Are grocers falling short in selling better-for-you foods?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from Frozen & Refrigerated Buyer magazine.
Integrated sections, in-store signage and informed staff are three ways sales of better-for-you products can be maximized inside grocery stores.
While some retailers are reluctant to place a higher-priced organic product next to a significantly less expensive non-organic one, Bob DiNunzio, director of category solutions at Daymon, says retailers should give shoppers more credit. “Consumers are smart and want to choose what’s right for them, so allow them to shop all potential items, no matter what the claim on the box, without having to leave the aisle,” he said.
High-traffic end caps and secondary displays — as well as grab and-go sections — can be used to introduce new products or try out new trends without resetting an entire category.
To help consumers find better-for-you products, shelf tags and signage can highlight products that are organic/natural, gluten-free, plant-based, local, etc.
Those tools can be used to educate, as well. A Giant supermarket we visited for a recent story featured a sign above a case full of the chain’s Nature’s Promise frozen shrimp explaining exactly how it defines “free from.” Several retailers offer signage in the egg set to explain the difference between terms like cage-free, organic, pasture-raised and free-range. Much more, however, is needed. A recent report from Acosta found that in-store signage is the second-most important source of product information for natural and organic shoppers (after product packaging), so it’s clear consumers are relying on retailers to do what small manufacturers with small advertising budgets can’t.
That said, plenty of big manufacturers in the better-for-you space are ready, willing and able to help educate both consumers and, importantly, staff. While consumers are accustomed to going online for information, there is a need for well-trained and informed staff. “There are aspects of wellness and food that will benefit from human interaction,” said Melissa Abbott, VP of retainer services for The Hartman Group.
In-store dietitians can run point on consumer education around better-for-you and should be prominently featured in signage, mailers, online, etc. In store pharmacists can also be educated about healthy eating so they can recommend foods.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should the in-store merchandising and selling of better-for-you foods in grocery stores differ from conventional foods? What’s the best way to educate consumers and staff?