Progressive Grocer - August 2015

Page 1

Bell Ringers

Masterful merchandising ideas for seasonal celebrations Pages 52, 62

Fiber Rich

The skinny on how retailers can bulk up sales throughout the store Page 68

The good news is spreading. Discover how Jif is driving innovative growth in the peanut butter & specialty spreads aisle.

Š/TM/Ž The J.M. Smucker Company

Sunny Side Up

Humanely produced eggs gain with shoppers Page 76

Satisfying. Versatile. Delicious. Lunchbox | Snacking | On the Go | Baking | Entertaining

Multiple product forms and flavors offer all-day-long usage for the entire family! America's favorite1 peanut butter has a classic, creamy texture with 7g of protein per serving.

Add incremental purchases by offering convenient ways to enjoy peanut butter.

The fastest growing Jif segment1 now offers Natural Peanut Butter Spreads with a touch of honey, available in new 28 oz. and 40 oz. sizes.

Convenient tub, fluffy texture, and exciting flavors make it easy to snack with spreads.

With 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter, new Jif™ Peanut Powders expand category sales through new usage and new consumers.

Add excitement to the Hazelnut category with unique flavors for expanded usage.

INCREASE CATEGORY AWARENESS WITH TARGETED MARKETING! Ask your sales rep about shopper marketing and promo opportunities available. 1 IRI MULO, Peanut Butter Category - 52 Weeks Ending April 19, 2015

©/TM/® The J.M. Smucker Company

Bell Ringers

Masterful merchandising ideas for seasonal celebrations Pages 52, 62

Fiber Rich

The skinny on how retailers can bulk up sales throughout the store Page 68

Market Bistro by Price Chopper, Latham, N.Y. August 2015 • Volume 94 Number 8 $10 •

Sunny Side Up

Humanely produced eggs gain with shoppers Page 76

Innovation and reinvention set the tone for a new slate of winning supermarket design concepts Page 22

. On trend and on top, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs and Nellie’s Free Range eggs lead the super premium egg category in both retail dollar sales and growth. All our products are free range, certified humane and raised on small family farms. Both brands are running consumer advertising campaigns in varied, mass media.

B��T�� ��V�� ��R��E��, ��A��B��T�� ��G��F�� ��U.™ | © Pete and Gerry’s Organics, LLC 2015

DRIVING THE CATEGORY: Pete & Gerry’s Organic and Nellie’s Free Range are the top two Organic and Free Range Egg brands. Within this $108 million category where our brands are sold, retail sales have grown by +$16.6 million / +18% vs. year-ago.


+30% +$6.4 MILLION












*Data Source: IRI Infoscan Data, 52-Weeks Ending April 19, 2015. Geography Maine to Washington, DC (IRI Standard Northeast Region Plus Balt/Wash.)

August 2015


Volume 94, Issue 8

cover story

refrigerated & frozen 72


Greek Bearing Gifts Yogurt’s latest success story has led to many innovative products and promotions, but what’s next for the category?

52 Fall Holiday Planning

Going the Extra Yard Tailgating and fall celebrations bring opportunities for grocers to drive whole-store sales.


Progressive grocer’s 2015 store design contest

Wonder-filled Creative materials, tech-savvy equipment and invigorated rebranding set the tone for a new slate of award winners.

68 Fiber

The Future of Fiber With more studies showing the nutrient’s benefts — and consumers who want them — fber-rich and -fortifed products are expanding throughout the store.


Cracking the Egg Wars Supply and price challenges jostle with rising consumer demand for humanely produced items in this newly re-energized category.

fresh food grocery 62

candy & snack MercHandising

Limited Success Te impending fall and winter holidays prompt a grand rollout of themed items in center store, along with appropriate selling strategies.

industry events

Mapping Strategies RDs defne value for customers and banners at PG’s Retail Dietitian Symposium.




| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015



Best Friends Forever Te produce industry unites to inspire lifelong healthy eating habits among kids.


Produce category sPotligHt

Avocados for Every Appetite Versatility, variety and seasonality fuel sales of this luscious superfood.

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

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 Technology Editor John karolefski 440-582-1889 Senior Editor katie Martin 224-632-8172 Senior Editor anna wolfe 207-773-1154 Digital Editor kyle Shamorian 224-632-8252 art Director Bill antkowiak Contributing Editors Kathleen Furore, Bob Ingram, Lynn Petrak, Barbara Sax and Jennifer Strailey

nonfoods 102

HealtH Beauty & Wellness

The New Switcheroo Te newest crop of drugs to go from prescription to overthe-counter oferings can see big sales — if manufacturers and retailers handle the change correctly.

108 PG Pet

Pets are People, Too Domesticated animals’ “parents” treat them like family.

technology 113

DiGital CouPons

The Paperless Chase Retailers seek to engage consumers through easier delivery of e-coupons.

equipment & design


store DesiGn serviCes

Design Plus Today’s food retailing environment requires a growing roster of design services.

operations 124


| Progressive Grocer | August 2015

MarkETiNG & ProMoTioN 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 reprints and Licensing wright’s Media 877-652-5295 Subscriber Services/Single-copy Purchases 978-671-0449 or email at

uNiTED STaTES MarkETS Convenience • Grocery/Drug/Mass Store Brands • Specialty Gourmet Multicultural • Green



aDvErTiSiNG SaLES & BuSiNESS Midwest Marketing Manager John huff 224-632-8174 western regional Sales Manager Elizabeth Cherry 310-546-3815 Eastern Marketing Manager Maggie kaeppel 630-364-2150 • Mobile: 708-565-5350 Northeast Marketing Manager Mike Shaw 201-855-7631 • Mobile: 201-281-9100 Marketing Manager Janet Blaney (AZ, CO, ID, MD, MN, MT, NM, NV, OH, TX, UT, WY) 630-364-1601 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 • MEdia • REsEaRch • infoRMation

Strengthening the Links Supply chain logistics operations beyond the terminal are increasing in importance and sophistication.

10 EDiTor’S NoTE: BuSiNESS aS uSuaL? 12 PG PuLSE 14 iN-STorE EvENTS CaLENDar: oCToBEr 2015 16 NiELSEN’S ShELf SToPPErS/SPoTLiGhT: Dairy/frESh EGGS 18 MiNTEL GLoBaL NEw ProDuCTS: SuN CarE 20 aLL’S wELLNESS: hEaLThfuL harvEST 126 whaT’S NExT: EDiTorS’ PiCkS for iNNovaTivE ProDuCTS 128 ThE SuPPLiEr SiDE 130 ThE LaST worD: a TaSTE of ThiNGS To CoME

Jeff friedman

CaNaDiaN MarkETS • Convenience • Pharmacy • Foodservice

President & CEo harry Stagnito Chief information officer kollin Stagnito SvP, Partner Ned Bardic Chief Brand officer korry Stagnito vP & Cfo kyle Stagnito vP/Custom Media Division Pierce hollingsworth 224-632-8229 Production Manager anngail Norris human resources Manager Sandy Berndt Corporate Marketing Director Bruce hendrickson 224-632-8214 Promotion Director robert kuwada 201-855-7616 Director of Events ken romeo 224-632-8181 Director of Digital Strategy Matt McGuire 224-632-8180 audience Development Director Cindy Cardinal

Š2015 Goya Foods, Inc. *Top selling coconut milk SKU (in grocery outlets) Source: Nielsen Strategic Planner, Total US (unit sales), 52 weeks ending 5/9/15.

Leading Innovation The top 5 Cheerios avors are going gluten free. Still the same great taste and price.

Š General Mills

editor’s note by Jim Dudlicek

Business as Usual?


s the once-great Great Atlantic & Pacifc Tea Co. goes down for the second and perhaps fnal time, one is compelled to ask: Will anybody miss it? Entering bankruptcy again just three years after emerging from court protection with Yucaipa’s help, a $1 billion-plus-in-thehole A&P has been briskly selling of as many of its nearly 300 stores as it can to other Northeastern players — some longstanding competitors, others looking to enter new territory. It seems clear that A&P — operating under seven banners across six states — couldn’t do what was necessary to be relevant and engender loyalty in the modern era of retailing. Still, for the short term at least, A&P anticipates providing business as usual for its customers. “For the majority of our customers, we do not expect this to have any impact on your shopping experience,” the company noted on its website when news broke that it would be closing 25 stores as it sought buyers for the others. “While some stores will close in the near term, the vast majority will continue providing customers with the same high-quality products and exceptional customer service.” It seems to me that A&P’s version of “business as usual” is part of the problem. In Consumer Reports’ most recent rating of supermarket chains, A&P and its Waldbaum’s and Pathmark banners ranked at the very bottom of the list of 68 companies, with A&P and Waldbaum’s tied with Walmart for the lowest overall satisfaction score. Pathmark scored just slightly higher overall, but was the only ranked chain to earn “worst” ratings in all freshness and store quality categories. Additionally, Pathmark and Waldbaum’s earned low marks for prepared foods, a key growth area for the grocery industry. Meanwhile, topping the list among neighboring Northeastern grocers were Wegmans Food Markets, at No. 1, and, in ffth place, Market Basket. “While the decision to close some stores is always difcult, these actions will enable the company to refocus its eforts to ensure the vast majority of A&P stores continue operating under new owners as a result of the court-supervised process,” A&P CEO Paul Hertz said, adding that “interest from other strategic operators has been robust during the company’s sale process to date, and we have every expectation that will continue in Chapter 11.” Tus far, that interest has come from Ahold USA’s New York-based Stop & Shop division, which will acquire 25 of A&P’s metro New York Waldbaum’s,


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

If A&P goes away entirely, will anybody miss it? Pathmark and A&P stores; Malvern, Pa.-based Acme Markets (part of the new Albertsons), picking up 76 namesake, Superfresh and Pathmark stores; and Staten Island, N.Y.-based Key Food Stores Cooperative Inc., which will acquire 19 A&P, Food Basics, Food Emporium, Pathmark and Waldbaum’s stores. Let’s hope the new owners will bring these locations up to a new, higher level of grocery retailing, to make them competitive with cutting-edge players. To be fair, I should note that Stop & Shop and Acme ranked 60th and 61st on the Consumer Reports list, just a few notches above the A&P slots (Key Food wasn’t ranked). But based on what we know about the folks running Ahold (and its recent merger partner, Delhaize), Acme (as a part of the Albertsons-Safeway empire) and Key Food, we’re confdent they won’t make the same mistakes as A&P. It’s always sad to see once-great institutions fade. In pop culture, A&P — which dates back to 1859 — is the archetypal grocery store, a name that has become almost synonymous with its industry, kind of like “Xerox” or “Dumpster.” Te HBO television series “Boardwalk Empire,” set in the 1920s, had a character (later revealed to be an undercover federal agent) who was a representative of A&P, setting up new markets across the country. Te banner even touched my own childhood, when A&P briefy became my neighborhood grocery store in suburban Chicago after taking over the local National market. Memories are great, but supermarkets are businesses, not museums, a fact that some enterprises don’t seem to realize until it’s too late. Read the latest coverage of A&P and other breaking industry news at PG Jim Dudlicek Editor-in-Chief Twitter @jimdudlicek

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What’s trending on …

Publix, Wegmans Named ‘Best in Business’

Tip of the cap to Publix Super Markets and Wegmans Food Markets for receiving the Best in Business Award from The Ruderman Family Foundation. The honor recognizes North American businesses that have demonstrated exemplary practices in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities. “Our company recognizes that we are made up of the talents of many, yet we foster the uniqueness of each,” says Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix. “We focus on the abilities of each associate and help them achieve what success looks like for them. It’s a place where you can be exceptional and be yourself.”

Sounding off on Meat Snacks

It’s no secret that consumers are continuously looking to add more protein to their diets, and sales of dehydrated salted-meat snacks have responded in kind, with an 18 percent increase over the past five years. Beef continues to lead the category as the most popular meat snack, but turkey jerky is the fastest-growing, according to new research by The NPD Group, in Port Washington, N.Y. “Meat snacks are an example of not all snacks being equal in terms of meeting different consumer needs,” says Annie Roberts, VP, SupplyTrack. “Knowing the needs products address is important in making sure you’re getting the right products in the right places for the right people.” —The NPD Group

Culling Clean Labels

More than 20 percent of new U.S. products tracked in 2014 had a cleanlabel positioning, up from 17 percent in 2013 — a significant rise in the use of clean-label ingredient products like natural sweeteners, natural colorings and thickeners. In response to consumer demands for shorter, more recognizable

42.5% Shoppers who purchased beauty products at a mass retailer in 2014 —The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research


ingredient lists, manufacturers have been touting the naturalness and origins of their products. Without a governmental definition of the term “natural,” however, more clarity and specificity are needed, with consumers, retailers, industry and regulators all pushing for more transparency in food labeling. —Innova Market Insights

Proof is in the Private Label When asked to identify the single greatest value that readers’ private label programs provide to their customer bases, respondents to PG’s latest poll question named “lower price point” as the overwhelming favorite, with 50 percent of the vote. Here’s how the responses stacked up as we went to press: Lower price point National-brand quality equivalency Loyalty Differentiation An “ultra” or “super” premium option in the marketplace

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

50% 20 14 8 7




FAMILIES IN NEED ARE ASKING FOR MILK Milk is one of the most requested items at Feeding America® food banks nationwide. But donations fall far short of the need. That means many of the 16 million children who struggle with hunger every day miss out on milk’s high-quality protein and other essential nutrients. It’s a big problem.

The Great American Milk Drive® is the answer.


© 2015 America’s Milk Companies.®

Invigorate your milk sales without discounting

Drive foot traffic and new customers to your stores

Strengthen your community presence

MELISSA MALCOLM, MILKPEP Let’s discuss how to put The Great American Milk Drive to work in your stores. Mention this ad during our conversation and I’ll donate a gallon in your name for your time and interest.


October 2015 is... American Cheese Month Breast Cancer Awareness Month Fair Trade Month National Chili Month National Dessert Month










Showcase your staff’s favorite meatfree recipes on social media in honor of World Vegetarian Day.

E-mail your calendar submissions to

F For National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, create a display of products that benefit breast cancer charities.

During Adopt-a-Dog Month, support your local shelter by displaying pictures of dogs looking for their forever homes.















Have plenty of corn tortillas on hand. It’s National Taco Day.

National Coming Out Day, which promotes awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

Support a local cleanup in honor of World Habitat Day.

Columbus Day. Celebrate by offering both Italian (his nationality) and Spanish (his country of departure) products throughout the store.

National Noodle Day. And it’s National Pasta Month.

Ahoy! It’s the U.S. Navy’s birthday (1775). Offer discounts to members of the armed forces.

National Frappé Day. Sample this creamy coffee drink at the coffee bar.

World Rainforest Week National Chocolatecovered Insects Day. You’ve been warned!

Profile a different cheesemaker each week in your e-newsletter for American Cheese Month.

National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day

World Egg Day. How will you celebrate this versatile and nutritious powerhouse?

National Bosses’ Day World Food Day. Help end hunger in your communities by offering information on food banks, soup kitchens and other venues for donating food to those in need.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods Association Convention starts today in Dallas, runs through the 13th.

National Pasta Day. Pin your stores’ best-selling pastas and pasta dishes. Sweetest Day















Chocolate Cupcake Day

Go hog wild in support of Country Ham Month. Sample this Southern staple.


Prepare your store for Halloween by putting up spooky displays of your seasonal treats.

Lead an in-store carving demo for National Pumpkin Day.

Celebrate both Cheese Month and Ham Month with one sandwich. Have your staff create their favorite ham-and-cheese sandwiches and place the best on the sandwich board.

American Beer Day

National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Showcase locally foraged foods in honor of Wild Foods Day.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

For National Nut Day, place almonds, pecans and walnuts inside desserts. Have a buyers meeting to discuss Christmas orders and decoration themes.

National Cat Day National Oatmeal Day

Review Thanksgiving merchandise, such as roasting pans, potato mashers, strainers, basters, pie dishes and other essential equipment, that will be in high demand for the holiday.

National Candy Corn Day

Get your store involved in a community activity to honor Make a Difference Day.


The most popular deli item isn’t’s twisted! While your customers might think about what cold cuts and cheeses to buy, there’s no question that they’ll grab a box or two of John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks to go with them. The crunchy, cheesy, unique flavor in every bite of a CheeseStick is perfect alongside antipastos, deli platters, or right out of the box. The reason they are found in most deli sections and sell so well is simple...they’re a cut above the rest.

John Wm. Macy’s


CheeseSticks 800-643-0573

Front End

Market Intelligence By The Numbers

Shelf Stoppers


Dairy Largest Sales Increases in Supermarkets by The Nielsen Co. (52 Weeks Ending June 6, 2015)

Cheese-Natural-Variety Pack Yogurt-Ref.-Shakes and Drinks Butter Whipping Cream Vegetable Juices and Drinks-Remaining Ref. Remaining Drinks and Shakes-Ref. Cheese-Specialty/Imported Spreads-Remaining Eggs-Fresh Cheese-Natural-Remaining

Total Category

Sales % Change Dollars (Millions) 2015 2014 $39.0 17.9% 7.8% 385.0 15.8 4.9 1,886.1 14.9 4.0 274.9 13.3 6.6 175.2 938.2 1,369.3 841.3 3,855.6 877.3

13.2 11.7 10.6 9.8 9.3 8.6


% Change 2015 11.4% 9.7 -1.3 3.1

40.0 16.6 6.5 22.9 5.8 1.6



Units 2014 6.8% 0.2 3.5 4.1

14.1 8.9 7.9 10.5 1.6 3.7

50.7 15.3 5.9 24.2 -0.6 1.7



NielseN’s Spotlight Consumption Index: Fresh Eggs

CRoSS-MERCh Candidates

LIFESTYLE Behavior Stage

Cosmopolitan Affluent Comfortable Struggling Centers Suburban Country Urban Spreads Cores

Research may have discovered that eggs aren’t bad for consumers’ cholesterol levels, but that message doesn’t seem to have reached many demographics, who aren’t eating a whole lot of them. The biggest consumers are older bustling families, who no doubt appreciate their versatility and relative ease of preparation in morning dishes, and senior couples, who grew up on hearty egg breakfasts and aren’t about to stop eating them now.

Modest Working Towns

Plain Rural Living


WITh ChILDREN: startup Families








small-scale Families








Younger Bustling Families








Older Bustling Families








Young Transitionals








independent singles








senior singles








established Couples








empty-nest Couples








senior Couples
















HHs with young children only <6 small HHs with older children 6+ large HHs with Children (6+), HOH <40 large HHs with children (6+), HOH 40+

No ChILDREN: Any size HHs, no children, <35 1-person HHs, no children, 35-64 1-person HHs, no children, 65+ 2+-person HHs, no children, 35-54 2+-person HHs, no children, 55-64 2+-person HHs, no children, 65+

Very High Consumption (150+)


High Consumption (120-149)

Average Consumption=100

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

• Disposable Diapers • Baby Food • Ice • Dough Products • Vegetables and Grains-Dried • Baby Needs • Charcoal, Logs and Accessories • Milk More oNLINE Dig up actionable e research and additional al intelligence at

Our All Natural Gelato and All Natural Ice Cream are made with a few simple ingredients: fresh cream, pure sugar, rich cocoa, fresh fruit, and real vanilla. It may sound simple, but at Turkey Hill, we know that real ingredients get real results. N E W ! A L L NAT U R A L G E L ATO


B u t t e r Pe c a n Chocolate Chip Chocolate Chocolate Chip C h o c o l a t e Pe a n u t B u t t e r H o m e m a d e Va n i l l a Va n i l l a Fu d g e

Belgian Style Chocolate Butter Almond & Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip S a l t e d C a ra m e l Va n i l l a B e a n Va n i l l a B e a n a n d C h o c o l a t e

Chocolate Chocolate Chip C h o c o l a t e Pe a n u t B u t t e r Coffee Chip Hazelnut Mint Chocolate Chip Pe a c h M a n g o

P u re l y Va n i l l a S e a S a l t e d C a ra m e l

Contact Spencer McDonald at Turkey Hill Dairy, 800.873.2479 | Email: 2601 River Road, Conestoga, PA 17516 | |

Mintel Global New Products Database Category Insights

Sun Care Market Overview The United States is the biggest market for sun care, both in North America and globally, with value sales standing at US $1.29 billion, versus US $159 million for Canada.

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

The seasonal nature of sun protection use, combined with increased competition from personal care products with SPF, have all kept category sales in check. According to Mintel estimates, 2014 sales grew 1.6 percent in the United States and 3.2 percent in Canada. key iSSueS Private label innovations are appealing to budget-driven sun care shoppers, with 49 percent of U.S. sunscreen users citing price as an influential factor when purchasing sun protection. 75 percent of U.S. consumers who use sun care products are interested in sun protection products with natural ingredients, suggesting the potential to expand the natural concept in the sun care category.

What Does it Mean? There’s room for more private label innovation centered on anti-aging, antioxidant and brightening/illuminating benefits, and fortification with vitamins/minerals — areas where the segment underperforms compared with branded items.


The potential exists to expand the natural/organic concept in sun care, as long as effective UV protection is maintained.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

New self-tan formats (e.g., mitts, concentrated boosters to blend with regular skin care products) will help address some of the ease-of-use and natural-looking color issues that plague the segment.

Cider remains one of the hottest categories in beverage alcohol with consumption spiking in the fall – September through November. With ciders high profit margins and Strongbow’s higher sales rates (over well-known cider brands)1 your fall selling season could be your BESTEST ever. CIDER VOLUME HAS A





SINCE 20122

130% VS. YAG


STRONGBOW GOLD APPLE AWARDED BEST TASTING COMMON CIDER* *Strongbow Gold Apple 2014 highest rated common cider by

CONTACT YOUR DISTRIBUTOR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY Enjoy Our Products Responsibly. ©2015 STRONGBOW® Hard Apple Ciders. Produced by Stassen SA. Imported by Bulmers Cider Company, White Plains, NY

1. GuestMetrics – YTD March 2015 2. Nielsen Scantrack, FDCM+, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 3. Nielsen Scantrack, Total Food, Case Volume YTD and latest month ending 5/23/15

The desire to live a healthy lifestyle is harder to stick to during holidays. Offer concepts that provide mini indulgences to satisfy once-a-year cravings.

All’s Wellness By Karen Buch

Healthful Harvest Fall and winter eating occasions bring opportunities for in-store dietitians to connect with shoppers.


s summer draws to a close and households prepare to face the hustle and bustle of back-to-school time, retail dietitians are developing merchandising and nutrition communication plans for the fall and winter. It won’t be long before families are planning and hosting tailgating parties, Tanksgiving celebrations and winter holiday gatherings. Take advantage of these key seasonal opportunities to guide shoppers toward healthier food options.

Solution Selling Supplying customers with healthful recipes for seasonal entertaining can be an efective sales driver when integrated with sales promotions and display plans that highlight key ingredients in both in the ad circular and in store. Recipe development may involve adding a healthier twist to traditional party foods like chili or Bufalo wings, or incorporating current culinary techniques and ingredient trends. Various reports describing the attitudes and behaviors of highly coveted Millennial shoppers indicate that they’re particularly likely to make impulse purchases when provided with recipe ideas. Tailgating Season Tailgating celebrations are about football, fun, and enjoying delicious snacks and appetizers. It may take a “stealth-health” approach to entice the average tailgater to add better-for-you menu options to his or her halftime spread. Focus frst on attracting customers to healthful choices through solutions that promise to deliver big on taste, and then highlight positive nutritional messages as a bonus. Hosting in-store recipe-tasting events centered on a tailgating theme can engage customers in fun food experiences, allowing them to try before they buy while spurring sales lifts of key ingredients. Autumn’s Bounty Fall is a time for merchandising and communications plans that include seasonal favorites such as pumpkin and squashes, roasted vegetables, and warm apple cider. Customers are especially inter-


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

ested in higher-margin, value-added produce items that ofer convenience, such as peeled and diced butternut squash, pre-cut veggies with favorinfused oils, or cider with mulling spices. Popular themed consumer communications at this time of the year include a healthy spin on Tanksgiving favorites, how to host a gluten-free holiday meal and what to make with leftover turkey.

Holiday Celebrations While consumers may have healthy aspirations throughout the year, the desire to live a healthy lifestyle is harder to stick to during holidays. Attitudes and good intentions don’t always match behaviors when it comes to festive food purchases. Ofer recipe and serving concepts that provide mini indulgences to satisfy once-a-year cravings while ofering the benefts of portion control, such as bite-sized appetizers, petite cookies touting healthy add-ins, or shot-glass-size desserts. Feast for the Eyes Does your merchandising plan include high-quality custom photographs of your recipes to share via company communications and social media outlets? Are you taking it a step further to create food preparation instructional videos to deliver to customers via blog, e-blast, corporate website and YouTube? Food and meal imagery has become an increasingly important tool to infuence consumer purchasing decisions. Food and drink is the No. 1 category on Pinterest today, and Facebook and Twitter posts accompanied by imagery garner higher clicks, comments, likes and shares. Curating and delivering meaningful content will continue to be an important way to strengthen grocer relationships with customers. PG Karen Buch, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian/ nutritionist who specializes in retail dietetics and food and nutrition communications. One of the first supermarket dietitians, she is founder of and principal consultant at Pennsylvania-based Nutrition Connections LLC, providing consulting services nationwide. Connect with her on Twitter @karenbuch and at

At The J.M. Smucker Company, aisle leadership is as easy as PB&J.

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

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• Atracting shoppers with new products

• Providing beter-for-you alternatives

• Investing in total category to drive growth

• Offering options for everyone and every occasion

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



Creative materials, tech-savvy equipment and invigorated rebranding set the tone for a new slate of award winners. By Meg Major


rom the Empire, Garden and Sunshine states; to the Midwest mainstays of Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan; then onward to Wyoming, the Rocky Mountains and Utah; and rounded of by a strong showing from Cajun Country, 14 noteworthy food stores representing 11 states across the nation have been chosen as the standouts of Progressive Grocer’s 2015 Store Design Contest. An impressive diversity of formats, foor plans and confgurations are represented in the sixth installation of PG’s Store Design Contest, which recognizes excellence and innovation in newly built/remodeled supermarket design concepts. All projects eligible for consideration were completed and open for business from February 2014 through May 2015. Winners appearing on the following pages were selected from nominations submitted by leading store design frms or direct from retail owners/operators, in six budget categories: two for new ground-up construction, three for major remodels, and a new-store conversion category added this year for supermarkets transformed into new retail grocer destinations from former vacant-building sites, some of which were further narrowed to recognize exceptional excellence in a particular classifcation. As revealed herein, the masterful fnished products are as distinctively fantastic and individually unique as the communities they serve, yet all of the stores share a common, unambiguous commitment to create the most wonder-flled store experience possible for their cherished local customers.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

2015 Store DeSign ConteSt WinnerS Best Remodel (more than 24 $6 million) Remarkable Reinvention

Market Bistro by Price Chopper, Latham, N.Y. Store Owner: Golub Corp./Price Chopper Supermarkets Design Firms: api(+) (lead), DL English Design (supporting)


Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Overall Winner Jackson Whole Grocer, Jackson Hole, Wyo. Store Owner: Jeff Rice Design Firm: Mehmert Store Services

Best Conversion (converting former 28 building to new supermarket) Preservation Perfection Matherne’s, Baton Rouge, La. Store Co-owner: Tony Matherne Design Firm: Decorworx


Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Inspired Reinvention Hi Nabor Supermarket, Baton Rouge, La. Store Owner: Jim Crifasi Design Firms: Decorworx and Salco Construction

Best Conversion (converting former Best Remodel ($3 million to 32 building to new supermarket) 40 $6 million) Form and Function Fresh-focused Pacesetter ShopRite of Burlington, Blackwood, N.J. Store Owner: Eickhoff Family Supermarkets Design Firm: Cold Technology

Strack & Van Til, Munster, Ind. Design Firm: Studio H2G


Best Remodel ($3 million to $6 million) 42 Good to Great Albrecht’s Sentry Market, Delafield, Wis.


Best Remodel 44 ($3 million to $6 million) Healthy Innovation

Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Organic/Natural Whole Foods Market, Davie, Fla. Design Firm: King Retail Solutions

Overall Store Design (new construction, under 50,000 square feet) Best Grocerant Cantoro Italian Market and Trattoria, Plymouth, Mich. Store Owner: Mario Fallone Design Firm: Studio H2G

Overall Store Design (new construction, 36 under 50,000 square feet) Local Charm LeBlanc’s, Baton Rouge, La. Store Owners: Marcy and Randall LeBlanc Design Firm: Decorworx

Overall Store Design (new construction, 38 under 50,000 square feet) Best Ethnic/Specialty Store

Store Owner: Jim Albrecht Design Firm: Mehmert Store Services

Harmons, St. George, Utah Design Firm: Decorworx

Best Remodel (less than $3 million) 46 Upscale Ambiance Clark’s Snowmass, Snowmass Village, Colo. Store Owner: Tom Clark Jr. Design Firm: Decorworx

Best Remodel (less than $3 million) 48 Sustainable Stunner Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café, Pensacola, Fla. Design Firm: Bullock Tice Associates

China Town, Salt Lake City Store Owner: Andrew So Design Firm: Decorworx

August 2015 | |



Best Remodel Category Winners (more than $6 million) Remarkable Reinvention

Market Bistro by Price Chopper, Latham, N.Y. Store Owner: Price Chopper Supermarkets Design Firms: api(+) (lead) and DL English Design (supporting)

Sparks of Inspiration

Designed as the launch pad for The Golub Corp./Price Chopper’s next generation of stores, Market Bistro incorporates a colorful palate of new ideas designed to stimulate the five senses. Neil Golub, executive chairman, and Lew Shaye, VP of culinary concepts, were the visionaries behind the inventive design scheme, which brings their combined 80-plus years of experience in the supermarket and restaurant industries to bear. A 10,000-square-foot expansion opportunity paved the way for the comprehensive remodel, which included the addition of several new store features: organic tomatoes grown on the vine in produce; a growler station dispensing fresh craft beers; an Italian Market offering fresh pasta, sausages, ethnic deli meats and salads; a QuickCare Clinic; a drive-through pharmacy; hand-dipped chocolates; a cooking school with noontime and evening classes; and in-house smoked meats, among others.

