists, pharmacists and others — want to know, wherever they have WiFi access and whenever they want the facts. The initiative currently organizes more than 350 attributes across food, beverage, household products, pet care and personal care,

all in a consistent format. GMA estimates that nearly 30,000 products will use SmartLabel by the end of 2017; more than 30 companies have already committed to the initiative, including CPGs such as The Hershey Co. and The Clorox Co. and retailers like Ahold USA, Wakefern Food Corp., Kroger, Meijer and Walmart. As Flannery noted, “When you want to know, you want to know, and when you can’t find it, you ask, ‘What are they hiding?’” In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the USDA Branded Food Products Database, with a similar goal to SmartLabel’s, albeit less consumer-facing: to strengthen public health and the open sharing of food composition data. The initiative expands and enhances the existing USDA National Nutrient Database, which serves as the main source of food composition data for governments, the public health research community and the food industry. Kyle McKillop, IT manager, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the University of Maryland in College Park, who works with the USDA on the Branded Food Products Database, told symposium attendees that “my interest is to protect the consumer.” The origin of an ingredient is important to companies and consumers, McKillop said, but the reason for different databases is who the information is being collected for and what form is best for that audience. For all transparency initiatives, McKillop added, “exponentially, you grow the data sets. You continue to add information and share it with the right people at the right time.” “Think of the combined impact of technology, information and culture,” said Forhez. “We have the connectivity technology. We have the information dissemination capability. And we are beginning to understand the ways in which we can use both connectivity and information to impact cultural change: “Social media offers the opportunity to raise the level of cognitive dissonance, and becomes a powerful consumer tool to change corporate and government behavior. “The brand and the consumer will forge a social contract. “Consumers are now in a position to ... force corporations and governments to co-create the world in which they want to live. “Consumers need to begin by changing their own behaviors, practicing mindful and socially responsible personal behaviors and consumption.” As disruptive and uncomfortable as transparency can be, it also presents an opportunity for positive change via government, industry and consumer behavior. Such a culture could be a win for us all. PG

GMA’s SmartLabel initiative provides consumers with transparency in product ingredients.

November 2016 | |



Fad Diet or Healthy Trend?

Six “hot” eating plans are discussed by advocates and observers. By Alan Richman

suggest more far-reaching goals, and some, inevitably, gain considerable consumer attention. In this article, we will explore what advocates and other observers have to say about six of these currently “hot” approaches to eating healthy.

Wakefern Nutritionist Jenna A. Werner discusses the health benefits of fresh produce with a ShopRite customer in Hoboken, N.J.



t any given moment, Americans are bombarded by what might be termed “diet noise.” Magazine pieces, advertisements, infomercials and an occasional report of an actual research endeavor focus mainly on how to lose weight. Some of the eating plans covered by these accounts, however, are aimed not strictly at weight loss, but at overall health. These, arguably,

Paleo Diet Mintel Group, the international research organization with headquarters in London and a U.S. office in Chicago, says the Paleo diet encourages followers to embrace the eating habits of their distant ancestors and focus on fish, meat and just about anything that comes from the earth, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The diet isn’t new, according to Mintel, having been introduced in a book published in 1975. But, the researchers add, it has been trending upward since 2014 — especially among younger consumers — as an extension of the gluten-free movement. “Not only does the diet shy away from processed foods, but it also leaves aside foods that are not part of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ lifestyle, including cereal grains, legumes (including peanuts), dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, salt and refined vegetable oils,” says Mintel. Citing a study released in 2015, Mintel reports that 72 percent of older Millennials (age 25-34), 59 percent of younger Millennials (age 18-24) and 40 percent of non-Millennials (age 35-plus) are open to trying foods made for various diets, including Paleo. This is a major change from 2012, the researchers note, when 87 percent of those who had dieted, were currently dieting or planned to diet in the future hadn’t heard of the Paleo diet, or had heard of it but had no interest in trying it. Low-carb Diet One trend that has been around for a long time is to restrict carbohydrates and emphasize protein. Nevertheless, this approach has lost a bit of its allure in recent years. The Atkins-type regimen may have proved too extreme for consumers to buy into it on a forever

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

“Our glutenDirectory, tailored meal plans, a basis. But, as registered dietitian and Recipe Hub, an Ask-the-Dietitian sports nutrition expert Pamela Nisevich free sets have program and the Gluten-Free Bede told CBS News, “When you keep expanded, with Allergy-Free Marketplace. fats and carbs within reason, you get some stores now Product availability also is a big better success with weight loss.” She providing more part of the avoidance/treatment suggests that people consider swapping than 20 feet of equation. Mintel reports: “The lettuce wraps for sandwiches, add some shelf space.” gluten-free food category grew legumes and bump up the lean protein —Alicia Jerome, 136 percent from 2013-15, reachin their diets. United Family of Stores ing $11.6 billion at current prices. “We address the low-carb approach As manufacturers introduce new, with our Easy Diabetes tours in our reformulated or relabeled gluten-free Market Street stores and our monthly products, the share of gluten-free foods in the total diabetes e-newsletter,” says Alicia Jerome, healthfood category continues to grow. Sales of glutenand-wellness manager for the Lubbock Texasfree foods as a share of total category sales increased based United Family of Stores, which encompasses from 2.8 percent of total sales in 2013 to 6.5 percent the United, Market Street, Amigos and Albertof total sales in 2015.” sons Market banners. Ingles Markets, based in Asheville, N.C., has “We don’t necessarily promote ‘low carb’ in our been a leader in the area of offering customers marketing materials but suggest products for those gluten-free products for more than 10 years, says shoppers managing blood sugars. In November, we corporate dietitian Leah McGrath. “Our webuse our weekly ads, store tours, pharmacy events site provides a list of several thousand gluten-free and promotions to bring awareness to Diabetes items,” she says. “Initially, this was not in response Month,” Jerome adds. to a trend or food fad, but as a way of responding to Meanwhile, Jenna A. Werner, manager of requests from our celiac and gluten-free customers. corporate retail health and wellness for Mahwah, Over the years, I have organized or participated in N.J.-based Inserra Supermarkets Inc., which owns Gluten-Free Expos throughout the Southeast.” 22 ShopRite Stores in New York and New Jersey, Inserra’s Werner chimes in with the observation says: “Low-carb diets seem to be on the [way] out. that gluten-free is “an essential diet for those with With the focus more on healthy fats, whole grains sensitivities and celiac disease.” She adds, “I am and fiber-rich foods, we are seeing way more of a thrilled to see how many better-for-you products are focus on items like beans in different varieties — available as safe options for these individuals.” aka in pasta form! — versus low-carb items. There “Our gluten-free sets have expanded, with will always be customers looking for these lowersome stores now providing more than 20 feet of carb options, but it’s nice to see the focus switch to shelf space,” says United’s Jerome. “We also have a more of a balanced approach.” gluten-free shelf tag in all our stores. The dietitians offer a gluten-free tour of the aisles for those new to Gluten-free diet the gluten-free lifestyle and provide content for the Of the six diet trends under consideration, here’s monthly e-newsletter sent to our gluten-free guests.” a strong consumer option: For about 2.5 million Whole Foods Market, based in Austin, Texas, Americans, a gluten-free diet is a virtual necesalso supports gluten-free living. Its website, www. sity. According to Talia Hassid, communications, features a list of gluten-free manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), products available in the store, tips on foods and in Woodland Hills, Calif., celiac disease affects ingredients to avoid, resources for infor1 percent of the population, making it one of the mation and support, and a variety of world’s most prevalent — yet under-diagnosed — gluten-free recipes, including for genetic autoimmune conditions. special holiday meals. Manifesting itself as an inability to properly digest gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), celiac disease, if not detected early, can lead Mediterranean Diet to such long-term health complications as cancer, In a relatively short time, the coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, neurological so-called Mediterranean deficits, anemia and generalized poor quality of life, diet has gone from paradox according to Hassid. At the same time, she asserts, to promising to proven. “The almost all of the suffering could be eliminated. Mediterranean diet is here to CDF, through its website,, offers stay,” affirms Inserra’s Werner. digital tools for diagnosis and treatment, including “Dietitians and health profesa Symptoms Checklist, a Healthcare Practitioner sionals can all agree on the healthy November 2016 | |



Barilla pasta is the perfect foundation for a nutritious & delicious meal, especially when paired with other healthy foods like olive oil, vegetables, legumes and lean proteins.

Pasta provides

Explore endless wholesome options at * †

2015 Healthy Pasta Meals Scientific Consensus Statement.

©2016 Barilla America, Inc.


to as “good” or “friendly” bactefoods this diet recommends.” These “The Mediterranean ria. When sufficient amounts of include all sorts of fruits and vegdiet is here to stay. the right strains of probiotics are etables; whole grains; legumes; nuts, Dietitians and health ingested, according to celebrity butter, olive oil and other healthy professionals can all nutritionist Keri Glassman, they fats; and herbs and spices instead agree on the healthy can help regulate the digestive of salt to add flavor. foods this diet system, thereby supporting the “Since this is a whole-food aprecommends.” immune system and contributing proach and a way of eating versus to overall health. a fad diet, I am happy to see it —Jenna A. Werner, Inserra Although “probiotics” is probgain longstanding popularity,” Supermarkets Inc. ably not yet a household word, it’s Werner notes. “The true benefit gaining increased attention. The of this diet as it pertains to the Los Angeles-based International Probiotics Assogrocery industry is that all departments can be ciation (IPA) conducts outreach and education efaccounted for and dietitians can really be of benforts such as trade shows, conference appearances, efit in helping shoppers find the best foods from presentations, published materials, position stateeach department.” ments and best practice guidelines. Additionally, says IPA Executive Director George Paraskevakos, Detox/Juicing Diets “We are planning to mount webinars in 2017.” While there are advocates of detox, cleanse and Jerome counts the gut health/probiotics juice diets, Bede, the author of “Run to Lose: A category as “one of our fastest-growing trends” Complete Guide to Weight Loss for Runners,” at United, “especially within the subcategory of isn’t one of them. Conceding that there may be kombucha,” a drink made by fermenting tea ussome justification for this type of diet, if it’s limiting a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, also ed to a day or two, she warns shoppers to beware known as a SCOBY. of following it any longer than that. “When we “The increase of foods available that tout do that day in and day out for weeks, we start to probiotic benefits is incredible,” says Werner. “We get some nutritional deficiencies,” she warns. are seeing these items pop up across so many deOn the other hand, Steve and Julie Prussack, partments — grocery, dairy and produce specifiauthors of “Juice Guru,” contend that juicing need cally. On a daily basis, our RD team is questioned not conjure up images of an austere fast, but inon the benefits of probiotics and gut health, and stead can help consumers “boost vitality, increase many are merchandising these items outside their longevity and stay slim.” They recommend using offices to call more attention to them and their fresh juice as a “break-fast solution” that extends powerful properties.” the overnight cleansing process and enables users It wasn’t always like this, she recalls: “In the to “get all your servings of fruits and veggies out past, there were few options to recommend.” of the way for the day, allowing you to live your Today, however, there’s an abundance of probioticlife as you please — within reason, of course.” rich foods on the shelves, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, microalgae, miso soup, Gut Health/Fermented Foods/Probiotics pickles, tempeh, kimchi and, of course, kombucha. Defined by the World Health Organization “Now it’s easy to find something for everyone,” (WHO) as “live microorganisms, which, when says Werner. “I am loving all the new kombucha consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health varieties especially.” PG benefit on the host,” probiotics are often referred

Hearing, Learning, Sharing “At ShopRite, we understand that new health trends are constantly being popularized,” says Stephanie Perez, retail dietitian program supervisor at Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer co-op whose members operate grocery stores under the ShopRite banner. “As a way to ensure our shoppers are receiving the most accurate information, we currently employ registered dietitians at 140 of our locations. Our nutrition experts offer complimentary services to help dismiss myths and provide sound nutrition advice. Customers are able to meet with our dietitians free of charge for a personalized nutrition consultation or store tour to learn about foods that help meet their individual needs.”

