CPGmatters: Hormel Foods Aims to Simplify Center Store Shopping
By John Karolefski
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a
current article from the monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
Last month, Hormel Foods
Corporation and Cannondale Associates released the results of a study finding
that, rather than having convenience items scattered throughout the store,
shoppers would prefer a dedicated convenience meals aisle where the full range
of quick and easy products could be found.
The convenience meals
aisle would be located in the center store, a highly profitable area for
retailers, representing 88 percent of total store net profit.
“What are consumers
looking for in the shopping environment?,” Jeffrey Ettinger, Hormel’s
chairman and chief executive officer, asked recently at a presentation
recently at the Food Industry Summit hosted by St. Joseph’s University
in Philadelphia. “They’re still time pressed and don’t want to spend
a lot of time in the store. They find the store layout to be frustrating.”
For example, he said
microwaveable products such as soups, meals and
pasta are in different aisles of the grocery store. This identified a potential
problem and a potential solution for the Hormel team.
“The center of the
store – particularly in some retailers – has not gotten much
attention and wasn’t calling out new items to consumers. So we thought
the center of the store was ripe for innovation,” said Mr. Ettinger
Research for the study
involved interviewing 1,500 shoppers in-store, and analyzing more than
15 million frequent shopper card households and more than 100 million baskets.
Hormel Foods designed
its convenience meals aisle solution to allow retailers to customize it
to specifically meet the needs of their stores and shoppers. For example,
retailers can implement the solution in small steps, starting with key
adjacencies, and can integrate private label with national brands to find
the right assortment of products to serve their clientele.
During this study, shoppers
defined which products they would include in the convenience meals aisle,
as well as the organization of those items within the aisle. Shoppers requested
that ultra-convenient items, such as microwavable meals and microwavable
soups, should be placed at the end of the aisle nearest the front of the
store, and more time-intensive meals, such as boxed dinners and sides,
including macaroni and cheese and add-meat-and-heat entrees, should be
placed toward the back of the store. Shoppers also chose a name for this
aisle: the “Convenience/Prepared Foods” aisle.
The research also found
that convenience meal shoppers are worth up to 31 percent more annually
than other shoppers for retailers.
“Based on the study
results, we are now communicating with many of the retailers in the U.S.,” said
Mr. Ettinger. “We’ve started pilots with a few of them to try and
change the section. It won’t be a radical change in one day from the way
the store is designed today to a complete reset, but we are encouraging
them to try a sub-section at a time in a few stores.”
What are the pros and cons of creating a center store “Convenience/Prepared
Foods” aisle? How would establishing a dedicated
convenience meals aisle affect the supermarket shopping experience?
- Hormel Foods Aims to Simplify – CPGmatters
- White Paper:
Optimizing Center Store Meal Shopping: A case study on shoppers and convenience
meals – Hormel Foods