Distinctive Design Elements

Designed for superior functional efficiency, entertaining and intuitive shopability, the store evokes a warm and cozy ambience through space, décor, lighting and creature comforts. A shadowed, open ceiling and ambient lighting soften the atmosphere, while focused LED beams romance the product. The warm neutral tones of the flooring, aisle signage, and barrel and basket end displays convey an open-market feel, highlighted by three unique music programs that play simultaneously to distinguish the main supermarket from the Bistro Blvd. and Italian Market areas.

Differentiation Devices

The innovative expansion and dramatic remerchandising took aim at existing specialty and destination offers — floral, cereal, organic and natural, craft beer, cards/party goods, pet, baby, and candy — while the creation of Bistro Blvd. paved the way for a full-service restaurant and collection of 14 fresh, made-to-order fast-casual dining concepts that offer signature twists on popular items from the country’s most famous food landmarks. The main seating area, which includes space for nearly 200 in-store diners at any one time, takes pride of place in the center of Bistro Blvd. and is partially enclosed and enhanced by soft pastel lighting and an attractive tree sculpture, which lends privacy and a park-like atmosphere.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

It’s a new morning in the cereal aisle. Talk about a wake-up call. Post Foods and MOM Brands have combined to create Post Consumer Brands. Together we have never been more committed to the cereal category. In fact, cereal is all we do. As the only major cereal company with a portfolio that now spans the entire cereal category (private label, value, mainstream, natural/organic, hot and oatmeal), we have the capabilities to keep cereal relevant for your shoppers and profitable for you. Combining the strength of Post’s iconic brands with MOM Brands’ challenger spirit makes us one fierce competitor. And one that now has more top 50 best-selling brands* than any other cereal company. Grab on to your apron strings, it’s going to be a heckuva ride.

*Nielsen, XAOC Total US Food, lb share, 52 weeks ending 4/4/15

2015 Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Overall Winner

Jackson Whole Grocer, Jackson Hole, Wyo. Store Owner: Jeff and Darcy Rice Design Firm: Mehmert Store Services

Sparks of Inspiration

A small mountain community amid the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains, Jackson Hole, Wyo., is home to a distinctive lumberyard/hardware store turned sleek supermarket, Jackson Whole Grocer. To be sure, the scenic region’s surrounding mountains and ravines create a brilliant landscape offering folks plenty to do and see — except shopping, as a result of limited retail development opportunities. With this in mind, Jackson Whole Grocer’s owners, Jeff and Darcy Rice, set their sights on relocating their original establishment to the site of a former lumberyard, intent on transforming the property into a bustling market reflecting both the town and the location they’d come to love. Mission comlpete.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

CONGRATULATIONS! Airius, proud sponsor of this year’s PG Store Design Awards, congratulates the 2015 winners.

Distinctive Design Elements

Enlisting Sussex, Wis.-based Mehmert Store Services, along with the skills of local firms G.E. Johnson as general contractor and Berlin Architects for the shell, the store design of Jackson Whole Grocer, housed in a one-of-akind former-drive-through lumberyard, reclaims the original building’s native timber while incorporating modern steel appeal to transform the space into a true thing of beauty. The recycle/reuse/ reclaim approach was carried throughout the market, which features a decidedly mountain-air atmosphere. Vibrant hues of orange and red are juxtaposed against the deep tones of recycled timber to yield a perfect blend of conventional and organic, reclaimed and brand-new.

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Differentiation Devices

Distressed orchard bins and tables display gleaming produce, while carefully selected lighting reveals ready-made meals nearby. Meanwhile, a 180-degree multideck refrigerated display attracts rugged local guides and adventurous travelers stocking up for the day ahead, and the contrasting rustic wooden beams overhead evoke the store’s natural surroundings. State-ofthe-art meat, deli and bakery cases sit against a backdrop of earth-tone tiles and stainless-wrapped timber columns. Customers are welcomed into the café, boasting modern décor and laser-cut lighting, with tables and chairs made from original lumber reclaimed from a former building on the original site.

Call 303.772.2633 or visit

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August 2015 | |



Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Preservation Perfection

Matherne’s, Baton Rouge, La. Store Co-owner: Tony Matherne Design Firm: Decorworx

Sparks of Inspiration

Downtown Baton Rouge, La., had been without a full-service grocery store for nearly 50 years, until Matherne’s opened in early January 2015 in a new mixeduse development. The urban market’s co-owner, Tony Matherne, hasn’t looked back since. Indeed, now drawing a lunch crowd far larger than ever expected — with a line often snaking from one end of the store to the other — Matherne’s swiftly answered the call by extending its hours to meet the needs of enthusiastic local patrons who are grateful to have a store to call their own for basic staples and much more.

Differentiation Devices

To accommodate the busy lunch crowd comprising many downtown professionals, careful consideration was given to how the deli would be set and to merchandising, including compatible signage to complement the charm and sophistication of the historic building. Accordingly, the owners and design team harnessed a colorful, sleek aesthetic to highlight the center of the store, while a cozy, enclosed dining area that previously housed an exterior section of the bank, featuring floor-to-ceiling glass, became another focal point. Chestnut-stained trellises adorn the bakery, deli and meat departments, while dual entrances provide easy entry, exit and checkout efficiencies, all of which are illuminated with high-profile lighting for easy sight lines.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Distinctive Design Elements

The wine shop is housed in a bank vault that still stands as a strong reminder of the building’s past occupant, Capital One Bank. The store shares its main entrance with newly remodeled residential space above, while distinctive existing stone floors and columns were preserved, as was a large historic wall of coins. Although a 30-foot atrium posed a design challenge in the original compact, labyrinthine floor plan, lighting and décor were key to reinventing the space, whose ceiling was painted black and accented by soft custom lighting along the walls. Fleur de lis accents, colorful patterned banners and French-style filigree give a subtle nod to the local flavor, while luxury vinyl wood flooring creates a comfortable atmosphere. Despite some surprises unearthed during the remodel, including uneven floors, unknown concrete stairs, a smaller vault and hidden walls, Matherne’s transformed the space into a functional and efficient downtown destination.


Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Inspired Reinvention

Hi Nabor Supermarket, Baton Rouge, La. Store Owner: Jim Crifasi Design Firms: Decorworx and Salco Construction

Sparks of Inspiration

Starting with a long-vacant building attached to a former restaurant space divided by a brick-and-cinderblock wall, Jim Crifasi wanted his new Hi Nabor supermarket to reflect his family history in the Baton Rouge, La., area and provide a comfortable, lively shopping experience. The inspiration for the new store was Crifasi’s father and the company’s founder, Sam Crifasi, who died one month before the family closed its previous store. Large photos of Sam — who loved Hi Nabor and put everything he had into making the banner’s stores successful — hang in several locations throughout the store, along with photos of his wife, who died in 2009 and whose nickname for Sam was “Sunshine.” As a tribute, the store’s logo now features a shining sun — with nine points of light to represent the family’s nine children — dotting the “i” in Hi Nabor, which, from its opening day, Nov. 6, 2014 (what would have been Sam’s birthday), has attracted many loyal local “nabors.”

Differentiation Devices The unique front end register markers featuring metal tubing and lantern lighting, fabricated by the store manager’s brother and featuring local high schools’ colors, were designed and installed by another Crifasi sibling, John, whose assistance was invaluable throughout the construction process. A large, exclusive photo of the Baton Rouge skyline, taken from across the Mississippi river, with the bridge in the foreground, was incorporated into an outline of the state of Louisiana that hangs on the front wall. Crifasi’s wife’s printing company, First Graphix, designed the aisle markers and also used local school colors. In keeping with the store’s status as a great “nabor,” its fresh smoothies are a big hit with patrons of the 24-hour fitness center that co-anchors the shopping center in which the supermarket is located.

Distinctive Design Elements

While many of the materials in the store have been reclaimed, other features are brand-new. The massive decorative arches —made from sheet metal that was laser-cut by hand by one of the store manager’s brothers and connecting the two sides of the store — invite shoppers into an expansive fresh food department. Prepared foods, such as hot bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner; seasonal fare like rotisserie, smoked or fried turkey dinners; honey-basted baked hams; and pizza, play a large role in the store’s lineup and are housed amid exposed painted ceilings and stained and polished concrete floors. A variety of word art is placed in various areas around the perimeter walls, along with three-dimensional glossy vinyl department signage, while the bold, eye-catching color scheme around the perimeter was orchestrated by Crifasi’s sister Jan.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

80% of shoppers won't report problems in the deli

but 39% will stop shopping that retailer for a short period of time, 9% for longer, and 7% will never shop that store again. Tyson Deli/Bakery can help identify how to reduce problems and increase deli sales. Get to the Right Place. At the Right Pace.

Source: Tyson Consequences of Failure Study 2015

Š2015 Tyson Foods, Inc. Tyson is a registered trademark of Tyson Foods, Inc.


Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Form and Function

ShopRite of Burlington, Blackwood, N.J. Store Owner: Eickhoff Family Supermarkets Design Firm: Cold Technology

Sparks of Inspiration

The project consisted of taking a former 110,000-square-foot Kmart and razing approximately 20,000 square feet to accommodate the new ShopRite store’s receiving facilities, while overhauling the entire shopping center — including a new parking lot and site utilities, as well as an entrance drive from the bypass that leads into the shopping center — to result in a magnificent state-of-the-art supermarket.

Distinctive Design Elements

From an engineering perspective, the store offers cutting-edge features throughout, particularly its refrigeration, HVAC, lighting, power distribution and control systems. The refrigeration system design features electronic expansion valves, electronically commutated motors, LED lights, digital compressors, and variable-frequency drive for condenser fans. The HVAC system design employs a distributed methodology featuring desiccant dehumidification, concentric duct units with reheat, and individualized room control for all back-office facilities. Smart circuit breakers are incorporated into power walls for each electrical room. Lighting uses a high-contrast layered design method that’s nearly 100 percent LED, while the store’s power distribution system features accommodations for a co-generation process that will provide the entire store with full-generation capability in the event of a power loss.

Differentiation Devices

The store features an expansive prepared food program with such elements as separate sushi, Asian, soup and salad bars, along with a hot food bar for traditional fare and fire-grilled, fried and rotisserie chicken. The full-service deli department offers an extensive selection of store-made entrées and salads, while the in-store bakery — complete with its own “doughnut robot” — is in close proximity to the stunning fresh seafood and produce departments. Also providing well-stocked conventional departments with a large variety of meat, dairy, frozen and grocery, ShopRite of Burlington boasts a full-service beer, wine and liquor department in the center of the store, where a large variety of cigars is housed in a custom humidor. Among the store’s services are a drive-through pharmacy department, a shop-from-home pickup department and an on-site nutritionist.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015




WINNERS 888.407.4467 -







“BEST REBRAND” Lins Santa Clara “BEST STORE DESIGN UNDER 30,000 SQ FT” Walker Drug

“BEST STORE CONVERSION” Matherne’s Hi Nabor Supermarket “BEST STORE DESIGN GROUND-UP UNDER 50,000 SQ FT” LeBlanc’s China Town “BEST REMODEL” Harmons Dixie Clarks Snowmass


2015 Sparks of Inspiration

Best Conversion (converting former building to new supermarket) Organic/Natural

Whole Foods Market, Davie, Fla. Design Firm: King Retail Solutions

Well known for trailblazing store design, Whole Foods Market called on King Retail Solutions (KRS) to help it retrofit a larger retail space for its Davie, Fla., store into a locally meaningful destination. With an eye on familiar aesthetics, materials, lifestyles and appetites that celebrate the unique history, geography, and microculture of the colonial destination town — which sits 30 minutes east of the Everglades and 10 minutes off the Gold Coast — the project is a case study in mixedmedia perfection. Combining native Seminole-inspired textile patterning; indigenous colonial materials (i.e., repurposed cypress barn wood, upcycled rusted hardwares and weathered rope); and natural nautical elements, the design team also borrowed liberally from the locale’s bright sunshine and abundant flora, including Spanish moss and big-tree overhangs, to highlight destination spaces (e.g., floral, produce, bulk).

Distinctive Design Elements

Hand-drawn illustrations were applied directly to brick, wood, chalkboard and glass, including a mural paying tribute to brewers’ hops in The Watering Hole beer and wine bar. The marriage of a bright modern space, Atlantic coast color palette, colonial beach ranch sensibility, and Native American textile patterning was incorporated into background graphics, furnishings, treatments, directional signage, and fonts in the custom signage. For instance, KRS redesigned Whole Foods’ Animal Welfare rating system signage to be modular, easily understood, and seethrough so that butcher staff working stations in back could easily see customers approach. For signage, fixtures and décor throughout the store, much of the production was done in-house by KRS custom craftsmen. Murals were hand-painted onto brick, rope and wood signage was antiqued by hand, and wood was routed and hand-stained. The store also features symbolic storytelling throughout, such as in the floral/botanical department, whose focus extends to geometric patterning and design, based on the symbolic storytelling of local Seminole people in basket-weaving patterns that date back to before the 1700s.

Differentiation Devices

Through distinct materials such as Fireclay tile and native cypress, color schemes, and destination-department headlines, the design aims to take shoppers on a journey of discovery. The color scheme creates a bright, modern, beach-y vibe, while showcasing all departments — from health, beauty and home goods, to floral, grocery and everything in between — that support a healthy and harmonious lifestyle. The store also serves up extensive fresh prepared options, including a guacamole station, beer/wine bar, sushi kitchen, sandwich counter, pizzeria, and bars for hot/cold salads, juices, coffees and teas. Seating is made available at each restaurant station, as well as centrally along a front wall lined entirely with bright open windows.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Overall Store Design (new construction, under 50,000 square feet) Best Grocerant

Cantoro Italian Market and Trattoria, Plymouth, Mich. Store Owner: Mario Fallone Design Firm: Studio H2G

Sparks of Inspiration

Cantoro Italian Market owner Mario Fallone enlisted Studio H2G to develop a contemporary specialty market and trattoria for the grocer’s second store that embodies the deeply rooted heritage, culture and reputation its customers have come to love and expect. Motivated and inspired by fresh and authentic prepared foods and cooking and baking conducted on-site daily, Fallone and his team aim to make each shopper’s visit a simple yet unique experience. The end result finds customers venturing from all parts of southeast Michigan to peruse the unique imported grocery products, and enjoy exceptional cuisine in the adjacent restaurant.

Distinctive Design Elements

Three floors comprise the layout, which needed to allow ample space to showcase Cantoro’s grocerant prowess and accommodate an in-house warehouse for the grocery store and the restaurant. The lower level, meanwhile, houses a prep kitchen, a pastry kitchen and the storage warehouse. Also located in the lower level is a cantina resembling an underground Tuscan wine cellar, which is ideal for tastings, wine clubs and lectures; the space is also available to the public for wedding receptions and gatherings of all types. Meanwhile, a large mezzanine upstairs also serves as a venue for events and parties, while the main level is home to the market, offering foods prepared fresh daily in the kitchens — ranging from homemade pasta, breads and pizza, to ribs and sandwiches — along with imported cheeses and deli meats, fresh produce and homemade gelato. Adjacent to the market is a full Italian restaurant and coffee bar offering authentic Italian cuisine.

Differentiation Devices

The store’s most unique design element is its spaciousness, played up by an expansively high ceiling to impart an energizing, open-air vibe. Included on the market side is the cooking line of the restaurant, situated behind the prepared food counter to allow customers to experience the sights and smells of the restaurant itself while piquing their interest in the intensely fresh menu.

August 2015 | |



Best Overall Store Design (new construction, under 50,000 square feet) Local Charm

LeBlanc’s, Baton Rouge, La. Store Owners: Marcy and Randall LeBlanc Design Firm: Decorworx

Sparks of Inspiration

After nearly a century in business, LeBlanc’s Frais Marché location, the eight-store chain’s first market in Baton Rouge, La., added 19,000 square feet to offer local shoppers a more upscale experience. Brothers Marcy and Randall LeBlanc are among the most progressive members of Associated Grocers of Baton Rouge. Well known for offering specialty and local products, including Cajun and Creole specialties, the family, which has run the company for four generations, aimed to create a new gathering place for local residents to enjoy good food, great wine, and LeBlanc’s famous southern hospitality and service.

Distinctive Design Elements

Maintaining local flair was top priority for the design, which blends contemporary elements with historic Louisiana charm. Warm colors breathe life into the parameter walls and create a comfortable, calming vibe, while fleur de lis accents and wrought-iron details mounted on brick evoke classic Southern style. The unstained polished concrete floor is modern and functional, while simple unfinished shelving showcases the product at center stage.

Differentiation Devices

Key to the design are large product photos of LeBlanc’s specialty products, including its signature award-winning cakes showcased in an oversized print above the bakery. Customers are greeted with fresh sushi and a beautiful wine department set apart by a large suspended trellis with brushed-gold lettering. The store’s front end is also adorned with a 20-foot-by-8-foot mural hand-painted by the same local artist LeBlanc’s has long used for its other stores.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

You may not realize it, but by using the name Kleenex® as a generic term for tissue, you risk erasing our coveted brand name that we’ve worked so hard for all these years. Kleenex® is a registered trademark and should always be followed by a ® and the words ‘Brand Tissue’. Just pretend it’s in permanent marker.

® Registered Trademark of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. ©2015 KCWW.

2015 Overall Store Design (new construction, under 50,000 square feet) Best Ethnic/Specialty China Town, Salt Lake City Store Owner: Andrew So Design Firm: Decorworx

Sparks of Inspiration

Utah’s largest Asian market unites the state’s rapidly expanding Asian community with a contemporary, authentic supermarket to call their own. Designed to weave Asian culture into every element, China Town boasts a quaint yet uniquely modern urban design featuring extra-wide aisles and an open ceiling to house an ample array of Asian products and services in a warm and welcoming setting.

Distinctive Design Elements

Larger-than-life product murals, oversized metal and glossy maindepartment text, handpainted wood planks, and a refreshingly bold color scheme serve as the foundation for the décor. An 18-foot fresh-fish tank imparts an authentic, openair fish market atmosphere, while a Tasty Teas of the World wall makes the area feel more like a boutique than a grocery aisle. Additionally, a fresh-cut meat counter offers vast varieties of meats and homemade Asian pastries, while valance text calling out departmental specialties appears in eight languages.

Differentiation Devices

China Town houses 35,000 square feet of Asianthemed product, half of the available space for which (approximately 20,000 square feet) is packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Uncommon and hard-to-find produce are plentiful and abundant here, restocked daily to maximize freshness. China Town sources produce from all around the world, with one goal in mind: to offer maximum assortment for a diverse population.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

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Best Remodel ($3 million to $6 million) Fresh-focused Pacesetter Strack & Van Til, Munster, Ind. Design Firm: Studio H2G

Sparks of Inspiration

Completely revamped to focus on freshness and engaging families to eat healthfully, the store now features an entrance that opens on abundant fresh fruit and vegetable displays from an expansive fresh produce and floral department that serves as the store’s central focal point and provides both easy visual and physical access to adjacent departments that encircle it in a seamless, organized flow. The main aisle leads customers to the fresh bakery, which features whimsical rolling-pin chandeliers, and the deli, housing a exhaustive array of domestic and international products.

Distinctive Design Elements

Reducing the location’s carbon footprint was a primary focus of the brilliant remodel, which added energy efficiencies throughout, including LED lighting. Each department is now clearly labeled and easily visible throughout the store via low sight lines to allow for effortless travel through the location. Individual, unique departmental signs employ earthy, vibrant colors and tones to create a calming, welcoming environment. The fun, playful, visually appealing signage works splendidly with the neutral architectural colors and bold brand graphics to foster an environment that lets Strack & Van Til’s product shine as the hero.

Differentiation Devices

Focusing on whole organics, natural foods and gluten-free items, the store is set up to offer the value of a farmers’ market in the environment of a large space. The location also features on-site grilling in the seafood department, with signage sporting cutout lettering on wood paneling to call out “seafare” against an ocean-at-sunset backdrop. The fresh meat department’s signage, meanwhile, is illuminated by multiple small bulbs, and the sleek checkout lanes are adorned with striking metal-basket lighting that gives the effect of floating candles. Additionally, the front end’s wood textures underfoot and large-scale lamp shades above create an intimate space that makes a lasting impression on shoppers.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015


Sparks of Inspiration

Jim Albrecht, owner of Albrecht’s Sentry Market, took an alreadygreat store and made it even better and more relevant. With the input of Mehmert Store Services to make his vision a reality, Albrecht’s remodel took a high-performing store — which prides itself on customer service and shopping ease — to the next level through a keen focus on perishables, aided by newly minted equipment, fixtures and traffic patterns.

Distinctive Design Elements

To highlight a fresh kitchen experience, both full-service and self-serve cases were employed to showcase the expansive full-service hot foods and fresh soup bars, on-site fresh sushi station, open-top cases, and crystal-clear glass sides, all of which draw eyes to the product on display while enhancing made-to-order customization. Meanwhile, a new specialty cheese department flanks the nearby bakery department on one side, with a seafood ice bar on the other, as part of a series of concentric islands that focus on superior customer service and a premier shopping experience. The end result provides compelling evidence that a simple change in case profiles can fulfill a grocer’s goal of highlighting great products and personal service.

Differentiation Devices

Albrecht’s fresh bakery, featuring rolls, cakes, brownies and signature desserts baked fresh daily, has always been a store destination. Now, signature breads sliced to order add to the bakery experience, which also currently boasts an expanded and vastly more efficient island-style design that provides an interactive experience for the customer and baker, while self-serve bakery bins offer convenience for timestrapped shoppers. The floral department, relocated from a quiet corner to the bustling intersection of liquor and frozen, has also seen a significant increase in sales and customer response. Last but not least, an expanded wine department now features vineyard-style racks that can display a plethora of varieties while cultivating Old World charm.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Best Remodel ($3 million to $6 million) Good to Great

Albrecht’s Sentry Market, Delafield, Wis. Store Owner: Jim Albrecht Design Firm: Mehmert Store Services

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2015 Sparks of Inspiration

Harmons, a neighborhood grocer, operates by a few simple beliefs: exceed customers’ expectations, be remarkably passionate about food and the surrounding community, and serve shoppers with integrity and freshness. These beliefs, coupled with a razor-sharp focus on its better-for-you product availability, provided the core motivation for the remodel of Harmons’ St. George store, located in the heart of a southern Utah community known for promoting healthy lifestyles. Striving to establish and reaffirm Harmons’ prowess as both a merchant and a neighborhood store, the design team created a climate of coziness and spaciousness throughout the location by widening and reorganizing its aisles. The team also sought to develop clean directional information and signage to guide customers around the store with ease and convenience, while reinforcing a love of food and passionate service.

Best Remodel ($3 million to $6 million) Healthy Innovation

Harmons, St. George, Utah Design Firm: Decorworx

Distinctive Design Elements

Placing glossy, bold and modern phrasing and text calling out the healthy and fresh product around the entire store valance serves as the basis of the store’s wellness approach. Add the unique and artistic multidimensional food photos that “pop” off the valance in the primary departments, and shoppers can’t help but pick up on the focus on freshness. Another new and drastic change to the store was the addition of a quaint bistro, which serves as a gathering point with a gourmet coffee and cocoa bar, handmade pastries, and fresh Italian gelato. A spacious yet cozy seating and dining area nearby invites customers not only to sit down and eat, but also to relax, enjoy and linger a little longer.

Differentiation Devices

Harmons keeps an artist on staff to create store signage with a personal touch, feeding into the philosophy that customers are the central focus of the store. The remodeled pharmacy area allows for new prescription-refilling technology, while a larger customer lounge and an expanded associate area enhance the store’s ability to help more patrons every day. These changes, coupled with the hiring of a resident dietitian and an additional 4,000 SKUs of natural and organic products, as well as a new bulk food section, round out the health-and wellness-focused design. As evidence of the enthusiastic support generated by the remodeled store, the parking lot has been expanded since the grand opening.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

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Best Remodel (less than $3 million) Upscale Ambiance

Clark’s Snowmass, Snowmass Village, Colo. Store Owner: Tom Clark Jr. Design Firm: Decorworx

Sparks of Inspiration

Known for its roots as a conventional grocery store that emphasizes natural, organic and gourmet products, Clark’s Markets’ eight stores — six of which are nestled amid the Colorado Rockies’ most iconic ski resort towns, with two others in Utah — each have their own personalities, based on the needs of their respective local customers. Such was the case with Clark’s Snowmass store, which has undergone an extensive remodel. Quickly acquiring a reputation as “the nicest small store in Colorado,” the newly acquired location also added a small but important amount of space — 4,000 square feet — to enhance its appeal to upscale ski vacationers and local residents alike, who select products from shelves that now hold 15 percent more product.

Distinctive Design Elements

When Tom Clark Jr. evaluated the grocery store space he’d leased in the charming village of Snowmass, Colo., it was clear that the store needed a soup-to-nuts overhaul. To that end, Clark gutted the 14,000-square-foot-space and rebuilt the interior from scratch, taking advantage of today’s advanced heating, refrigeration and lighting systems. Installed throughout the store was all-new LED Baro lighting that not only uses half the electrical load that the previous system did, but also showcases the store’s beautiful array of products, especially in the produce department, which features variegated wood planks to offset the simplicity of clean acrylic signage. Design features found in other parts of the store also give a nod to the modern yet rustic resort town, including in Clark’s signature fresh meat department, where dimensional, ornate lettering and signage affirm the message of quality and cut-to-order service.

Differentiation Devices

Guests can order specialty coffees and smoothies and also enjoy samples of various fresh produce items in the multitasking welcome center at the front of the store, which also features made-to-order sushi, a sandwich station and a gourmet deli. The store additionally offers an assortment of chef-prepared meals for grab-and-go convenience, as well as soups and an artisan bakery. To take some of the hassle out of grocery shopping, Clark’s earlier this summer began offering online shopping and delivery. The store’s overall design, including a black ceiling and wood floors, imparts a cozy, modern vibe with a dash of eclectic flavor and fun. Oversized images found throughout the store were taken by a local photographer, who was hired to capture life on the slopes.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

2015 Best Remodel (less than $3 million) Sustainable Stunner

Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café, Pensacola, Fla. Design Firm: Bullock Tice Associates

Sparks of Inspiration

Ever’Man’s site consists of one city block in Pensacola, Fla. The property boundary makes up 2 acres encompassing three existing buildings, the main grocery store, an administrative building and a former print shop building converted into a community center providing a cool, utilitarian gathering space while preserving its function with an urban edge. A newly designed open green space between the renovated buildings at street level was created to accommodate recreation, farmers’ markets, outdoor vendors and other events, while bike racks, electric carcharging stations and retention ponds were also added. In developing the interior of the store, the design teams set out to create a warm, inviting feel capped by different earth tones and appealing signage and murals throughout.

Distinctive Design Elements

Following a member survey and research on how to better serve the greater Pensacola community, the Ever’man co-op, in conjunction with local architects Bullock Tice Associates, set out to develop a community-friendly design in an expanded space. The main grocery store building received a complete interior renovation, as well as an addition to the west and south of the existing facility. The renovation helped Ever’Man provide an efficient circulation pattern for store visitors, expanded and added existing departments to help promote membership growth, placed an indoor-outdoor dining area at the northwest corner of the building, employed highly efficient mechanical and electrical equipment to promote one of the co-op’s core values of sustainability, and, most importantly, helped redefine the Ever’Man’s brand as the grocery store of choice in downtown Pensacola and surrounding areas. A glass canopy system runs the length of the main entrance, set off by dramatic interior design effects like a curving front end with skylights that reflect Ever’Man’s commitment to sustainable design by bringing as much natural daylight into the sales space as possible. Ever’man’s design also boasts reflective roofing, extra insulation, and energy-efficient lighting, refrigeration and HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption.

Continued on page 50


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

W ith New Recipes and a New Look,

The Best in the CaTegory is even BeTter!

WHY BARBER FOODS®? • Barber Foods founded the frozen, stuffed chicken breast category — and leads the category. • The best just got better with great new recipes and a new look honoring our hometown of Portland, Maine. • We’re launching our biggest marketing plan in fve years to create awareness among our loyal customers and introduce Barber Foods to a new generation of customers; it includes FSI, in-store signage and a digital marketing strategy.

To learn more, visit, stop by our Facebook page or email © 2015 AdvancePierre Foods, Inc.

2015 Continued from page 48

Best Remodel (less than $3 million) Sustainable Stunner

Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Café, Pensacola, Fla. Design Firm: Bullock Tice Associates

Differentiation Devices

The project aimed to expand the location’s fresh offerings through an overall grand refresh. The deli increased in size by more than 600 percent, while a full-service meat and seafood department tripled, alongside an expanded produce department. A new dining room seats more than 50 people, along with outdoor seating for 30 more. The retail area of the store was increased by more than 25 percent by adding new construction and relocating a storage cooler outside. The design team also used dark-gray/black shelving to give the store a cleaner look. The new shelving is deeper (22 inches) to maximize available space for additional products. PG


Congratulations to Jeff and Darcy Rice and the entire Jackson Whole team on their award winning store!

Congratulations to the Albrecht Family on their good-to-great store design award!