November 2016 | |



Claims That Matter Manufacturers’ labels should accurately reflect the nutritional content of their products. By Elizabeth Fuhrman

ot surprisingly, the most popular healt and-wellness claims for natural, organ and specialty food and beverage produc include Certified Organic, gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified, according to Chicagobased SPINS. These leading product health claims really command a large share of the claims made in t marketplace for natural products today, notes K Lazarski, SPINS’ senior strategic alliance manag “If you take a look at the top successful natur products that are really growing in the market, th almost always have one or all three of the popul claims, such as Certified Organic, gluten-free an Non-GMO Project Verified,” she says. “These claims cross every single category of beverages a foods, beauty and vitamins For example, natural food and beverage pro ucts touting a Certified Organic claim increased 1 percent and topped $1.75 billion in sales for the ye ending June 12, according to SPINS. Products wit gluten-free claims followed, growing 13 percent an reaching $1.4 billion in sales. Products with Non GMO Project Verified claims saw 10 percent sale gains, growing to $798 million “These have been the three biggest claims that are really attributing to the natural industry a have mainstreamed in a larger way across conv tional markets, and they are showing no signs slowing down,” Lazarski affirms But when one looks at percentag growth rates of the fastest-growin “The focus is really claims, a different story emerges on nutrient density According to SPINS, the fastest lately, and having growing health claim for the natura high calories that product market right now is ancien will deliver lots of grains, which has grown 117 percen nutrients and offer for the year ending June 12. SPINS satiation for a longer says to expect more opportunities fo period of time are grains like millet, rye and barley, more important for local food purveyors and restaurateu a stable diet than already understand the value of the avoiding things that hardworking crops. The research firm expects to see more handmade are good for you.” small-batch, artisan and stone-groun —Kora Lazarski, SPINS products as well



Paleo diet-positioned products followed as th next fastest-growing claim, with 73 percent growt last year. Paleo diet-specific products are new an have no nationally recognized product certificatio Lazarski explains. These products have positioned themselves for the Paleo diet, which includes mea fish and vegetables — foods presumed to have bee eaten by early humans While not new, low-sodium claims also continu to grow strongly, with an increase of 73 percent la year. Sprouted claims also grew 50 percent in t past year While these quickly growing claims are a l smaller in volume when compared with the thr most popular health claims for the natural mark place, they’re increasing rapidly, and several tre are driving their growth “Behind these claims, there is this desire for a l more of the nutritious punch for each calorie and d lar that a shopper is spending and eating,” Lazar explains. “Recently, there has just been so mu research that has flooded news sites and airwav about empty calories and certain nutrients that ha really failed to deliver positive health outcomes acr populations. You really see that is driving some of t interest in more nutrient-dense products like sproute ancient grains; Paleo products; and low sodium

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Nex | November 2016






WHAT’S ON YOUR SHELF? Sugar-free with zero calories, no artificial ingredients, non-GMO, and gluten-free DELICIOUS AWARD-WINNING TASTE RUNS IN OUR FAMILY


Wheat offers a prime example of an ingredient of which consumers are looking for a nutrient-dense version. For example, wheat, although it can be beneficial in some capacity, has been villainized by a number of influential diets, including the gluten-free and Paleo regimens. “Even those not allergic and full-on avoiding wheat as a lifestyle are generally looking for products that are unstripped of all their beneficial nutrients and provide a denser dose of nutrients and minerals that somebody wouldn’t get from those traditional products,” Lazarski points out. Among the food and beverage categories, much claim activity is occurring in the beverage category these days, particularly with high-pressure pasteurization (HPP). The technology isn’t solely used for beverages, with crossover into grocery segments starting to occur, as evidenced by refrigerated baby food and hummus.

Affecting Consumer Decisions Claims have a certain power to affect consumer purchasing decisions. They can either promote an additional benefit that the product has, or conversely say what the product doesn’t have. “Oftentimes, what we see when something is advertised for what is taken out of a product, there is an underlying assumption that this product is better for you and whatever is taken out was bad for you and should be avoided,” Lazarski notes. Brands, therefore, are getting a jump on controversial ingredients and highlighting on the label the fact that these ingredients aren’t in the product. Emerging claims in this area include carrageenanfree, xanthan gum-free and palm oil-free. Beneficial claims also help to drive sales, as with a probiotic claim, for example. Products with probiotic claims are a more than $11.4 billion industry that


has grown 5.6 percent for the year ending April 17, according to SPINS. Probiotics also are projected to be a claim category that will continue to grow in popularity, Lazarski predicts. While the probiotics claim is growing quickly, beneficial claims still require clarity. As such, discussion is occurring among academics, regulators and the probiotics industry, because an official consensus doesn’t exist on what a probiotics claim should mean, not only for food and beverage products that contain probiotics, but also for nonfood categories such as beauty, personal care, household cleaners and pet food. “It’s very easy to put a probiotic claim on a product, and it gives it an impression of an official aspect to it, but there is currently no mechanism that is actually testing whether these added probiotics are delivering any kind of health benefit to the consumers,” Lazarski says. Hence, certified claims, such as Certified Organic versus organic, continue to carry weight with consumers, and drive sales for certified products. “[Some] certifications ... are particularly meaningful for shoppers, like gluten-free claims that might be nice to have for some, but for others who have a real gluten intolerance, they need to know exactly what the standards are and certain certifications,” Lazarski explains. On the other hand, all of the health claims associated with the 1990s or early 2000s, such as low-calorie and low-fat, have been plummeting with consumers. “The focus is really on nutrient density lately, and having high calories that will deliver lots of nutrients and offer satiation for a longer period of time are more important for a stable diet than avoiding things that are good for you,” Lazarski says. For success in using claims, Lazarski advises food manufacturers to limit how much explanation needs to be done for the consumer and avoid redundancy. For example, one claim that some products have recently moved away from, for clarity’s sake, is “Made in the USA,” she notes. “This claim can be confusing,” Lazarski adds. “Does it mean that all the products were grown in the U.S., or that the thing was produced in the U.S.? Several major retailers confirmed that they retired the claim from their store brand precisely because there were too many questions and too much friction arising from this claim. ... It is best just to avoid making claims that are only partially true.” Being redundant can also cause confusion, she points out. “Transparency is top of mind for shoppers today,” Lazarski observes, “and brands are best served to use their valuable product label space highlighting what’s great about their product that the shopper can’t immediately see for themselves.” PG

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016



for Business Building Category Management Excellence.


Nature Made® has contributed $41.8M in growth to the VMS category in 2016, which is 29% more growth dollars than any other brand in the category.*

VMS/Health &Wellness Affinity

Profitable Volume Growth

Commitment Supply Shopper Innovation To High Chain Engagement/ Quality Excellence Activation

VMS/ Pharmacy Affinity

Pharmavite Customer Value Proposition P “A trusted, strategic partner who provides innovative sh shopper-based insights and solutions that create loyalty among sshoppers to our customers’ categories and Pharmavite’s products” *fiifilfifififi-fi52fiwfifikfifififiifigfi10fi8fi16 FififififihfifififififififififififififififififififiVfifiififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififi


Retailers’ Healthy Connection Retail dietitian initiatives increase shopper — and banner — health. By Joan Driggs


etail banners continually strive to develop and maintain their own “special sauce” that provides a unique draw for shoppers. For those stores with committed retail dietitians, these health advocates might just be the differentiator. In addition to valuable services such as basic nutrition education and guidance for special diets or restrictions, retail dietitians frequently create their own magic, which in turn creates a loyal, and often healthier, following. Earlier this year, Progressive Grocer recognized its first Retail Dietitian Outreach Innovation Award winners. The awards are given to programs that result in shopper participation and response, increased store traffic, sales increases, and press coverage. PG also considered the resources that went into building each program, and the degree to which the initiative supports the banner’s mission. Three winning submissions represent a spectrum of opportunities for engaging shoppers — and even retailer associates — in the adoption of healthy habits. While one focuses specifically on healthy goals of interested customers, another seeks to educate all shoppers on the inherent health benefits of specific foods. The third works magic by combining two existing initiatives. Read on — hopefully, it will spark some more magic.

One-two Punch Mary Snell, director of health and wellness at Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets, won an Outreach Innovation Award for the Fresh Ideas for Education & Guiding Stars program, which adds to the company’s support for schools with bonus points for purchases of Guiding Stars products. Marsh, which operates nearly 100 stores, has contributed more than $2.8 million in educational equipment to schools throughout its Midwest footprint during the past 11 years through its Fresh Ideas for Education program. The retailer provides schools with a code to use when shopping. Parents, faculty and local supporters link their Marsh Fresh Idea loyalty cards to a school’s code through the program

website. Some 610 schools are enrolled in the program, and more than 16,000 registered shoppers support it. Marsh also employs the Guiding Stars shelflabeling program, which highlights the nutritional value of a product based on information found on the product’s Nutritional Facts panel. Two years ago, Snell combined the Guiding Stars program with Fresh Ideas for Education, upping the credit for purchases of “starred” products. “Each time a shopper purchases a one-, two- or three-Guiding Starred item, their school earns double credit for that product,” Snell explains. Guiding Stars is branded on all cross-promotional materials, and registered shoppers receive monthly communications on healthy recipes. The program runs from August through March of each year, and is supported by print, including promotional handouts, local newspapers and a poster display at schools; digital, including newsletters, websites and parent portals; and social media, including Facebook and email.

Colors of Health Store dietitians from The United Family of Stores, based in Lubbock, Texas, supported the Color Your Basket initiative, a new extension of the company’s Build a Better Basket program, which also includes such elements as Build a Better Basket Expo and Build a Better Lunch Box. Launched in 2016, Color Your Basket highlights healthy shopping tips by color. “The color focus teaches guests what specific health benefits await them and how to maximize their diet choices,” notes Alicia Jerome, United’s health-andwellness manager. Red, for example, is the color for February, and includes a recommendation of serving sizes for such foods as red salmon, red rice, red cabbage, strawberries, red kidney beans,

Health and education team nicely at Marsh Supermarkets.

November 2016 | |



Participants in Homeland Stores’ Get Healthy Challenge lost a collective 586 pounds.

cooked beets and lean red meat, along with the vitamins and nutrients each serving provides. United interweaves Color Your Basket with promotions for Build a Better Basket, which are included in the expo, during which departments highlight the best products and services for those seeking healthier options. In-store videos, which are also posted on Facebook; television spots; and unique content for the retailer’s Health & Wellness newsletter, as well as a blog, all help get the word out and drive attention.

Up for the Challenge Homeland Grocery Stores, part of the 83-store HAC Inc. retail chain based in Oklahoma City, Okla., works with a local sponsor for its annual

Get Healthy Challenge, which requires a 14-week commitment from participants who seek to make “sustainable, healthy decisions for both themselves and their families,” says registered dietitian Alyson Fendrick, who launched the initiative. The program kicks off in late fall with a two-day Wellness Camp, where participants receive baseline screenings and education on key biometric numbers so they can track their health improvements throughout the program. The camp also includes personalized instruction on meal planning, fitness and other behaviors needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. One contestant wins a grand prize of $5,000. An added element for the 2015-16 challenge included HAC employee participants who could vie for a chance to win $2,000. For the program that ended in January 2016, a collective 586 pounds and 387 inches were lost, and total cholesterol was reduced by 250 points. Traditional methods of engagement, including community outreach, website, digital store signage and radio broadcasting, made people aware of the initiative. The true success, however, was in the impact the program had on participants. Winner William W. lost more than 80 pounds during the 14-week challenge that ended in 2016. In subsequent months, he lost an additional 20-plus pounds and continues to focus on his nutrition goals. PG

RD Helpers Front-of-pack info, shelf tags and menu labeling are providing nutrition guidance at supermarkets. Mary Snell, of Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets, created a strong wellness-boosting program by combining the power of the successful Fresh Ideas for Education initiative with the Guiding Stars program. The latter is just one of several shelf tag options that provide at-a-glance info for shoppers and RDs alike. Now in its 10th year, Guiding Stars was created to take the guesswork out of shopping for nutritious products. The program uses the information on the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient list to assign one (good nutritional value), two (better), or three (best) stars. The stars are intended to point shoppers to products that contain more vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and whole grains, as well as less fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar. More than 100,000 foods support the Guiding Stars program. Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway supports SimpleNutrition shelf tags that include 15 attributes for lifestyle/dietary needs and specific nutrition/ingredients, including gluten-free,


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

organic, low-sodium or sodium-smart, good source of protein, and good source of vitamin C or A. Minneapolis-based Supervalu’s nutritioniQ program was created in collaboration with Joslin Clinic, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The program includes 11 distinct nutrient claims in seven categories with color-coded shelf tags. Examples include good source of fiber/orange, and low saturated fat/red. Nuval is a nutritional scoring system that rates products from 0 to 100. The Facts Up Front program, which enlists the support of manufacturers and displays nutritional information on the front of packages, is celebrating its fifth birthday this year. What Guiding Stars is to shelf tags, Facts Up Front is to the actual packages on the shelf. It’s intended to help shoppers determine nutrient values of packaged goods. Companies employing Facts Up Front display how many calories, along with how much saturated fat, sodium and sugar, is in each serving of a product. Some labels may also provide information about other nutrients, including fiber and calcium. To date, 106 brands participate in Facts Up Front.


Tap Into MyPlate

The icon and supporting site offer a wealth of nutrition resources for retailers. By Diane Quagliani


ealth-and-wellness initiatives are booming at grocery. In fact, most retailers employ some type of outreach, whether it’s an elaborate multidepartment program or a simple set of online nutrition tips. Whatever the scope of the initiatives, MyPlate offers a wide range of resources to help retailers provide reliable food and nutrition information to support shoppers.

What is MyPlate? The MyPlate icon is a snapshot look at recommended proportions of the five food groups in a healthful diet, with detailed information, tools and resources found on the supporting website, ChooseMyPlate. gov. Both were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (USDA/CNPP) to translate the science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans into actionable information to encourage more healthful food choices. In a nutshell, MyPlate helps people build healthier diets by making small changes in what they eat; focusing on variety, amount and nutrition; and choosing foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. Because MyPlate is based on solid science translated to consumer-friendly messaging, retailers can use it with confidence for shopper and employee healthand-wellness programs. However, retailers should rely on retail dietitians or other health professionals for counsel on special diet Because MyPlate concerns such as food allergies, glutenis based on solid free options, diabetes and heart disease.

science translated to consumerfriendly messaging, retailers can use it with confidence for shopper and employee healthand-wellness programs.


A Quick Tour of The MyPlate website offers a collection of free tips, interactive tools and ready-to-use handouts and recipes as convenient, cost-effective resources to use in retail health-and-wellness programs. The site contains information for a variety of audiences, including young children, teens and college students, younger and older adults, moms

and moms-to-be, and families. Some materials are available in multiple languages. Because the content on is in the public domain, it’s free to use “as is,” with credit given to USDA/CNPP. It can also be modified in a way that doesn’t change its nutritional integrity and intent if cited as information “Adapted from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Web site.” Below are just a few highlights of the resources found at, and ideas for using them in retail programs. The five food groups — fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy — form the backbone of MyPlate. The site provides an overview of the groups, including examples, recommended amounts to eat, nutrients and health benefits, and tips for including the foods in a healthful diet. The site also tackles trickier topics such as how beans and peas can be counted in either the vegetable group or the protein group, and calcium choices for those who don’t consume dairy. The food group sections offer easy-to-understand information to use in store tours and to help answer shoppers’ basic nutrition questions. Adapt the tips to use as messaging in department-specific promotions (e.g., produce, whole grains) and in weekly ads, instore signage, and web or social media content. With the SuperTracker — a multifaceted interactive tool — users can set up personalized nutrition and physical activity plans (or use a general plan based on a 2,000-calorie diet); track foods consumed, physical activities and weight; look up nutrition information for more than 8,000 foods; create personalized goals; get tips and support through a virtual coaching center; and do online journaling. The new

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Group Challenges function lets groups of people use SuperTracker together, making it a great tool to use for employee wellness programs or community health promotions. The 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series are printable handouts in English and Spanish, each featuring 10 bite-size tips on a variety of topics such as Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits, Choosing Whole Grain Foods, and Healthy Eating for Vegetarians. Handouts could be distributed through in-store kiosks; during theme months (e.g., National Nutrition Month, Whole Grains Month); and at health fairs. MyPlate videos cover inspirational stories from families striving to get healthier by following MyPlate, nutritious cooking and snacking for kids, and even MyPlate songs for children. These could be great additions to in-store nutrition classes and for kid-themed store tours and classroom events. The Seasonal Resources section offers creative MyPlate ideas and activities to use for adult and kid programs throughout the year. The What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl section gives tips and tools for healthy meal planning, cooking and grocery shopping, and features a searchable database of thousands of healthy recipes,

along with options to build a cookbook, print recipe cards, and share recipes via social media. Recipes are sorted in several ways — by MyPyramid food group, for kids, for the budget-conscious, for health goals like reducing sodium or getting more calcium, and more. Use them for health-themed cooking classes and food demos. The BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculator lets users enter their weight and height to learn whether they’re at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight or obese. This is a handy tools to use at wellness screenings and special classes on weight management, diabetes management and prenatal nutrition.

Extending the Reach of MyPlate Grocery retailers can become MyPlate National Strategic Partners to help CNPP promote MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on a national scale. National Strategic Partners are companies and organizations that are nationwide in scope and fulfill certain requirements. To learn more or to apply to become a partner, visit the Nutrition Communicators Network section under the Audience/Professionals tabs. PG

November 2016 | |



Health, Beauty & Wellness

Serious About

Pleasure A category evolves to meet consumer needs. By Barbara Sax


espite a lack of innovation in the sexual wellness category, retailers can find pockets of growth and profitability. “Retailers are expanding their sets to include condoms, lubricants and the occasional toy in a section that also includes pregnancy tests and locating the department adjacent to feminine hygiene,” says Mark Olson, VP of sales and marketing at Las Vegas-based Empowered Products, which markets the Pink brand of personal lubricants. “Over the past few years, retailers have seen an opportunity to capture more sales in that category.” Supermarkets typically devote 4 feet to sexual wellness. Some chains, such as Salt Lake City-based Smith’s, a Kroger banner, house sexual wellness in a half-wall set in front of the pharmacy. Others incorporate the products into the center store OTC aisles.

Consumers are willing to pay more for a premium product, and they are always looking for something new.” —Lisa O’Carroll, Biofilm Inc.


Shakeout in Personal Lubricants There’s been a shakeout in the personal lubricant category. After category leader K-Y, a product of Parsippany, N.J.-based Reckitt Benckiser LLC, had quality control issues several years ago and a number of products were pulled from the market, a host of other brands rushed to fill the vacuum in the market. With the category up only 2.3 percent for the 52 weeks ending Sept. 4, according to multioutlet data from Chicagobased IRI, retailers have been fine-tuning their offerings. Biofilm Inc., maker of Astroglide personal lubricants, had the strongest growth, with nearly 7 percent dollar sales growth. The Vista, Calif.-based company has been

concentrating on premium-priced silicone lubricants, launching its third such product, Astroglide Spark, a silicone-and-water hybrid, this year. Hybrids are becoming a bigger part of the category. “Consumers are willing to pay more for a premium product, and they are always looking for something new,” affirms Lisa O’Carroll, president and CEO of Biofilm. “Given the success of silicone products in the food channel, we feel there’s great growth potential to bring in a larger assortment to drive incremental sales, especially since shoppers are willing to buy these items at their local grocery store.” At the other end of the price spectrum, private label, which represents 13 percent of dollar sales, experienced sales dollar growth of about 4 percent, as did Reckitt Benckiser, with a 45 percent dollar share. Lubricants from Trojan, a brand of Trenton, N.J.based Church & Dwight, haven’t fared as well: The brand was down nearly 5 percent in the lubricant category. “In addition to the big category spenders, a few high-quality brands remain an important part of the category,” notes Empowered Products’ Olson, adding that while more women are comfortable purchasing a lubricant at a supermarket, Pink’s packaging makes it easy to mistake the product for a body lotion or cream. Based on consumer feedback, the company is transitioning its packaging from a pump bottle to a flip-top. It also recently launched Pink Natural, an all-natural waterbased lubricant. The natural segment of the category is likely to drive growth in the future. “There is a new interest and openness to natural- and organic-based product,” observes Wendy Strgar, founder of Eugene, Ore.-based Good Clean Love. “These categories have been some of the fastestgrowing of all personal care in recent years, and one of the last personal care

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

At Irving

Consumer Products we are committed to helping our customers grow by providing premium quality products, superior service and innovation. For your consumer that means quality and value in a locally trusted name.

Quality Household Paper Products • Our Through Air-Dried (TAD) Technology creates a tissue that’s softer, stronger and more absorbent • We can supply a complete product line of facial and bathroom tissue, household towels and napkins • Our quality is on the inside, your store’s name is on the outside • All products made by Irving Tissue are backed by SFI® sourcing requirements

For more information, please contact us at 781-273-3222 •


Health, Beauty & Wellness

categories to see this switch is intimacy products. Since the trend is definitely moving towards cleaner ingredients in other categories, there’s a lot of opportunity.” According to Strgar, while the repurchase rate for lubricants is a dismal 1.5 percent, the repurchase rate for Good Clean Love is up to 25 percent at Cincinnati-based Kroger. “We’re doing a lot of geo-targeting [of] doctors’ offices and are actively sampling in a variety of settings to get product in the hands of consumers,” she adds. The company just introduced a premium, natural silicone-alternative lubricant made with CBD (organic hemp) and carrageenan, which is extracted from seaweed.

There is a new interest and openness to natural- and organic-based product.” —Wendy Strgar, Good Clean Love


Enduring Love Reckitt Benckiser, which purchased the K-Y brand in 2014, recently launched K-Y Duration Spray for Men, an endurance product formulated with lidocaine. The multinational CPG company is supporting the launch with an extensive television, outof-home and online national marketing campaign. Other products prove that there’s a market for OTC endurance products. South Fallsburg, N.Y.based Majestic Drug Co., which markets Mandelay Climax Control Gel, showed a dollar sales increase of 5 percent for the product line. Some chains are also merchandising performance-enhancing supplements into their sets; for instance, Kroger’s Harris Teeter banner carries Applied Nutrition’s Libido Max and Sexual Peak Performance products in its sexual wellness sets. Retailers across all channels experimented with sexual devices as major condom manufacturers introduced products in the mass channel. “Shoppers are more at ease purchasing vibrating devices in their supermarkets and other traditional shopping outlets, provided packaging is discreet and provides just enough information to help consumers self-select products,” says Carol Carrozza, VP of the North America sexual wellness business unit of Ansell, an Australian company with U.S. headquarters in Iselin, N.J. Of the big three condom manufacturers, only the Trojan brand is showing growth in that segment. Condom dollar sales remain sluggish, with dollar sales down nearly 1.5 percent. Reckitt Benckiser’s Durex showed slight growth, while the dollar sales of category leader Trojan slid 2 percent. After a flurry of thinner, premium-priced introductions a few years ago, there hasn’t been much innovation in the category, and condom use among consumers continues to decline. According to Carrozza, best-practice retailers are proactively supporting secondary locations for condoms and lubricants. “More retailers are including condoms and lubricants on side wings, slide-downs

and end caps to drive trial and repurchase,” she notes. “This is increasing velocity in what was always considered a slow-moving category, but Millennials especially are keen to have these products accessible and placed to drive impulse purchase.”

Emergency Contraceptives Generate Profit A history of dollar sales increases in the female contraceptive category, up nearly 9 percent for the previously cited period, is powered entirely by emergency contraceptives. Teva’s Take Action emergency-contraceptive dollar sales were up 21 percent, according to IRI data. Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based Teva also owns the Plan B brand, which was up 8 percent, as well as Next Choice, as a result of the company’s recent acquisition of Actavis, maker of the latter product. Most family-planning items, including emergency contraceptives, are locked in a case at Idaho-based Broulim’s stores. “It’s a high-theft category, so we keep condoms and emergency contraceptives in a case,” says Marcus Hurst, the retailer’s director of pharmacy. “It does create an opportunity for the pharmacist to counsel patients about emergency contraceptives, because timing is important and it has to be taken with food, since it has the potential to cause nausea.” In Giant Food stores in Maryland, Plan B occupies dedicated shelf space in the family-planning aisle, but such products are generally kept behind the pharmacy counter. A pharmacist in one store says that three to four packages are kept behind the pharmacy counter, but theft often keeps store personnel from restocking shelves. A nearby Harris Teeter store has signage in the family-planning section that directs customers to the pharmacy for Plan B. Pregnancy test sales remain flat. Private label products garner the largest dollar share for the category, and branded products are heavily promoted to close the price gap. At Giant, for example, most pregnancy tests were on sale during early October. Recent innovations for Church & Dwight’s First Response brand have given the category a slight boost. First Response’s Early Result Pregnancy Test stick, introduced last year, features a curved handle and a 50 percent wider tip for ease of use. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, the Geneva-based maker of the Clear Blue Easy, Accu-Clear and Fact Plus brands, outpaced category growth with a 5 percent increase in dollar sales. PG

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

April 26 – 28, 2017

The Drake Hotel | Chicago, IL


ANALYTICS IS THE FUEL THAT POWERS THE MODERN ENTERPRISE. Put your company in the driver’s seat by mastering the ability to understand, predict and react to consumer behavior.



etwork and connect with other CG and retail company business intelligence and IT leaders Enhance your understanding of cutting-edge topics like predictive analytics, self-service analytics, semi-sentient technology and data visualization.

Albert Guffanti

KEYNOTE SPEAKER Suja Chandrashekaran, CIO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Former SVP and Global Chief Technology Officer & Chief Data Officer at Walmart


Paula Lashinsky


Revitalize your category with the #1 Hand & Body Lotion manufacturer in the U.S.*

Driving Topline Sales

Delivering Category Growth

Redefining Innovation



#1 Dermatologist Recommended for Dry, Cracked Skin**

Dermatologist Recommended Brand for over 15 years*** , Now in the Red Cap

Want to learn more on how to grow? email us: *Nielsen, xAOC, Beiersdorf, 52 weeks ending 8/6/16, Hand & Body Lotion Category, Dollar Sales **Based on ProVoice Survey, June 2015 to May 2016 ***Based on ProVoice Survey 1998-2015

Health, Beauty & Wellness


Pain Points Marketing and merchandising arthritis products mean understanding purchasers’ needs. By Barbara Sax


rthritis sufferers are smarter today about how they manage their pain and are integrating a number of products, including topical analgesics and thermal and cold wraps, into their pain management routines. “Arthritis is a disease that has to be managed properly,” affirms Lisa Buono, principal for client insights at Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI). “We’re seeing people managing their health holistically.” That holistic approach typically includes internal and external analgesics, categories with strong annual growth rates. The internal-analgesic category had an annual growth rate of 7.4 percent, while the external-analgesic category grew at 7.3 percent annually, but these products aren’t the only OTCs that patients are using to manage their pain, and

consumers aren’t resistant to trading up to products that successfully help them manage their condition. “The product mix for arthritis treatment and the dollars per transaction are far higher today than just five years ago,” says John Incledon, president of Florham Park, N.J.-based Hisamitsu America, maker of Salonpas products. “Trade-up has been a driver of value growth in the category.” Incledon cites the success of TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices, which sell at price points that can exceed $50, and homeopathic topical products, which can carry retail prices of more than $30 for a 4-ounce product. Dollar sales of TENS devices totaled $61 million for the 53-week period ending Aug. 7, according to IRI, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year. The category generates a fraction of the sales commanded by the internal- and externalanalgesic categories, but sales can be an important

The product mix for arthritis treatment and the dollars per transaction are far higher today than just five years ago. Trade-up has been a driver of value growth in the category.” —John Incledon, Hisamitsu America

November 2016 | |



Our pharmacists are always available to give recommendations and advice to customers about arthritis.” —Laura Edmundson, Brookshire Bros.


Health, Beauty & Wellness

incremental ring for supermarkets. Grocery stores generate 7 percent of sales of electrotherapy devices, compared with 20 percent of sales for internal analgesics, 15 percent for external analgesics and 15 percent for supplements. This means that the retail channel has “some opportunity to grow sales in these other categories,” contends IRI’s Buono.