Add your supermarket to our list of award winning projects!



inn W d r Awa


Want to join us in the winners’ circle? Check out our website for more inspiration or call us today! •

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Fall Holiday Planning

Going the

Extra Yard Tailgating and fall celebrations bring opportunities for grocers to drive whole-store sales. By Jim Dudlicek


here’s no reason for grilling season to end when summer does. With outdoor cooking enjoying solid popularity, even among the all-important Millennial demographic, grocery retailers have the perfect opportunity to carry that momentum into fall with initiatives to support the great American pastime of tailgating. To be sure, tailgating, along with the concurrent and following fall and winter holidays, presents a golden opportunity to rally the entire store — from meat to snacks to spirits — behind delivering solutions for shoppers eager to cheer their team on


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

to victory or refect on the past year with family and friends. Especially for grocers in towns with enthusiastic professional or collegiate sports fan bases, autumn leaves can translate into more dollars dropped at the cash register. Indeed, the food industry loves football season, afrms Jim Rogers, VP of sales and marketing at Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef. “Te very frst tailgate party of the year has become the unofcial beginning of fall, and always involves food and beverages,” Rogers says, “and fans that prefer to watch from home also need to eat. Te classic holidays, like Tanksgiving and Christmas,



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THIS IS MONEY MillerCoors’ partnership with celebrity chef Guy Fieri features recipes using Miller Lite as an ingredient.

People are looking for unique foods and flavors in their appetizers and snacks through unexpected items outside of typical party food.” —Mark Baranczyk, Jack Link’s


Fall Holiday Planning

are equally important because they ofer a great excuse for consumers to pull out all the stops and create a memorable holiday feast.” Tese special events provide cross-promotion opportunities throughout the store, Rogers asserts. “Popular grill-ready cuts are appealing to the tailgaters; recipes and suggestive selling for in-home cooking are targeted to the sofa watchers,” he says. “Te same rule applies for the holidays: Turkeys, hams and beef roasts are always at the top of everyone’s must-have lists.” Promotions are a key component in boosting sales across the store. “Te best way to leverage these events is to be prepared,” Rogers advises. “Adjust your product mix to cuts you know customers will be looking for. Also, ofer convenient options for them.” For example, burgers are popular for tailgating, but Rogers suggests also promoting small roasts, such as teres major or coulotte. “Tey are easy to cook and feed a large group while maximizing grill space,” he says. “Creating a ‘grab-and-grill’ section featuring multiple items, like burgers and kabobs with complementary items like chips, buns and paper products, is another simple way to bump up your sales.” To help shoppers hosting house parties for the big game, ofer recipes that are easy to make and can feed a lot of hungry mouths. “Putting everything in one easy-to-fnd location not only makes their shopping experience faster, but it also presents an opportunity to sell add-on items that may not have been on your customer’s radar,” Rogers says. “For the holidays, put together ‘party packs’ that are basically classic party items bundled together.” For extra impact, bundle items that shoppers might not expect, like a better-for-you party pack featuring hummus, pita chips and celery. Grocers should harness their digital initiatives by creating a checklist or suggested menu for special-event periods, make the lists easily

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

downloadable, or provide printouts in store to help with planning. “In-store instruction videos are another industry favorite around the holidays,” Rogers says. “For example, a video that demonstrates how to cook and carve a roast can help a customer feel more confdent in investing in a costly item such as a whole beef roast.” For its part, Creekstone Farms helps retailers create promotions that extend to their entire customer base. “We also ofer seasonal cookbooks with recipes that are approachable to the average amateur chef and feature cuts that might not be in their usual weekly lineup,” Rogers adds. “Tese recipes are designed to showcase a wide variety of meals with mass appeal — from the frst-time football party host to moms looking to create a new family-favorite dish.” Rob Kirchofer, director of retail marketing and innovation at the Des Moines, Iowa-based National Pork Board, notes that fresh pork products are a great value to consumers amid rising prices in the rest of the meat case. “Particularly in the fall and winter months, we encourage retailers to merchandise standing rib pork roasts, pork ribeye roasts and loin roasts, as these cuts are a great value, easy to prepare, and elegant and favorful choices for holiday meals,” Kirchofer says. “Tey are easy to slice and can be topped with a variety of sauces.” Fall is also a great time to merchandise hams for their ease of preparation, adaptability for leftovers and host of new favor options, such as chipotle, molasses and bacon. Of course, hot dogs are a perennial favorite for tailgating, an opportunity that Jacksonville, Fla.based Beaver Street Fisheries hopes to capitalize on with the launch of its Grillman’s brand of franks, including Angus beef and uncured varieties. “Holidays and sports seasons are opportunities to partner with grocers on promotional strategies that drive sales,” says Bluzette Carline, Grillman’s director of marketing. “Ofering programs specifc to event purchases, grocers can work to increase

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Fall Holiday Planning

sales, with hopes that consumers will stock up on items to get them through these seasons.”

Tastes Like Team Spirits Football season usually means a new crop of beer commercials, signaling one of the most important sales periods for beverage manufacturers looking to make their products an integral part of consumers’

Patent Pending

tailgating and fall holiday celebrations. Matt Dzarnowski, director of channel solutions at Chicago-based brewer MillerCoors, notes that Tanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, including the weeks leading up to each holiday, are the largest beer sales weeks of the fourth quarter. “Shopper interest in beer styles and education has never been greater, and the opportunity to deliver solutions that pair beer with recipes, or include beer in the recipes, is timely,” Dzarnowski says. “Tere’s a real culinary exploration movement in America today, and beer fts nicely in that movement. What often goes overlooked is the fact that beer outsells wine most weeks of the year. So leveraging the beer-and-food occasion is a great way to drive conversion and basket size.” Tat culinary exploration includes wide public interest in celebrity chefs, providing new opportunities to leverage. For example, MillerCoors’ Miller Lite partnership with Guy Fieri features holiday recipes that include Miller Lite as an ingredient. “Recipes from Guy, like Holiday Stufed Pork Loin with Red Pepper Relish and Smoked Turkey Legs with Cranberry BBQ Sauce, are examples of how Miller Lite can help our grocers build their basket with powerful, relevant shopper solutions,” Dzarnowski says. Also, Pints & Plates is a shopper solution that pairs MillerCoors craft, cider, import and specialty brands with chef-inspired recipes. “A mobile-enabled website allows shoppers to download recipes and ingredient lists in the preshop or in-store, providing shoppers with immediate holiday meal solutions paired with favorful beers,” Dzarnowski says. “Both solutions do a great job of building the basket beyond beer category sales and provide our grocers a real advantage against other class-of-trade retailers.”

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| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | July 2015

Recipes for Success Retailers are partnering with other suppliers on recipe concepts as well, designed to drive interest and trafc through the store. West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s teamed up with Engage Organics, a Kelseyville, Calif.-based purveyor of salt-free seasonings, to create simple, favorful recipes that inspire shoppers. Perfect for tailgating or


THAT PEOPLE CRAVE. Coming this fall our new, mouth-watering Cocktail Franks and Smokies will grab your customers by the taste buds. Like our popular full-sized franks, these bite-sized favorites are crafted from 100% fresh, never frozen meats and no fillers. They’re sure to elevate any holiday party to a very delicious occasion. So make sure your case is stocked and ready this season, because no party will be complete without them.

For more information, contact a Grillman’s expert at

(800) 920-2003 •


Putting everything in one easy-tofind location not only makes their shopping experience faster, but it also presents an opportunity to sell add-on items that may not have been on your customer’s radar.” —Jim Rogers, Creekstone Farms

Fall Holiday Planning

game-day gatherings is Raley’s Game Time Chili, which combines the store’s own grass-fed beef, beer, organic veggies and Engage’s Mexi-Mix Seasoning, notes Patty Mastracco, food editor for Raley’s Something Extra magazine. Engage ofers a host of tailgating recipe ideas of its own on its website, including salt-free marinades for grilled meats, and snack dips for chips, vegetables and fruit, made with ingredients like light sour cream and Greek yogurt, for folks looking to remove some of the guilt from their game-day feasts. Of course, snacks are a huge part of tailgating and other special occasions. Munchies like chips and pretzels are ubiquitous, with many new versions boasting gluten-free status and made with ancient grains, popcorn, beans, and even kale, beets or seaweed. Meanwhile, protein-rich foods are in high demand, so the folks at Jack Link’s are prepared to help grocers take advantage of this trend at holiday snack time. Mark Baranczyk, director of trade marketing for the Minong, Wis.-based maker of jerky and other meat snacks, says grocery retailers should take advantage of special occasions with signage and displays. “Providing cross-merchandising solutions throughout the perimeter of the store could also help the grocery retailer take advantage of impulse purchase occasions in heavy trafc areas,” Baranczyk says. Jack Link’s has promotions throughout the year, accompanied by custom displays to attract consumers to purchase its products — including new chicken and bacon jerkies — during certain occasions. “By partnering with grocery retailers on custom promotions, we will provide them with unique, innovative merchandising solutions,” Baranczyk says. For example, this fall Jack Link’s is partnering with Red Bull on a promotion giving shoppers $2 of a 2.85-ounce bag of Jack Link’s with the purchase of a 4-pack of Red Bull. “We are also conducting a back-to-school promotion that focuses on pro-

tein on the go. If two bags of 2.85-ounce Jack Link’s jerky are purchased, shoppers can save $1.50,” Baranczyk adds. “Jack Link’s jerky is a great lunchbox or backpack stufer and afterschool snack.”

Producing a Victory Not to be outdone by other store categories, produce growers have their own tailgating and fall promotions. Irving, Texas-based Avocados From Mexico (AFM) is launching several fall programs, including Fiestas Patrias Guacamoments, running Aug. 30 - Sept. 26 to coincide with Hispanic Heritage Month. Tis partnership with Coca-Cola aims to provide Hispanic shoppers with value-priced meal solutions and will ofer consumer savings, along with bilingual POS materials. Additionally, AFM and national partner Ro-Tel, a brand of Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods, are running their Tastiest Tailgate promotion Sept. 15 - Oct. 31. Tis promotion will be centered on the Rockin’ Guac recipe, described as a “speed scratch” guacamole made using AFM avocados and Ro-Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies. Supported by consumer incentives and unique merchandising, the campaign also ofers retailers a chance to win prizes for creative displays. Further, the Tastiest Tailgate will be featured on an electronic billboard in New York’s Times Square and will go on the road with the Tailgate Tour of six college football tailgate events. “Big-name partnerships, creative displays, consumer incentives and retail contests, as well as event and ad support, will help increase sales during this crucial period,” says Alvaro Luque, AFM president.

U.S. Grill Sales Heat Up As summer fades into tailgating season, Mintel’s new “Grilling and Barbecuing U.S. 2015” report reveals that nearly half of Americans (47 percent) plan to purchase a grill within the next two years. With household grill ownership holding steady at nearly 80 percent since 2011, an overwhelming majority of U.S. grillers (93 percent) report grilling on occasion during the week, and 31 percent grill regularly on weekends. Not unexpectedly, 38 percent of grillers regularly hold cookouts


on holidays such as Memorial Day or Independence Day. The future of the U.S. grill market may very well lie with Millennials. Consumers age 25-34 are more likely (65 percent) than average (47 per-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

cent) to buy a grill within the next two years; eight in 10 consumers age 25-34 already own a grill. Seven in 10 (71 percent) Millennials report using their grills at a sporting event for tailgating, well above the overall average (44 percent). Grilling accessories are important to older Millennials, with 42 percent owning at least five such accessories and 77 percent noting that they’d like to own more. Read more about grilling trends at

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LEADER OF THE PACK Alsum Farms’ annual contest awards a lucky Green Bay Packers fan tailgating goodies.

Fall Holiday Planning

Friesland, Wis.-based Alsum Farms & Produce — a potato grower and wholesale distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables — is planning this fall to repeat its 2014 collaboration with its home-state team, the Green Bay Packers, on the What’s On Your Grill fan promotion. Last fall, fans were invited to submit a photo of themselves gathered around a grill featuring some of their favorite game-day eats. Nearly 425 5P Packers k fans submitted photo entries, and the lucky winner received a new gas grill; a $100 gift card to a retailer grocery partner to purchase meat, potatoes and other vegetables for the fan’s next tailgate party; and an Alsum apron and grill tongs.

Life of the Party Creekstone’s Rogers says 2015 is going to present “some unique challenges such as a tight supply for turkeys; however, that will present an opportunity to see stronger ham and roast sales.” MillerCoors’ Dzarnowski says product innovation presents a “timely and relevant” opportunity


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

f grocers: “Growing for ssegments like cider and favored beverages are f blurring the lines of b beer, wine and spirits. b Brands like Redd’s B Apple Ale and Blue A Moon White IPA allow M tthe consumer to explore new favors and styles of n beer, generating increb mentall sales l during d holiday h l d occasions. Te opportunity to deliver solutions for food-and-beer pairings is important to meeting shopper expectations.” Meanwhile, special occasions provide a chance for grocers to help consumers create “a memorable and visual party experience,” says Baranczyk, at Jack Link’s. “People are looking for unique foods and favors in their appetizers and snacks through unexpected items outside of typical party food,” he says. “Technology and social sharing also play large roles in recent party-planning changes. Both brands and grocery retailers can take advantage of these social media trends to build new ideas and experiences attractive to shoppers.” PG

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Candy & Snack Merchandising



The impending fall and winter holidays prompt a grand rollout of themed items in center store, along with appropriate selling strategies. By Bridget Goldschmidt


Shoppers anticipate fall flavors more and more. It seems to set the tone for the season.” —Mike Osornio, United Supermarkets


s summer gives way to autumn, shoppers at Lubbock, Texasbased United Supermarkets begin to grow excited about new treats heralding that time of year, which brings with it Halloween and Tanksgiving, and the knowledge that Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s aren’t far behind. “Shoppers anticipate fall favors more and more,” notes Mike Osornio, senior business manager for center store at the 37-store chain with locations in 24 Texas markets. “It seems to set the tone for the season.” Generating most of this excitement, according to Osornio, is “the snack category, [which] does not have the same fall favors year after year. For example, chocolate-covered chips and pumpkin or spice cookies are fairly new to the category and season, versus items that have been produced year after year, like red-and-green-packaged candy or candy canes.” Perhaps in response to this positive reaction on the part of consumers, he’s observed “an increase in limited-edition fall favors from more and more manufacturers.” One of those is Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Salem Baking Co., whose new Pumpkin Collec-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

tion consists of Pumpkin Caramel with Sea Salt Delightfully Tin & Crispy Cookies, Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Straws, and Pumpkin Spice Moravian Cookies. “As demand for pumpkin products continues to grow, we anticipate a very positive reception in the marketplace,” says Salem President Brooke Smith.

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Candy brands are moving into the snacking space and traditional snacks have been inching closer to the candy space. There are no more ‘rules’ when it comes to playing in your category during the holiday season.” —Claire Cretors, G.H. Cretors

Candy & Snack Merchandising

Blurred Lines Seasonal snacks may be creating greater buzz than candy by virtue of their relative novelty, but they’re often borrowing from the candy ingredient list to do so, with chocolate, caramel and peppermint among the favored favors. Indeed, Claire Cretors, president of Waukegan, Ill.-based G.H. Cretors, a maker of gourmet favored popcorn, has observed a “blurring across category lines — candy brands are moving into the snacking space and traditional snacks have been inching closer to the candy space.” Adds Cretors, “Tere are no more ‘rules’ when it comes to playing in your category during the holiday season.” She also notes as major seasonal trends the continuing proliferation of new and unique favors — sweet, savory, and sweet and spicy, among others — and the launch of indulgent favors. G.H. Cretors has just entered the seasonalsnacking arena; the company’s frst such lineup consists of four SKUs: Orchard Apple Caramel Corn, Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, Double Chocolate Caramel Corn, and a tin with three favors: Orchard Apple Caramel Corn, Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn and G.H. Cretors’ “famous” Chicago Mix. “Tese favors will be targeted to consumers seeking premium, artisanal and unique seasonal favors to enjoy at home, share with friends or give as a holiday gift,” Cretors says. Another newcomer to the segment, West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Brownie Brittle LLC, is launching Chocolate Chip with White Snowfake Drizzle, Mint Chocolate Chip with Dark Drizzle and Salted Caramel with Dark Drizzle varieties, all in festive snowfake-spangled packaging. Te inspiration to create the line, notes company founder Sheila G. Mains, arose partly from an emerging consumer need: “While the holidays are usually seen as a time for indulging, one of the trends we have seen is the idea of ‘indulging responsibly,’ and this was one of the catalysts that sparked the idea for this treat.” In addition to its new holiday SKUs, Brownie Brittle has joined forces with the St. Helena, Calif.based Robert Mondavi Winery “to showcase how well chocolate works with their wines,” says Mains. “Tis will take place during the months of November and December, [and] will include a bottle necker with a coupon for Brownie Brittle on select Mondavi varieties.” Visual Appeal Among established seasonal players, Charlotte, N.C.-based Tropical Foods has Christille Bay, a line of four-compartment party trays; a collection


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

of resealable cubes flled with traditional holiday candy and holiday-themed snack mixes; and Festive Favorite Chocolate and Yogurt Pretzels. According to Director of Marketing Chad Hartman, consumers “love Christille Bay because they can buy an assortment of snacks … all in one package. Tey like the unique snack mixes in the resealable cubes, especially Reindeer Food, which blends … peanuts, candy corn and dried fruit. Festive Favorite has also had positive feedback for the beautifully designed bag and the tasty coated pretzels inside.” Big Shippers Tropical’s seasonal merchandising strategy has a solid grounding in experience. “We have found that shippers or being part of destination holiday displays are the best merchandising,” says Hartman. “With shippers, you stick out from the normal fow of a grocery store, so it is easy to catch the shopper’s eye with the right product. Dedicated holiday displays are a key part of in-and-out holiday sales in grocery and retail stores. Tey are a destination that consumers go to and buy; having your products in that display talks to all consumers [who] are seeking out products such as yours.” He continues: “Te key to our marketing strategy is providing visually appealing product in key destination locations. All of our packages show as much product as possible so consumers know exactly what they are getting. … Establishing great locations within the store to attract customers is a second key strategy to get maximum consumer visibility.” For its Pretzel Crisps line, available annually in Dark Chocolate & Peppermint and White Chocolate & Peppermint holiday varieties, Snyder’s-Lance Inc., also based in Charlotte, similarly discovered “that pre-packed shippers work best around the holidays because of their simple and clean design,” says Eric Van De Wal, VP marketing and innovation at Clearview Foods, a division of Snyder’s-Lance. “Holiday shopping is a busy time of year, so we like to ensure that our products stand out in the deli aisle as simply and clearly as possible.” “We plan on using holiday-themed header cards on our limited-edition


Candy & Snack Merchandising

product packaging. Te header cards will reinforce the decaFrom dent theme of our holiday inpumpkin spice dulgent line and give a uniform or caramel look on displays.”

apple flavors during the autumn to peppermint in the winter, consumers want to enjoy their favorite seasonal flavors in new forms, including candy.”

—Brandy Woolford, The Hershey Co.


Candy’s Still Dandy Of course, seasonal candy’s still a big deal. Although it’s a mature category with no major major shifts in brands or favors, and therefore experiences only to moderate year-over-year gains, United’s Osornio notes, “Seasonal candy sales are approximately 20 percent of all candy sales.” “Seasonal favors, shapes and packaging continue to drive excitement for the category,” afrms Brandy Woolford, associate manager, brand public relations at Te Hershey Co., whose upcoming products include limited-edition Lancaster Caramel Apple caramels in the fall, and Kit Kat Dark Chocolate Mint Miniatures and Hershey’s Peppermint Bark Bells, the latter previously available only at Target, for the winter holidays. “From pumpkin spice or caramel apple favors during the autumn to peppermint in the winter, consumers want to enjoy their favorite seasonal favors in new forms, including candy. Seasonally themed packaging is defnitely an important factor, as packaging is often one of the frst things that catches a consumer’s eye.” Over at Hackettstown, N.J.-based Mars Chocolate North America, whose M&M’s brand is the most-purchased chocolate brand for gifting, stufng stockings and flling candy bowls, according to the “Christmas Beacon Report,” seasonal products include redesigned variety bags and fun-size packaging to “really stand out on shelf ” during Halloween, and M&M’s White Peppermint Candies, according to Larry Lupo, VP of sales/grocery, convenience & drug channels. Another seasonal innovation: Snickers Baking Bites for the Holidays, which, he notes, enables “consumers to add their favorite candy bar to their family recipes.” “Vibrant seasonal packaging adds excitement to the seasonal aisle, attracts attention to stand out on shelf and is a very important cue to connect with the shopper,” says Lupo, echoing Woolford’s observation. “Secondary displays are key to grabbing shoppers’ attention,” he adds. “Two new displays from Mars that showcase single bars and seasonal shapes are the Mixed Shapes Miniwings — which keep the aisles clear and can hang anywhere in the store — and the Mixed Shapes & Singles Towers, which retailers

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

can stand, hang or mount to capture impulse purchases.” Te company’s seasonal promotions include Holiday on the Go, slated for November and December, during which consumers who buy Mars’ Singles products can send a text for the chance to instantly win free Mars Chocolate and cash cards. Bethlehem, Pa.-based Just Born, maker of the iconic Peeps candies and other items, also embraces the importance of packaging for its seasonal oferings. “At Christmas, consumers are looking for a product that fts into a stocking, and for Halloween, a snack size for the Halloween bowl,” notes Matthew Pye, VP of corporate afairs and trade relations. Te company’s fall and winter holiday lineup includes Mike and Ike Zours Zombies in fve intense sour fruit favors and Red Velvet Christmas Peeps dipped in cream-favored fudge. In common with Mars, Just Born looks beyond merchandising only in the seasonal candy aisle, seeking out “secondary placement such as in the specialty sections, baking aisle or on displays,” notes Pye. To that end, Just Born has teamed exclusively with Target on an item that, like Snickers Baking Bites, aims to inspire consumers to include their preferred seasonal candy in baked goods. “Te new Peeps Halloween Marshmallow Toppers kit includes a variety pack of Peeps tombstones, pumpkins, cats and ghost-shaped marshmallows with a recipe on the back of the package that encourages consumers to bake cupcakes with Betty Crocker products and top the cupcakes with Peeps,” explains Pye. “Te kit is a test and will be placed in the seasonal set.” If the item — Just Born’s frst in the baking set — does well, “it will be rolled out nationally with additional seasonal kits to drive baking and crafting activity,” he says, noting that the company will also team with Universal Pictures for the winter holiday DVD releases of “Minions” and “Jurassic World.” Whether candy or snacks, fall- or winter-themed, seasonal items defnitely have an impact on retailers’ sales. Afrms United’s Osornio: “As soon as product lands in our stores, we begin to see sales spike.” PG For more about seasonal candy and snacks, visit



The Future of Fiber

With more studies showing the nutrient’s benefits — and consumers who want them — fiber-rich and -fortified products are expanding throughout the store. By Lynn Petrak


hile better-for-you fads may come and go — remember oat bran, cabbage soup, and low-carb diets? — the health halo around fber-rich foods has been a little more frmly afxed than other foods perceived as keys to a healthy diet. Fiber has long been touted for its health and nutrition benefts. While adequate fber intake has been a dietary recommendation for decades, other advantages of dietary fber are getting more attention. And luckily for grocery retailers, manufacturers are stepping up with a new generation of products. “Fiber used to be known mainly for its benefts as a laxative, and foods such as prunes, as well as powdered fber supplements, were common sources of fber,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, a New York-based registered dietitian and author of “Te F-Factor Diet” and “Te Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear — with Fiber!” “However, in recent years, fber has become one of the hottest nutrients, acknowledged for its many health benefts, like lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugars, healthy digestion, lowering cancer risk, and more, validated by a wealth of scientifc evidence.” A similar compare/contrast is drawn by Alyssa Nard, director of marketing for Pittsburgh-based nutrition bar maker NuGo Nutrition. “A lot of people used to have this idea that ‘fber’ was synonymous with ‘cardboard,’ and that only senior citizens needed fber,” she notes. “But ... in recent years, consumers have really become much more aware of the comprehensive health benefts of dietary fber, and the delicious high-fber food options available to help provide those benefts. We know that people shopping at grocery stores are looking for fber-flled foods, and there are now more options than ever to help shoppers check fber of the grocery list.” Tracking with that assessment, several consumer studies have revealed a steady interest in dietary fber. As one example, Zuckerbrot cites a recent food and health survey from the Washington, D.C.-based International Food Information Council (IFIC). “When asked which nutrients they want to consume as much or more often in

their diet, whole grains ranked frst and fber was a close second,” she says. Tat fber fgure rose by 2 percent, to 55 percent, from last year to this year. Other surveys have found similar attitudes. In its 2015 “Healthy Eating Trends Around the World” report, Schaumburg, Ill.-based market research frm Nielsen found that almost one-third (30 percent) of consumers in North America rank fber as “very important” in their food-buying decisions, on par with protein and whole grains.

Fiber Optics A quick scan of the marketplace supports interest in fberrich foods. Nutrition bars represent an already thriving and expanding category, and many of those bars, from major brands like Nutri Grain’s Fiber & Oat Bars, are merchandised as high in fber. NuGo’s Nard says that bars are a convenient way to add fber to the diet. “More and more, we hear that people are looking for ways to fnd dietary fber that tastes good and is free of artifcial ingredients or added sugars,” she observes. “We recognized the huge potential of a natural, delicious, high-fber product that people could eat without worrying about gastrointestinal upset.” Most recently, NuGo launched the Fiber d’Lish bar, a Non-GMO Project Verifed item sweetened with fruit juices and free of artifcial additives. Cereal is another category in which fber is top of mind

August 2015 | |



We know that people shopping at grocery stores are looking for fiber-filled foods, and there are now more options than ever to help shoppers check fiber off the grocery list.” —Alyssa Nard, NuGo Nutrition


and often at the top of the package, with cereals from brands including Fiber One, Kellogg’s, Cascadian Farm Organic, Kashi, Nature’s Path and Barbara’s. Bread is another good example. While it hasn’t been a totally white-bread world for a while now, grocery shelves now include an even greater variety of products high in whole grains and fber. Te line of sliced breads from Orowheat and Brownberry, both part of Horsham, Pa.-based Bimbo Bakeries USA, include high-fber and double-fber varieties. Cudahy, Wis.-based Angelic Bakehouse, for its part, recently added a seven-grain wrap to its fatbread line. In the freezer case, Toronto-based Artizo’s Liberate 12-grain rye bread is labeled as “triple fber bread.” Tere are other spots where fber is showing up more on product labels and promotional materials. Te ready-to-drink beverage aisle has grown to include a spate of better-for-you products beyond water, juice, tea and soda, like Morton Grove, Ill.based Lifeway’s drinkable kefr with oats. Pastas are getting a new look, too. In addition to gluten-free and veggie pastas, shoppers can opt for whole grain pastas that are high in fber, like Ronzoni’s Smart Taste pasta, from Harrisburg, Pa.based New World Pasta Co., which promotes the fact that a serving delivers two and a half times the amount of fber as regular pasta. With the advent of better-for-you salty snacks made from beans, lentils and other fber-rich sources, fber is likewise included in these snack foods’ product descriptions. Chickpea snacks from Boston-based Biena’s line of all-natural snacks, for instance, are high in fber as well as protein. Fruit chips, like crunchy apple chips from brands like Manteca, Calif.-based Bare, also have high fber content and are marketed as such. Some brands are essentially associated with fber. Te Fiber One brand, from Minneapolis-based General Mills, has expanded over the years beyond cereals and bars to include cookies, brownies and even gummy-style fruit snacks. In the fresh sections, meanwhile, supermarkets

Studies Fortify Fiber’s Benefits Research confirms the role that dietary fiber plays in a healthy diet. A 10-year study of nearly 400,000 people funded by the National Institutes of Health found a link between eating a fiber-rich diet and greater longevity. “Researchers cite fiber’s unique role in reducing the risk of death from


can appeal to shoppers interested in high-fber food choices. Many fruits are naturally high in fber, including raspberries, apples and mangoes, to name a few, while darker vegetables, such as broccoli, Swiss chard and spinach, tend to be higher in fber. Sharing nutrient information at the point of sale in the produce department can help educate consumers and spur sales. “Te produce section probably remains a bit of a mystery for many shoppers, who know fruits and vegetables are healthy, but not exactly why,” observes Zuckerbrot.