Wraps and More One underdeveloped product area is wraps and compression products, which saw average annual growth over the past two years of 31 percent, according to Buono. “One in five adults has arthritis, so these are consumers who are already shopping in supermarkets,” points out Matt Garver, marketing director at Boston-based Brownmed, maker of Imak Compression Arthritis Gloves. Garver adds that consumers often purchase more than one pair of gloves despite their $23.99 SRP. “If the products work for consumers, price is not a big factor,” he notes. Creams and patches containing lidocaine, an odorless anesthetic, have made a big impact on the topical analgesic category in the past 18 months. External-analgesic rub dollar sales were up more than 10 percent across all outlets for the 52-week period ending Aug. 7, according to IRI data. NFI Consumer Products, the Bristol, Tenn.-based manufacturer of Blue-Emu brand topical pain relievers, was first to the market with a 4 percent OTC lidocaine patch, Lidocare, launched last March. Lidocaine patches were previously only available in a 5 percent version with a prescription. As a result of the launch, NFI dollar sales in the external-rub category jumped 27 percent for the period. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Chattem, which offers the Icy Hot and Aspercreme brands, has a 3 percent share of the market and saw a 19 percent boost in dollar sales for the period with the introduction of new Aspercreme and Icy Hot lidocaine products. Salonpas, which recently introduced its own lidocaine pain patch, saw a 13 percent jump in dollar sales for the period and holds second place in dollar sales for the category, with an 11 percent share. “That segment of the market is exploding,” ob-

serves Buono. “For the 52-week period ending Aug. 8, 2015, lidocaine topical product sales totaled $5.4 million, while for the comparable period in 2016, sales were $37 million.” Arthritis patients are also using creams and rubs containing the natural ingredient arnica. While not specifically indicated for arthritis pain, products such as Boiron’s Arnicare gel and Similisan’s Arnica Active have found users among arthritis patients looking for homeopathic alternatives.

Pharmacy’s Role With a number of products on the market touting different active ingredients, more consumers may turn to pharmacists for information on which products can be safely used together. “Searching for the best arthritis product can be tricky for customers,” notes Marshall Sanders, assistant VP of retail pharmacy at West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee. “There are several different oral and topical products, and a recommendation from a pharmacist to ensure patients use the medications safely and appropriately for the intended effect” is imperative. Brookshire Brothers stores also make pharmacists available to customers. “Our pharmacists are always available to give recommendations and advice to customers about arthritis,” says Laura Edmundson, a pharmacy district director at the Lufkin, Texas-based chain. “We believe all pharmacist OTC recommendations are important, and arthritis products are no exception.” Further, pharmacists often order products that the grocer’s stores don’t carry. “Though we stock a wide variety of arthritis products in our OTC section, our pharmacies have the ability to special-order items upon customers’ specific requests,” adds Edmundson. “If we don’t have it in stock, we’ll find it and usually have it in the following business day.” At Brookshire Brothers stores, internal and external pain relievers are merchandised in a section near the pharmacy that contains a few select supplements and thermal patches and wraps. To draw attention to certain OTC items, the chain uses perpendicular signs that stand out from the shelves, as well as ad pricing tags to highlight sale items.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

The Big Picture Hisamitsu’s Incledon contends that grocers that take a holistic approach to merchandising pain management products by placing all category segments together have a better opportunity to maximize sales. “The notion of treating topical pain relief products as first aid is dated, and a lot of shopping basket data shows that there is a high frequency of dual purchase, with oral and topical pain products in the same basket, among arthritis patients,” he notes. “Merchandising of topicals, homeopathic products and device products should be in close proximity, adjacent if possible, to internal analgesics to reinforce the shopping behavior, and promoting topicals and orals in the same ad block is also an opportunity for supermarket retailers.” Bashas’ places internal and external analgesics in the same aisle as wraps. The Chandler, Ariz.based chain’s section is also in close proximity to

the pharmacy. “We have everything from wrist supports to splints, medical tape and Ace bandages in the external-pain section,” says Mike McKinley, Bashas’ director of pharmacy. “When assessing someone’s needs, we don’t just think in terms of what is labeled as an add-on, but rather more holistically about what we have that could provide them some relief.” Effective merchandising also means not relegating external analgesic rubs and heat/cold packs to the bottom shelf where it’s hard for arthritis patients to reach. “We are currently looking at ways to merchandise external remedies/wraps so they are easier for customers to find and pick up,” notes Joel Wilson, Hy-Vee’s VP of general merchandise. “We also are doing the same thing in our bone/muscle category of vitamins.” PG


BUILT FOR MAXIMUM GROWTH Top retailers list Six Star Pro Nutrition®, just like top sports pros and everyday athletes use Six Star® to reach their goals and build better bodies. The complete Six Star® lineup of proteins and sports nutrition supplements is designed to deliver category growth: Innovative packaging, proven to improve shopability and outperform the competition – ranked #1 FDM package in a consumer survey* Globally recognized, top-tier athlete endorsements on packaging, marketing materials and promotions

Russell Westbrook All-Star Point Guard

Giancarlo Stanton All-Star Outfielder

Scientifically studied key ingredients and best-in-class formulas *Affinova (A Nielsen Company), Optimizer for Design Report, April 2014

For distribution call 1.888.334.4448 ALSO LOOK FOR: THE COMPLETE LINE OF SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS FROM SIX STAR ® Danica Patrick Professional Race Car Driver


Learn more about our latest initiative!





#GreatnessIsEarned ®



MuscleTech is America’s #1 Selling Body Building Supplement Brand based on cumulative wholesale dollar sales 2001 to present. Facebook logo is owned by Facebook Inc. Read the entire label and follow directions. © 2016

Statement of

Winter Prep for Pets Stock products that keep pets safe and warm to boost category sales. By Kathleen Furore


ll predictions point to a tough winter ahead. If “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” is to be believed, we’re in for colder-than-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation in the Northeast and Midwest, and an abundance of rain and chilly weather in the Pacific Northwest. As trying as those conditions can be for people, the salt-spattered sidewalks, frigid temperatures, and damp, bone-chilling weather they bring can be especially precarious for pets. Pets can suffer significantly from weather extremes, according to Oregon veterinarian Marla J. McGeorge. “Mammalian systems for heat retention and regulation can be overwhelmed by excessive cold,” McGeorge told WebMD. When a pet’s coat gets wet — especially if it has short fur — it’s “sort of like wearing a T-shirt when it’s below freezing,” as she put it. Add to that the fact that snow can freeze on pets’ paws, and salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of their feet, and you have conditions that pose problems pet owners must solve. November 2016 | |


We put all of our winter products at the very front of our stores so that they are clearly visible to neighbors as soon as they enter the store.” —Phil Scaduto, Food Circus Super Markets Inc.

Grocery retailers can help solve those problems — and profit in the process — by merchandising and marketing products that pet parents can use to prepare their furry companions for winter.

One Retailer’s Approach Phil Scaduto is one retailer who’s highly familiar with merchandising and marketing pet products and supplies. As VP for Middletown, N.J.-based Food Circus Super Markets Inc. and owner of seven Super Foodtown Supermarket locations, in addition to three Pet Supplies Plus stores, Scaduto has heard all of pet owners concerns’ about winter pet care. “We get a lot of inquiries and hear many concerns about the paws of pets — pet parents do not want to see their pets’ paws get cracked or irritated,” he notes. “Pet parents also ask for sweaters, boots, coats and things along those lines to keep pets warm.” Scaduto’s stores offer a variety of products to alleviate those concerns, including Safe Ice Melt, wax coating for pet paws, heated bowls, heated pads and heated outdoor houses to keep pets safe and warm during the winter. “We also sell a variety of clothing, boots and coats for pets,” he says. Scaduto’s merchandising approach is key to his

success with winter pet prep products. “We put all of our winter products at the very front of our stores so that they are clearly visible to neighbors as soon as they enter the store,” he says. “Our associates are well trained when it comes to describing the benefits of winter wear and products, and we also make sure our heated bowls, pads and houses, along with triangle racks and winter apparel, are right up front.” It’s an approach that he believes is important no matter the type or size of store you operate. “It is essential to put the things that are in season, timely and likely to sell quickly at the front of the store and in places where they are always going to be visible,” Scaduto concludes. PG

Winter Prep 101 If you take the lead to educate your pet-owning customers about how to protect their pets this winter, it can help establish your store as a go-to stop for pet products — not only during inclement weather, but also all year long. Make sure that you add winter-appropriate items to your pet inventory, and then create signage, displays and handouts with tips from the Humane Society and WebMD: Use plastic food and water bowls. When the temperature’s low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal, the Humane Society warns. Keep an eye on your pet’s paws. Pet booties can prevent salt from getting into the pads of pets’ feet — but try baby socks first to get pets used to the feel of something on their paws, WebMD suggests.

Over 80 Base Sizes

Pallet Guards Storage Dunnage Racks

Be prepared for walks in the dark. During winter’s darker days and longer nights, pets can be hard to see. WebMD suggests using reflective collars, or collars, tags and leashes embedded with LED lights and blinkers, to make walks as safe as possible.

Newspaper Basket Stands

Bases • Fixtures Displays • Merchandisers

Consider coats, but only to a point. Dogs generally tolerate clothing far better than their feline counterparts, according to WebMD. Also, be careful when outfitting your pet for winter weather. Pets can easily get frostbite if the clothes get wet. And if they try to “escape” from an uncomfortable coat or sweater, they could get tangled up in a way that makes suffocation a risk, WebMD cautions.

Focus on Felines Make your pet aisle a must-visit for cat owners. By Kathleen Furore


ow much of your pet aisle focuses on felines? If it isn’t much, you might want to reconsider the amount of shelf space dedicated to cat food. While 54.4 million U.S. households own a dog, compared with 42.9 million that own a cat, felines come out on top in sheer numbers. According to the 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), there are 85.8 million cats and 77.8 million dogs owned in the United States. The dollar sales that cat food and treats generate prove

that feeding those felines can mean big business for manufacturers and retailers. Sales of cat food and treats in the United States grew from $4.32 billion in 2000 to $6.99 billion in 2014, information from Hamburg, Germany-based Statista ( shows. And with pet food accounting for a projected $24 billion of some $62.75 billion that the Greenwich, Conn.-based APPA estimates will be spent on pets in the United States this year, understanding what customers want when shopping for their kitty companions is an important step in capturing market share. November 2016 | |


Consumers want a level of quality for their cats that is more in line with the food that they feed to the rest of their family.” —Chris Achenbach, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

su-Purr PreMiuM The rachael ray Nutrish cat food line includes four dry cat-food varieties (two from the Zero Grain line) and eight wet cat-food varieties (all grain- and glutenfree). All varieties feature real chicken or fish as the No. 1 protein, and never include poultry byproduct meals or fillers.

‘Humanization’ Hits the Cat Category Just what are cat owners looking for when buying cat food today? Foods similar to what they’re buying for their families, according to Nielsen’s March 2016 report, “The Humanization of Pet Food.” “In the U.S., 95 percent of pet owners currently consider their pets to be part of the family — up seven points from 2007,” Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen reports. “This trend correlates with the growth of certain pet food segments, including healthy treats, specialty pet foods and other more premium options. Increasingly, pet owners are moving from expectations of ‘high quality (for pets)’ to ‘humanized’; that is, they desire pet food options that address the same health concerns currently influencing human food production, such as unnatural preservatives and genetically modified ingredients — and they’re serious about these

Adopt-a-Cat Month Coming in June Over 80 Base Sizes

Storage Dunnage Racks

Indoor / Outdoor Units

Spot Merchandisers

Get Your Products Off the Floor!

If you’re looking for a way to boost sales of cat products, it isn’t too early to start planning an event that will tie into the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Cat Month, a popular campaign that takes place every June. Consider working with a local animal shelter, and plan signage, ads and coupons to coincide with this annual event. One idea: Donate a portion of proceeds from cat food sales during the month of June to a local shelter. Be sure to let customers and your local media know ahead of time to generate traffic and media coverage. For more information about the campaign, visit www.

preferences.” Chris Achenbach, brand manager for the Rachael Ray Nutrish line of super-premium dry and wet cat foods manufactured by Meadville, Pa.based Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, says that’s exactly what the company is seeing. “Consumers want a level of quality for their cats that is more in line with the food that they feed to the rest of their family,” observes Achenbach. “As a result, the super-premium, natural segment is the fastest-growing segment in cat food, and less premium segments — where animal byproducts and filler ingredients are much more prevalent — are consistently losing share.” Grain-free products, he notes, are particularly popular with today’s cat owners. “A portion of this strong super-premium growth is being driven by grain-free products, as a growing number of cat parents view these as more ‘ultra-premium’ recipes that deliver premium protein while excluding all grains and glutens, which can be an issue for some cats,” says Achenbach.

Marketing Tips for Grocery Retailers Knowing that cat owners want pet food that mimics some of the nutritional elements found in their own diets is one thing, getting them to visit your store to buy those products is another. “As pet parents continue to treat their animals more and more like members of the family, it’s never been more important for grocery retailers to have the appropriate assortment of super-premium products to compete with pet specialty outlets,” Achenbach stresses. “At the same time, it is crucial that pet parents are aware that the same-quality products they’re used to finding in the pet store are available where they shop for the rest of their families’ groceries.” Creating displays and in-store signage touting the fact that your store’s assortment of cat food includes premium-level products is one way to draw cat owners to the category. “Many of our retail partners have found success with in-store signage placed outside of the pet aisle designed to educate consumers on the availability of super-premium products inside the pet aisle,” Achenbach notes. PG

Pet Product Showcase FullLife For Pets Simply Turkey Slices Treats

These high-protein snacks include wholesome 92 percent turkey that’s been farmraised in the United States. The savory chips include only six natural ingredients: turkey, tapioca, sea salt, natural flavor, flaxseed oil and mixed tocopherols (as preservatives). The flaxseed is included to provide a healthy balance of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids; no BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin; and no artificial flavors. The line comes in 3-ounce resealable packages.