Bulking Up Shopper Knowledge To Zuckerbrot’s point, grocers can connect with fber-conscious shoppers to highlight fber-rich foods and bolster consumers’ knowledge. “Supermarkets are doing more to promote healthy nutrition, some hiring registered dietitians to drive education online, in-store and in the community,’ she says. “Dieters would gravitate to highfber produce if [it were] identifed as such, with the weight loss benefts explained in communications and merchandising.” Manufacturers of fber-rich products are touting the word on their labels to garner attention at the point of sale. “For our Fiber d’Lish bar, we make what’s inside the packaging very clear with the product’s name,” notes Nard, adding that colorful, fun packaging is combined with educational messaging. Even with the advent of more fber-rich and -fortifed products, Zuckerbrot points out that there’s still room for improvement, not only in terms of merchandising these items to capture shoppers’ attention, but also from a dietary perspective. “While consumer awareness of fber’s benefts is growing, the fact remains that most Americans still get less than half the recommended daily amount of fber in their diet,” she points out, adding that most Americans are consuming an average of 9 to 11 grams of fber a day, compared with the recommended intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. PG

cardiovascular disease, infectious and respiratory disease, ease, and certain cancers,” ncers,” notes registered d dietitian and author Tanya Zuckerbrot. Another study, y, conducted at the Harvard d School of Public Health, linked the consumption of high-fiber cereal with a 34

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

percent lower risk of death from complications of diabetes and a 15 percent lo lower risk of death from cancer. canc Last fall, a study conducted by research researchers at the University of o Illinois showed that d dietary fiber helps produce beneficial gut prod bacteria that can spur bact weight loss. weig























$84 A Campbell’s household is one that purchases 10+ Campbell’s products per year. Source: IRI US Panel, 52 Weeks Ending 10/5/2014




Frozen & Refrigerated



Bearing Gifts

Yogurt’s latest success story has led to many innovative products and promotions, but what’s next for the category? By Bridget Goldschmidt


Greek yogurt is now considered the healthy alternative in the yogurt category.” —Don Grace, Bashas’


t Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’, a particular type of yogurt has become the go-to product for a particular type of consumer. “Greek yogurt is now considered the healthy alternative in the yogurt category,” says Don Grace, Bashas’ dairy buyer, who has worked at the company for more than 35 years, and so has seen his share of trends in the department. “Tis has caused an infux of Greek yogurt into many other products,” as well as many new SKUs in the Greek and other yogurt segments. So many, in fact, that Grace believes they’re negatively afecting the category. “Yogurt sales have been fat so far this year,” he observes. “Te major companies have introduced so many new products that it has saturated the market.” Among these recent introductions in the Greek segment, Grace cites items with “added grains, nuts, seeds and fruits.” With such an infux of new oferings, diferentiation becomes vital.

In the Mix General Mills believes its Yoplait Plenti line will be just such a game changer. Te Minneapolis-based company’s new line “combines Greek yogurt with whole grain oats, fax and pumpkin seeds for hearty, protein-packed yogurt.” Containing 12 grams of protein in each cup, Yoplait Plenti comes in eight favors. Similarly, leading Greek yogurt producer Chobani, based in Norwich, N.Y., has added two

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

new favors, Raisin Brown Sugar and Peach, to its Greek Yogurt Oats line, which features an Ancient Grain Blend of steel-cut oats, quinoa, chia, buckwheat and amaranth, mixed with real fruit. Chobani has also introduced three new favors to its Flip line featuring “exciting, inspired, natural mix-ins” — Cofee Break Bliss, Peanut Butter Dream and Limited Batch Strawberry Summer Crisp — along with convenient 4-packs for the line’s top two favors, Almond Coco Loco and Key Lime Crumble. In June, the company promoted the line, sold in packaging that enables consumers to “fip” the product’s toppings into the yogurt, as an afternoon snack for “National Break You Make Day,” which it describes as “a celebration for fnding small moments of enjoyment each day.” Te brand’s other recent rollouts include Chobani Kids Greek Yogurt Pouches Featuring Disney’s Doc McStufns and Chobani Kids Greek Yogurt Mixed Berry Tubes; two Limited Batch favors, Plum and the returning Watermelon, available through August; and additional SKUs in its Simply 100 and Indulgent lines, the latter of which, launched last year, is the company’s frst dessert product. Chobani has also debuted revamped packaging that highlights core attributes of each of its products, including natural, non-GMO ingredients, and less sugar than regular fruit yogurt for its traditional and Simply 100 lines. According to Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing ofcer, “Tis year, we’ve really pushed

Innovative, Reliable & Abundant

Š 2014 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

Š 2014 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

Frozen & Refrigerated

“This year, we’ve really pushed the boundaries of Greek yogurt as we continue making products that give our fans better options throughout the day.”

—Peter McGuinness, Chobani


the boundaries of Greek yogurt as we continue making products that give our fans better options throughout the day, and we’ve been especially blown away by the love for our Flip products.”

Healthy Spoonfuls Beyond jazzing it up with extra ingredients, manufacturers are fnding other ways to innovate with Greek yogurt. As Bashas’ Grace points out, the item’s healthy halo is a defnite draw. “American shoppers are keenly interested in protein and fnding new ways to incorporate it into their diet, and Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein,” asserts Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations at Te Dannon Co., in White Plains, N.Y. “Greek yogurt is also a very diferent eating experience than traditional yogurt, because Greek yogurt is so much more creamy and thick. Additionally, Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for less healthful ingredients, whether that be a dessert, a dip or a marinade.” “Te widespread health benefts, specifcally in regards to protein, were a big driver of the trend toward Greek yogurt,” concurs Koel Tomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt, a Bellvue, Colo.-based maker of Australian-style yogurt. To that end, Dannon has focused on the nutritive value of its Greek lines. “New product oferings, such as Dannon Oikos Triple Zero, as well as existing products, such as … Light & Fit Greek, have performed very well because they address needs that really aren’t met by any other yogurt maker,” explains Neuwirth. Triple Zero “packs in 15 grams of protein with zero added sugar, zero artifcial sweeteners and zero fat,” according to the company, while Light & Fit Greek, containing just 80 calories per 5.3-ounce serving, but twice the protein of regular nonfat yogurt, recently ran a Great Greek Flavor Search contest, in which the winner, submitted by a Boston-area preschool teacher, was Tiramisu. Stirring Up Sales Asked about marketing and merchandising, Neuwirth replies: “Yogurt promotion in store performs best in incremental sales lifts when feature and display are combined. Tematic promotion also is quite efective.” For instance, Dannon ran in-store Triple Zero demos through its Snack Like a Pro promotion, which included Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as celebrity spokesman; the line also scored an endorsement as the Ofcial


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Yogurt of the NFL. “We have found that when new yogurt products are introduced, the best method to excite customers is to sample the products,” agrees Grace, adding that they should be “displayed with a hot introductory price.” He continues: “We believe that promoting yogurt products with ads and temporary price reductions is the best way to get the attention of our customers. Most of the yogurt products are displayed in the dairy cases, but when space is available, we use ends and spot displays.” Noted Chobani’s McGuinness at the start of 2015: “Our marketing in the coming year will focus especially on driving trial and raising awareness, including national campaigns, event marketing and sampling programs that introduce even more people to our products and the category.”

Whither Yogurt? Te next big thing in the yogurt category is still an open question. Grace thinks oferings like Chobani Indulgent or Müller Yogurt’s brand-new line of Dessert Inspired varieties will grow in popularity. “Te strategy is to have yogurt as an all-around product, not just something for breakfast,” he says of an item that’s currently being touted as an anytime snack. Neuwirth believes “it’s possible that savory may be a trend … to watch”; Pocantico Hills, N.Y.-based Blue Hill has already begun catering to this taste preference with its Beet, Butternut Squash, Tomato and Carrot yogurts. Te category’s next geographical hot spot could well be Down Under. “Greek yogurt spurred a change in the category toward a richer and creamier yogurt, opening up an opportunity for Noosa to be the perfect intersection between Greek and traditional varieties,” Tomae says of her company’s full-fat dairy products, growing consumer demand for which “has resulted in great product performance for” the company, she adds. Noosa has introduced two new favors — Vanilla and Cranberry Apple — and is relaunching its Pumpkin variety nationally in 8-ounce and 4-ounce 4-packs. “Each new product stems from a diferent food trend or favor inspiration,” explains Tomae. “For example, while the relaunch of Pumpkin results directly from the product’s success when it was ... in Target stores last year, the Cranberry Apple launch was because we wanted to make another classic fall favor that paired perfectly with our yogurt.” PG For more on the yogurt category, visit

Refrigerated & Frozen


Cracking the

Egg Wars

Supply and price challenges jostle with rising consumer demand for humanely produced items in this newly re-energized category. By Lynn Petrak


hile “Which came frst, the chicken or the egg?” has been pondered over the millennia, the current question in the fresh egg marketplace is just how much egg production practices are afecting sales and consumer preferences. Like the age-old riddle, the latter puzzle is subject to debate. Although hens have laid eggs for human consumption since ancient times and technically came frst, eggs have only been commercially produced over the past several decades, while in the past few years, a surge of interest in cage-free, free-range and organic product has altered the marketplace for eggs in an everything-old-is-new-again kind of way. Indeed, cage-free and free-range eggs have become both buzzwords and points of discussion in many circles. Actor Brad Pitt, for example, made news in July when he called upon a leading club store to carry only cage-free eggs. Tis summer, Minneapolis-based food conglomer-


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

ate General Mills revealed its commitment to 100 percent cage-free eggs for its U.S. operations, with a not-yet-specifed deadline. According to Steve Peterson, director of sustainable sourcing, the decision was based on many factors. “We know that people care about where their food comes from and how it was cared for all throughout its journey to the store shelves,” he notes. “Our commitment to source 100 percent cage-free eggs for our U.S. business is, in part, in response to consumers’ ever-evolving food values, but also because we believe it’s the right thing to do.” In addition to food companies that use eggs as ingredients, retailers are widening their refrigerator shelf space for more cage-free, free-range and organic products. Five years ago, the nation’s leading grocer, Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said that its private label Great Value eggs would be cage-free; this past May, Walmart asked its food suppliers to follow stricter guidelines for animal welfare; and in July, the mega-retailer revealed that it was boosting its ofering of eggs from the San Francisco-based Happy Egg Co., which produces 100 percent free-range eggs and is guided by a hen welfare program. David Wagstaf, COO for the Happy Egg Co., affrms that expanded distribution of its free-range eggs in Walmart and many other supermarkets around the country mirrors consumers’ mindsets. “Our growth is absolutely refecting current consumer trends in fresh eggs,” he asserts. “Tere are two important dynamics that have been part of this: frst, the recognition of progressive grocery retailers in the U.S. in terms of the growing need for innovation and change in the egg category, and second, the fact that consumers are beginning to further buy into the proposition and importance of consuming humanely raised eggs.” Egg industry leaders agree that there’s growing consumer awareness of where food comes from and say there’s room for a variety of products in the market. “Recognizing that customers place value on having choices in the type of eggs they purchase,

hens today are raised by our farmer-members using various housing and egg production practices,” says Chad Gregory, president and CEO of Alpharetta, Ga.-based United Egg Producers (UEP), a cooperative of egg farmers from across the United States that represents the ownership of about 95 percent of the nation’s egg-laying hens. “United Egg Producers fully supports having choices available in the marketplace, and that support is refected in the diversity of eggs ofered by America’s egg farmers. For retailers or foodservice operators wishing to provide more cage-free eggs in their supply, America’s egg farmers will work to meet those requests, while ensuring the health and well-being of the hens they raise.”

Within the egg category, there are certain patterns of growth in the cage-free, free-range and organic sectors. SPINS, a Schaumburg-based provider of retail consumer insights, analytics and consulting for the natural, organic and specialty products industry, found that sales of eggs with a free-range claim in natural supermarkets, specialty supermarkets and conventional multioutlet stores, excluding Walmart

Egg Glossary Cage-free eggs: Eggs from birds not raised in cages, but in an open environment in a floor setting. Free-range eggs: Eggs from birds that can venture in and out of the barn. Organic eggs: Eggs from birds that are generally cage-free, consume organic feed and aren’t treated with antibiotics. Pasteurized eggs: Eggs that undergo a pasteurization process to reduce risk of foodborne illness associated with eggs that are raw or lightly cooked. In the United States, many birds are still kept in housing systems called battery cages. The European Union Council banned traditional battery cages in Europe in 2012, due to animal welfare concerns.

Data by the Dozen Market research bears out growing demand for a greater variety of eggs, and eggs in general. After several years of fat or declining sales, eggs are trending up. According to data from Chicago-based market research frm IRI, sales of refrigerated eggs have reached nearly $6.2 billion, up 9.97 percent from the last 52 weeks ending June 14, 2015. Likewise, data from Schaumburg, Ill.based Nielsen reveal a 10.6 increase in dollar sales from 2013 to 2014. August 2015 | |


Refrigerated & Frozen

Cage-free will become the replacement for caged over the next five to 10 years, and free-range will be the gold standard for animal welfare and quality egg production.” —David Wagstaff, The Happy Egg Co.


and Whole Foods) rose 4.2 percent over the 52 weeks ending June 14, 2015, to reach more than $92 million. Sales of eggs with a pasture-raised claim surged 82.1 percent in that same time frame to reach nearly $26 million. Retailers, for their part, are cracking open a new market — pun intended — with organic eggs. According to Nielsen research, sales of organic eggs rose 19.1 percent from 2013 to 2014, while SPINS reports that sales of organic eggs (with 70plus percent organic content) climbed 27.3 percent to more than $517 million, and sales of eggs with organic and free-range/pastured claims increased 11.1 percent to more than $73 million. Within the overall egg category, many brands of specialty eggs, including cage-free and free-range product, have experienced sales spikes. In its retail tracking, IRI fnds that sales of eggs from the Pete & Gerry’s brand of natural eggs rose more than 61 percent in the past year, while sales of Great Day Farms fresh eggs are up 76 percent.

At the Happy Egg Co., Wagstaf likewise acknowledges burgeoning business. “Te purchasing of eggs from more humanely raised hens, including free-range, has grown by a massive 57 percent during the last 52 weeks,” he notes. “Te Happy Egg Co. has invested heavily in production capacity to meet this increase in demand and ensure an uninterrupted supply to its retail customers.” Wagstaf projects even further expansion. “We do expect this interest to become the standard by which all egg production will be shopped,” he observes. “We are beginning to see how consumer purchasing habits have changed dramatically in such a short period of time, and more families are becoming concerned as to how their food is sourced. As it stands, cage-free will become the replacement for caged over the next fve to 10 years, and freerange will be the gold standard for animal welfare and quality egg production.” Brown eggs, meanwhile, are catching consumer attention, too, with sales rising 14.4 percent from


Talking with Eric Frank President, Tosca Progressive Grocer: Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for eggs are a relatively new packaging alternative to corrugated. Why was the container introduced?

that our advanced reusable container drives effciencies throughout the entire supply chain, resulting in substantial business benefts and a better overall customer experience.

Eric Frank: Reusable containers are an established packaging solution in Europe and have proven to be a better packaging alternative for most perishable items. Eggs are one of the most fragile items in a grocery store, and many are damaged long before they even make it to the customer’s shopping cart, creating substantial losses for retailers. To address this problem, a prominent grocery retailer asked Tosca to develop a packaging and supply chain solution for this issue.

PG: If a retailer or supplier has not used reusable containers before, how would they transition from a one-way package to a reusable solution?

PG: What is the value of reusable containers?

PG: With the recent Avian Infuenza outbreak, what impact can RPCs have on this issue?

EF: The egg RPC’s strong construction and protective features provide a much more durable shipping platform, reducing markdowns by 50%. And, our unique one-step SmartWall™ design also simplifes the restocking process for store associates, when the RPC is used on display. We’re thrilled

EF: With dramatically less supply and mounting prices, implementing safeguards to keep eggs as fresh and as protected as possible is more critical than ever before. One way this can be accomplished is by using RPCs. The signifcant reduction in shrink allows our customers to protect their


investments and eliminate unnecessary food waste. The RPC also delivers maximum ventilation cooling eggs in 1 day to the required 45°F temperature versus 6 days in a corrugated box. The Tosca RPC enables suppliers and retailers to safely transport eggs from farm to fork while minimizing markdowns.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

EF: Packaging is a critical component of the supply chain, which is why Tosca built the Supply Chain Optimization Model. This comprehensive tool allows users to understand all facets of a packaging conversion – before making a single change. We’ve proven the effciencies of RPCs for the perimeter of the grocery store with produce, case-ready meat, poultry & most recently with eggs. Reusable containers provide an opportunity to take your supply chain to a better place which not only creates value for you, but more importantly, for your customers.

Better packaging. Better product.

It really is that simple. From farm to fork, Tosca ofers perfect protection for nature’s perfect food. Our new reusable containers reduce shrink with a smarter and more durable design that not only prevents damage, but also ofers enhanced ventilation for faster cooling. Faster cooling means fresher eggs. And our innovative SmartWall™ panel drops in one quick motion for more efcient stocking and restocking, saving labor hours. For peace of mind and a better design, Tosca delivers.

Refrigerated & Frozen

Our commitment to work toward 100 percent cage-free eggs … will be a challenge because the U.S. egg supply has serious shortages right now due to the avian influenza outbreak.” —Steve Peterson, General Mills


2013 to 2014, according to Nielsen. In addition to sales data, consumer attitudinal research supports the appeal of eating eggs. According to research from Chicagobased Mintel, 92 percent of consumers say that they eat eggs; more than half (52 percent) of consumers say they do so at least a few times a week. For those looking at demographics, Millennials lead frequency of consumption, followed by Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Swing Generation, per Mintel’s fndings. In a recent report on eggs, London-based market research frm Euromonitor International made the point that egg consumption is in positive territory compared with other food and protein types. For example, while fresh egg volume sales have risen in the United States, fresh meat volumes have declined. Within the breakfast daypart, sales of eggs are higher as sales of breakfast cereals dip.

New Varieties Beyond formal research, just looking at today’s retail egg section supports the trend of an evolving market for eggs. Many specialty brands now have a stronger shelf presence, including

product from suppliers like the Happy Egg Co., Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Niman Ranch, Blue Sky and Organic Valley. At the same time, several store brands and national egg brands are adding cagefree varieties to their traditional lines, such as Eggland’s Best and Land O’Lakes. Shoppers can also opt for pasteurized eggs, especially if they’re looking to make foods with uncooked or slightly cooked eggs. “Interest and demand for pasteurized eggs is defnitely growing,” afrms Jay Berglind, VP of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs, in Lansing, Ill. “Years ago, most consumers thought all eggs were pasteurized. Today’s consumers are becoming more aware and … more particular about the foods they purchase.”

Shell Games While grocery shoppers are largely setting trends based on their various interests in natural, cage-

Pompeian adds New Smooth EVOO to our existing Robust EVOO Pompeian’s Robust EVOO is perfect for Marinades, Pasta, and Salad Dressings and our new Smooth EVOO is ideal for Sautéing, Sauces, and Stir Frying. Our research shows that consumers are more than willing to purchase both our Robust and our New Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oils. This is great news for our partner retailers! Not only will your customers have a reason to purchase both of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils, but with our parity pricing, now it’s possible to put both of our oils on special at the same time.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

free products; higher-protein foods; and safer raw eggs, there are other forces at work in the fresh egg marketplace. For one thing, the price of eggs in many parts of the country experienced a signifcant uptick this year, following an outbreak of avian fu in many Midwestern states that substantially reduced (and, in some cases, decimated) focks and egg supplies. In mid-July, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the price for wholesale chicken eggs rose more than 84 percent from May to June. While avian fu isn’t as widespread now as it was earlier in the year, high prices are expected to continue into the fall, due to the smaller current inventory of chickens. At General Mills, Peterson says that the situation has posed some issues. “Our commitment to work toward 100 percent cage-free eggs is signifcant, but it will be a challenge because the U.S. egg supply has serious shortages right now due to the avian infuenza outbreak,” he admits. In addition to supply issues, some legislation has afected egg production, as well as consumer perceptions of it. In California, Proposition 2, also known as the California Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, was passed in 2008 to ban conven-

tional eggs and require those that produce and sell eggs in the state to allow hens able to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their wings. Tat regulation, in turn, led to lawsuits from other egg-producing states, whose farmers contended that California’s requirements were afecting their own egg industries. Te legal battle is ongoing. Nearly fve years ago, UEP and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) aligned in an efort to create a uniform cage production standard for the U.S. egg industry via a new farm bill, instead of more piecemeal state-bystate regulations like those in California. Last year, though, the two organizations ended their “understanding” and UEP has since refocused its eforts on other ways to deliver what consumers want, while ensuring “business certainty” for American egg farmers. Innovations in egg production and marketing continue. For instance, Naturally Smart eggs, from Chicago-based Dutch Farms, uses “Hen2Home” technology, with each egg sporting a use-by date etched with organic laser lights, and a code allowing consumers to trace any egg back to the farm where it was laid and confrm its production method. PG

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Fresh Food


Best Friends


The produce industry unites to inspire lifelong healthy eating habits among kids. By Jennifer Strailey


ith nearly one in three children in America either overweight or obese, the need to turn kids and their families on to a more active lifestyle that’s rich in fresh fruits and vegetables remains profound. For the past several years, the produce business, from growers to retailers to industry organizations, has worked to end the obesity epidemic with a collective surge of creativity it hopes will mean a healthier future for the nation. Campaigns like “Eat Brighter!” from the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Sesame Workshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), along with a slew of new products, are making fruits and vegetables more fun and kid-friendly than ever. Programs that encourage children to grab more fruits and veggies on the go are also making their mark at supermarkets around the country. “I believe, as an industry, we feel a sense of duty in regards to fghting childhood obesity,” says Cathy Burns, president of Newark, Del.-based PMA, who is “thrilled” that Sesame Workshop and PHA have extended the Eat Brighter program partnership through 2018, and into Mexico, meaning that produce marketers who sell product in that country can now use images of the program’s “Sesame Street” characters in their marketing strategies.

Today, Eat Brighter boasts 110 participants, 39 of which are suppliers. PMA’s research team, which has been collecting sales data from suppliers, retailers and promotional boards since the beginning of the year, initially reported that participants, on average, were seeing a 1 percent to 2 percent increase in sales over last year. More recent data fnd participants reporting a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in sales. “It’s consumer recognition of the Eat Brighter movement like this that can really drive positive responses to the program,” asserts Burns of the campaign, which frst launched in March 2013. While the Eat Brighter initiative appeals to the nation’s youngest consumers and their families, PMA is also a founding supporter of another PHA-led program called FNV (Fruits and Vegetables), which uses aggressive advertising and catchy marketing to promote fruit and vegetable consumption to teens and their families. On a related note, the FNV launch video produced by comedy television and Internet network Funny or Die, starring First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird and comedian Billy Eichner, has been nominated for an Emmy.’

‘Sparking Evolution’ Two years into Eat Brighter and six months into FNV, Burns admits that these marketing campaigns aren’t about overnight successes, but rather aim to spark a dietary evolution. “As far as progress is concerned, this is a journey we’ll be embarking on for a long time to come. But that doesn’t mean that many of the tools and tactics we’re taking now — including using smart marketing to engage children at a young age and make them lifelong consumers — isn’t working,” asserts Burns. “In fact, we’re confdent that it will aid consumption statistics, but it’s just one tool,” she continues. “Trough a combined efort, a tenacious dedication and doing what we do best — producing healthy, delicious product — we’re in a great position to help make change.”

Going Long Chelan Fresh Marketing, a Chelan, Wash.-based marketer of fresh cherries, apples and pears, is one of the 39 suppliers participating in the Eat Brighter program. Tis summer marks Chelan’s frst selling Eat Brighter cherries. Te company will expand the program to include 3-pound bags of apples and pears featuring “Sesame Street” characters this fall. To capture the attention of older kids, Chelan is participating in Fuel Up to Play 60, a program founded by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, which encourages students to choose good-for-you foods and be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Participating students can win such prizes as an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets. Additionally, in coordination with the 50th Super Bowl, Chelan will ofer this January and February 3- and 5-pound bags of apples and pears that feature the Fuel Up campaign. “Kids see the program in school, and our hope is that when they see the apples in the store, they tug on Mom’s arm and say, ‘Tat’s one of the fuel foods I’m supposed to eat,’” says Mac Riggan, director of marketing for Chelan. “Our marketing program is about infuencing the tastes of emerging consumers,” adds Riggan. “Our hope is they’ll be so used to eating fruits and vegetables that when they have their own money, they’ll buy an apple or a cup of cherries instead of a bag of chips.”

I believe, as an industry, we feel a sense of duty in regards to fighting childhood obesity.” —Cathy Burns, Produce Marketing Association

Back to School with Produce Dedicated to educating families on the benefts of healthy eating, providing simple meal solutions and raising money for children’s nonproft organizations, Orlando, Fla.-based Produce for Kids (PFK) recently wrapped its 13th Annual Healthy Eating Campaign. Since 2002, the campaign has raised $5 million for children’s charities. Tis year, PFK teamed with 35 produce companies and seven retailers nationwide to increase fruit and vegetable consumption by ofering in-store and online meal solutions, recipes and tips for families

August 2015 | |


Fresh Food

Our marketing program is about influencing the tastes of emerging consumers.” —Mac Riggan, Chelan Fresh Marketing



looking to embrace healthier eating habits. In addition to the in-store POS, online marketing and social media support, PFK conducted 258 demo events at participating supermarkets, where shoppers could sample healthy, kid-friendly recipes featuring products from the campaign’s sponsors. “Obviously, demos increase sales,” says PFK VP Trish James. “Tey are a big tool to give retailers a sales bump in the fruits and vegetables they are promoting.”

Power Lunch With back-to-school solutions top of mind for many parents this time of year, PFK is launching a trio of programs designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption this fall. “We have a very busy fall planned and will be executing three programs to get families ready for back to school: Our digital Power Your Lunchbox Pledge program, our fall fagship campaign at Publix and Meijer, and our Produce for Kids’ Club at Tops Markets,” notes James. Te Power Your Lunchbox program invites families to make a pledge to pack healthier lunches at, a site that ofers recipes, coupons and healthy lunch tips. For every pledge, PFK donates $1 to Feeding America. Te program runs Aug. 3 through mid-September. “Our digital program, Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, allows us and our sponsors to talk directly to families during one of the busiest times of the year, ofering them advice and ideas to fll lunchboxes with produce,” asserts James. PFK’s fall fagship campaign, which launched earlier this month and runs until October, features “Te Very Hungry Caterpillar,” the beloved children’s book by Eric Carle. In-store demos, kid-friendly recipes and guest appearances by the very hungry caterpillar of the story are all part of the campaign. “It’s a great way to engage the consumer in the produce department,” observes James. Finally, the philanthropic organization will extend its Produce for Kids’ Club program, which launched earlier this year at Quincy, Ill.based Niemann Foods’ County Market banner. Te transaction-based loyalty program encourages consumers to purchase participating produce items, ofering registered users a kids’ card good for a free piece of fruit each month. Tis fall, the program will also be available at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Supermarket Solutions What can supermarkets do to increase produce sales during the back-to-school occasion? “You need to think about solutions for customers where they are today,” advises James. “What are they struggling with? Build a merchandising strategy around that.” She points to a merchandising display case like the one created by PFK for a recent trade show, which featured all of the components for a delicious, produce-rich and nutritious meal. When it comes to healthier snacking, Crispy Green, the Fairfeld, N.J.-based maker of Crispy Fruit all-natural freeze-dried fruit snacks, has introduced a pack of six 0.36-ounce Crispy Fruit bags in seven varieties: Apples, Mangoes, Asian Pears, Bananas, Cantaloupes, Pineapples and Tangerine. Although Crispy Fruit is 100 percent pure, freeze-dried fruit with no added sugar, “kids feel like they’re munching on a chip,” says company spokeswoman Cherie Boldt. Crispy Green, a PFK sponsor, is also Kid Kritics Approved. Te Kid Kritics seal indicates better food choices that taste good. To gain approval, a product is blind taste-tested by a panel of kids, whose responses must be 70 percent positive. “We like to position our product as the perfect complement to fresh fruit,” notes Boldt. “Fresh fruit isn’t always the most convenient snack for soccer practice or the backseat of the car. With Crispy Fruit, it’s all fruit, non-GMO certifed, kosher and easy to eat on the go.” Last month, Pero Family Farms, another PFK sponsor, expanded its retail fresh grab-andgo snack category items with 2.25-ounce Mini Sweet Pepper Snack Rings with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip and 2.25-ounce Green Bean Snack Snips with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip. Both items contain 45 calories or fewer. Recognizing that families need kid-friendly solutions for nutritious and favorful main courses and side dishes, Delray, Fla.-based Pero is expanding its lineup with an Italian Green Bean Seasoning product this month. “Te idea of the seasoning was driven by Pero Family Farms’ desire to help families, Millennial shoppers and children alike fnd an easier


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Fresh Food

Our digital program, Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, allows us and our sponsors to talk directly to families during one of the busiest times of the year, offering them advice and ideas to fill lunchboxes with produce.” —Trish James, Produce for Kids


way to enhance the favor and save time while preparing fresh green beans,” explains Nick Bergstrom, chief sales ofcer. To that end, Pero joined forces with Malibu, Calif.-based seasoning company Amazing Taste to ofer consumers of all ages a quick, easy, low-sodium and healthful way to enjoy fresh green beans without added fat. “With our co-branded packaging, consumers will be able to connect and have transparency with both brands in a new and exciting way within the produce department,” asserts Bergstrom.

Catering to Kids in the Kitchen Colorful packaging, fresh favors, and even the shape of value-added fruits and veggies can entice kids to try something new. Mann Packing, of Salinas, Calif., has introduced Mann’s Culinary Cuts, a line of fresh-cut vegetables in distinctive shapes, including Sweet Potato Ribbons and Butternut Squash Zigzags. Te vegetables are washed and ready to cook. Tey’re also versatile, lending nutrition and fun to

salads, stir-fries, soups and casseroles. “I’m a mom, and I know it can be a battle to get kids to eat their vegetables,” acknowledges company CEO Lorri Koster. “We made Culinary Cuts for parents who want to make healthy eating fun, but also for the everyday home cook who’s looking for some creativity to spark tonight’s dinner.” Each package contains four to fve 1-cup servings and can be prepared in four minutes or less in the microwave, or sautéed or steamed on the stovetop. Detailed cooking instructions are included on each package, as well as recipes and usage ideas.

‘Spear’ Change Meanwhile, Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., in Coral Gables, Fla., aims to make munching on fresh pineapple and watermelon easier than ever with its Del Monte Fresh Cut Spear Multipacks, available in two varieties: the Del Monte Gold Fresh Pineapple Spear Multipack, which includes fve individually wrapped 2.7-ounce extra-sweet pineapple spears, and the Del Monte Fresh Watermelon Spear Multipack, featuring fve individually wrapped 2.7-ounce frm-fesh watermelon spears. Te spears come in an easy-open bag for on-thego consumers, and are 100 percent fresh, with no additives or preservatives. “We also have an extensive fresh-cut line that includes snack-sized fruit-and-vegetable combinations,” notes Dionysios Christou, VP marketing at Del Monte Fresh. Additional lunchbox-friendly items from the company include yogurt parfait cups with fresh fruit at the bottom, as well as 2-ounce Del Monte Fresh Guac. Beyond developing fresh and fun fruit and veggie products, Del Monte Fresh reaches kids through its involvement in programs and organizations that promote produce consumption among children, including the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the United Fresh Produce Association’s Salad Bar in Every School campaign. “Introducing fresh fruits and vegetables to children at an early age is critical in developing long-term healthy eating habits,” asserts Christou. “Tere are many ways to make eating fruits and vegetables fun for kids, for example, involving them in kid-friendly recipes. It is also important to ofer kids a variety of great-tasting options, as it is a useful strategy in expanding fruit and vegetable intake.” PG

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Fresh Food

Produce Category Spotlight


for Every Appetite Versatility, variety and seasonality fuel sales of this luscious superfood. By Jennifer Strailey

Data showed that market baskets with avocados in them averaged $64, whereas baskets without avocados averaged $41. That’s a big difference!” —Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission



ith their rich, creamy taste and powerful nutritional profle, avocados have surged in popularity in recent years to become a mainstay in U.S. households. According to the Hass Avocado Board (HAB), in Irvine, Calif., the avocado category added $172 million in retail sales in 2014 nationally, reaching more than $1.6 billion, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. Not only are more consumers buying avocados, enthusiasts of this superfood continually increase their consumption. In its spring 2015 “Avocado Tracking Study,” the board reported that two-thirds of U.S. shoppers purchased avocados in the past year. Te study also found that heavy avocado users — those purchasing 37 to 120 avocados per year — now account for 59 percent of avocado consumers,

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

one of the highest percentages on record. Avocado consumption is further distinguished by the fact that shoppers of this fruit are a highly desirable demographic. “Te value of avocados and avocado shoppers to retailers was clearly shown in a market basket study conducted with IRI data for the West region during the 2014 California avocado season,” says Jan DeLyser, VP of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission (CAC). Tat data, for the 26 weeks ending Sept. 18, 2014, “showed that market baskets with avocados in them averaged $64, whereas baskets without avocados averaged $41. Tat’s a big diference!” Undoubtedly, the scores of compelling avocado campaigns from organizations like the CAC, HAB, Avocados from Mexico and Avocados from Peru, all of which emphasize the health benefts, favor and versatility of avocados, have fueled Photo courtesy of the California Avocado Commission









Fresh Food

The retailers who are first to figure out how to merchandise to [Millennials] will win.” —Tracey Altman, MegaMex Foods

Produce Category Spotlight

growth in this category. As part of its ongoing efforts, the CAC works with registered dietitian (RD) ambassadors. Tis year, the commission added some media RD representatives. “Te ambassadors and spokespeople help communicate the nutrition benefts of premium California-grown avocados to consumers through various activities throughout the season,” says DeLyser. “Tere is no doubt that the avocado nutrition story is contributing to category growth, and supermarket registered dietitians are helping spread this great news.” While the health benefts of avocados are important to note, when it comes to selling California avocados, DeLyser believes that “local” trumps nutritional messaging. “When merchandising California avocados, the No. 1 focus should be on the fruit’s origin,” she asserts. “Shoppers are looking for locally grown produce, and in those states in proximity to California, promoting locally grown California avocados fts the bill.”

States further from California can still play up that the avocados are grown in California/grown in the USA, suggests DeLyser, who adds that traditionally, both volume and dollar sales increase when California avocados are in season.

Opportunities for Growth Te majority of avocados sold in the United States are Hass avocados, which represented a national dollar share of 94 percent last year, according to HAB. To sustain this momentum and grow the category, the board launched its Love One Today initiative, which spotlights the nutritional benefts of avocados as a reason to eat them every day. Additionally, the board sees potential for growth in several key areas. Regionally speaking, the Northeast, which represents 17.8 percent of the U.S. population, but only 15 percent of avocado sales, is ripe for expansion. HAB further notes that small avocados and bagged avocados present sales opportunities for re-

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Fresh Food

Produce Category Spotlight

tailers across the country. Bagged avocados showed double-digit volume growth in 2014, accounting for 36 percent of dollar growth last year. And while still a small segment of the overall category, organic avocados are outpacing conventional avocados. HAB notes that organic volume and dollars were up 31 percent and 39 percent, respectively, in 2014, while the conventional


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

avocado category grew by 26 percent in volume and 27 percent in dollars.

Innovation Redefines the Category As consumers continually look for new ways to enjoy their favorite foods, whole avocados aren’t the only way to do so. “We realize that guacamole and avocado-based products are huge, and a growing category,” says Rick Joyal, national sales manager for Calavo Salsa and Specialty Products, a division of Calavo Growers Inc., in Santa Ana, Calif. “It’s a diferent clientele that is buying pre-made guacamole, versus whole avocados,” adds Joyal. Te guacamole shopper is typically someone who either hasn’t had success selecting good avocados in the past, or they are buying ahead for something they plan to make in the coming weekend, rather than that night, he explains. Calavo is expanding the guacamole and avocado-based market with a host of recent introductions, including several guacamole products: Chipotle Guacamole, Hatch Chile Guacamole and an Organic Guacamole. Te company packages its guacamole in either pouches or trays, which are sealed fresh using cold pasteurization via ultra-high pressure (UHP) technology. However, as Joyal points out, “Not everyone likes the consistency of thick guacamole.” For these folks, Calavo ofers Avocado Salsa. “It’s lighter and moister, and good for dipping,” he explains. Calavo’s two newest favors in the product line are Avocado Salsa with Mango and Avocado Salsa with Cilantro and Lime. Both are all-natural and certifed non-GMO. Beginning this fall, Calavo will debut retail packs with a non-GMO-certifed seal on the packaging. Other recent introductions include an Avocado Hummus and a Red Onion and Roasted Garlic Avocado Hummus, as well as a personal favorite for Joyal: vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse. A vegan himself, Joyal created the mousse recipe for his own enjoyment: a combination of avocados, cocoa, rice milk, organic agave and vanilla extract. He shared the recipe with Calavo, which brought the dessert to market. “It is truly decadent and completely guilt-free,” he boasts. In the

fall, Calavo will introduce a Strawberry Chocolate Avocado Mousse and a Pineapple Chocolate Avocado Mousse. “Avocados are getting so much good publicity, between Dr. Oz and research on how good they are for you,” notes Joyal. An East Coast native, he has seen avocados go from a “mystical fruit” only available in certain months of the year to a prominent fxture in produce departments up and down the eastern seaboard. “Tere’s a whole generation now that has been brought up with avocados in the East,” he observes. “What’s driving all of this new avocado business are the 17- to 33-year-olds who are interested in healthy, satisfying snacking, but who don’t want to eat foods that weigh them down. We’re focusing on this group.” Tracey Altman, VP of innovation and insights for Orange, Calif.-based MegaMex Foods, the maker of Wholly Guacamole, is also targeting the Millennial shopper. “Millennials grew up with avocados,” says Altman, who adds that this demographic is drawn to Wholly Guacamole Minis, at 100 calories or fewer per serving. MegaMex, a joint venture between Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods and Mexican company Herdez del Fuerte S.A. de CV, ofers an entire line of Wholly Guacamole Minis, including Classic, Chunky Avocado, Homestyle, Organic, Avocado Ranch and Spicy. Wholly Guacamole also features an Avocado Verde variety in 10-ounce tubs and as part of the Minis line; the Avocado Verde Mini has just 45 calories per serving. “Millennials don’t shop the way their parents shopped, and they want variety,” notes Altman. “Te retailers who are frst to fgure out how to merchandise to this generation will win.” When it comes to fresh-prepared guacamole, according to Altman, “research shows that there are makers, takers and fakers. Makers make their own guacamole and it’s a source of pride for them. Tey will never buy our product. Takers make guacamole on the weekends, but during the week, they want the convenience of an all-natural guacamole that is already prepared, while fakers always opt for the ease of prepared guacamole.” Innovative product introductions ofer the variety today’s consumers seek, but the versatility of avocados and avocado-based products is further driving sales. “Five years ago, guacamole was a party dip,” afrms Altman. “Now it’s a spread, it’s a salad

dressing, it’s a condiment for burgers and hot dogs — consumers not only understand the health benefts of an avocado, they [also] understand its many uses.” With Herdez, Altman has witnessed the explosive growth in avocados and fresh avocado products on the foodservice side of the business as well. “Te business used to be Mexican restaurants,” she says, “and now there’s guacamole on Subway sandwiches, steakhouses are serving guacamoIe — it’s showing up in all kinds of cuisine.”

Fresh From Florida While Hass avocados represent the lion’s share of avocados consumed in the United States, growers and shippers of Florida avocados are seeing an increase in demand for their fruit. Unlike the skin of Hass avocados, most Florida avocados don’t darken when ripe, but rather remain a smooth Kelly green. Florida avocados are also higher in water content than the Hass variety, and thus are lower in fat and calories. “We grow and distribute a lot of the Florida green-skin avocados, and we’ve seen an increase in demand for them in the last four or fve years,” reports Jessie Capote, principal/EVP of J&C Tropicals, in Miami, who attributes the rise in popularity to several factors. “No. 1, greenskin avocados are very popular with Caribbean, Central and South American consumers around the country. Tere is consistent demand not only from the East Coast, but [also] California, Texas and Chicago,” Capote says. “Secondly, because of the high water content in Florida avocados, they’ve gained a lot of traction with more health-conscious consumers.” Brooks Tropicals, in Homestead, Fla., markets its Florida-grown avocados with the fat- and calorie-conscious consumer in mind. Its SlimCados have up to half the fat and one-third fewer calories than other avocados, according to Director of Marketing Mary Ostlund. “It’s a great avocado for people watching their weight,” notes Ostlund, adding, “It’s both a niche avocado and a staple.” PG

We realize that guacamole and avocadobased products are huge, and a growing category.” —Rick Joyal, Calavo Growers Inc.

August 2015 | |


Industry Events



RDs define value for customers and banners at PG’s Retail Dietitian Symposium. By Joan Driggs

hEalth anD WEllnEss ZonE Retail dietitians interact with solution providers during the Retail Dietitian symposium.



etail dietitians gathered in Chicago in early June for Progressive Grocer’s third Retail Dietitian Symposium, designed to help retail dietitians make the most efective connections with consumers and build support for their position at their respective banners. Highlights of the two-day event, which featured 15 impactful presentations and valuable continuing-education credit hours, were best represented in two panel discussions, Defning the ROI of Retail Dietitians and the Share Group Panel, which reviewed key issues and challenges identifed by retail dietitians (RDs). Defning the ROI of Retail Dietitians included fndings from PG’s proprietary retail dietitian survey. Diane Quagliani, of Quagliani Communications Inc., provided a review of the research and moderated the panel, which included Jane Andrews,

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

corporate nutrition manager at Wegmans Food Markets; Shirley Axe, health and wellness manager at Ahold USA; Bob Pessel, director of pharmacy at HAC Retail; and Shari Steinbach, corporate dietitian and Healthy Living manager at Meijer. Retailer respondents to PG’s survey earlier this year reported that the retail dietitian role is on the rise, with 60 percent of retailers employing at least one dietitian; an additional 6 percent of retailers indicated that they’ll be adding the position in the coming year. On average, companies employ 25 dietitians. Less encouraging is that RDs feel their role isn’t understood, which ranked as the biggest challenge RDs face (24 percent), followed by challenges of customer awareness/communications (12 percent); inadequate stafng (8 percent); and ill-informed customers/competing with misinformation (6.7 percent). RDs must demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of what is a burgeoning role in the grocery retail industry, panelists agree. Unfortunately, set

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RDs at larger retailers often work with category managers to secure vendor support such as monetary donations, samples, and coupons for community events and in-store programs. Track your contribution to the bottom line. If goals include a sales increase, use tools such as loyalty cards and QR codes to track sales related to programs.

RD ROI Panelists encourage RDs to be active in setting their goals and ensuring they align with the banner.

Grocery banners have different goals, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the role of retail dietitian isn’t consistent industry-wide.” —Jane Andrews, Wegmans Food Markets

metrics or standard ROI measurements don’t exist. While more than half (53.3 percent) of survey respondents indicated that their company sets goals for RDs, more than half of those respondents (54.7 percent) didn’t know who sets their goals. Part of the problem may be where the position is housed, as 53.3 percent of respondents indicated that the position is part of the health-and-wellness department; an additional 24 percent indicated that RDs are part of the pharmacy department, while 17.3 percent reported that RDs are part of the marketing/merchandising organization. “Grocery banners have diferent goals, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the role of retail dietitian isn’t consistent industry-wide,” said Andrews, of Wegmans. Te most frequent ROI measure is program participation (51 percent), followed closely by customer satisfaction (48 percent); other high-ranking metrics include general volume of customer engagement (45 percent) and social media impressions (41 percent). Following are recommendations from the panel: If you don’t have goals, fnd out how to get them in place. “We have goals that align all the way to the top,” said Steinbach, of Meijer. “You have to be active in setting those goals. You need to know the action steps to achieve success.” Goals may include a “hard” ROI measure such as a minimum sales percentage increase, or “soft” ROI goals such as interacting with consumers at community events. Set goals that suit your place in the company structure. RDs at the corporate, regional and store levels will have far diferent goals, as will RDs based in marketing, consumer afairs and employee wellness. Retailer size and the number of RDs on staf matter, too. A goal for a store dietitian in one region might not work for a store dietitian in another region, due to diferences in customer preferences and demographics. Consider vendor partners to drive product sales.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Meeting RD challenges Te Share Group Panel, moderated by Karen Buch, owner and principal of Nutrition Connections LLC, consisted of Kris Lindsey, online dietitian at Hannaford Supermarkets; Leah McGrath, corporate dietitian at Ingles Markets; and Julie McMillin, assistant VP of retail dietetics at Hy-Vee. Te panel discussed a number of key challenges for RDs, including connecting with Millennials, the rise of online shopping, managing misinformation, and transparency. Millennials are viewed as a challenge because they’re less likely to engage in traditional programs such as face-to-face meetings or special events. Tey expect an immediate response, and are more likely to post a problem to social media than take it to a store manager. Retailers need to work with Millennials where they are: online. Millennials are in stores daily, however, rather than stocking up weekly. Tey’re more likely to try recipes, for example, and when they fnd solutions they like, they will share, again online. Hannaford’s Lindsey said her game plan is knowing what matters to Millennials: Tey value fresh ingredients, and she works to promote simple recipes with fewer, more interesting ingredients. “If we’re not there with answers for their busy lifestyles, they’ll go somewhere else,” she noted of her strategy of ofering quick solutions. In addition to time, many Millennials also lack money, so it’s important to teach them to shop on a budget. It’s no surprise that the increasing number of shoppers who are online will start shopping online. Tis is a potential hurdle for RDs, who value personal connections with shoppers to learn their needs and respond accordingly. It’s important for RDs to be part of the e-commerce platform of their respective retail banners. It’s likely the e-commerce team is looking for more content, and would welcome blogs and recommendations. Tese might be as simple as posting, “Do you have a question for the store dietitian?” or more complex solutions such as pop-ups that promote the health benefts of products or suggest healthy meals based on what shoppers are placing in their carts. Te role of many RDs includes promoting sponsored products, but there’s a line between advertising a product and recommending it. Panelists agreed that all retail banners should have a disclo-

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Industry events

HealtHy Fun RDs enjoyed a mix of continuing ed presentations, wellness solutions and networking.

sure statement. “It’s about doing the right thing and being transparent with your customers,” says Lindsey, of Hannaford. McMillin, of Hy-Vee, recommends working with the retailer’s communications team to create key position statements and ensure that messaging is always consistent. For multiple platforms — website, shopper app, online shopping portal, etc. — messaging needs to be consistent and available throughout the system. Tere’s a lot of nutritional misinformation readily available to consumers, and rather than dismiss it as unfounded, RDs should recognize that their shoppers listen to these infuencers.



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While these sources aren’t credentialed and often spread false information, people listen because the information is usually appealing, and it can be as simple and direct as “eat this, don’t eat this.” It’s important not to tell people what to do, panel members cautioned, but sharing facts, and framing nutrition in a positive, simple, direct manner, will resonate with shoppers. In addition to other valuable presentations, attendees enjoyed engaging with product and solutions providers exhibiting at the event, including Avocados from Mexico, Earthbound Farm, Enjoy Life, Litehouse Foods, McNeil Nutritionals, Meat & Livestock Australia, MilkPEP, the National Confectioners Association, the National Peanut Board, the National Pork Board, Nestlé Nutrition, Uncle Ben’s, Vestcom, Wisdom Natural Brands, Beanitos, Domino Foods, GO Veggie!, National Beverage Corp., Nuval, Silver Palate, Trans-Ocean Products and Way Better Snacks. PG For full coverage of Progressive Grocer’s Retail Dietitian Symposium, visit

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Health Beauty & Wellness

OTC Medications

The New

Switcheroo The newest crop of drugs to go from prescription to over-the-counter offerings can see big sales — if manufacturers and retailers handle the change correctly. By Barbara Sax


rugs that have recently switched from prescription to OTC status can generate excitement and dollars for the OTC drug category. “Switches help to drive the OTC category to new levels,” explains Lisa Buono, health care expert at Chicago-based market research frm IRI. “Tey generate growth because they are priced higher than existing products, they often create new categories, and they may attract consumers who have never considered an OTC product to self-treat a condition before.” “Accessibility is the biggest win for patients when it comes to switched products,” says Dave Wendland, VP of Waukesha, Wis.-based Hamacher Resource Group. “A number of mitigating circumstances, such as high copays or access to a primary care physician, can act as a barrier to prescription products. When a product is switched, patients are able to self-treat with medications that have been proven to be efective.” Te biggest news in the category in 2015 was the switch of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Flonase Allergy Relief (futicasone propionate 50 mcg spray). Lately, the allergy category has been a busy one for switched products: Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Chattem, Sanof’s consumer health care division, launched Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray in 2014, and McNeil Consumer Healthcare, in Fort Washington, Pa., is set to launch AstraZeneca’s Rhinocort in the next year. Both of these nasal steroids ofer a signifcant treatment advantage over oral antihistamines, which have long been a source of consumer dissatisfaction. While the Flonase switch was approved in July 2014, Clifton, N.J.-based GSK wisely waited until February to launch, so as to gain an advantage going into allergy season. “Nasacort had a strong launch and had the market to itself for eight months, so it was important for Flonase to go into


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

the market with guns blazing,” notes Laura Mahecha, industry manager of health care at Parsippany, N.J.-based Kline & Co. “Waiting until February allowed GSK to go full-force. All of their messaging was consistent and they were able to have maximum impact in the market. It will be interesting to see what J&J’s McNeil will do with Rhinocort.”

Category Drivers Te allergy drug launches have had a big impact on the cough/cold and allergy segments of the category. “Allergy is a big issue in the U.S., and incidence of year-round allergies has skyrocketed,” observes Wendland. “Tere has been tremendous growth in the allergy segment since the 2011 switch of Allegra. In fact, the upper-respiratory category has been reshaped since Claritin switched in 2002, and cough/cold has been overshadowed by allergy products.” Wendland adds that a proliferation of products can lead to consumer confusion. “It can be a challenge for consumers to understand the diference between products,” he says. Retailers are using on-shelf education, such as an in-store video on Nasacort, to help consumers make decisions about which product to select. Retailers have had to make some tough choices in terms of pace allocation, and are sacrifcing products to make room for recent switches. “Cough/cold and allergy is a category that has had a high level of consumer dissatisfaction with products, so recently switched products take a particular toll on antihistamines, which have long been market staples,” asserts Mahecha. According to Wendland, retailers

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OTC Medications

are adding space for new entries by reducing the space devoted to cough drops, “making outliers a play” and moving children’s formulas to a pediatric section. Te digestive health segment has also seen signifcant Rx-to-OTC switch action. Te introduction of Pfzer’s switched Nexium 24HR in 2014 was the latest in a stream of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) switches. “Te PPIs have really changed that category,” afrms Wendland. “Some of these products are approved for insurance reimbursement, and older, more traditional products have taken a huge hit.” “When Nexium switched, it was big news,” says IRI’s Buono. “Te ‘purple pill’ is so well known that it will be difcult for newer switches to gain traction.” Kline research shows that private label products represent 21 percent of all antacid sales and private label products represent half of all sales in the PPI segment of the category, largely due to the higher price tag of PPI products. Not all switched products have been able to fnd an audience, however. Kenilworth, N.J.-based Merck’s Oxytrol for Women transdermal patch for the treatment of overactive bladder, which switched in 2013, has been discontinued. “Sales were disappointing for a frst-of-its-kind product like this, but customers may have had a hard time fnding the product on store shelves, since it was often positioned near feminine hygiene, and the transdermal patch delivery may not have been optimal for some consumers,” notes Mahecha.

Statins on OTC Horizon? Upcoming switch candidates will have some hurdles to overcome, even as the FDA adopts a new paradigm for Rx-to-OTC transitions. Citing the large public health impact of the under-treatment of common diseases and conditions in increased cost and sufering, the FDA has launched the Nonprescription Safe Use Regulatory Expansion (NSURE) initiative, which will allow the agency to explore how health care professionals and innovative technologies can contribute to the safe use of drugs in a nonprescription setting. Hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are two conditions on the FDA’s radar. “Te FDA has sent a letter to the pharma industry stating that it is open to new indications for switches, and the agency is positioned to be less conservative than it has been in the past,” says Mahecha. Tis could mean that prescription drugs once considered poor candidates for a


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

switch could possibly get a green light. Rye Brook, N.Y.-based Pfzer will likely seek a switch for the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra. Because of concerns regarding a dangerous drop in blood pressure that can occur when men with pre-existing heart conditions use the medication, the ability for consumers to self-select must be proved before the FDA will consider a switch. ED can also be a symptom of other serious health conditions, so patients would need to rule out other diseases before using the drugs. Recreational use by consumers who don’t qualify for ED drugs is also a potential problem. A switch for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs would depend on how patients can be monitored once they begin using the drugs. Kiosks, apps and human interaction in the form of a pharmacist could help get tricky switches the go-ahead from the FDA. “We know that Pfzer is on record for pursuing a switch of the cholesterol-lowering statin Lipitor,” notes David Spangler, SVP, policy, and general counsel and secretary at the Washington, D.C.based Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). “Others have tried and not made it over the fnish line before, but if they have the right data, they may get approval.” “Merck’s Mevacor has been denied a switch three times and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol was also denied. High cholesterol is a complex [condition] to manage, but Pfzer is putting a lot of money behind the push for a switch and will likely plan to use technology that wasn’t available when the other switch applications were being considered,” says Mahecha. “If statins are switched, all bets are of as to what other classes of drugs can be switched as well.”

Further Switches Ahead Other categories likely to see switches are migraine medications and sleep aids. “Sleep issues are almost an epidemic in our culture,” asserts Buono. “Products that don’t represent major safety concerns are likely to see a switch.” Mahecha expects Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda’s Rozerem to be a likely switch candidate in the sleep aid segment. “With sleep aids as one of the fastest-growing categories, there are several products likely to be considered for a switch,” agrees Wendland. “Te challenge will be to create a totally new section that really addresses sleep aids. I’d like to see a 4-foot section that would include branded and private label products alongside eye masks, ambient music machines and products for restless leg syndrome.” PG Learn more about Rx-to-OTC switches at

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Camber’s Impressive Growth Is Tied to Quality, Service and Teamwork


amber has been recognized as one of the Top 15 pharmaceutical companies in overall dispensed prescriptions and # 1 in growth among generics with an almost 20% increase in 2014. Camber’s commitment to its customers is to bring the highest quality generic pharmaceuticals to the market with a simple product strategy; capitalize on its core strengths to deliver maximum proftability to its customers. Kon Ostafciuk, President of Camber Pharmaceuticals talks about Camber’s growth formula and some plans for the future. “Our growth begins with a commitment by each individual in our company to never lose sight of the needs of our customers” says Ostafciuk. “From sales, to pricing, to customer service, everyone is pulling in the same direction. We know we have to earn our customers business every day and in every way. So if it means developing a customized program for a particular partner, or staying late on a holiday weekend to make sure all our orders are shipped, it’s really just part of the culture here at Camber.”

Strong Global Resources are a Distinct Advantage Camber is a fully integrated international pharmaceutical company that maintains quality and integrity in all its products, from API manufacturing to fnished dosage. Camber is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hetero Drugs based in Hyderabad, India.

“We are in the Life Saving Business” Ostafciuk continues, “As the Chairman of Hetero, Dr. B.P.S Reddy likes to say; we are in the life saving business.” Hetero’s business model is based on providing affordable, lifesaving medications to as many people as possible. An example of that is their dedication to improve the quality of life for HIV patients worldwide. In addition to being a member of PEPFAR (Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), Hetero and Camber currently provide anti-retroviral medications to some 3.5 million patients in 140 countries. Camber is maintaining an aggressive new product launch schedule. They have already launched 7 new products since January, (Valsartan, Zolmitriptan, Pantoprazole, Rizatriptan, Sildenafl, Famciclovir and Aripiprazole), and have 20 or so more in the pipeline.

Introducing Camber’s OTC division, Camber Consumer Care Camber has also launched a new OTC division of Camber Pharmaceuticals called Camber Consumer Care, which will focus on the Pain, Allergy, Sleep and Cough/Cold categories. “We believe our current success, great reputation and strong existing customer relationships will give us a good opportunity to break into and thrive in the competitive OTC marketplace” states Ostafciuk. Camber Pharmaceuticals Inc. Established 2007 Contact: KON OSTAFICIUK President Sales Headquarters Address: 1031 Centennial Avenue Piscataway, NJ 08854 Phone: (732) 529-0430 Fax: (732) 562-8788 Web site:

Pets are People, Too Domesticated animals’ “parents” treat them like family. By Kathleen Furore

o onstrates the strength and vitality of this iindustry,” says Bob Vetere, APPA president and CEO. d Paul Cooke, VP/director industry develoopment at St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., says consumers’ love afair P with their animals is helping drive sales. w “Over the past several years, we’ve seen tthis growing trend towards more people ttreating their pets as members of the family,” Cooke says. “I think the humanization il ttrend has contributed to strong sales across tthe entire pet industry in recent years.”

Even wildbird feeding enthusiasts refer to their backyard birds as pets.” —Cecil Campbell, F.M. Brown’s Sons Inc.



f you’re wondering how big the much-touted “pet humanization” trend has become, an article in the June 17 ofers some insight. According to the story, “Dogs will now be able to accompany their owners to restaurants (providing outdoor service) in New York, thanks to a new law that sailed through the state assembly.” Similar laws are already on the books in California, Florida and Maryland. If people are taking their dogs out to dine, imagine what they’re buying when they shop for their furry, feathered or scaly family members. Industry data shows it’s a good time to be in the pet product business. According to the Greenwich, Conn.-based American Pet Products Association (APPA), overall spending in the pet industry exceeded $58 billion in 2014. Te APPA predicts that 2015 will be even better. “Te pet industry continues to outpace most other retail segments, and for 2015 we are projecting to surpass the $60 billion mark, which dem-

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

F Focus on Food Te food category is benefting most T ffrom this “pets as people” trend. In fact, iit’s the leading source of dollars spent within the industry, the APPA notes. “As pets are increasingly considered members of the family for many Americans, standards for pet food, including treats — the fastest-growing segment in the pet food category — are on the rise,” says the Mintel report “Pet Food-U.S.-May 2015.” And dog and cat food aren’t the only products feeling the love. “Te humanization of pets by their owners is probably the most important driving factor for pet food purchases, and has been an ongoing trend for many years,” observes Cecil Campbell, VP of sales and marketing for Sinking Spring, Pa.-based F.M. Brown’s Sons Inc. “Originally, this was primarily the case for cat and dog food, but it has expanded well into the pet bird and small-animal categories. Even wild-bird feeding enthusiasts refer to their backyard birds as pets.” A Growth Opportunity for Grocery Consumers’ continuing perception of pets as family members will not only continue; it will also drive price increases in the pet food category, according to Amy Kraushaar, U.S. category manager/food &

HealtHieR Pets Nestlé Purina offers pet food that delivers nutritional benefits similar to those found in “people food.” New products include Purina One smartblend true instinct, Purina Beyond superfood Blend, and Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight formula.

drink and foodservice for Chicago-based market research frm Mintel. “Manufacturers should note that the pet food humanization trend translates into pet owners wanting the same quality and safety standards for pet food as for their own food,” Kraushaar says. Tat’s good news for grocery retailers, which now have more opportunity than ever to compete with pet specialty stores for a share of the pet food business. Some leading retailers — including Publix, Winn-Dixie, Marsh, Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle, Target and Walmart — are already tapping the market with targeted coupons, pet prescriptions at in-store pharmacies and other services.