Beneful Dry Dog Foods

These dry dog-food recipes feature simplified ingredient lists. Real meat is the first ingredient in the chicken and beef varieties, and all varieties are free of added sugar. Each variety offers 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for each life stage: 22 grams or more of protein per cup, 23 essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health, and accents of real vegetables and fruits.

Natural Balance Pet Food

Natural Balance pet food and treats are made with quality ingredients like sweet potatoes, legumes and brown rice, and premium animal proteins such as chicken, lamb, salmon and venison. It’s the only pet food brand with an ISO-certified testing facility that checks for the nine most common contaminants before the food hits store shelves. You and your customers can even check the lab results of each individual bag of Natural Balance pet food at testyourbag.

November 2016 | |



Demand Forecasting

Getting Started with

Demand Forcasting Sophisticated planning is modest, but growing, in grocery. By John Karolefski


heatsville Food Co-op, in Austin, Texas, relies on a variety of techniques to forecast demand for everyday shopping. There’s a decade’s worth of sales and movement data in its point-ofsale system that can be accessed to determine the activity of a particular item or category. For seasonal variations created by holidays such as Thanksgiving, the co-op can see what popular traditional items shoppers bought. By comparing past sales dollars, more recent customer count and average basket, a reasonable estimate can be made for the current year. “While we know that stuffing and turkeys are Thanksgiving staples, we have also noticed the rise in demand for gluten-free bread products and vegan meat alternatives,” notes Niki Nash, packaged manager for the only retail food cooperative operating in Texas. “As specialized diets become more mainstream, our variety and amount of these products have increased. Each year, we monitor these nontraditional versions of traditional favorites


for popularity and adjust our orders for the next year. By using a perpetual inventory management system, we make sure that we’re never out of key items.” Whether they’re co-ops, independent grocers or large regional food chains, companies must maintain the right balance of supply and demand to prepare for surge periods such as Thanksgiving, as well as for everyday shopping. Outof-stocks during the holidays — or any time of the year, for that matter — may have long-term negative implications for shopper loyalty. In other words, customers change stores. “Back-of-an-envelope calculations and simple spreadsheets don’t cut it when you’re making forecasting decisions about assortments, pricing, promotions and supply chain. These areas depend on accurately predicting consumer demand, and that accuracy depends on analytics,” says Dan Mitchell, a retail industry consultant for SAS, a Cary, N.C.-based provider of analytics, business intelligence, and data management software and services. Grocers can use demand forecasting in a number of areas today, including labor and staffing, perishables,

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

replenishment of shelf-stable goods, response to promotions, and understanding the effect of price changes by product and geography. Some companies are obviously further along than others on the path to effective demand forecasting. In fact, many are just beginning the journey to using these technologies effectively. “It’s important to note that the necessary technology is out there, though grocery is traditionally low in adopting these existing technologies,” says Mike Neff, a partner at New York-based consultancy Kurt Salmon. “However, with the existence of these companies moving to cloud-based applications, costs for the technology are coming down. Now, smaller players in the marketplace can afford to pay and play in a way that’s most efficient and cost-effective. The trend in getting more technology to exist will provide better capabilities in small and large grocery spaces.”

Strategic Position What specific things can grocers do to start off on the right foot? Debbie Stanton Johnson, grocery industry principal at Capgemini Consulting, an international consultancy with U.S. offices in six states, advises grocers to position demand forecasting as a strategic initiative across the value chain, supporting customer loyalty and vendor and employee engagement while ensuring requirements are gathered across the various business functions and organizations. “Data consistency, quality and availability are key to a successful demand forecast,” Johnson explains. “Most forecasting algorithms require more than one year of stores’ TLOG [transaction log] data, and for improved accuracy, a minimum of two years of TLOG data. This data should be available for all locations: stores, e-commerce, catalogs, etc. “Grocery encompasses most of the complexity seen in retail for demand forecasting,” she continues. “Short lifecycle products, date-driven products, fresh products such as produce and meat each have unique and specific complexities. It is essential for grocers to not only be able to fully understand the implications of the complexity, but also to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs.” To launch a program, she suggests picking a less complex assortment like core grocery because it will deliver visible success with quantitative benefits and build momentum for the product categories. “Don’t underestimate the value of data quality,” notes Mitchell, of SAS. “To truly understand demand, you need information beyond standard sales and inventory data. Also consider data like product attributes, trading-area demographic data, and data about seasonal changes like weather and holidays. It’s also important to invest in education for your team, make the organizational changes that will help you become a data-driven enterprise, and roll out forecasting projects

with built-in milestones to show ROI from the start.” Toby Brzoznowski, EVP of Llamasoft, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based provider of supply chain design, analytics and optimization solutions, adds that demand forecasting needs the flexibility to handle seasonality and varied demand patterns, and the ability to look in detailed granularity. Having forecasting in the cloud is also a benefit for a forecasting solution, given the high number of SKUs and the ability to use high-performance computing, he points out. Meanwhile, Christian Hagen, partner in the digital transformation practice of Chicago-based consultancy A.T. Kearney, cautions grocers that forecasting, replenishment and allocation are different for perishables. She offers several recommendations to help drive benefits and performance:

Design perishables-specific forecasting and replenishment solutions Leverage market-leading applications and tools for forecasting analytics Standardize a toolset for perishables Drive replenishment planning to prioritize “freshness” Define the right metrics and track with data

Costs for the technology Work with suppliers to understand their fresh are coming and perishable supply chain and constraints down. Now, Co-create solutions to ensure performance is smaller being optimized end to end players in the Establish pilots to test improvement opportunimarketplace ties — track the metrics in these pilots to gauge can afford to performance accurately. pay and play in a way that’s Real-time Reality most efficient In April 2016, research by the Kurt Salmon and costconsultancy found that 55 percent of food spendeffective.”

Partner with suppliers

ing isn’t done in conventional grocery stores, but in alternative classes of trade. Why? It determined that —Mike Neff, out-of-stocks at store level aren’t being tolerated by Kurt Salmon consumers. In fact, grocers are faced with a bigger problem than in years past. “Also, you can’t just look at point of sale or one data option,” says Kurt Salmon’s Neff. “More and better data is critical. In addition to syndicated data, it’s time we add a third option in e-commerce. Clickand-collect e-commerce for grocers is much more common and important. It provides better info that is closer to the trends of what’s happening at a particular store level while meeting the needs and demands of customers. Folks can leverage the technology and different levels of immersion into that technology that will take traditional points of sale, syndicated November 2016 | |



Consider data like product attributes, trading area demographic data, and data about seasonal changes like weather and holidays. It’s also important to invest in education for your team.” —Dan Mitchell, SAS

Demand Forecasting

data and e-commerce data to provide information to grocers that wasn’t available before.” Ron Wilson, another partner at Kurt Salmon, stresses the need for real-time data to interact and engage to create agility and get better at tracking perpetual inventory. “DSRs [demand signal repositories] aren’t good enough to address problems today because they’re looking on a daily basis. The only way it’ll truly be solved [is] if we can get to a place where we can interact and engage consumers in a mobile environment that’s used collaboratively in real time in both mobile and retail to get them these core products that we need,” Wilson says. “Until then, we rely on relevancy of daily data and market retail data, which can take three to four weeks, so it’s too late. “There needs to be a Big Data approach.” he continues, “that allows grocers to look at things in real time and create and use the types of science and analytics to start predicting potential impacts, and being able to provide a way to solve them. Applying scientific mathematics to how one can address and understand demand, and then using innovation to approach it, will drive more value — though it may incur more cost.”

grocers have adopted solutions and processes for demand forecasting focused on replenishment and inventory management. They are realizing benefits in the areas of improved profitability, increased product availability, optimized inventory and reduced inventory holding costs. “Integrating promotional planning with demand forecasting is essential to tighten forecasts,” says Johnson, of Capgemini. “Leading grocers are modeling their data to improve new store opening and holiday/promotional period forecasts. For new store openings, established and current store clustering and segmentation models enable forecasts to project sales for similar stores. These models predict improved forecasts and display patterns historically relevant in other clusters. “What is increasingly the ‘Holy Grail’ for grocers,” she continues, “is to leverage unstructured data like social trending to pick up on categories and brands that will experience demand. ... While there are definite challenges to implementation, the key to success for organizations is to adapt and utilize real-time information.” PG For more about demand forecasting, visit

Realizing Benefits Cost notwithstanding, the good news is that more

3 Ways to Get Started There are many different approaches to forecasting, allocation, and replenishment in grocery. Christian Hagen, partner in the digital transformation practice of Chicago-based consultancy A.T. Kearney, highlights three: Ad hoc tools with fragmented processes: These ad hoc tools compensate for system gaps, but usually aren’t consistently used across the grocer. Teams and individuals rely on past knowledge and approaches that sound similar to “we have always done it this way.” This approach generally doesn’t scale or leverage leading functionality in the sector or software solutions. Additionally, it’s hard to integrate data or bring new resources on board as processes become highly customized and “personal.” The more decentralized processes are seen more often in this situation. Having a clear view of what the grocery supply chain will look like across headquarters, distribution centers and stores is vital to define upfront.


Leveraging general merchandise tools for perishables: In an attempt to expand their perishable and fresh categories, retailers will often start by putting grocery items on their legacy and traditional systems. This often leads to issues, as there are many characteristics for groceries and perishables that are unique



and different from general merchandise; this includes expirations, temperatures, shipping requirements and waste. Not recognizing this upfront and using tools and processes designed for groceries can lead to years of trying to make customizations to aging systems and processes. Often the best solution for bigger retailers is to recognize that the technology for perishables should be different and to build the business case around that uniqueness — typically on speed to market, less waste and markdowns, better layout, and improved efficiencies. Deploying advanced food-specific solutions centrally: There are now in the market more food-specific solutions that grocers should evaluate in terms of how they fit into their supply chain, strategy and “customer promise.” Evaluating the requirements and effectively piloting tools that have the right operations and analytics capabilities for the strategy and supply chain can be a larger driver of future success. Understanding the connection points and dependencies across channels and in forecasting, replenishment, allocation and order management is vital to plan and develop a roadmap. There are some grocers that are building this from scratch, but that number is few. Such initiatives should be grounded in strong software engineering skills and strong differentiation within those processes. There are not a lot of grocers that can claim strength in both of those areas.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016


Supply Chain

Culinary Inspiration The foodservice supply chain may provide some fresh ideas for retailers. By Jenny McTaggart


food waste that comes from preparing products, or running s more and more supermarket companies promotions in a sushi bar in the supermarket … these are delve into the restaurant business, they areas of unfamiliarity for a lot of grocery chains.” may want to give special attention to a Michalski’s company is in talks with grocery chains few key aspects of the foodservice supply to apply the company’s two main Software-as-a-Service chain to ensure quality, efficiency and, (SaaS) supply chain solutions to the retail business, so this perhaps most importantly, customer satisfaction. is an area that he and his colleagues have been thinking a By considering their sister supply chain, they’ll hopefullot about. One of ArrowStream’s products, OnDemand, is ly also find inspiration. They’ll certainly come across several focused on delivering insights regarding the supply chain areas of overlap where both industries are striving for the and driving operational precision. Another, Crossbow, is same goals — particularly when it comes to food safety. focused on inbound logistics. Retailers such as Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets — which continues to broaden its popular format to new markets The Importance of Visibility on the East Coast — as well as smaller Near the beginning of the food supply “The opportunity regional players such as Kroger-owned chain, ordering and distribution are two here is to make Mariano’s, in the Chicago metro area, alareas that currently get a lot of attention in sure retail and most make foodservice look easy. They’ve the restaurant industry, and for good reason. restaurants are managed to maintain their primary “One of the biggest challenges that working together positions as retailers while proving that drives a lot of what we do is that the restauand sharing they can also offer impressive foodservice rant industry has a very disconnected supply knowledge, operations. chain,” Michalski says. “If you’re working because both of But to do both well, they’ve undoubtin a corporate restaurant chain, you need them are going on edly spent plenty of time and attention information from your restaurant, from your honing their supply chains, carefully distribution partners that are distinct from the same journey.” considering every aspect of the business — your company, as well as your suppliers. To —Bill Michalski, all the way from ordering, to distribution, support our restaurant customers, we have ArrowStream to conveying a quality in-store experience to build a very well-structured backbone of that customers can trust. supply chain visibility.” “More retailers are getting into foodThat means gaining information from service, but it’s a very different world for multiple sources, all of which are running them, in a whole range of respects,” notes their own technology systems, and mapBill Michalski, chief product officer at ping it together. “If I’m going to give a Chicago-based supply chain technology corporate restaurant chain executive a firm ArrowStream. “There’s a different set single number that represents their spend of metrics for determining performance. on apple-smoked bacon, I’ve got to have When you start having to think about things 30 or 50 different individual SKUs mapped like customer wait time, or the amount of together in order to aggregate that data,” says November 2016 | |


Supply Chain


Michalski. “Technology companies like ours have to be very aggressive. This is an area I suspect the retail side could benefit from.” Restaurants are also relying on analytic technology to avoid over-ordering or a break in supply, observes Reinhard Steup, senior manager of supply chain management at HAVI, a supply chain services firm based in Downers Grove, Ill. “Restaurants and foodservice brands leverage analytics to closely monitor changes in consumer demand and many other variables, such as changes in weather and current events, so that they can make adjustments in the system quickly,” he says. “This helps eliminate food waste and drives costs out of the system.” As it turns out, restaurants are also driving costs out of the system in the area of inbound logistics, according to Michalski. “In grocery, inbound freight is not always thought of as a margin opportunity. But in foodservice, distributors absolutely think of logistics as earned income, so they treat it very seriously. Through optimization technology, we’ve allowed foodservice distributors to reduce both “Supermarkets freight costs and inventory carrying looking to add costs simultaneously,” he explains. foodservice “Through my conversations at reoperations to their tail, there’s no reason it can’t work well stores should take there, too … it just requires a little bit of a mindset shift,” Michalski adds. steps to avoid

contamination and spoilage, and be prepared to respond swiftly if spoilage occurs.”