How to Profit From Pet Products Creating a better “total” experience in the pet aisle can create a competitive advantage for retailers, Purina’s Cooke says. “Retailers should understand that many consumers buy their pet care products for the nutri-

Retail Pharmacies Ready for Pet Prescriptions The first place pet owners go to o purchase veterinarianprescribed medicines is expected ed to change as new distribution models and proposed legislative slative measures evolve to give consumers more choice, according ding to new research from Brakke Consulting Inc., an animal mal health industry consulting and research firm, and Trone Brand rand Energy, a pet category advertising and marketing insights ghts company. “Changes to the pet pharmaceutical ceutical marketplace are going to present opportunities and d challenges unlike any the industry has seen,” says Ron Brakke, president of Dallas-based Brakke Consulting. nsulting. Currently, approximately one-quarter ne-quarter of pharmacists stock pet prescription ption medication, while 64 percent of the rest believe their pharmacy should stock them. hem. This means a strong majority of all pharmacies


tional value, as they would for any member of their family,” he explains. “Tey need to make sure the products that shoppers want are available when they choose to shop, and at a value they feel is fair.” In addition, Cooke notes, consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to feeding their pets, a fact that can lead to misinformation and information overload. “It’s important for retailers to help cut through the clutter in the pet aisle and carry brands and products that consumers recognize and can trust,” he adds. F.M. Brown’s Campbell — who says that grocery stores and large retail chains are becoming more and more interested in carrying a variety of foods for a variety of pets — advises retailers to embrace a multilevel marketing program. “Providing varying qualities of foods at a range of price points is an excellent way to do this,” Campbell notes. “Some are interested in lowerpriced economy blends, some prefer intermediate premium blends containing a few additional ingredients, and others are willing to pay top dollar for high-quality gourmet blends with a wide variety of species-specifc seeds, grains, fruits, nuts, veggies and other specialized ingredients.” E-commerce is also becoming key in today’s exceedingly tech-oriented marketplace. But however stores approach it, the pet product market is ripe for retailers that want to capitalize on the pet humanization trend. As the IBISWorld study “Pet Stores in the U.S.” says, the number of pet-owning households will continue to increase, and “indulgent pet parents will continue to drive demand for premium pet food and services.” PG

are likely to stock pet prescription products as distribution models evolve. Further, as the research demonstrated, pet owners already have a strong desire for the option to purchase pet medication from their local pharmacies. “We have identified the pet ow owners who are early adopters of the new pharmaceutical ph distribution models, as well as the factors that will have an impact impac on their usage of the new purchase ch channels,” notes Doug Barton, presiden president of High Point, N.C.-based Trone Brand Energy. Brakke Con Consulting and Trone Brand Energy plan to release additional findings from their rese research this coming October. For more infor information about the research, which can prov provide insights to help retail pharmacies, m manufacturers and veterinarians naviga navigate the changing landscape, contact Kimbe Kimberly Ness at 336-819-6933.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

The Pampered Pet Animal owners splurge on supplies. By Kathleen Furore


poiling furry, feathered and scaly family members has become almost a pastime for pet lovers today, especially when it comes to the products they’ll buy for the animals they adore. And while pet food is reaping the biggest benefts in terms of sales, the current “pets as people” trend is having a positive impact on the pet supplies category, too. According to the Greenwich, Conn.-based American Pet Products Association (APPA), supplies and OTC medications ranked third of all categories for amount spent in 2014 ($13.75 billion), growing 4.6 percent from 2013 to 2014. Te supplies category can include anything from dog and cat beds, bowls, and collars to fsh tanks, terrariums and bird toys. “Increases in spending are being led by both ends of the pet-owning spectrum — aging Baby Boomers paying more to provide care for their pets, and younger Gen Y owners who prefer the conveniences of high-tech and pampering products and services,” says Bob Vetere, APPA president and CEO.

A Bright Future for Supplies With an uptick in the number of new and younger pet owners, the pet product industry is well positioned for growth, especially given the demographics of the people who are becoming pet parents. In its 2015-16 National Pet Owners Survey, the APPA found that more than 10 percent of current pet owners are new pet owners — that’s almost 8 million new pet owners within the past year — most of whom are members of Gens X and Y. “Tis is really exciting, as the industry as a whole has been trying to engage Gen Y in pet ownership,” says Vetere. “A Gen Y dog or cat owner spends more to purchase their pet; takes them to the vet more often; buys more toys, gifts and care items; and utilizes more services than Gen X, Baby Boomers and Builders.” Gen Y also likes high-tech gadgets (think pet cams and electronic health-monitoring collars), as well as convenience products that make it easier to take their pets with them or to care for them while they’re gone. “Tis opens the door for innovation in products and services as well,” Vetere adds.

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SPOILeD FOR ChOICe Accessories like Loving Pets’ Bella Spill Proof Mats and the Gobble Stopper can make pet parenting a bit easier for customers. The skidproof mats come in a bone shape for dogs (pictured) and in a fish shape for cats. The Gobble Stopper, meanwhile, helps prevent canine bloat by reducing the amount of air pets gulp while dining.

It also enables retailers to capture a bigger share of the pet product market by adding supplies to what’s typically a lineup dominated by, and often confned to, pet food and litter. “Grocery retailers can easily merchandise accessories that complement pet food — [they

Pet Product Showcase

can display them] on the shelf, or [with] a clip strip,” says Dan Nagy, who handles marketing for Loving Pets, based in Cranbury, N.J. “Loving Pets believes that adding innovative, afordable and space-efcient products in the pet aisle will increase sales in this category.” PG

and flexible ¾-inch rubber teeth reach through the coat to massage the skin, and the easy-grip brush is flexible and gentle.

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These made-in-the-USA, preservative-free dog treats contain all-natural ingredients and are USDA Certified Organic. Pet owners can choose from five flavors, all kosher and vegan, as well as wheat-, corn- and soyfree: Banana Oatmeal, Blueberry Pie, Cranberry Coconut Cookie, Peanut Butter Crunch and Pizza Fusion.


This colorful accessory massages and grooms cats at the same time — the soft rubber fingers are a magnet for loose hairs. Regular grooming with the Kong ZoomGroom can help condition skin and reduce hairball formation. The gentle massage action calms stressed or anxious cats, especially in potentially traumatic situations such as visits to the veterinarian. Firm

Nudges Sizzlers Dog Treats

Pets can share the tastes of summer with their human families, thanks to Nudges Grillers and Nudges Sizzlers dog treats from Tyson Pet Products Inc. These treats, which look, taste and smell like they came straight off the grill, come in four varieties: Nudges Grillers made with real steak, Nudges Grillers made with real chicken, Nudges Sizzlers made with real beef & cheese, and Nudges Sizzlers made

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

with real chicken & apple. All varieties are available in 3-, 10- and 18-ounce packaging.

New Flavors from Dogs Love Kale

Introduced this summer, these new wheat- and grain-free “meaty” flavors are Chicka’ (chicken and blueberry) Moo-Moo (beef and carrot), and Gobblers (turkey and sweet potato). Just like the first five flavors (Peanutty, Punkin, Apple Crisp, Sweet Taters and Tropical Delight), the latest varieties are 100 percent sourced and certified made in the USA. The product line’s main ingredients are chickpea flour, kale, flaxseed and rosemary, with no animal byproducts.

Digital Coupons



Paperless Chase

Retailers seek to engage consumers through easier delivery of e-coupons. By John Karolefski


igital coupons are currently a footnote in overall coupon distribution and redemption. Traditional free-standing inserts (FSIs) that shoppers receive in newspapers are overwhelmingly dominant. But if newspaper readership is declining and so-called “Mobile Millennials” will be the key grocery shopper of the future, it’s clear that digital ofers will grow. Digital coupons are available on a grocer’s website or smartphone app. Tey can be loaded onto a store’s loyalty card. Tey’re also available on websites for coupon networks and coupon aggregators, which both draw a huge amount of trafc from deal seekers. “Given the recent outstanding track record for digital promotions, there is no question that these ofers are gaining momentum with both shoppers and marketers, and that there is tremendous future growth potential for them,” afrms John Ross, CMO of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar and president of Inmar Analytics, whose research has seen 100 percent year-over-year

growth for fve consecutive years in share of overall redemption for paperless digital ofers.

Considering the Source But which source for selecting and redeeming digital coupons will grocery shoppers rely on the most? “Digital coupons have a value to consumers because they are convenient,” says David Ciancio, senior customer strategist at Cincinnati-based Dunnhumby North America. “Te best-in-class capabilities allow consumers to select and load hundreds of digital coupons directly to their loyalty card or to a mobile app, and redemption is automatic and painless for the shopper.” “Grocery loyalty cards are fully saturated. Most grocery shoppers currently have loyalty cards for every grocery retailer they frequent,” contends Jonathan Treiber, of RevTrax. “CPGs are wary of providing lots of ofer content in this category, because of the retailer-specifed terms and conditions. Tey’re really more focused on providing just enough ofer content to maintain a positive merchandising relationship with their key retail partners. You’ll fnd that

Digital coupons have a value to consumers because they are convenient.” —David Ciancio, Dunnhumby North America

August 2015 | |


Technology Digital Coupons

Mobile can help grocers reach their shoppers in a way that’s more intimate and relevant than any other channel.”

—Aaron Glazer, Taplytics

CPGs rarely promote digital coupons via loyalty cards because they fnd them less efective than traditional print free-standing inserts and print-athome coupons,” adds the president and co-founder of the New York-based company, which uses personalized ofers to quantify digital marketing’s impact on in-store sales. Other experts single out a retailer’s smartphone app as being the logical place to clip and redeem digital coupons. Gainsville, Ga.-based Invisipon, a new entry into the fray, promotes a Coupon Savings Account that provides an online “bank account” of coupons for consumers. Despite the competition, statistics from Inmar show that growth of digital paperless load-to-card (L2C) coupons has been accelerating signifcantly for the past several years, although from a small base. Te wider availability of L2C coupons contributed to a greater than 61 percent increase in redemption volume for these coupons during Q1 2015 versus Q1 2014. Concurrently, overall share of redemption for coupons that shoppers load directly to their retailer loyalty accounts grew from 1.5 percent in Q1 2014 to 2.7 percent in Q1 2015.

A Question of Loyalty Grocery retailers that have made these coupons a key feature of their frequent shopper loyalty programs are benefting, notes Inmar, citing convenience and fexibility as major reasons for this. In June, ShopRite stores, operated in the Northeast by members of Keasby, N.J.-based retailer cooperative Wakefern Food Corp., sought to persuade its shoppers to use digital coupons by promoting a Big Brand Bash campaign. For the most savings, the campaign instructed shoppers to go to the ShopRite website or mobile app, and select and load clipless coupons onto their Price Plus Club cards. Discounts were triggered automatically at checkout. Similarly, shoppers at supermarkets operated by Cincinnati-based Kroger can sign up for digital coupons on their computers, tablets or the Kroger app on their smartphones. Ten they can clip coupons, and sort and flter them on the Kroger website


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

or app. Once they fnd ofers they want, they click “load to card,” which places the coupons on their Kroger Plus loyalty cards. Aaron Glazer, of San Francisco-based Taplytics, says grocers beneft most by sending coupons through their own apps, rather than having customers discover them elsewhere. It boils down to being able to personalize that ofer, which makes it more attractive and, subsequently, drives growth. “Tat said, no single CPG brand or grocery retailer has really cornered the mobile space, so there’s plenty of room for one to break out from the pack,” says Glazer, CEO of the provider of an integrated, mobile A/B testing, push notifcation and analytics platform. “Mobile can help grocers reach their shoppers in a way that’s more intimate and relevant than any other channel. When they send a coupon, it’s going right into the consumer’s hand or pocket, and that’s a powerful thing that can’t be replicated on a website.” Recently, Southeastern Grocers, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, launched a program with, in Mountain View, Calif., that enables each banner to deliver personalized digital coupons to a smartphone app and website. Once a customer creates an account and registers her reward card, personalized coupons will be delivered online or via the mobile app. Customers can easily click and save ofers and redeem them using either a physical reward card, phone number lookup, or the app’s digital reward card at the register. According to Bert DuMars, VP of digital marketing at Southeastern Grocers: “Te coupons on our new app and site are unique in that they are delivered to each customer based on his or her shopping behaviors and geographic interests and then prioritized, so those that most closely match their preferences appear frst. No other grocer in the Southeast ofers this kind of personalization.”

Growing Potential Retailers and brands will need to collaborate on the development of a true mobile coupon solution to fully realize the benefts of digital promotions, according to Inmar’s Ross. “As smartphone and device penetration continues to accelerate exponentially and consumers transfer more and more daily activities from their desktops to their mobile devices, the demand for such a solution is only going to grow,” he says. “Consumer behavior has shifted, media preferences are changing, and the industry needs to respond.” Taplytics’ Glazer sees mobile couponing attracting more consumers as they grow comfortable showing their smartphones to cashiers at checkout, and as promotions become more relevant and targeted. One of the newer and most efective ways that brands are delivering coupons into customers’

hands, he says, is by sending them push notifcations on their smartphones. Tis draws users back to the app, so they can build even more app engagement and loyalty, which is something brands and retailers are struggling to achieve. “One consideration retailers like Safeway and Kroger have made is to ensure that the app works equally well on the tablet or smaller mobile phones,” says Darcy Douglas, director of account solutions at Minneapolis-based Kantar Media Marx. “Not all retailers have committed to this level of coverage in support of shopper ease. Tis method has a real potential to take of, since both tablet and smartphone deliver a diferent experience to the shopper.” “Mobile coupons are turning out to be one of the favorite promotional tools for grocers to infuence, incentivize and encourage customers towards trying their products,” says Anil Kaul, CEO of San Francisco-based Absolutdata, a provider of advanced analytics. “Te ability to identify customers individually, track their purchase behavior and send personalized ofers are the main reasons for the growth of this channel.” Meanwhile, RevTrax’s Treiber contends that loading digital coupons to a retailer’s app is mis-

leading because it’s probably either being loaded to a loyalty card synced with the user account or a user account without a loyalty card. “But consumers will most likely continue to adopt digital coupons by clipping them via the retailer’s mobile app, as mobile adoption continues to grow at a disproportionate rate to desktop. Tablet for coupons will likely be last, behind desktop and mobile,” he predicts. L2C digital coupons aren’t confned to a grocer’s loyalty card. Kroger links digital coupons to its Kroger Plus credit card. While such applications are rare, that may change soon: Boston-based Linkable Networks has launched a program for retailers that enables shoppers to link digital coupons to a credit or debit card. Nearly eight out of 10 consumers didn’t make a CPG purchase in the store because they forgot a coupon, according to Linkable Networks CMO John Caron, citing a study that Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research did on behalf of his company. “Tis is costing retailers and brands real revenue,” he asserts. “Card-linked ofers and load-to-card both solve this. Te second-biggest issue for consumers is ease of use. Print-at-home and

The coupons on our new app and site are unique in that they are delivered to each customer based on his or her shopping behaviors and geographic interests and then prioritized.” —Bert DuMars, Southeastern Grocers

August 2015 | |



Digital Coupons

load-to-smartphone are ranked lowest for ease of use, while the ‘lowly’ FSI and on-package come in at one and two, respectively. What’s a close third? Card-linked ofers. Tey solve the fundamental issue around digital coupons, because they’re insanely easy to use, you cannot forget them and, in time, you can use them everywhere.”

L2C Coupons Engage Millennials Millennials respond to digital coupons loaded onto a store’s loyalty card more than other shopper groups do, according to research by Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar. “Digital coupons are an entrenched and broadly accepted aspect of retailer loyalty programs — with their popularity proven and growing,” says John Ross, CMO, Inmar and president, Inmar Analytics. “If retailers can be effective in meeting shoppers’ expectations regarding loyalty program participation and the online experience, they can, in turn, expect digital promotions to help keep customers and grow their business.” In Inmar’s “2015 Shopper Behavior Study,” 37 percent of Millennials reported that they “usually” or “always” use

Linkable is one of the frst vendors in the market with a solution. “Our pilot with Supervalu is going incredibly well,” notes Caron. “Time will tell, but personalization, automatic or invisible redemption, always available, and fully digital are changing how CPG brands and retailers provide value to their consumers.” PG

coupons loaded to their retail store loyalty cards, compared with 29 percent of older shoppers. More recently, research for Inmar’s “Q1 2015 Shopper Promotion Impact Report” found that 20 percent of the coupons used by Millennials in the first three months of the year were load-to-card (L2C) offers, versus 9 percent of the coupons used by older shoppers. “While digital coupons are popular with Millennials,” Ross observes, “paperless offers are being used regularly across all shopper segments and represent an established and well-accepted element of most retailer loyalty programs.”

–John Karolefski

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Equipment & Design

Store Design Services

Design Plus

Today’s food retailing environment requires a growing roster of design services. By Bob Ingram

IslanD OasIs For albrecht’s sentry Market — named Good to Great winner in the Best store Remodel/ $3 million-$6 million budget category in PG’s 2015 store Design Contest (page 42)— Mehmert store services created a series of concentric islands, including a new specialty cheese department.



wenty-frst-century supermarket frms are much like their shoppers in that they’re increasingly seeking one-stop solutions to many of their needs, including store design, with the result that many design frms are rebranding themselves as “design services” suppliers. “We are not just drawing lines on paper or taking directions from merchandisers and wholesalers, like days gone by,” afrms Steve Mehmert, president of Sussex, Wis.-based Mehmert Store Services Inc., which is focused on independent retailers. “We have become food experts. We are expanding our role as specialists in demographics, merchandising, in-store production, safe food handling, kitchen designs, storage designs, productivity, lighting, décor, equipment energy efciency, building energy efciency, life cycles, and on and on. Our design process runs deep into the facility, the equipment, the merchandising and the operations of our customers’ stores.”

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Mehmert notes that 3D design continues to fully defne the future of his customers’ new stores or remodels by allowing retailers to experience the store before design is even complete, thus eliminating costly changes. “We are also receiving better support from the equipment manufacturers related to design, with departmental representations that allow for greater review and merchandising exercises than ever before,” he says. “Te ability to defne materials and colors continues to improve as software and hardware continue to evolve. All of this works toward eliminating delays, lowering construction costs and eliminating equipment change orders, as we now have the ability to defne the store for our customers at such a higher level.” According to Mehmert, diferentiation is still an everyday challenge, and the term accurately defnes what customers expect from the frms they hire: a store that showcases their uniqueness, clearly defnes the brand, highlights strengths, describes

Equipment & Design

Store Design Services

MatErIal DIScOvEry King retail Solutions’ design for Whole Foods Market’s Davie, Fla., location — which earns top honors as the Best Organic/ Natural Format store in PG’s 2015 Store Design contest (page 34) — incorporates distinct materials, colors and destination headlines.

Our design process runs deep into the facility, the equipment, the merchandising and the operations of our customers’ stores.” —Steve Mehmert, Mehmert Store Services Inc.


community involvement, and defnes commitment to local or organic or low prices or fresh, all through “a design that will stand the test of time, be energyefcient, environmentally friendly and, of course, afordable to build — and have it done before Tanksgiving! Some things never change.” At GSP, in Clearwater, Fla., VP of Design Services Steven Cohen says, “We provide the complete package, from high-level conceptual ideas through design, and the ability to execute it in the store.” Cohen adds that GSP’s cohesive branding and marketing services include food photography, trend analysis, in-store point-of-purchase graphics, and industrial design in the form of fxture solutions, lighting and G7 Master printing. “We’re constantly evolving, like our clients,” Cohen says. “GSP just acquired Great Big Pictures, an 80,000-square-foot large-format graphics production lab, which doubled our capacity and increased our industrial design ability. We also gained an in-house R&D team, extra branding strategy support, and virtual animated 3D store environmentalmodeling and architectural-rendering capabilities.” He notes an increase in professional food photography, because foodservice providers understand that if it’s done well, with great lighting and lifestyle propping that’s suitable to the brand, the visuals can increase revenue. “We’ve also been having a lot of private label discussions with clients,” he says, “helping them to look at their oferings from not only a value

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

basis, but [also] as an extension of their brand. Te conversations have been eye-opening when they realize the world of possibilities.” Cohen sees as a continuing trend that of the small, local market feel becoming more upscale and creating a community destination where shoppers want to stay and have cofee, brunch, lunch or dinner; consult with a nutritionist; or take a cooking class. “We see the brands using consumer data to continually evolve, and growing their private label as a diferentiator,” he observes. At King Retail Solutions, in Eugene, Ore., Creative Director Christopher Studach says that the retail food industry is realizing that what a supermarket is at its core will be elemental in all expressions of the store. “Because of this, we are certainly going into more levels of market conceptualization than ever before,” he notes, “touching more aspects of the overall project. Our jobs typically include dives to really understand the greater retail environment and the customer it serves, and execute at a broader and deeper level. More than simply design, we are integral in helping the retailer conceive and remake their business persona.” According to Studach, the more a really good design frm can guide a retailer throughout the process — strategic, tactical and developmental — the more cohesive and powerful the result. “Grocery is in a period of rethinking what a supermarket can and should be,” he says, “and retailers are very

often remaking themselves to delight an ever more particular customer base.” With this the case, he continues, King Retail Solutions provides needs assessment, brand concept and development, store planning, interior and exterior design, lighting design, and fulfllment-based concept documentation to bring ideas to reality. Two design trends he sees in reaction to pressure from industry outsiders and consolidations are to come up with “a wildly successful and proftable format given to rollout potential, and fnding a way to ‘localize’ standard formats so that they are relevant and feel authentic to every neighborhood they serve. “At the same time,” continues Studach, “the rapidly growing consumer savvy and inherent skepticism of customers [are] keeping everyone secondguessing and trying to stay ahead of the curve.” Terefore, the onus on retailers, he feels, is to keep bringing their A game in all areas of the store, including design that sets them apart, looks great, is shoppable, conveys value and stands the test of time. According to David Yehuda, president of Kings Point, N.Y.-based DY Design: “Helping with the business-making decisions to increase proftability is an example of how and why supermarket design

services have expanded. In the old days, designers were rarely involved in the layout of the store. It was mainly store décor.” Now, he says, designer involvement with store layout and décor is the norm, with both playing an integral role in how proftable the store will become. New concepts for the store’s trafc fow are directly afecting sales, in addition to the décor, image creation, branding and atmosphere. “Today,” notes Yehuda, “customers are more knowledgeable about the benefts of fresh food and organic products, so the merchandising is being modifed. As a result, the whole image of the store is being created by branding that has gravitated towards using natural materials and natural design elements. Creating a more natural overall look to the store must follow.” At King-Casey, in Westport, Conn., Principal Howland Blackiston asserts: “For supermarkets, it’s no longer business as usual. Today, the competition is greater and more diverse. New supermarket concepts come along that look diferent, shop diferently, and provide enhanced environments that are more fun and enjoyable to shop, and better meet the unique needs of Millennials — the fastest-growing customer

Grocery is in a period of rethinking what a supermarket can and should be, and retailers are very often remaking themselves to delight an ever more particular customer base.” —Christopher Studach, King Retail Solutions


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August 2015 | |


Equipment & Design

MovEablE FEasT This rolling kiosk from GsP is part of the company’s design services package.

Store Design Services

segment — specifcally to educate and entertain.” New supermarket designs, he adds, recognize that wide aisles, bright lighting and thoughtful space planning are no longer enough. Te competitive challenge has become diverse, cutting-edge and complex, with the result that supermarket design services have expanded in response. “We are a retail consulting and design frm,” Blackiston emphasizes, “so many of the services we ofer take place before any design work is underway: strategic positioning, market research, audits and assessments, competitive benchmarking, and innovative ideation. It’s the resulting fndings, strategies and business objectives that dictate the design services we provide. King-Casey’s design services include naming, branding, merchandising design, in-store customer communications, store design and layout, kitchen planning and design, and so on.” In the future, according to Blackiston, supermarket design eforts will focus on those things that respond to the needs, wants, expectations and behaviors of Millennials, including design solutions that address the “wow” factor; the need to feel informed, educated and entertained; the daily, active pursuit of wellness; technology knowledge; the

brand’s commitment to the improvement of social, economic and environmental issues; and the need to be heard through social media. PG To find out how lighting contributes to a store’s overall design, visit

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Point of Purchase

Post Purchase & Loyalty

In-Store Pre-Shop

2015 Category Management Conference

The Shopper’s Journey… Winning from Planning through Purchase September 29th - October 1st in Orlando, FL

Build your own fexible schedule by selecting any session, in any track, along the Path to Purchase!

9/28 Leaders Conference | 9/28 Leadership Workshop with Alvin Day

Alvin Day Executive Leadership Coach and Exec Director of The Empowerment Institute “If Caterpillars

Main Conference | 9/29 Over 18 Case Study Sessions

Golf Scramble & Dinner (No need to be an expert golfer!) Best Practices & Shopper Insights Case Studies & Storytelling Workshop Presented by Kaye Young SVP, Shopper Marketing and Consumer Insights, CMA

Topics presented by 5 training partners (choose your sessions)

6 Keynote Speakers including: Doug Stephens Retail Futurist & Author “The Retail Revival”

Can Fly ~ So Can I”

Roundtable Discussions & Networking

Training | 9/29

Steve Rizzo Personal & Team Development /Author/Comedian “Get your shift together” 6 Super Sessions

Never Before Seen Training (Developed exclusively for the CMA Conference) Focused on New Technologies,Innovative Approaches and Best Practices


15 IP Presentations & Joint Case Studies Best Practice Awards and Gala Dinner 5 Rounds of Solution Provider Speed Demos Over 6 Designated Networking Events & Receptions

Conference Tracks Along... The Path to Purchase:

Awards given in multiple categories for large and small manufacturers and retailers. Winners will be featured in Retail Leader (print and online) and acknowledged at the Annual Category Management Dinner Gala on September 29th.

Space & Assortment Advanced Analytics

Insights & Research Marketing & Activation Omni-channel

Speakers representing the following companies: Wake Forest University | Walgreens | Sam’s Club | The Nielsen Company | Accenture | The Coca-Cola Company RaceTrac | Yale University | SuperValu | Campbell Soup Company | Robert Bosch Automotive | Reynolds Consumer Products | Goya Foods, Inc. | Bumble Bee Foods, LLC | The Dannon Company | Driscoll’s | Johnson Controls Eby-Brown | Constellation Brands, U.S. | Mondelez International | True Value Company | Coen Oil | Glazer’s Distributors HARIBO of America, Inc. | Wawa, Inc. | Red Bull | Swisher International, Inc. | General Electric | Tyson Foods



Strengthening the Links

Supply chain logistics operations beyond the terminal are increasing in importance and sophistication.

The changes in today’s supply chain are creating more challenges and opportunities in making effective business decisions.” —Bob Biesterfeld, C.H. Robinson



By Bob Ingram

s sports like baseball increasingly use metrics to enhance game strategies, so is the retail food industry turning to data-driven “game plans” to improve supply chain logistics beyond the truck terminal. “Although consumers may have new apps on their phones to give them immediate access to a multitude of products, the supply chain teams must still physically move the product,” notes Scott Reily, SVP logistics at Brookshire Grocery Co., in Tyler, Texas. Among the key issues Reily sees infuencing product movement are pending government regulations that he feels will continue to redefne Brookshire’s supply chain processes and negatively afect efciencies in the short term.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

“Talent is still the key for any successful supply chain, so you must recruit and train people continuously,” he adds, noting that while “technology is moving faster, you must be selective and ensure that you choose the right systems and hardware to enable your team. We have more data than ever before, but you have to determine which data will help run your supply chain more efciently.” According to Reily, Brookshire works with several associations to develop and present a unifed message on these issues, and also networks with other members to learn new ideas and rethink processes. “Te successful and basic tactics for running daily operations will not change drastically, but the expectations of consumers will,” he observes.

Ahead of FSMA Chris Laferty, VP of sales at Jupiter, Fla.-based Locus Traxx Worldwide, which has the technology to monitor location, temperature, and security of cargo in the cold chain in real time, points out that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), slated to go into efect on April 1, 2016, requires that temperature records must be maintained during transportation, as specifed by the shipper, and that shippers and carriers must retain all trip records for a period of 12 months and provide them upon request. “Locus Traxx provides this today,” he asserts. At C.H. Robinson, in Eden Prairie, Minn., VP of North American Truckload Bob Biesterfeld says: “Tere continues to be a need for shippers to gain as much access to variable and cost-efective truckload capacity as possible, so that is still a main focus and why we have developed a fexible and efcient model which allows customers to manage and transport product with greater control.” Biesterfeld’s company manages the retail food supply chain “from feld to fork” and ofers a suite of inventory management and multimodal solutions such as truckload, LTL (less than truckload), consolidation, intermodal, and global services. He notes that, in the past, retailers would look for a transportation solution, but “today we are asked to provide full supply chain solutions, which allow organizations to move from tactical to strategic operations and become more proftable.” According to Biesterfeld, the retailer with the most efective supply chain will win in the end. Drivers Wanted Addressing the current driver shortage, Cyndi Brandt, senior director of product marketing and alliances at Roadnet Technologies, asserts: “Technology will play an important role in recruiting and keeping youngergeneration drivers. If you’re not providing technology to help them do their jobs, they will be less likely to accept or stay.” Dallas-based Roadnet, an Omnitracs company, provides last-mile vehicle routing and GPS tracking, which includes services from order scheduling to daily and strategic route planning; GPS tracking for drivers, sales reps and merchandisers; advanced proof of delivery; telematics; and proactive delivery notifcations. Scheduling and routing are becoming more important, Brandt observes, adding, “We see companies wanting to move away from a ‘batch’ routing environment, where they create routes one time per day, to a very dynamic environment where they can take orders at any time before a pre-defned cut-of and ofer back an immediate delivery promise time.” Roadnet is responding to this shift by making implementation of these scheduling technologies easier and requiring less IT work, according to Brandt. “Big Data is becoming less scary,” she says. “Tere are now tools that easily capture the data and make it meaningful for many — not just a few.”