Traceability Traceability is important in virtually all supply chains — and certainly in the supermarket industry — but it’s perhaps even more crucial for restau—Reinhard Steup, HAVI rants, Steup says. As he notes, “the risk of contamination is high and must be mitigated quickly to prevent illness and damage to the brand’s reputation.” Michalski observes that there’s a lot of crossover between restaurants and retail on quality and food safety issues. “I think the opportunity here is to make sure the two industries are working together and sharing knowledge, because both of them are going on the same journey,” he says. Still, while a lot of restaurant chains do well when it comes to preventive work, there’s room for improvement, particularly in the areas of visibility and communications, he adds. “Especially because it’s a very disconnected supply chain, there is a workflow that has to come across all areas of the supply chain,” Michalski notes. “You need to know where the product came from, where it went and where it ended up … or you’re going to have to recall a lot more product than you really need to.”


He also observes that the restaurant industry is evolving to be much more connected from an information-sharing standpoint, which helps ensure food safety as well as efficiency. “For example, one of the areas we work in is helping restaurants manage the quality of products that are showing up at the back door of the restaurants, that are delivered by distributors,” he says. “So if a case of crushed lettuce appears, the store manager needs to initiate a workflow in order to report the problem, and get credit for the damaged case of lettuce — or possibly get a replacement. “But if it ends there, you’re losing visibility into what might be a systemic problem. And so what we help companies do is set up an automated workflow that spans all the way from that restaurant store manager to the distribution center and all the way back to the supplier, to make them aware of the issue and also help determine root cause. Then all of that can be reported to the centralized quality manager at the restaurant chain.”

The In-store Experience At the end of the day, operating a successful restaurant has a lot to do with the customer experience, observes Michalski. “A lot of the grocery stores that are already operating in the foodservice arena, like Wegmans, recognize that they’re delivering a dining experience in their stores, and that needs to be different than the shopping experience. People want to see consistency in the way food is prepared — they want to know what to expect.” Areas such as menu development are key, he continues. “You want to aim for consistency, but you also need to keep things fresh and varied,” he advises. HAVI’s Steup points to the importance of instore branding. He advises retailers to make sure they’re delivering their brand message on freshness to the customers in their stores, regardless of whether they’re offering foodservice options. “Restaurants and foodservice brands do this through signage, menus, in-store displays and other methods,” he notes. “Supermarkets should consider it as well ... [and] must ensure that consumers are aware of how fresh the food really is.” Last but not least, store-level employees need to receive proper training to know how to safely store, handle, prepare and dispose of fresh ingredients. “Be prepared in the event of a crisis, because fresh carries risk,” Steup cautions. “Supermarkets looking to add foodservice operations to their stores should take steps to avoid contamination and spoilage, and be prepared to respond swiftly if spoilage occurs.” And after all of their fresh product is sold, retailers should consider food waste, a hot topic in the foodservice industry. Notes Steup, “Best practices include composting, anaerobic digesters and other options that keep food out of landfills.” PG

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Mobile Merchandisers

Equipment & Design



Mobile merchandisers are key to holiday displays. By Bob Ingram


ost food retailers have already planned their displays for the approaching holidays, and mobile merchandisers are playing a large role. “Mobile merchandisers play a significant part in our holiday planning and serve as an efficient avenue to display holiday product near the category or near a complementary category,” affirms Ray Harrison, VP of center store category management at Brookshire Grocery Co., in Tyler, Texas. “They also help communicate the season and set the tone for the time of the year,” he adds. “Lastly, they serve as an efficient way to ship variable quantities of product in place of regular cases and,

in many instances, we obtain a more favorable cost when product is bought in this manner.” One of Brookshire’s most successful holiday displays, according to Harrison, combines the variety of the holiday — such as baking items, canned vegetables and candy — with the marketing of the mobile merchandisers in a free-standing walk-around display that generally measures 4 feet by 8 feet and 60 inches tall, with several shoppable layers. “It really lets our customers know that the holidays are here,” he emphasizes. Harrison notes that at Brookshire, seasonal imports and holiday grocery require “two completely different timelines for planning.” Imported goods require a minimum of 10 months of pre-planning,

DEstInatIon cEntErs Mobile refrigerated merchandisers from Hillphoenix provide mini holiday kitchens on wheels.

November 2016 | |


Equipment & Design

Mobile Merchandisers

holiDAy solution hillphoenix refrigerated mobile merchandisers help create crossmerchandising flexibility.

with purchase orders booked seven to eight months in advance and product generally in-store nine to 10 weeks before the holiday. Grocery and nonfoods, meanwhile, require product to be in-store nine to 10 weeks ahead of the holiday, but the pre-planning timeline shrinks to 17 to 18 weeks.

holiday season is a retailer’s most exciting and profitable time of year. Displays must welcome our new consumers, showcasing not only holiday items but value.” —Chelsea Minor, Raley’s


Group Effort Mobile merchandisers also play a key role in merchandising holiday items at Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, in West Sacramento, Calif. “It’s important to cross-merchandise like products to ensure a bigger basket,” says Chelsea Minor, Raley’s director of public relations and public affairs. Raley’s stores typically plan six to eight weeks in advance for holidays, Minor explains, noting that showcasing holiday products with cross-merchandising ensures consistent merchandising at each store location. “Mobile merchandisers will work in high-traffic areas or ‘hot spots’ to maximize sales opportunities,” Minor observes. “Holiday season is a retailer’s most exciting and profitable time of year. Displays must welcome our new consumers, showcasing not only holiday items but value.” At Raley’s, the concepts for holiday displays are a collaborative effort among advertising, sales and merchandising, Minor says, offering this caveat: “When using mobile merchandisers, arrange your

merchandise so it’s easily shoppable. Showcasing unique products has made for successful, innovative holiday displays. With the right display and signage, a story can be told.”

Call to Action Among suppliers, Cathy McCosham, merchandise manager for shelving and floor fixtures at Harrison, Ohio-based Hubert Co., says, “Mobile merchandised displays allow merchants to strategically put holiday party and meal-planning items in high-traffic impulse areas.” Three of Hubert’s newest and most popular mobile display fixtures are a rustic wood table in grey with a galvanized top that measures 48 inches long by 24 inches wide by 37 inches high, an Expressly Hubert Industrial Chic Cart made of iron and wood, and a Vintage Shelving Unit Wide 5 Shelf that’s 51 inches by 18 inches by 72 inches. “Creatively merchandised mobile displays done well serve as an inspiration and ‘call to action’ for holiday gift-giving or party and meal planning,” McCosham notes. During holidays, as shoppers seem to be highly focused on their end goal, it’s important to ensure that displays are strategically positioned and merchandised to guide busy customers to smart choices, asserts Marjorie Proctor, marketing and design specialist at Conyers, Ga.-based Hillphoenix.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

“If done right, a refrigerated mobile merchandiser provides a solution to help tell the holiday merchandising story and provide retailers the opportunity to merchandise in their stores to captivate their shoppers and create cross-merchandising flexibility,” Proctor says. “Mobile refrigerated merchandisers open up possibilities to cross-merchandising, promotional events, and the versatility of moving merchandise from one place to another to support any holiday venue.” A successful holiday set commands the attention of the shopper, who will thus be less likely, Proctor notes, “to be enamored with their smart devices and fully focused on reality.” She continues: “When a shopper is impressed and completely enveloped in the present, those are the segments in time when a shopper is most likely to buy. This supports why it is so important to take the time to think merchandising through and create a show-stopping display that will encourage shoppers to want to buy.” The holiday season provides retailers with an enormous opportunity to develop lasting relationships with their customers and encourage foot traffic, she observes. “With the grocerant and food destination center finding momentum in retail food stores,” Proctor says, “mobile refrigerated merchandisers and mobile demo stations will provide retailers the opportunity to kick up their demo stations and create mini destination centers around the holiday seasons. A mobile demo station tricked out with a sink, conduction burner and cutting boards provides chefs with a mini kitchen on wheels, with small mobile refrigerated merchandisers flanking the demo areas [for] the fresh prepared meals and products.”

‘Brand Soul’ Harry Newton, director of sales and marketing at Structural Plastics Corp. (SPC), in Holly, Mich., says that grocers need to seize the opportunity to create what his company calls “brand soul.” This concept, according to Newton, “allows retailers to develop a deeper, more meaningful and personal connection with their shoppers with the simple adaption of their displays to any holiday or merchandising theme, allowing them to show product to its fullest potential in the front-of-store, high-traffic perimeter, and seasonal selling

areas throughout the store.” With the right tools, like mobile modular displays, and the right strategies, Newton says that store-level teams can quickly transform selling space and make shopping fun and convenient by pulling together ingredients and inspiring shoppers with ideas on how to “eat, drink and be merry with friends and family during the holidays.” According to Newton, the right combination of mobile merchandisers, lightweight modular displays and merchandising strategy can be highly effective in maximizing and right-sizing any space. One of SPC’s most popular mobile merchandisers for the holidays is the 3-Step Display, which comes in widths of 36 inches, 66 inches and 96 inches. It can be used as a stand-alone display or joined together to scale up and down for product sell-through. Made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic, the item assembles without tools. “It also pairs well with many of our other displays to create eye-catching ‘Brand Soul’ focal points, promo displays, and even pop-up shops inside and outside of stores,” Newton says. A newer display, SPC’s Power Tower, has multiple shelves for display and storage, as well as channels for easy signage and graphic integration. “The good old days of putting up a folding table, complete with tacky plastic tablecloth and a handwritten sign, are long gone,” Newton declares. “A well-planned store layout, merchandise presentation and strategy for implementing mobile merchandisers in key areas can help refresh, revitalize and reposition grocery stores for success during the holidays and all year long.” PG

Mobile refrigerated merchandisers open up possibilities to crossmerchandising, promotional events, and the versatility of moving merchandise from one place to another to support any holiday venue.” —Marjorie Proctor, Hillphoenix

front and center this rustic wood table from Hubert co. can hold holiday impulse items.

November 2016 | |


Food, Beverage & Nonfood Products

Carb-cutting Comforters

Helping consumers enjoy comfort fare while still watching their waistlines, B&G Foods has added several Green Giant veggie-based alternatives to several traditional sides. Veggie Tots in Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Broccoli and Cheese varieties (SRP $3.99 per 16-ounce bag); Riced Veggies in Cauliflower, Cauliflower & Broccoli, Cauliflower & Sweet Potato, and Cauliflower Medley varieties (SRP $2.99 per 12-ounce bag); Mashed Cauliflower in Original with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Cheddar & Bacon, and Garlic & Herb varieties (SRP $5.49 per 20-ounce bag); and Roasted Veggies in Corn, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Carrots varieties (SRP $2.49 per 10-ounce bag).

Easy Tea-sy

The tea category is expected to enjoy strong, continuous growth in the coming years, driven by interest in tea’s health benefits and convenient options. Made from organic whole tea leaves, Pique Tea Crystals answer that interest, containing no sugar, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives, and instantly dissolving in cold or hot water. The crystals are made using a slow-brew process that extracts the fresh flavor and natural antioxidants from the leaves, and come in the following varieties: Organic Jasmine, Organic Earl Grey, Organic Sencha, Organic English Breakfast, Organic Mint Sencha and an Organic Variety Pack with all flavors. The crystals’ SRP range is $7.34-$7.99 per pack, each of which contains 14 single-serve sachets.

Chick Out These Noodles

While many eyeing a bowl of spaghetti will lament how briefly it satisfies yet how long it lasts on the hips, they need worry no more: Banza, a manufacturer of chickpeabased pasta, has expanded into long noodles with its high-protein, chickpea spaghetti. The pasta, which joins Banza’s penne, rotini, elbow and shell offerings, contains 25 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber and 40 percent fewer net carbs than traditional pasta per serving. It’s also Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher, gluten-free, low-glycemic and vegan. The pasta’s SRP is $3.49 per 8-ounce box.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Better Beef

Get Saucy

In a category with more options than ever before, barbecue sauces can benefit not just from a bold flavor, but also a bold name, like Budweiser Brewmaster’s Premium Barbecue Sauces, a collection that took The Fremont Co. and AnheuserBusch six months to develop. Comprising five flavors — Classic, Sweet & Smoky, Honey, Sweet & Spicy, and Bold & Spicy — the line contains Budweiser beer as an ingredient, but without the alcohol, and sells in 18-ounce bottles. Its SRP range is $2.50-$3.50 per bottle.;

Old Bay, New Jerky

Consumer demand for a “better” solution between conventional and organic beef has led Cargill to introduce Pasture Crafted Beef, a grass-fed, grain-finished product designed for the socially conscious consumer who can’t afford to go organic. The beef, raised on sustainably operated ranches and guaranteed tender, comes from a single closed-loop source, making it fully traceable to birth. Cargill works with third-party traceability company Where Food Comes From to verify the traceability. While the beef’s SRP isn’t set, grocers can price the beef over its conventional counterparts.

With a growing number of foods incorporating the classic Maryland seasoning and more consumers wanting protein-packed snacks, it’s no surprise that jerky and Old Bay seasoning have teamed for Red Truck Old Bay Seasoned Gourmet Beef Jerky. Seasoned with a custom-created blend of the iconic seasoning, the jerky is made from 100 percent Grade A sliced beef from U.S. farms, containing no MSG, maltodextrin, artificial colors or additives, or corn syrup. The SRP is around $6.99 per 3-ounce bag.

Natural Relief

Consumers increasingly want to know that the products they put both in and on their bodies are safe and natural. Carmex Comfort Care lip balm, from Carma Laboratories Inc., is the brand’s first natural lip balm line, formulated with colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed fruit oil to provide soothing, long-lasting moisture and hydration. The line consists of three flavors — Mixed Berry, Sugar Plum and Watermelon Blast — and has its own unique look that includes softer color tones and a wider stick design. The 0.15-ounce sticks have an SRP of $1.99 each.

Spin on a Classic

Consumers today love a good twist on the traditional, and Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch bar appears to be just that: an update of the classic Hershey’s chocolate bar that adds layers of cookie and decadent fillings. The bar comes in three flavors, Caramel, Vanilla, and Crème and Mint, all of which are portioned in 90- to 100-calorie pieces to make for smarter snacking. Sizes include a 6.3-ounce bag with nine individually wrapped pieces (SRP $4.19), a 3.5-ounce bar with five pieces (SRP $2.89), a 2.1-ounce bar with three pieces (SRP $1.69), and a 1.4-ounce bar with two pieces (SRP 99 cents).

November 2016 | |


Frictionless Omnichannel Retailing a Major Focus of ECRS Release Boone, N.C.-based ECRS has launched Catapult 5.4 software for a profitability-focused “unified platform” for omnichannel retailing. Catapult 5.4 adds 52 new features and more than 80 enhancements to the POS software suite. Most notably, Catapult 5.4 brings to realization ECRS’ vision for “frictionless” omnichannel commerce, with the addition of WebCart, a click-and-collect solution for online shopping. WebCart provides seamless data exchange and a unified transaction experience; pricing, store promotions, e-coupons and reward points all work online, just as they do in a store location. “The Catapult 5.4 vision is simple: Make life easier for consumers by making it easier for them to do business online and at the store, providing each consumer a unified transactional experience, no matter how they prefer to shop,” says ECRS President, CEO and founder Pete Catoe. “Our strategy maximizes a store’s local presence, a differentiator internet-only retailers simply cannot match. It also allows our retail customers to outpace competitors who are still relying on the outdated ‘silo’ approach to store pickup and delivery.”


Grupo Lala Launches U.S. Division Grupo Lala, a leading dairy company based in Mexico for six decades, has created a U.S. division. Dallas-based Lala U.S. is a value-added dairy company offering a portfolio of established brands, including Lala yogurt smoothies, Promised Land premium milk and cream products, Borden cultured products, Frusion smoothies, Skim Plus milk, and Nordica cottage cheese. To strengthen ties with existing retailers and consumers, as well as to introduce newcomers to its products, the company has launched a website,, as part of a national awareness campaign that started in mid-August.

Fraser Promoted to VP Sales at Clear Springs Foods Buhl, Idaho-based Clear Springs Foods Inc. has promoted Brent Fraser to VP of sales. With the company since December 2012, Fraser previously worked for Girards/GFF Inc., where he was VP of sales and marketing. In his new role, Fraser is responsible for implementing foodservice and retail sales initiatives, and will work closely with the company’s seven regional sales managers.

Forte Products Rolls Out Rebranding Forte Products is the “shorter, fresher” name identifying the Kansas City, Mo.-based molded plastics provider formerly known as Forte Product Solutions. “As we work to develop our company’s capabilities to propel our organization into one of the industry’s most innovative and recognized leaders, it is the perfect opportunity to evaluate our brand and logo to ensure that they are in sync with who we are, where we are going and the future growth we expect,” says Brad Robertson, CEO of Forte Products, which also rolled out a new logo. Forte’s line of fixtures includes forecourt equipment, waste cans, recycle bins, displays and merchandisers, and outdoor accessories for grocery stores, c-stores, gas stations, foodservice operations and other institutions.

Hershey’s CEO Bilbrey to Retire John P. Bilbrey, chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., plans to retire from the Hershey, Pa.-based confectionery company, continuing as nonexecutive chairman of Hershey’s board of directors after stepping down on July 1, 2017. The board has appointed a special committee to direct the search for a new CEO. The committee, led by Pamela Arway, chair of the governance committee, will review internal and external candidates with assistance from executive search firm Egon Zehnder. “Leading The Hershey Co. has been the highlight of my career,” Bilbrey says. “Our iconic brands, remarkable employees and commitment to making a difference in the world have made this a difficult decision for me. But now is the right time to begin the process of handing over the reins as CEO.” Arway praised Bilbrey for his “unwavering commitment and many contributions to Hershey’s success during his 13 years with the company.”

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

Index 5 Generation Bakers ALO Drink Anheuser-Busch Inc.


Iovate Health Sciences Int’l Inc.



Irving Consumer Products Inc.



itemMaster, LLC

Insert 51



Jack Links Beef Jerky


Atkins Nutritionals Inc.


Jelly Belly Candy Company


Avocados From Mexico


John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc.


Barilla North America


Johnson Ventures



Kelloggs Company




Beam Suntory Inc. Beaver Street Fisheries Beiersdorf USA Blount Fine Foods

24 148 10-11, 45

Boundary Bend Olives, Inc.


Butterball, LLC


Calbee North America


Campbell Soup Company




Coca Cola NA


Crossmark CSM Bakery Products D’Artagnan Dean Foods Co Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. Dietz & Watson Inc Dole Fresh Vegetables

109 79 101 4 65 69, 102 Back Cover

Domino Foods


Dr Pepper Snapple Group


Duda Farm Fresh, Inc.


E&J Gallo


ECR Software Corporation EnsembleIQ Fiere Di Parma Spa Flowers Foods Forte Product Solutions Fresh Express General Mills Inc. Global Management Partners Godshalls Quality Meats Inc.

7 77, 80, 86, 147, 152 95 74, 120

Mann Packing Co., Inc.


Mars Chocolate NA


MasonWays Indestructible Plastics

154, 156

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA


Messe Berlin GMBH




MillerCoors LLC

Inside Back Cover

Mondelez International


Monterey Mushrooms, Inc.


National Restaurant Association


Nature Sweet




Ole Mexican Foods


Pharmavite LLC


Pinnacle Foods


Prodyne Inc.


Red Bull


Robbie Flexibles




Seventh Generation


Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads Sun Pacific

97 114


The Fremont Company



The J.M. Smucker Company


The Wonderful Company/Pistachios


The Wonderful Company/POM Wonderful Arils


18-19 9 106-107

Tyson Foods

IFC Gatefold, 15, 38-39

Goya Foods, Inc.


US Alliance Paper

Hormel Foods Corporation


USA Pears



Wisdom Natural Brands



WM Wrigley Jr. Company


House Foods America Idahoan Foods


Progressive Grocer (ISSN 0033-0787, USPS 920-600) is published monthly by EnsembleIQ, 570 Lake Cook Rd. Deerfield IL 60015. Single copy price $10, except selected special issues. Subscription: $135 a year; Canada $164 (Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40031729. Foreign $270 (call for air mail rates). Periodicals postage paid at Deerfield, IL 60015 and additional mailing offices. Printed in USA. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to Progressive Grocer, P.O. Box 1842 Lowell, MA 01853. Copyright ©2016 EnsembleIQ All rights reserved, including the rights to reproduce in whole or in part. All letters to the editors of this magazine will be treated as having been submitted for publication. The magazine reserves the right to edit and abridge them. The publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations.

570 Lake Cook Rd, Suite 310, Deerfield, IL 60015 Phone: 224 632-8200 Fax: 224 632-8266 United StateS MarketS Convenience • Grocery/Drug/Mass Store Brands • Specialty Gourmet Multicultural • Green • Technology Hospitality • Apparel

Canadian MarketS • Convenience • Pharmacy • Foodservice

advertiSing SaleS & BUSineSS Staff Peter Hoyt President & CEO 773-992-4456 Ned Bardic Chief Customer Officer 224-632-8224 Korry Stagnito Chief Operations Officer 224-632-8171 Jeff Friedman Senior Vice President/Brand Director 201-855-7621 Janet Blaney Associate Brand Director (AZ, CO, ID, MD, MN, MT, NM, NV, OH, TX, UT, WY) 630-364-1601 John Huff Midwest Regional Sales Manager 224-632-8174 Rick Neigher Western Regional Sales Manager (CA, OR, WA) 818-597-9029 Maggie Kaeppel Eastern Marketing Manager 630-364-2150 • Cell 708-565-5350 Mike Shaw Northeast, Marketing Manager 201-855-7631 • Cell 201-281-9100 Jackie Batson Advertising Manager 224-632-8183

November 2016 | |


The Last By Meg Major

Less of the Same


Amid the din of food shoppers’ glee, the transition to a turbulent, deflationary environment has found many food retailers flummoxed.

n what’s proved to be a big boon for consumers, the ongoing cycle of food deflation has given just about everyone else in the food chain — from farmer to grocer — Grade A fits. Amid the din of food shoppers’ glee, the transition to a turbulent, deflationary environment has found many food retailers flummoxed, as shown by the recent rounds of quarterly financial reports from several key players — including Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Whole Foods Market, Supervalu, Smart & Final, SpartanNash, Dollar General, and even the seemingly bulletproof Kroger — all of which cited deflation, to greater and lesser degrees, as an obstinate thorn in their sales performance. The same can be said of the aforementioned retailers’ fellow regional, independent and wholesaler brethren, which also have no place to run or hide when confronted by the sharp pinch of falling prices in the all-important staple categories of milk, eggs, beef, poultry, coffee, cereal and bakery products. The most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide a succinct snapshot of the rough sledding felt over the past 12 months, when the food-at-home price index slid 2.2 percent overall — the largest 12-month slump in seven years — courtesy of declines in all six major grocery store food groups. With the current backdrop “beginning to look a lot like 2009, when meaningful deflation resulted in an industry price war that stretched well into 2010,” per Credit Suisse analyst Edward Kelly in a research note earlier this fall, it remains to be seen whether race-to-the-bottom price campaigns will come to define 2017 in similar fashion — let alone overshadow a variety of important long-range strategic activities currently in play at a majority of leading grocery organizations. Confronted with the solid possibility that deflationary trends might well persist for the

Meg Major

Chief Content Editor Twitter @Meg_Major/@pgrocer


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | November 2016

foreseeable future — at least through mid-2017, according to many economists — it’s likely we’ll hear more of the same about performance declines being attributable to deflationary headwinds, competitive openings, challenging sales and operating environments, inclement weather, and fluctuating timing of seasonal holidays. As I see it, however, the majority of the above are constants in the food industry, and the rinse/ repeat refrains have begun to sound more like expedient explanations that are potentially masking far bigger challenges in play long before the unwelcome arrival of deflation’s extended sojourn. With this in mind, following is a trio of my top recommendations, in reverse order, for retailers to ponder at the outset of the most important weeks of the industry’s calendar year:

3. Less Lamenting About Deflation, the Weather and Holiday Timing Progressive, adaptable retailers, much like Noah, built their arks before the flood, and are thus far better equipped to manage periodic or prolonged turbulence. For everyone else, the best bet is to regroup and focus on that which can be controlled, namely, running good operations with sharp merchandising, well-trained front-line teams and convenient solutions across the entire store. 2. Better Use of Social Media for Genuine Engagement Social media offers unlimited opportunities to engage and converse directly with shoppers; however, most retailers are failing to use it as a strategic conduit for collecting and harnessing customer insights to improve planning decisions, per a recent report from Boston Retail Partners (BRP). Rather than squandering prime communication opportunities by employing powerful social platforms as toothless mouthpieces for one-sided, yes/no, love/hate queries, use them to inform and engage customers about your mission and brands, as well as their needs and expectations. 1. More Innovation Necessity is the mother of invention. What are you doing to reinvent and remain competitive? In its post-election holiday forecast, the National Retail Federation anticipates that November and December sales (excluding autos, gas and restaurants) will increase 3.6 percent from last year to more than $655 billion. Let freedom ring! PG

SPREAD HOLIDAY BEER Happy holidays from the original light beer

Miller Lite ® Steinie gave a 28% boost to the basket value in 2015 (over 2014)


Nielsen Scantrack, Total US, Q4 2015 vs Q4 2014


©2016 MILLER BREWING CO., MILWAUKEE, WI Av. analysis (12 fl. oz.): 96 cals, 3.2g carbs, <1g protein, 0g fat.

Still Number 1! 6 Years and Running

Dole Category Development sweeps the 2016 “Category Captain” awards It’s not surprising that the world’s largest provider of fresh fruits and vegetables has a long history of award-winning category development. Because of our outstanding attention to retail partners, commitment to category growth and unparalleled management, Dole captured top honors in the Progressive Grocer “Category Captain” awards for the sixth consecutive year – including wins for DOLE® Packaged Salads, DOLE® Berries and DOLE® Fresh Packed Vegetables!

We’d love to talk to you and share testimonials direct from our retail partners. Contact your local Dole sales representative, or call 831-641-4200 to learn more.

The 21st century is here. Are your brands prepared to engage consumers everywhere they expect your brands to be?

Finding the path to complete and verified brand information will allow you to meet today’s market demand and build a successful business.

Do you have the data and insights that enable you to understand market demand and the state of your branded content and assets?

This Roadmap to Brand Activation will guide and inspire you on the quest for 21st-century packaging.