For example, Roadnet has created domainspecifc business intelligence tools called Insight that integrate real-time and historical data on route plans, route execution, and telematics data, allowing users to easily identify trends and make proactive change. Timely and Transparent Todd Holt, president of Cherry Hill, N.J.-based NFI, an international importer of fresh produce, sees tightening capacity, maximizing product shelf life, and consistent on-time service as key industry issues. Shippers can secure capacity, says Holt, by using dedicated feets to handle regular shipments and using brokerage oferings to accommodate surges. Ron Atapattu, president and founder of Miamibased Overseas Cargo Inc. (ShipOCI), typifes his company as a “4PL” company, meaning that above the third-party services of procurement, storage and distribution, “we also ofer the necessary fnancial and technical consulting to support trade.” Since many times, what customers require isn’t easily defned, “it is our job to decide on the best course of action that will satisfy their order in a timely and acceptable manner,” Atapattu says, adding that ShipOCI is constantly developing and fne-tuning its proprietary logistics software, RapidLink, to ofer a transparent and interactive interface that gives customers full visibility throughout the entire process.” Brian Holland, president and CFO of Fleet Advantage, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says his company uses data analytics, industry expertise and fexible fnancial solutions to develop actionable intelligence that helps clients reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs, improve efciencies of their truck feets, and be more environmentally responsible. “Our primary focus,” he explains, “is to help educate private feets on solutions to many of the issues facing the industry today, provide them with the tools to make better decisions about their feets, and gain a competitive advantage by continuously driving down costs.” According to Deep Sharma, VP, global research and development, and Scott Fenwick, senior director, product strategy at Atlanta-based Manhattan Associates, the company’s sophisticated transportation management systems (TMS) are able to maximize loads by building the most efective and enhanced shipping plans. Tis system, they point out, allows retailers to minimize miles and capacity requirements, as well as maximize the use of feets or dedicated capacity while accounting for other delivery and equipment constraints. Te supply chain logistics outlook is bright, assert Sharma and Fenwick, because food retailers are seeking to reduce costs, modernize their supply chains and maximize efciencies, and they have diverse and comprehensive supply chain commerce solutions available to them right now. PG

Technology will play an important role in recruiting and keeping youngergeneration drivers.” —Cyndi Brandt, Roadnet Technologies

August 2015 | |


Food, Beverage & Nonfood Products

Flavorful Twist

Bourbon Barrel, the latest addition to the Twisted Tea Brewing Co.’s line of hard iced teas, combines the taste of real iced tea with a splash of Bourbon flavor, yielding a smooth, refreshing and easy-drinking beverage. Coming in at 5 percent ABV, Twisted Tea Bourbon Barrel is currently available in Maine, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Montana. Six-packs carry an SRP of $7.99-$9.49; the 24-ounce can retails for a suggested $2.49-$2.99.

Thinner Crust

DiGiorno has once again expanded its growing product portfolio with the launch of Pizzeria! thin-crust pizzas. Crafted using premium ingredients with no artificial flavors, each pizza begins with a preservative-free crust, which is drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and topped with sauce made with vineripened tomatoes, and flavored with basil, thyme and oregano. Available in Supreme Speciale, Margherita, Primo Pepperoni, and Spinach & Mushroom varieties, the new offerings are available at retailers nationwide for an SRP of $6.99.

Cheese Cravings

Consumers seeking convenient protein-rich snacks now have three new options from Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics cheese line. Farmer’s Rope Mozzarella Sticks (8 ounces) are designed as a takealong snack for those with active lifestyles, while the Part-Skim Mozzarella Ball (1 pound) is ideal for shredding onto pizzas, pasta dishes and fresh salads. Meanwhile, Cheddar Cheese Curds (12 ounces), which come in a mix of white and yellow curds, are best for snacking, entertaining and adding to summer salads. All Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics are made with fresh milk from the Crave family’s own dairy cows.

Veggie Variety

Kale & Tuscan Bean is the most recent addition to the Veggie Fries portfolio. Crafted with a blend of select farm-grown vegetables, legumes, herbs and spices, and real potatoes, these all-natural, lowsodium offerings provide two servings of vegetables per serving, 3-plus grams of protein, and a good source of fiber, as well as vitamins A, C and K. Veggie Fries are also easy to prepare, and can be baked and ready in just 16 minutes. A 14-ounce package retails for a suggested $3.99.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

The Perfect Cup

Designed to help coffee lovers make a rich, consistently flavored cup of joe every time, Melitta USA’s coffee filters with Measure Markings feature a unique guideline — equivalent to 2 tablespoons — for easy filling without the use of a measuring tool. These filters fit all eight-to-12-cup cone coffeemakers, are 100 percent biodegradable, and feature double-crimped seams and microfine flavor-enhancing perforations, enabling the full flavor to filter through while keeping oils and impurities out. Melitta’s coffee filters with Measure Markings are available in a 40-count box for an SRP of $1.99.

Harmonious Medley

Designed to offer consumers a healthy, convenient breakfast option, Quaker Oats’ Real Medleys Granola & Yogurt Blends combine creamy yogurt with multigrain granola, along with sweet chunks of real fruit and crunchy nuts in a shelf-stable, single-serve package. Boasting 25 grams of whole grains and 10 grams of protein (with milk) per cup, Real Medleys Granola & Yogurt Blends are available in Strawberry Almond, Raspberry Pecan and Apple Cinnamon varieties.

Very Dairy

“Our milks are available nationwide in some of the top quick-service restaurants, and now [we’ve introduced] onthe-go nutrition with our most popular single-serve milk varieties,” says Sandy Kelly, VP of marketing for Arizonabased Shamrock Dairy, of the brand’s Mmmmilk, now in more than 1,250 Walmart stores nationwide. Offered in 12-ounce sizes in regular, chocolate and strawberry varieties, Shamrock Farms’ Mmmmilk boasts 25 percent of the daily recommended value of protein per serving, as well as eight essential nutrients, without any added hormones.

Heinz of All Kinds

On the heels of the Kraft-Heinz merger, Simply Heinz and Heinz Organic are expanding their offerings to help accommodate the needs of families of all sizes. The brand’s Organic ketchup line — previously offered only in a 14-ounce size — is now also available in a 32-ounce size, for an SRP of $4.75. Meanwhile, the Simply Heinz ketchup line is expanding from the existing 34-ounce size to also include a 20-ounce bottle with an SRP of $2.59.

Shelf Score™ — June 2015 Purchase INteNt score

New Product

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Reese’s Mini Sticks Fiber One Cheesecake Bar: Strawberry Oreo S’mores Bagel Bites Breakfast: Bacon, Egg & Cheese Ritz Bits Sandwiches: Bacon & Cheese Kellogg’s Eggo Gluten Free Waffles: Cinnamon Rold Gold Pretzel Cracker Sandwiches: Creamy Fudge Hostess Sea Salt Caramel CupCakes Jif Peanut Powder High Brew Coffee: Dairy Free Black & Bold

78% 72 68 64 62 59 58 56 54 39

source: Instantly Shelf Score

August 2015 | |


Goodwin to Lead Packaging and Equipment for Oliver Products

Walker, Mich.-based Oliver Products has appointed Kenneth B. Goodwin the new president of Oliver Packaging & Equipment Co., reporting to the CEO of Oliver Products, Jerry Bennish. Most recently, Goodwin was VP at Manitowoc Foodservice, a New Port Richey, Fla.-based manufacturer of commercial restaurant equipment, where he was responsible for nine brands and operating companies. His experience also includes a stint as president of BKI Worldwide, in addition to senior management roles with Lancer Corp., Frymaster LLC and Enodis Corp. “Ken’s leadership experience and success in growing businesses is a great addition,” Bennish says. “We have made a number of investments in people, product development and manufacturing over the past 18 months. Investing in a leader with Ken’s qualifications will help the business build on what has been accomplished, as well as pursue further opportunities.”

Anchor Packaging Wins Design Excellence Award St. Louis-based Anchor Packaging has won a 2015 AmeriStar Design Excellence Award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) for its Embraceable lidded prepared food container. IoPP judged nearly 100 entries of food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and health and beauty packaging on innovation, product protection, economics, performance, marketing and environmental impact. Embraceable is an 11-by-8-inch black oval platter with a locator ring in the bottom to hold a standard 8-ounce squat paper food container commonly used for items such as chili, soups, oatmeal, grits, and macaroni and cheese. Te clear, anti-fog, vented PP lid contains an integral sealing fange that forms a lid over the paper container at the same time that it forms a leak-resistant seal on the platter. Tis eliminates the lid for the paper container, which saves expense and reduces the amount of packaging consumed, thereby reducing carbon footprint. It also improves consumer convenience, as the meal may be carried in one container rather than two. Bases are made with natural mineral additives, reducing the use of petroleum-based resin by 40 percent.

Sargento Foods Adds 3 to its Consumer Products Division Plymouth, Wis.-based Sargento Foods Inc. has made three additions to its consumer products division: Tara Schuler has joined as associate marketing manager for the shredded-cheese business, Becky Plummer is associate marketing manager on the snacks business, and Marie Sherman has joined the company as trade planning analyst. Previously with Shell Oil Co. and Scotts Miracle-Gro, Schuler will support eforts to build the brand by working on business analysis, budget management, and advertising and consumer promotion development. A former promotions coordinator at Meijer Inc., Plummer will analyze business data, assist with executing consumer promotions programs and act as a liaison with Sargento’s public relations agency. Formerly with Acosta Sales & Marketing, Sherman will be responsible for the implementation and execution of trade spending activity for consumer products division sales, including the budgeting, planning, tracking and analysis of trade spending events.

Recall InfoLink’s Technology Selected by Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co., which services more than 270 Piggly Wiggly stores in seven states, is implementing best-in-class recall process management technology from Boise, Idaho-based Recall InfoLink. “What really impresses us with Recall InfoLink is how easy it is to communicate to all members across our supply chain,” says David Bullard, president and CEO of Bessemer-based Piggly Wiggly Alabama. “And by


using loyalty card data, our retail members can instantly let the shoppers know about recalls.” Recall InfoLink provides a patented, web-based product recall management platform that protects brand image, reduces liability and brings value to all businesses involved in processing recalls. It improves efciency by providing standardized messages, automated communications, inventory tracking and reports for compliance eforts. According to Roger Hancock, the company’s president and founder, “Recall InfoLink gives the wholesaler and its retail clients another tool to engage with the consumer and ensure continued loyalty.”;

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

advertiser index Advance/Pierre Foods Inc Ace Hardware Agro America Airius Amerlux Lighting Systems Inc Anheuser-Busch Inc Anthony International Bauducco Foods Beaver Street Fisheries Blount Fine Foods California Grocers Association Camber Pharmaceuticals Campbell Soup Company Category Management Association Chelan Fresh Chep USA Coca Cola NA Conagra Foods Cott Creekstone Farms Daymon Associates Decorworx DelMonte Fresh ECR Software General Mills Inc Goya Foods Inc Heineken USA Inc. Jelly Belly John Wm Macy’s Cheesesticks, Inc Kimberly-Clark Co Loving Pets Products Mars Ice Cream Mason Ways Indestructibles Mehmert Store Services Merz Pharmaceuticals Milk Pep MillerCoors LLC MIWE Mizkan MOM Brands Nestlé New Hope Natural Media Pete & Gerry’s Organics, LLC Pfizer Consumer Health Pharmavite LLC Placon Pompeian Produce for Kids Robbie Flexibles Stagnito Business Information Tabletops Unlimited The Happy Egg Company The J.M. Smucker Company Tosca Trimino Trion Tropical Foods Turkey Hill Dairy Tyson Foods

49 119 92 27 45 Inside Back 39 41 57 91 117 106-107 71 123 73 29 55 47, 75, 99 67 59, 61 43 33 85 11 8, 9 7 19, 53, 89 63 15 37 109 65 111 50-51 103 13 5 122 90 25 Insert 83, 87 95 Inside Front- 3 100-101 105 97 80-81 86 56 98, 115 Back Cover 77 Cover Tip, 21 78-79 116 Insert 35 60 17 31

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August 2015 | |


the last word

A Taste of Things to Come


he transforming platter of the retail food industry, coupled with consumers’ evolving tastes about where, when and how they shop, is powering unprecedented upheaval for a business that never sleeps. And although the reigning topic du jour — e-commerce — is the primary paddle stirring the murky pot of late (more on that momentarily), a plethora of vats brewing on the front burners of the supermarket stove is every bit as compelling, if not more so. To be sure, the onslaught of major developments erupting in the grocery world in recent weeks — ranging from the unexpected to the inevitable, and everything in between — has kept our diligent editorial team on its toes with a nearly unprecedented rate of breaking news. Fortunately, however, we’re ever mindful that the food industry is a fascinating and many-splintered thing, brimming with intriguing stories, including those depicting the genuinely progressive strides many grocers are taking to adapt and reimagine their physical presence in new and creative ways. To that point, look no further than our 2015 Store Design Contest champs, whose stories begin on page 22. With a hearty shout-out to the frst-ever trio of winners from the same metro market that’s clearly a hotbed of retail activity — Baton Rouge, La. — we are also proud to tip our hats to the overall strong showing of contenders in our sixth store design showdown. In a perfect world, I’d have the chance to personally visit each and every one, walk the aisles, sample the wares, behold the bounty and, most importantly, shake the hands of the folks who made it possible. But the next best thing is learning how these dynamic labors of love came to be, and we look forward to seeing what comes next from these talented retail and design partners. Meanwhile, when considering the rapidly changing retail landscape and companion opportunities therein regarding online grocery ofshoots, it stands to reason that supermarket foorplans will be vastly diferent in a few years from what we see today. To that end, Willard Bishop’s recently released “2015 eCommerce SuperStudy” sheds some much-needed light on the subject from both the retailer and supplier sides. According to Paul Weitzel, managing partner at Willard Bishop, online center store food and nonfood categories are doing “very well.”

However, Weitzel says that “the diferent fulfllment models cause category performance to vary signifcantly. Te online trip averages 44 units per order 90 percent of the time, when the basket is more than 50 units. Online orders are large and broad, and consumers are shoppingng the entire store, which is very diferent than traditional in-store baskets, which are much smaller and more specifc.” With fewer cherry pickers online, “core customers shopping for convenience are both proftable and very important.” Interestingly, “some categories are disproportionately more important online,” a good example being paper products, which Weitzel says “are twice as important online than in-store. Tis is a category that many grocers gave away to mass and club, and e-commerce is showing that they can win back some of this business.” So what categories in particular are trending stronger than others? Asserts Weitzel: “Frozen food indexes the highest online on a fair-share basis among all store departments. Temperature state is not an issue. In addition, consumers are accepting someone else picking out their fresh product,” which, he says, “is no longer an issue for most core online shoppers.” However, diferent fulfllment models cause category performance to vary signifcantly. “Some categories are also disproportionately more important for home deliveries versus store pickup programs,” observes Weitzel. “Express-lane pickup locations tend to be soccer moms with two kids in the back seat, so family, children’s and baby categories index really high at these locations. Stores that ofer home deliveries see higher sales for categories that cater more to the elderly population.” Accordingly, Weitzel advises retailers and CPGs to work in earnest to develop diferent promotional strategies while modifying variety based on the specifc type of e-commerce program they’re seeking to develop. “Tat really isn’t happening today,” he acknowledges. “Some categories are two to three times more important online than they are in the store,” partly driven by B2B business, he says. Moreover, he concludes, “Tere are 30,000-plus locations within 2.5 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population, so traditional grocers are in a perfect position to capitalize on this growth opportunity and start winning back share.” PG Meg Major Twitter @Meg_Major/@pgrocer

The many-splintered food industry is brimming with intriguing stories, including those depicting the progressive strides many grocers are taking to adapt and reimagine their physical presence in new and creative ways.


| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | August 2015

Meet the Millennial mom What makes Millennial moms tick—and click

Digital delivery How e-commerce is revolutionizing the baby care category

Make your store a baby shopping destination In-store shopping trends you can’t aford to ignore




Shopper insights about Millennials and their impact on baby category dynamics

Dear Industry Partners, The rise of e-commerce is transforming the retail landscape, providing shoppers with the means to explore entire categories, learn about products, compare prices, and select where they will complete their purchase before they even leave home. A new generation of tech-savvy retail customers, the Millennials, are leading the charge, doing more of their shopping and buying online than anyone else, even in categories that once seemed safely owned by brick-and-mortar stores. Baby care is one of these leading edge categories, with 90 percent of Millennial moms going online to start every baby care purchase occasion—regardless of whether the purchase is completed online or in-store. This new path to purchase provides both challenges and opportunities for grocers who want to win their fair share of Millennials’ $1.3 trillion in spending power. In this special report, Mead Johnson shares actionable insights about: What Makes Millennial Moms Tick—and Click How E-commerce Is Revolutionizing the Baby Care Category In-Store Shopping Trends That You Can’t Aford to Ignore Mead Johnson is committed to keeping you on top of the trends in baby care, particularly infant formula, by delivering timely and relevant information that can help drive your business. Through our proprietary shopper insights program, Molly Johnson Goes Shopping, Mead Johnson has trended mom-reported shopping behavior across channels since 2008, giving us a unique perspective on baby care shopping patterns and practices. This brief report only serves to highlight our research findings. We look forward to speaking with you to discuss all of the learnings and consequent recommendations in the very near future.

Steve Yarbrough Vice President, U.S. Retail Sales Organization and Customer Development Mead Johnson Nutrition


Molly Johnson Goes Shopping Using survey data from more than 3,000 moms trending from 2008 to 2015, plus interviews with dozens of leading retailers, Mead Johnson Nutrition has developed a robust shopper insights research program: Molly Johnson Goes Shopping. Tis proprietary shopper insights program delivers comprehensive insights on moms’ purchase behavior across e-retail as well as brick-and-mortar. Note: Research sample includes only non-WIC moms.

Copyright 2015 Mead Johnson & Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

2 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Meet the Millennial mom


mericans born between 1981 and 2000 are a dynamic demographic who bring a unique set of values, attitudes and expectations to the shopping experience. Millennials pay close attention to price tags as well as labels and ingredient lists, and they do their homework before making a purchase. These tech-savvy consumers rely on a multitude of devices, sites and sources to guide their purchase decisions, especially when it comes to baby products. As a result, Millennial moms are one of the most informed, empowered and discriminating demographics ever to hit the baby aisle—and they won’t hesitate to walk (or click) away from retailers who have not recognized their needs for timely and relevant information. Connecting with this consumer starts by knowing who she is and what she wants.

Millennials by the numbers





84 MILLION U.S. adults

18 to 34 YEARS OLD $1.3 trillion in spending power $430 billion in discretionary spending 37% unemployed or out of workforce $45,000 average college debt



Baby Center/Boston Consulting Group, January 2014; U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 2

Baby Center/Boston Consulting Group, January 2014; U.S. Census Bureau, 2012; The Institute for College Access and Success 2013; Q4 2013; Pew Research Center

3 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Millennial moms are significantly more likely than Generation X moms (ages 35-50) to consider it “very important” that

brands (including retail brands) understand what matters to them as parents.3

Brand characteristics that are important to Millennial moms


Good value*

Products are proven to be safe for children




Products that simplify my life

Matches my lifestyle/ personality



Products use natural/ wholesome ingredients


*Good value does not always mean lowest prices.

Millennial moms use social media as a shopping tool:


59% have bought a product that another mom recommended on a parenting site

Amount of time the Millennial mom spends shopping online each week, out of her reported 20 weekly hours of personal time online

43% have liked more than 20 brands on Facebook

1 in 5 have made a purchase because they saw someone in their network following the brand6



BabyCenter 21st Century Mom® Insights Series, 2014 Millennial Mom Report, January 2014 4

Molly Johnson Shops Online 2014


BabyCenter 21st Century Mom® Insights Series, 2014 Millennial Mom Report, January 2014 6; The Institute for College Access and Success 2013; Q4 2013;

4 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Digital delivery: Tap the growing market for online baby care sales M illennials represent the first generation of parents who can purchase just about everything their baby needs without leaving the comfort of their home. And that is just what they are doing, in ever greater numbers.

Currently, moms estimate making about one-third of all baby product purchases online. Brick-and-mortar retailers that have long counted on the baby category as a trafic driver may now find that trafic being lured elsewhere. Moreover, a mom typically buys multiple baby care products at the same time, so if she migrates online for one baby care category, she may start adding products from other categories into her digital shopping cart. To stay competitive and capture their fair share of baby purchases, it is important for grocery retailers to recognize the opportunities this new generation of moms provides as well as the potential pitfalls. Whether you are an exclusive e-commerce retailer or a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer, the needs and behaviors of Millennials should become a critical part of your long-term business planning. 5 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Online vs. in-store Despite some of these e-commerce conveniences, though, very few moms elect to purchase ALL of their baby items online. Instead, the vast majority of moms prefer having the flexibility to alternate between online and brick-and-mortar stores instead of sticking strictly with one channel, basing their ultimate decision on promotions/deals, their pantry stock, the size and availability of the item, baby’s mood, and their schedule that particular day or week.

Today’s digital moms are accustomed to having information at their fingertips and have higher expectations of immediacy, which is why leveraging online resources plays a bigger role in their shopping choices. And for the most part, these moms say online retailers allow them to find the baby care information and items they need. For a mom with a baby, online shopping can be a reliable resource that’s available 24-7, replacing trips to the store. It keeps her from having to load up her baby in the car and then take the baby around a store. This is especially true for busy working moms and moms with multiple young children. Online shopping also saves time and gas money for budget-challenged parents, particularly if free shipping is ofered, and eliminates lugging large, bulky items.

For example, moms prefer online purchasing for hardto-find or bulky baby items or simply when they are overwhelmed. In-store purchase is most appealing for first-time purchases of a product or brand or when her need is immediate. When moms need to stock up or get the best prices, deciding whether to purchase online or in-store depends on the deals to be had.


Shopping channel preferences Need a specialized, hard-to-find baby product/brand

15% 75% 9%

When my day-to-day schedule is overwhelming/limited time

19% 71% 10%

When it is a bulky item

22% 68% 10%

Want to find a good deal/ sale price

34% 60% 6%

Want to stock up on a baby item

44% 50% 6%

Want to purchase for the absolute lowest everyday price

43% 46% 11%

Looking to switch to a new brand (product regularly buy)

71% 24% 6%

Looking to buy an item for the first time

75% 19% 6%

When I need that baby product today

87% 7% 7%

In-store Online—home delivery Online—pick up in-store

Source: Molly Johnson Shops Online 2014

6 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y


Mom-reported baby category purchases in the past 30 days Baby food

67% 16% 2%

Baby formula

51% 24% 5%

Baby clothing

34% 45% 8%


57% 29% 10%

Diapering needs

51% 27% 10%

In-store only Both in-store and online Online only

Source: Molly Johnson Shops Online 2014

Online baby care path to purchase Start online


Start in-store


Start online to compare prices/ browse, decide whether to purchase online vs. local store depending on results


42% Go directly to retailer site 58% Go to search site

Visit one site


Plan to purchase at a local retailer, but first go online to browse/ compare prices


Usually shop and purchase at online retailers


Check prices

Research product

Browse comparable options

Read product reviews





Stay on site OR Jump to other retailer sites, log of empty-handed (potential to buy in-store later)


Make purchase


7 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Source: Molly Johnson Shops Online 2014

How smartphones are used in-store Smart phone ownership 66%


Used to search for coupons to redeem at store or location 22% 53% Used codes from a text message for a special discount 16% 43% Used mobile app to check the price of a product at another store 15% 40% Used in the store to look up product information 25% 39% Took a picture of a product or sale to send/save or post online 34% 30% Used mobile app to scan a barcode for product information 13% 25% Some other type of shopping application

2011 2015

7% 15%

None of these 40% 18% Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Beyond the laptop:

Connecting with mom through multiple digital touch points


hether the Millennial mom is shopping online or in-store, she is looking to connect with baby retailers across multiple digital touch points. Besides her laptop, she relies on her mobile device for up-to-the-minute price comparisons and for access to coupons, ofen via retailer-specific applications. In fact, 4 in 10 moms say they used a mobile app to compare prices the last time they shopped for formula in-store. Mass merchandise stores, however, are the likeliest settings: Compared with mass merchandise shoppers, grocery shoppers are less likely to have ever used a shopping app. In fact, if mom’s using her mobile device while shopping grocery, she may be looking for deals, coupons and promotions at other retailers. This is clearly a critical opportunity for grocery retailers and another indication that winning with tech-savvy moms requires a multi-pronged digital strategy. Digital communications are increasingly being leveraged by retailers to alert moms to baby category discounts and deals. Millennials are less likely than older shoppers to clip coupons or check printed circulars before hitting the store. Instead, Millennial shoppers search for online coupons or check retailers’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for special promotions. There is a growing expectation among moms that retailers should be reaching out to them when running a promotion. More and more, they rely on store texts and apps to alert them to promotions and sales, and these types of digital shoulder taps have a big impact. 8 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

4 steps to a mom-friendly online shopping experience 1 Make your website a trusted first stop Since most moms begin their baby care shopping experience online (regardless of whether or not they complete the purchase online), winning with moms starts by becoming one of their go-to websites. Baby registries or mom-centric loyalty or subscription programs can establish this relationship early so that your site is top of mind from day one.

9 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

2 Become an easy option for mom to find and purchase what she needs To make shopping for baby products as simple as possible, websites must be easy to navigate, moms say. Moms appreciate a clean, uncluttered look above all else. When sites look too “busy,” they make the shopper feel overwhelmed. Moms like it when baby care web pages are designed with sof nursery colors and graphics. Moms say they expect reviews to be included on all online retail sites, to help them determine which products to click on for more information. They find reviews particularly useful in shopping for unfamiliar or more expensive products. Because moms are so price driven, promotions and the cost of shipping play important roles in their online shopping process too. Moms love to see discounts or sales on products, even as low as 5 percent of. These discounts can also encourage moms to purchase more; for example, $10 of a $100 purchase. Most moms say they are willing to accept a minimum purchase amount from $25 to $35 for free shipping. If the shipping costs are too high, however, mom will abandon her cart and take the “easier” option of just buying the products in-store. To avoid checkout surprises, keep her informed of her running total as she adds items to her cart to help her decision process.

Reviews are a critical part of the learning and purchase process: They help moms to prioritize products for further investigation. Large numbers of reviews deliver confidence in the star ratings. Moms appreciate video reviews for the added detail and “live demonstrations.”

10 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

3 Maximize selection and unique oferings E-commerce can ofer products and options that simply are not available to moms in brickand-mortar stores. In fact, 75 percent of moms default to online when they are looking for a unique baby item. Be sure to: Provide the fullest range available for items Ofer special online case pack or specialty items Avoid out-of-stocks to bolster a sense of reliability–mom knows she can get what she needs no matter how specialized.

Online subscriptions and memberships

4 Use online subscriptions to boost loyalty Subscriptions and memberships help your site stay top of mind and provide moms with a consistent, faster shopping session and high purchase confidence. Though few moms currently use online subscription services exclusively, a significant proportion say they’re interested. Consider leveraging existing loyalty programs to incorporate baby care rewards or subscription oferings, which have proven to be appealing for frequently purchased baby categories such as diapers.

First pregnancy 21% 50% 0- to 5-month-old 32% 39% 6- to 11-month-old 30% 33% 12- to 24-month-old 27% 28% Experienced mom 20% 26% Currently has Interested in using 11


Source: BabyCenter 21st Century Mom® Insights Series, Mom: The Family Shopper, July 2014


FOCUS: Online

infant formula


nline formula sales are steadily increasing, but overall only about half of moms have ever bought formula via the Internet. In this section, let’s take a look at the online formula path to purchase, benefits and barriers to buying formula online, and opportunities for retailers to capture a bigger share of infant formula sales online. Mom’s path to purchase for online infant formula looks a lot like her general online baby shopping route. Mom opts for large screens (laptop) over smaller mobile screens (tablet or phone), and compares products and prices before completing the purchase, frequently jumping to other websites along the way. Ofen she’ll bundle other baby care items, such as food and diapers, into her purchase too.

12 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y


Moms typically fall into one of three formula purchasing types: never or rarely purchase online, use a combination online and in-store strategy, or committed online purchaser.

Online, working moms are more likely to:

Some moms rarely purchase formula online because: They cannot (or do not realize they can) use formula manufacturer coupons. Brick-and-mortar can be perceived as ofering the lowest cost or better deals. They do not realize they need to purchase formula until it becomes an immediate need.

Buy baby items online Buy other household categories online Use price-checking apps Sign up for subscription programs Shop online on the weekend Visit a retail site specifcally intending to purchase Become more frustrated comparing formula prices online Be equally split about what is most important in the online purchase decision: convenience (50%) or price (50%)

And some moms, particularly working moms and moms with multiple children, use a combination of in-store and online shopping, taking advantage of promotions in the channel that ofers the best value at that time or stocking up when they see a deal online and/or picking up a limited amount while they are out doing a regular shopping trip. Today, only a small number of moms purchase formula exclusively online, mainly via subscriptions or e-commerce loyalty programs. For these moms the convenience of predictable delivery and perceived lowest pricing (particularly when buying in bulk) outweighs the risk of baby’s unpredictable formula consumption. The benefits of online formula purchasing are all about flexibility; mom can shop on her (or her baby’s) schedule, comparing prices for the best deal, and stock up without worrying about how she will get the large, heavy packages home.

Top 5

Buying infant formula online:

advantages reported by moms

Top 5

disadvantages reported by moms

1. Can shop and order anytime 2. Free shipping makes it easy 3. Able to compare prices across websites and get the best deal 4. More convenient to have formula delivered 5. Easier than carrying heavy packages of formula from the store

1. Not timely/have to wait for order to ship 2. Shipping charges 3. Can get discount when I buy it in store 4. Price/value/can get it cheaper elsewhere 5. Like to be able to read labels

Source: Molly Johnson Shops Online 2014

13 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y



Tap the growing market for online baby care sales Moms want product and ingredient information at their fingertips

Moms want value beyond low prices


Provide detailed product information, including nutrient panels, ingredient lists, multiple-view product pictures and videos. Give mom the ability to directly compare and contrast diferent products/brands. Partner with manufacturers to keep online product details up-to-date. Garner plenty of buyer reviews, which help to give moms confidence when purchasing.