SponSored Content

ItemMaster 2016-2017

Letter from Leadership The 21st century is here. As a brand leader, are you prepared? Same question applies to retailers, e-tailers or mobile app developers: Do you have what you need in terms of structured product content, beyond 20th-century assets, to drive your business on shelf (in store and digitally)? Consumers, your brand buyers and retail shoppers, are everywhere, but are you where you need to be? As a manufacturer today, your brand is primarily locked on a physical shelf, and often times poorly represented when it does appear on a digital shelf. The act of pulling or cobbling together needed product information and brand content is frequently left to others outside your organization – putting everything you’ve worked hard to create in brand marketing at risk. Packaging in the 21 st century encompasses everywhere your brand and products need to be, how complete and verified your brand and products are, and the expectations for scaled distribution and insights from partners. Your challenge is communicating your product in a world that is very different today than it was yesterday – the marketplace complexity to reach consumers is staggering. It’s not just about on-pack messaging to support immediate consumer needs but also a rigorous gauntlet of agency and legal teams to ensure claims and information accuracy in a world of rapid product change, new product entrants and consolidation and growth from small brands that may not have been in your competitive set just five years ago.

If you are a retailer, e-tailer or mobile application developer, the constant need for updated and accurate information results in cobbling on your end. The ecosystem has evolved from a store, to more stores, to expanded store formats, to digital shelves and mobile apps. Each, however, still requires full shelves. It has been difficult at best to get product information and brand assets to power everything from your increasingly sophisticated planning and merchandising platforms to your marketing needs and operating logistics. Now, too, there are growing online commerce, mobile applications and digital media needs! At ItemMaster ®, we bring brands to life, and we want to ensure that your brands are living breathing, dynamic assets wherever a consumer may interact with them. This Roadmap to Brand Activation will define: • Expectations of a brand that is packaged for the 21 st century • The market expansion that is rapidly occurring and illustrate how that impacts distribution and insights • The value of certified brand content and what that means for manufacturers and distribution partners Your billion- and million-dollar brands need to be packaged for the 21 st century — let’s get them up-todate together! Sincerely,

Courtney Jane Acuff, Vice President, Product & Marketing, ItemMaster

ItemMaster 2016-2017

New Market, New Needs The market is rapidly changing as a result of new technologies, new competitors, mergers and acquisitions, and certainly evolving consumer shopping behaviors – we’re in the 21st century but many of the business practices are being carried over from the last century.

53% of digital shoppers are very unlikely to buy from a brand again after an experience with inaccurate product information. — eMarketer

Brands are effectively loose in the marketplace, and the market is at a loss for how to meet the rapidly changing and shifting trends and demands of consumers.

Online and Offline Reality Traditional retailers are becoming digital e-tailers, and

“The lines of distinction between brick-and-mortar and digital experiences are forever blurred.” — “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper” report

e-commerce platforms are using data to optimize and spin up brick-and-mortar stores. Consumers are no longer solely shopping at a primary store, and no longer doing all their shopping at a physical store location: “The lines of distinction between brick-and-mortar and digital experiences are forever blurred,” according to a UPS whitepaper, developed with comScore Inc., called “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper.” The UPS study reports: “Digital commerce has matured and shoppers have come to understand how to strategically shop across channels, selecting products and retailers with fluidity.” Consumers are finding brands online but often still purchasing in store. So the question becomes: How valuable is the impact of your digital shelf content on the shopping journey?

Grocery e-commerce, although currently small with only one in four people shopping online, is growing fast. Kantar Worldpanel forecasts grocery e-commerce will grow to 9% of the market and be worth $150 billion by 2025. Global e-commerce grocery sales grew 15% from the previous year to $48 billion in 2016, accounting for 4.4% of all fast-moving consumer goods. Given the rise of e-commerce, but the reality that shopping across channels is not going away anytime soon, retailers and manufacturers need to build the digital shelf with intention and strategy while at the same time focusing on store sales too. When shoppers are shopping digitally, they have high expectations for the experience. They are savvy and making informed decisions; decisions that are driven by details provided by a site and within a product page. But 53% of digital shoppers are very unlikely to buy from a brand again after and experience with inaccurate product information, according to eMarketer. Further, a study conducted by Cone Communications in 2015 suggested that almost 9 out of 10 Americans will seriously consider not buying a product if they feel they are being deceived. Shoppers are demanding offline and online consistency as they shop across channels. To meet expectations, brands need to be presented consistently and thoroughly whenever and wherever they live - in store and online.

ItemMaster 2016-2017

A Data-rich Shopping Experience — 21st Century Packaging • Visibility – complete and verified information reporting, plus the ability to know where your brands are in the marketplace

Packaging in the 21st century is about more than what you have to say — claims, regulatory, FDA compliance — but also about what you want to say about your product and your brand story; it’s about the content that can travel with your product wherever it goes.

ItemMaster has revolutionized brand packaging – meeting 21st century needs by ensuring content that informs, engages and converts shoppers. ItemMaster enables partners to: • Plan and merchandise • Market across channels • Build online e-commerce and media experiences • Provide product information creation, management and distribution

Expectations for a brand that is packaged for the 21st century include: • Meet consumer expectations for content, information and transparency • Tell your brand story, using product content and branded content, wherever your brand lives

Bra n d Ac ti va tio n™

to MEEt MArkEt DEMAnD • Brand Conversion – Converting brands from analog to digital and wrapping them in data; product information and branded assets available for merchandising, planning, marketing and e-commerce • Content Management – Web-based platform support for certified brand content™ and brand visibility reporting; a comprehensive solution to fuel market demand • Distribution – OnDemand™ delivery of verified brand content to Retailers, E-tailers, Agencies and Mobile application developers • Innovation – Design and development of new solutions purpose-built for the expanded media and retail market

Web-based platform support for certified brand content & brand visibility reporting Design and Converting

development of new

brands from analog

solutions purpose-built

to digital

for the expanded

and wrapping

media & marketing

them in data


On-demand delivery of verified

Visibility to

brand content to

see and understand

Retailers, E-Tailers,

where your

Agencies, Mobile

brand has been

Apps & More


ItemMaster 2016-2017

• With data and insights, drive fuller baskets and more trips - when and where consumers are shopping - and gain access to distribution. • Add already-created branded assets (like Pinterest recipes, YouTube videos or additional images) to your product record to help bring your brand to life. Manufacturers, 21st-century packaging must translate digitally, and work across all of today’s existing distribution channels. You need to have the ability to create, manage and tell your brand story wherever your brand lives.

CONTENT+ Product Content DELIGHTFUL DARK CHOCOLATE BAR 4oz. | 170 calories | 5g fat

Content+ attaches branded content that travels with products across all distribution channels WHEREVER your brand lives!

Brand activation™ benefits the overall brand message and drives growth both online and offline. Growth comes from brand loyals as well as from new product awareness and information – ready when the product hits the shelves. Consumer access to information online has changed their expectations for how and when and from where they seek brand content, product information and product transparency. New industry initiatives are also changing the expectation for how much and in what format manufacturers provide transparency; the coming label changes in 2018 and the GMA SmartLabel™ initiative, for example. Having control over offline and online brand equity and product information ensures a consistent message and usage of a brand and its assets. It is the basic expectation of 21st-century packaging. ItemMaster’s brand activation™ platform provides a comprehensive solution to ensure you have this control — content as a service in an on-demand, cloud-based platform. From content creation through to analytics, there is end-toend support to ensure every brand is everywhere, and is performing at its best. You have visibility into where your brands have been, enabling you to see your impression views at the brand, product and SKU level for the first time. Retailers, while it is the 21st century, many of you are still facing an incredibly difficult challenge of providing content for your shoppers – your customers but also the customers of manufacturer and private label brands. The vertical nature

of organizations today means that there is a disconnect specific to the fact that you utilize brand content and product information in everything from your planning and merchandising efforts, to your marketing needs, your logistics planning and now your digital shelves. It is imperative to present shoppers with purpose-built content – purpose built for the evolving market of how and where goods are bought and sold. This imperative goes for any traditional retailers powering e-commerce or click-andcollect models to drive convenience and choice for their shoppers, as well as pure-play online and mobile distributors of manufacturer goods. Great imagery, information and tools for shoppers to make informed decisions are invaluable assets. They also maximize efficiency and minimize costs. With everything centralized through a single, on demand™ syndicated network, ItemMaster allows for one-stop sourcing of accurate, consistent and complete brand imagery and product data to tell the right brand story to your shoppers.

ItemMaster 2016-2017

Turn Shoppers into Buyers

ItemMaster’s manufacturer-certified brand content allows the retailer to ensure the information and assets they are utilizing online or for marketing or merchandising efforts, are complete and verified by the manufacturers.

Michael Murray, ItemMaster CEO and president

Linda Crowder, interactive senior director, Peapod

One of the earliest internet start-ups and the entry point for online shopping for many consumers, Peapod, headquartered in Skokie, Ill., brought digital shelves to life as shoppers began seeking consumer-packaged-goods online and delivered to their doors. Now one of ItemMaster’s partners, Peapod provides insight on e-commerce, winning at e-tail (both digital retail and mobile applications) and the benefits to protecting and building brands in this exclusive interview. Finding a world-class partner in ItemMaster, Peapod’s Linda Crowder, Interactive’s Senior Director, discussed this booming market and

ItemMaster’s key role in it with Michael Murray, ItemMaster CEO and president. Q. What keeps you up at night about the current e-commerce marketplace? A. The pace of change in the e-commerce marketplace is both exciting and daunting. There is always some new idea, approach, competitor that you need to know about and respond to quickly. This is not an environment where you have years or even months to develop and try a strategy. You have to be alert to what is happening and move quickly to try different tactics and strategies. Q. What innovations are you most anticipating as the need for manufacturer content everywhere for every brand continues to grow? A. I think the need for more specific information and education will grow. For example, shoppers may be somewhat interested in understanding how a new detergent regimen might work but they definitely want to know how it can get out grass stains from soccer practice. The expectation is that they will control the information flow — what they need/want to know specific to their issues. This personalization of the product experience will be a big challenge, but the brands that get there first will definitely win in the e-commerce marketplace.

ItemMaster 2016-2017

The ItemMaster platform supports a global brand identity and scaled distribution for the likes of Peapod and many others.

Q. How is the online shopping experience different from in-store, and how does Peapod support the consumer’s shopping needs online? A. The online experience is much more individual. The majority of our regular shoppers have lists that they use to start and streamline their shopping experience. While retail shoppers often use lists as well, they still need to navigate a store set up for the market. Online shoppers can create using lists and filters for their own “store environment.” Peapod recognizes this desire and has designed our shopping experience to be extremely easy for shoppers to curate and control – saving them time and stress. Q. How does a partner like ItemMaster improve your everyday business operations? A. The need for complete and verified product information is critical to an e-commerce environment. It is the only way we can ensure shoppers get the products they want and expect. It is essential. Q. Is there a different experience that could/should be delivered to the shopping consumer coming through a “mobile front door”? A. The Peapod shopper expects to have the same overall capabilities and site navigation regardless of the screen they choose to use for their shop, which is why we developed our new site to be responsive in design. However, it is also important to note that the size of the screen is relevant in how the information and images are provided. We have been working with key partners and ItemMaster to develop an image approach that provides consistent information in a relevant manner.

Q. Why is it important to your company to have a comprehensive platform partner to provide manufacturer content? A. ItemMaster enables us to better present brand content and serve our shoppers in a world with constantly changing product information and assets. Q. In what ways does Peapod standout from the competition? A. Peapod has a number of competitive advantages as we look at the online grocery business. First, we have the largest and most complete (fresh, frozen, shelfstable) assortment in the market. Shoppers can truly find what they need for a full grocery stock up on the Peapod site. Second, we have a site that is easy to navigate and provides the most user-friendly shopping experience. Our list feature, nutritional filters and order genus make the site very user friendly and simplify the shopping experience. Third, we have a long history in providing home delivery and a proven track record of providing the on line grocery convenience. Finally, we have the support and resources of one of the strongest global grocery companies in AholdDelhaize behind us. This helps us deliver a great product assortment at very reasonable prices. It also provides a terrific learning lab on how to best meet the shoppers’ needs across the retail and online marketplace.

ItemMaster 2016-2017

brand Activation platform™ innovation & insights ondemand™ exchange

im smartlabel, mobile images byoC, Content+

Innovation has driven IItemMaster’s product development, with purpose-built solutions that revolutionize where brands go and how they turn shoppers into buyers. Bringing together manufacturers and retailers, ItemMaster provides brand activation and the ultimate distribution network ripe with actionable insights, analytics and data. As the $600-billion U.S. food industry further expands and effectively activates in the digital marketplace, ItemMaster is uniquely positioned to partner globally and across diverse product categories to help brands thrive. The platform ensures faster go-to-market strategies, enhances mobile conversations, activates across all brands, reaches all channels and further provides insights and understanding of who is engaging with a brand and how. • Certified Brand Content™– high-quality product data (images and content) that is verified and approved

• Content+ – add branded content (videos, commercials, ads, user-generated content) that travels with products across all distribution channels • Brand Activation Centers™ – retailers and brand owners easily access, manage and deliver all product information from a single source • Innovation – Product solutions and features that deliver against industry initiatives IM SmartLabel™ and drive effective consumer experiences (Mobile Images) • On Demand™ Delivery – real-time delivery to retailers, the digital shelf, mobile application developers and everywhere consumers go • Complete and Verified Dashboard Reporting – to better understand the state of content and to gain visibility into market demand

Are you reAdy to tAke the next step to meet mArket demAnd in the 21 st Century? retAilers - do you wAnt to ACCess the most Complete solution for produCt Content And brAnded Assets? Contact ItemMaster today to hear how we can help you create and deliver packaging that meets consumers’ demands today. • 877.443.5049

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.