Moms want a simple path from start to cart Optimize search terms to bring your website to the top of the results. To allow moms to navigate your site quickly and easily, include: Auto-suggest in search Easy- to-understand categories The “right” filters—for example, enabling moms to sort infant formula by type/form Relevant search results Click-to-compare feature

Moms suggest that $25 to $35 is a reasonable minimum purchase range for free shipping. Regular promotions with small discounts (i.e., 5 to 10% of) can be impactful. Ofer incentives for repeat purchases. Reach out to moms with shareable info about promotions using store texts, an app or some sort of digital media. Additional services such as click & collect, local home delivery with minimum purchase, or loyalty clubs can add value. Add value by providing online baby care content (e.g., safety information, baby care tips). Explore partnering with manufacturers to build out this content.

Moms want content that inspires social media sharing Ensure your banner is “likeable”: Provide information about the social, environmental or community causes you support. Empower users to like and share those eforts on social media. Include other share-worthy information that shoppers will want to post on social media, such as the latest baby products your store is ofering, and include direct links to top sites (i.e., Pinterest).

Provide the total cost of purchasing a product, including shipping, without mom having to add it to her cart.

14 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Make your store a

baby shopping destination O

nline shopping may be shaking up the baby care category, but mom still considers brick-and-mortar stores an important baby care resource. In fact, depending on what she’s buying and when she needs it, in-store is ofen more appealing than online. To stay at the top of mom’s list, brick-and-mortar grocers can become baby care destinations rather than last-minute last resorts. Several key strategies can help retailers meet—and exceed—moms’ in-store shopping expectations.

15 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Grow awareness The fact that mom can get what she needs the moment she needs it—with no wait (or cost) for shipping—is a big reason she opts to shop in-store rather than online. Steer mom toward the baby aisle with end caps and displays, as well as educational signage aimed at informing and empowering new and soon-to-be moms. Knowing that she’ll be able to find the exact items she’s looking for in-stock is also crucial when mom’s deciding where to shop. She chooses stores with well-stocked shelves, and if the items she wants aren’t immediately available, many moms will walk. What’s more, compared with other retail formats, moms shopping grocery are less likely to ask for assistance if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Would defnitely ask for assistance for an out-of-stock baby item Grocery






Around half of moms will leave the store if they don’t find the product they came for. Source: Molly Johnson 2015

16 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

A great baby aisle ofers a wide variety of products as well as trusted name brands. Having an array of features, formats and formulations is especially important for feeding products because mom needs to feel good about what she gives her baby. A wide selection is also advantageous because moms say they prefer to shop in-store rather than online when trying new or unfamiliar products or when switching brands. This means grocers have a key opportunity to serve as mom’s trusted “testing ground.” That’s especially important for new and soon-to-be moms. When baby’s on the way, mom-to-be opts

for retailers with a big selection of products she can touch, try and learn about in person. New moms are also more likely than experienced moms to shop around at multiple retailers and invest time in deciding what to buy.

Leverage other technology Websites aren’t the only way to interact with mom via technology. Brick-and-mortar retailers can leverage apps and other digital tools to engage mom while she’s in-store or, just as importantly, to connect with her well before she gets there.

Factors most critical to mom importance ratings: Baby aisle features at the grocery store (% rating top box 7 out of 7)






The store ofers the brands I am looking for.

The baby aisle shelves are wellstocked; I can get all the products I came for.

The store ofers lower prices and good value for baby products.

The store ofers high-quality baby products and brands.



It ofers baby products made with the safest materials (for example, BPA-free).









There is a wide variety of baby products so I can get all I need in one stop.

It is easy to find the products I need in the baby aisle.

It ofers great sales/ promotions for baby items.



The baby aisle is organized to let me quickly grab what I need.

It ofers baby foods, drinks and formulas that are more wholesome (organic, natural,



simple ingredients, non-GMO).

40% Source: Molly Johnson 2015

17 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Mom wants to engage with retailers Signed up for a store’s shopper loyalty card

66% 74%

Signed up to receive email coupons/sales alerts from a retailer

71% 65%

Downloaded a specific retailer’s mobile app

—— 54%

Registered myself for baby gifs at a retailer

52% 53%

Signed up to receive catalogues/printed coupons in the mail from a retailer

60% 50%

Have a credit card issued by a specific retailer

29% 38%

2011 2015

Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Most moms check prices online before they ever set foot in a store, although moms who shopped grocery on their last trip were less likely to report comparing prices online, in part because they have far fewer online grocery resources to which they can refer.

loyalty programs to ofering credit cards or even mobile apps. Connecting to mom through tools like these, particularly social media, can help demonstrate that you “get” who she is and how she shops. By positioning yourself as a partner in mom’s parenting journey, you can establish the trust, confidence and loyalty that will keep mom coming back for her baby care needs.

Brick-and-mortar grocers that opt not to expand into e-commerce can still connect with mom in some digital capacity, which might include anything from expanding

18 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y


FOCUS: In-store


Infant formula shopping plans I planned to shop for infant formula before I went to the store


Source: Molly Johnson 2015

90% Looking to buy my usual formula



hen it comes to infant formula, mom’s purchases are rarely spontaneous, and 90 percent of the time she buys the brand she intended to buy. She knows when she needs to restock and she plans for it, making infant formula a top trip driver. In fact, it is the TOP trip driver among formula buyers.

Infant formula trip types Trip to specifically purchase infant formula

14% 30%

Routine shopping trip to buy items for the next few days

32% 28%

Major stock-up trip for groceries or products for my child

16% 12%

A “fill-in” trip for a few groceries or products for my child

17% 12%

A shopping trip to take advantage of a special ofer or low prices

6% 10%

Source: Molly Johnson 2015

19 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

Last trip in grocery channel Last trip in mass channel


Grocery: Frequency of formula purchase

Latest in-store infant formula trends


Formula purchases are more planned than ever—95% in 2015. Moms are more likely to be purchasing formula weekly in 2015, with less pantry loading than in 2011.



Mom is spending more time at the formula shelf: 20

Comparing prices at shelf Reading labels more ofen


Comparing prices across stores every time she purchases formula




Weekly Bi-weekly 3 weeks or longer Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Past 30-day conversion among infant formula shoppers 2015 Mass merch stores (n=503)

88% 69%

2015 Grocery stores (n=503)

Shopped for any products in P30 days

Purchased infant formula in P30 days

79% 34%

Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Among infant formula shoppers, grocery currently lags behind mass merchandisers in conversion. 20 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y


Moms who compared prices across retailers before their shopping trips Store’s website Online retailer sites Retailer circulars sent in the mail Online coupon/sales websites Newspaper advertisements Email fliers sent by retailers Price-comparison app Other

28% 27% 34% 35% 28% 12% 9% 7% Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Price plays a big role in mom’s infant formula shopping decisions, and she frequently compares prices across stores to find the best deal on formula, relying on a wide range of resources including digital media like retailer websites and traditional media such as printed circulars.

Shelf selection is another key driver for infant formula shoppers. Today’s mom knows what she wants, which is why infant formula shoppers are spending more time comparing prices and reading labels at the shelf than they used to. By ofering a wide range of brands and formulations, grocers can make sure mom finds the perfect formula for baby.

Brick-and-mortar grocers can use these resources to alert budget-minded moms about formula deals. Grocery retailers may also want to consider leveraging price-comparison apps and other smartphone tools as well as loyalty programs and cards, all of which fit into moms’ formula deal-hunting arsenals.

But stock is just as important as selection. If mom’s preferred formula brand isn’t on the shelves, she’ll likely leave the store to find it elsewhere—ofen without even stopping to ask a sales clerk whether it’s in stock. This is a particular risk for grocery, where moms are much less likely to ask for assistance in an out-of-stock situation.

Factors most critical to mom importance ratings: Infant formula shelf (% rating top box 7 out of 7) Brands I want


Well-stocked/ has what I came for

Lower prices/ good value on formula



Shelf is Wide variety of organized for pack sizes quick grab & go



Enough on shelf to stock up


Great sales/ promotions on formula


Variety of formulas for feeding issues

Ofers organic/ holistic formula brands



Source: Molly Johnson 2015

Moms cite several other factors that determine where they shop for in-store infant formula, but paramount is the retailer having her baby’s specific formula brand/SKU in stock. Providing mom with an easy-to-navigate shelf, great deals or lower prices will be a wasted efort if mom is not confident that she can get exactly the formula her baby needs. 21 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y



Make your store a baby shopping destination Moms want to digitally connect before they get to the store

Moms want to successfully purchase the baby products they came for


Since almost 90% of baby category shopping trips begin online, developing a digital presence is critical. Regardless of whether your store has e-commerce capabilities, it’s important to be able to interact with shoppers beyond traditional print media in order to alert them to in-store oferings, promotions and services. Consider a digital version of your circular, social media, texts, email, an app or other forms of digital communication.

Moms want to simplify their shopping experience Grocery has the opportunity to convert more of the moms who are already in the store every week but purchase baby items elsewhere. Keep your baby aisle top of mind for your shoppers by raising visibility. Consider a permanent baby end cap to entice moms to browse the aisle. Once mom is in your baby aisle, clearly marked categories with logical adjacencies help her to eficiently navigate the aisle. Additionally, think about adding a local delivery service option, to make it easier for mom to get her purchases home.

Shipping time is a key barrier to online baby category purchase, so brick-and-mortar’s greatest advantage is immediate access and purchase. Half of moms will leave your store if they cannot get the exact SKUs they came for. Become a reliable baby care resource to mom: Leverage all available data to get the optimal SKU mix on shelf. Minimize out-of-stock. Limited in-store space is a barrier to meeting every mom’s needs, but leveraging e-commerce can provide a solution. Consider expanding category and brand oferings via online-only SKUs.

Moms want a variety of products they can touch and try in-person Despite the advantages of comparing product benefits/ingredients online, few moms will purchase a baby product for the first time without interacting with it at shelf. Leverage the power of touch by ofering category-entry SKUs, navigational signage, wellstocked shelves or even trial-size products.

22 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y


Thank you for investing the time to read this report. Mead Johnson is committed to our retail partners’ success, and we hope you have found this special report to be compelling and useful. Gaining a better understanding of how to meet the needs of the Millennial shopper will be critical to your future success. Molly Johnson Goes Shopping proprietary shopper research provides the foundation for this report, and Mead Johnson representatives would like to share additional valuable insights with our retail partners.

Contact your MJN Account Team for: More shopper insights and infant formula category best practices Information about the Enfamil portfolio of products Up-to-date product ingredient lists and label details Category trends, product information and consumer insights Branded and unbranded baby care and lifestyle content (including video) Shopper sign-up information for MJN’s Enfamil Family Beginnings® program

For more information, contact Mead Johnson Nutrition Call your account manager Call 1-800-318-7269 Email:

23 H O W T O W I N I N T H E B A B Y C AT E G O R Y

building healthy tomorrows For over 110 years, Mead Johnson Nutrition has been advancing the science of pediatric nutrition in our mission to nourish the world’s children for the best start in life.

Mead Johnson’s Retail Sales Organization is committed to keeping you on top of the trends in baby care, particularly infant formula, by delivering timely and relevant information that can help drive your business.

For more information, contact Mead Johnson Nutrition Call your account manager Call 1-800-318-7269 Email:

Leveraging Ready-to-Eat Cereal for

Higher Center Store Sales B

reakfast has never been bigger. Seventy percent of American consumers now say it’s the most important meal of the day,1 and the demand for delicious, healthy morning meals has helped make breakfast-related categories in-store a $100 billion business in retail outlets.2 Tis new consumer demand for healthier morning fare is good news for other breakfast classics, such as ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC). RTEC has been and still is the No. 1 breakfast food in the country,3 eaten at 30 percent of morning meals4 and by two-thirds of consumers at least every two weeks.5



Indeed, signs point to an RTEC renaissance: Dollar sales have continued to improve during the past year,6 and many retailers are growing again in this category.7 Tis is great news for retailers because the RTEC category is a driver of both total retailer dollars and trafc to the store.8 RTEC is found in shoppers’ baskets on 14 percent of grocery trips, and the total ring is $44 higher when cereal is in the basket.9 Because of its strong turns and reach, RTEC is one of the most proftable categories within center store (coming in at 11 out of 127 categories)10 and the second most productive among breakfast-related categories.11 In the breakfast foods category, cereal is No. 1 in unit sales, trips, repeat purchase rate and household penetration.12 Other center store categories that have low value and frequency in basket and tend to be over spaced include baking mixes, desserts/ gelatins, canned fruit, and jams/jellies/spreads.13 Simply put, RTEC is a powerhouse category. Best of all, there’s still room for retailers to better know–and further grow–the category. Let’s take a comprehensive look at RTEC today: what, when and how the cereal consumer eats, a walk along the path to purchase, plus plenty of opportunities for retailers to boost sales and store trafc while exciting and delighting cereal fans.

RTEC category basics Cereal is both a well-loved classic and an evolving category, facing new challenges, welcoming new segments and embracing new opportunities. For many Americans, no grocery cart is complete without a box or two of their favorite cereal. Few foods

are as fundamental to shoppers’ grocery lists: In fact, 89 percent of shoppers who purchased cereal had planned to buy something in the category as they entered the store.14 Combined with the high penetration rate of the RTEC category, it is clear that RTEC is a destination category15 and a trip and aisle trafc driver for U.S. retailers—a go-to leg in any well-prepared grocery shopper’s plan of attack. In the decision tree, the frst thing shoppers decide at the shelf is whether they want a mainstream brand or a natural/organic product, followed by secondary decisions about kid appeal, all-family appeal, simple health and value.16 Nutrition matters too: Consumers look for calcium, protein, fber and whole grains in their packaged foods,17 and cereal delivers on all these fronts– especially fber, which only 5 percent of Americans18 get in recommended amounts. More than 60 percent of Kellogg’s cereals, for example, ofer a good or excellent source of fber. In addition, RTEC actually accounts for less than 4 percent of added sugar intake in the United States.19 While whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet, they’re not the whole story. Te enriched refned grains found in RTEC provide a key plant source of iron, folic acid and B vitamins, nutrients that many Americans are lacking. Meanwhile, manufacturers have been working hard to make kids’ cereals healthier than ever, with less sugar and more fber than in the past.20 No wonder children who eat cereal for breakfast tend to have lower BMIs (body mass index) and a lower incidence of obesity than children who skip their morning meal.21



Planned purchases across breakfast category Product

Planned purchase





Fresh fruit


Cold cereal




Breakfast meats


Hot cereal


Hash browns/tater tots

Retailers can take additional steps to boost RTEC sales. In the next section, we’ll lay out strategies for engaging with cereal consumers both before they enter the store and once they’re in the aisle.


Energy drinks


Frozen pancakes/wafles


Source: Ipsos Marketing

Together, these attributes and consumption trends suggest several projected growth areas in RTEC. Health and wellness-oriented cereals are projected to grow, as are granola and muesli, all of which wear the whole-grain “health halo.” Meanwhile, the growth of beyond-breakfast cereal consumption bodes well for RTEC products designed for later-day or immediate eating occasions, such as smaller-sized, on-the-go cereal snack packs. In fact, leading brands have already begun leveraging innovation to jump start the conversation and boost growth: Kellogg and General Mills are launching more than 90 new products this year, according to Nielsen.22 Category growth will also be fueled by several key demographics. Cereal has long been a go-to for busy parents, and RTEC continues to have a higher-than-average buy rate among bustling families.23 Other demographics have emerged only more recently. Hispanics now represent one of the biggest RTEC consumer segments, averaging one extra box purchased per year compared with the general population;24 the Top 6 Hispanic brands are Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Special K, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Froot Loops.25 By 2018, an estimated 83 percent of the category’s growth will be fueled by Hispanics,26 which represents a challenge for retailers and manufacturers. Overall, cold cereal consumption remains very high, with 9 in 10 U.S. households purchasing cold cereal at least occasionally.27 And though sales slipped in the past few years, the good news is that shoppers are not abandoning the category. Te opportunity is in buyrate: Among households whose RTEC purchases have declined, most weren’t even aware they were buying less cereal28–they were simply buying cereal less ofen.29

RTEC path to purchase Let’s start with a step-by-step look at the path to purchase in RTEC. As mentioned previously, cereal is usually a planned purchase. Accordingly, nearly all (98 percent) RTEC shoppers do some sort of preparation before they hit the grocery store,30 with the majority opting to make a list (84 percent)31 or check the pantry (60 percent) to see what’s needed.32 Many shoppers also ask other members of the household what items are needed or preferred, and prioritize their budget around foods with “mass appeal,” especially in households with kids.33 Many parents even fnd themselves craving foods their kids recommend–8 in 10 shoppers say a child’s request has lef them wanting a breakfast food again.34 Brand names also play a big role in the decision-making process. In fact, the Top 10 RTEC brands make up 45 percent of all category sales,35 including Cheerios, Special K, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Mini-Wheats, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, Chex, and Cap’n Crunch.36




Tough cereal shows up in baskets across all kinds of shopping trips, true to its pantry staple nature, RTEC is most ofen purchased as part of a stock-up trip,37 with stock-up shoppers typically buying two boxes of cereal per trip. However, cereal stock-ups aren’t an everyday or even every week occurrence. Te average cold cereal shopper makes just one cereal-buying stock-up trip per month.38 Tis underscores the point made previously: RTEC sales have been stagnating due to the decline in frequency of purchase–not because consumers are leaving the category.

Shoppers who check the pantry/cabinets to see what items are low/needed

Pre-shopping behaviors When planning for grocery shopping, a shopper usually:

List type (among those making a list)

Checks the pantry Checks with family Checks the ads Creates a list Uses his or her mobile phone

84% Shoppers who make a list before going to the store


27% Paper


Weekly ads/ flyers


Mental list


Sources: Breakfast A&U, 2012; 2015 pantry audit; GfK, Shopper Insights Shopping List Study, 2013



Because the average RTEC shopper makes just one big trip down the cereal aisle each month and ofen has cereal on the shopping list already, getting on shoppers’ radar before they hit the store is crucial.

courage experimentation and fuel incremental growth in-store.

Retailers can connect with cereal shoppers at several pre-store touch points. Ads play a big role in trip planning–55 percent of shoppers check weekly retail ads to see what’s on sale, while 43 percent peruse the newspaper or Internet for discounts,39 so highlighting cereal promotions in weekly or daily marketing communications is essential.

While cereal remains a pantry staple, the category is far from stagnant. Seven out of 10 households eat cereal as a snack, and snackers eat it multiple ways, including in a bowl with milk and dry;42 30 percent of cereal is now consumed outside of breakfast.43 Many cereal fans are even fnding fun new ways to get their fx. Creative consumption behaviors include mixing cereal with yogurt, mixing more than one kind of cereal in a bowl, and using cereal in a dessert recipe.44

The growing snacking occasion

Connecting via mobile is critical too. Four in 10 shoppers regularly use their mobile device to help plan grocery trips,40 with most incorporating an app or two into the process. Couponing apps are the most popular, but many shoppers also use list-making apps and recipe apps.41 To best leverage this mobile milieu, consider building meal-planning capabilities into apps or other digital tools.

Because cereal has become such a popular snack, an increasing number of retailers are dedicating shelf space to on-the-go cereal options such as cereal in a cup. Some retailers are even devoting entire express lanes, checkout lanes or “stores within a store” to items intended for immediate consumption. Tis is producing benefts: Single-serve oferings are growing at a faster rate than both the cereal segment and the breakfast segment as a whole.45

But even though cereal shoppers tend to plan their purchases in advance, there’s still plenty of room to en-


Shoppers who check the weekly retailer ads for what is on sale


Shoppers who check the newspaper or go online to find coupons


Shoppers who use a mobile device for planning their shopping trip every time or close to every time

Type of app used for planning shopping trip Coupon








Price checking


Healthy eating




Budget None

4% 16% Sources: Breakfast A&U, 2012, Shopping List; GfK, Shopper Insights Mobile, 2014



Optimizing RTEC in the breakfast aisle Shoppers make purchases based on their own needs as well as the needs of their families, and research shows most shoppers can fnd what they’re looking for using visual cues in the aisle.46 But retailers can more efectively connect with their target consumers by shelving breakfast aisles according to target age fow, i.e., taste continuum. Tis approach encourages shoppers to stop and browse at multiple points along the aisle rather than cruising right through–and it works. In one study, shoppers stopped more ofen when traversing a breakfast aisle shelved by target age fow,47 increasing unit sales by 5 percent and resulting in a 4 percent higher average dollar price per item.48 What’s more, the entire breakfast aisle got a boost, including on-the-go cereal, hot cereal and toaster pastries.49 Cereal shoppers also like dedicated sections for granola products and natural/organic items. Tis arrangement not only makes shopping easier and more intuitive, but it helps point those looking to try something new toward the right section.50

Organizing the shelf along a health continuum, with fun, indulgent cereals on one end, simple goodness in the middle, and healthier options at the other end of the spectrum, is a great approach for on-the-go items. Follow this with a section for nontraditional options such as snack-bag cereals, toaster pastries and drinkable breakfasts, as well as a separate section for hot cereal.

Cereal: The No. 1 display choice RTEC display packs a big punch: Among the Top 10 center store categories, cereal sees the greatest sales lif when on feature and display at 526, with the next closest Top 10 category coming in at 405.51 Accordingly, cereal is the No. 1 display choice within center store.52 To enhance the cereal aisle even further, focus on optimizing display mix. RTEC lif and ROI signifcantly increases as the quality of the merchandising improves. Tis includes identifying win-win promotion partners, pairing brands that build higher dollar rings and boost ROI. Some manufacturers ofer strong analytics and merchandising options that can enable the right brands in the right quantities and pricing to maximize retailer resources in each store.

Optimizing the breakfast aisle Focus on day-part (Target age)



Shopperled focus

Optimal aisle


All family



Natural/ organic cereal

ON-THE-GO Toaster pastries

Fruit snacks

Wholesome bars

Breakfast snacking

Simple goodness

Drinkable breakfast


Better for you

Hot cereal



Winning with promotion

Manufacturers who have invested in these kinds of promotions with retailers have successfully realized incremental sales, particularly in the past year.54

Another big opportunity lies in spurring unplanned or incremental purchases through promotions. Tis can be tricky–as we’ve seen, cereal shoppers tend to enter the store with an agenda in mind–but studies suggest that well-executed promotional eforts pay of. Scanner data show that stores enjoy a 14-point lif in RTEC sales when combining feature and display promotions.53 Remember: Infrequency of purchase is one of the category’s biggest challenges. To fully optimize the RTEC category, encourage more frequent purchases through these kinds of one-two punch promotions.

RTEC promotions can also extend beyond the breakfast aisle. Retailers have a huge opportunity to boost multiple category sales by cross-merchandising RTEC with perimeter items, especially produce. As an example, with produce sales up 4.2 percent in 2014 and on track to keep growing in 2015,55 retailers can piggyback on the produce aisle’s success by cross-merchandising key items, such as bananas or blueberries, with cereal. Cereal’s high penetration and destination status can create an extra purchase in these categories or an impulse purchase for both categories. Yogurt, eggs, bacon, cream cheese and, of course, milk also have high penetration among buyers of several leading cereal brands.56

But don’t forget to keep things fun. Package inserts and promotions engage consumers in a playful way (think games, competitions and giveaways, seasonal items).

Total U.S. center store feature and display lift Dollars

F&D lif 526

405 381 299


297 264



225 201

189 170


157 57 Bread/ baked goods

Snacks Cheese


110 Carbonated beverages



130 Prepared foods– frozen


Condiments/ gravies/ sauce


Juice drinks– shelf stable




Bottled Granola/ Toaster water yogurt pastriesbars shelf stable

Breakfast bars


Source: Nielsen Store View, 52 weeks through 5/9/15



Clearly, the RTEC category is rife with opportunities for innovation, expansion and growth. While the category remains a breakfast staple, it’s also evolving into new eating occasions, consumption behaviors and core consumer segments. Retailers that stay ahead of the changing cereal landscape and engage with the cereal shopper–both in-store and out–stand to see sales and store trafic flourish. Now that’s what we call a big breakfast. 1

Added Value, 2014



Nielsen Nitro, 52 weeks ending 1/24/15 for F/D/MM/club



The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends® In-Home/Away-FromHome database 4

NPD, 2013


The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends® service; In-Home and Away-From-Home, year ending 2/14

Nielsen category forecasting

Nielsen Homescan-total U.S., 52 weeks ending 4/18/15


Dunnhumby USA, Cereal Migration Analysis & Opportunities, 2015


Nielsen Panel, 52 weeks ending 6/29/13


Breakfast A&U, 2012


GfK, Shopper Insights Shopping List Study, 2013



Nielsen, total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks/24 weeks/12 weeks through 7/11/15 7

Nielsen, 12 weeks ending 7/11/15


Major retailer loyalty card data (regional), 27 weeks ending 1/10/15


Nielsen Homescan Panel, Center Store Study, grocery channel, 52 weeks ending 3/28/15 10

Willard Bishop Study 2014 Report–Weekly True Profit Measure


Nielsen xAOC, AOD, 52 weeks ending 9/27/14


Major retailer loyalty card data (regional), 27 weeks ending 1/10/15


Nielsen, total U.S. grocery, 52 weeks ending 3/28/15


Ipsos Marketing


Nielsen Homescan Panel, Center Store Study, grocery channel, 52 weeks ending 3/28/15 16

Nielsen, 2014


International Food Information Council Foundation, Food and Health Survey 2015 18

Analysis of Average Daily Fiber Intake among Ready-To-Eat Cereal Consumers: Role of Whole-Grain Cereals in Closing the Fiber Gap, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 3/6/13 19

U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 20

Kellogg’s data


Miller KB, DJ Liska and VL Fulgoni, The Association between Body Metrics and Breakfast Food Choice in Children, 2013

Breakfast A&U, 2012; 2015 pantry audit


Smarty Pants, 8/14


Smarty Pants, 8/14


Nielsen, total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks ending 7/11/15


Nielsen, total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks ending 7/11/15


Nielsen Homescan-total U.S., 52 weeks ending 12/27/2014, excludes gas-only or Rx-only trips 38

Nielsen Homescan-total U.S., 52 weeks ending 4/18/15


Breakfast A&U, 2012, Shopping List


GfK, Shopper Insights Mobile, 2014


GfK, Shopper Insights Mobile, 2014


Gongos Research, 5/13


NPD, 2013

44 45

46 47

Gongos Research RTEC Shopper Study, 1/12

In Vivo Shopper Study: Evolution of Morning Foods, 6/13


In Vivo Shopper Study: Evolution of Morning Foods, 6/13


Dunnhumby USA, Cereal Migration Analysis & Opportunities, 2015


Nielsen Store View, 52 weeks through 5/9/15


Nielsen, total U.S. xAOC, 52 weeks ending 5/9/15


Nielsen Scantrack, Cracker Core CY 2013, total U.S.-food

Nielsen data



Nielsen Homescan-total U.S., 52 weeks ending 4/18/15


Nielsen Homescan-Hispanic, 52 weeks ending 4/18/15


Nielsen, total U.S. xAOC Hispanic, 52 weeks ending 7/11/15

In Vivo Shopper Study: Evolution of Morning Foods, 6/13




Gongos Research, 5/13

Nielsen, 26 weeks ending 6/6/15

Nielsen value-added promotion post-analysis 56

Nielsen, 9/14

About Kellogg Company At Kellogg Company, we are driven to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. With 2014 sales of approximately $14.6 billion, Kellogg is the world’s leading cereal company; second-largest producer of cookies and crackers; a leading producer of savory snacks; and a leading North American frozen foods company. Every day, our well-loved brands nourish families so they can fourish and thrive.

Contact: Kellogg’s media hotline: 269-961-3799

Contact your Nestlé Nutrition Sales Representative to learn more about our cutting-edge category insights All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. © 2015 Nestlé.

POWER OF POWDER A convenient breakfast solution the whole family loves. • Top-performing SKUs in the On-the-Go Breakfast Nutrition Category1 • Important to optimize your assortment: Research shows there are distinct consumers for both Powder and Ready-to-Drink in this category2 • The Powder shopper is loyal and spends more per shopping trip versus the traditional breakfast category2 • Powder is an attractive solution for families with kids2

1. Source: Nielsen Food and Mass, Latest 52 Weeks Ending June 20, 2015 for the Instant Breakfast Category. 2. Source: Cadent Loyalty Leverage Analysis 10/14. All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. © 2015 Nestlé.

THE RISE OF READY-TO-DRINK A portable and delicious breakfast solution. • Carnation Breakfast Essentials® is the #1 Ready-to-Drink brand in the On-the-Go Breakfast Nutrition Category - With sales growth over 73% versus a year ago1 - Has the #1 and #2 Ready-to-Drink SKUs3

• Make sure to offer variety to meet consumer preferences - Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Ready-To-Drink is available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors - For consumers who want more protein to start their day, now also available in High Protein with 15g of protein per serving3

3. Source: Nielsen Food and Mass, Latest 12 Weeks Ending April 25, 2015. All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. © 2015 Nestlé.

#1 Brand with top selling SKUs in the On-the-Go Breakfast Nutrition Category4 NEW



Contact your Nestlé Nutrition Sales Representative to learn more about our cutting-edge category insights 4. Source: Nielsen Data latest 52 weeks ending June 20, 2015. All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. © 2015 Nestlé.

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