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Promising to take customers “behind-the-scenes at the Disneyland of dairy stores,” Stew Leonard’s, the third-generation family-owned grocer, has launched its first podcast.

The LegenDAIRY podcast, co-hosted by cousins Chase Leonard and Andrew Hollis, grandchildren of the founder, was inspired by the talk around Chase’s and Andrew’s family dinner tables growing up. 

“Growing up, my family’s dinner conversations weren’t just about food on the table,” said Ms. Leonard, who is the senior photo and video producer at the grocer. “They were about the bread my Aunt Bethy had baked that day or about the local farmer who grew the lettuce for our salad. From turkey on our Thanksgiving table to the milk I pour in my morning coffee, there are Stew Leonard’s Team Members as well as farmers, growers, and vendors with their own stories to tell. LegenDAIRY will peel back each of those layers.”

This first season will offer 10 episodes, released monthly, and include special guests, such as Chase’s father, store president & CEO, Stew Leonard, Jr.

Episode one, titled “Every Product Has A Story,” will focus on some of the grocer’s best-selling products. Future episodes will explore customer service, the in-store experience, and trends. They’ll include topics taken from customers’ frequently asked questions. 

Stew Leonard’s podcast is one of the few from retailers and works similarly to the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, which explores “the way the retailer does business, what sets it apart from other grocers, where and how it discovers its products and what customers can expect in the future.”

Nordstrom is the only other major retailer with an insider’s-view podcast, Nordy Pod, hosted by Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer.

Among other grocers, the U.K.’s Waitrose’s foodie-focused Dish podcast featuring broadcaster Nick Grimshaw and Michelin chef Angela Hartnett invites listeners to “join their weekly dinner parties for more riotous fun and hilarious, unfiltered chat.”

Kroger launched a Noshtalgia podcast focused on fresh food in 2020 that ran only three episodes.Walmart’s thought-leadership podcast “Outside The Box” launched in 2017 and lasted a little over a year. An associate-focused podcast, “The Huddle with John Furner,” who leads Walmart’s U.S. operation, continues in its fourth season.

BrainTrust

“You don’t see a lot of behind the scenes info published by Stew’s. If they want to do it, they should.”

Richard Hernandez

Merchant Director


Discussion Questions

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you expect more retailers to launch their own podcasts with insider POVs, such as Stew Leonard’s? Do you see the overall retail podcast opportunity as more about building customer loyalty or employee morale?

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What’s the likelihood that podcasts from retailers will become more common over the next five years?

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9 responses to “Does Stew Leonard’s Need a Podcast?”

  1. Neil Saunders Avatar
    Neil Saunders

    Stew Leonard’s does not need a podcast, but with its quirky proposition and its charismatic owners and employees it is in a great position to launch one. Stew Leonard’s is an iconic retailer and a lot of industry insiders, employees, and customers will tune in to learn more about a grocer that approaches things with enthusiasm and excitement.

  2. Richard Hernandez Avatar
    Richard Hernandez

    You don’t see a lot of behind the scenes info published by Stew’s. If they want to do it, they should. It’s interesting and it’s no different than someone retailers using social media platforms to do the same thing.

  3. Jeff Sward Avatar
    Jeff Sward

    Many years ago when I first moved to Connecticut, I was encourage to make a trip to Stew Leonard’s. Iwas told I would never view grocery shopping the same again. True statement. And now they have a podcast. Perfect. And I love the premise of “Every Product Has A Story”. And in this day and age, there is a pretty easy way to tell that story in a manner that is differentiating and brand building.

    1. David Naumann Avatar
      David Naumann

      Great assessment Jeff! I think the nostalgic approach with humor can help retailers curatate an enthusiastic fan base that is very loyal. Customer loyalty is key in the grocery business and anything you can do to cultivate loyalty is worth doing.

  4. Shep Hyken Avatar
    Shep Hyken

    Any brand can have a podcast. If it’s overtly commercial, listeners will tune out and move on. If it’s interesting and relevant, they will stay, and the audience could even grow. Stew Leonard’s has a great customer base, therefore, a great potential audience. While a podcast by itself may not be the “golden ticket” for marketing, it can become part of the mix of many ways a brand engages with its customers.

    1. Gene Detroyer Avatar
      Gene Detroyer

      Exactly, Shep. Podcast listeners don’t need another commercial disguised as entertainment.

  5. Brian Cluster Avatar
    Brian Cluster

    Stew Leonard’s does not need a podcast but could use it to potentially elevate the consumer experience. These retail podcasts are primarily about building customer loyalty and communicating with them in stories that connect at a deeper level than what can be done in print, in the store or in a blog format.

    Retailers or businesses with passionate brand followers, even fans, are great candidates for podcasts. Trader Joes, Stew Leonards and health food stores such as Natural Grocers and others have many stories to tell that are different & intriguing than retailers in mainstream grocery or heavily discounted formats

  6. Gene Detroyer Avatar
    Gene Detroyer

    Stew Leonard’s podcast sounds interesting. What makes it different is it is personal, not just corporate babble.

    I suspect we will continue to see more podcasts. They will become de rigueur from the social media departments. Their value is very questionable to me.

  7. Brad Halverson Avatar
    Brad Halverson

    Like Stew Leonards, smaller and independent grocers have stories to tell, a POV, whether by vendor/grower partnerships, products, or values being lived out everyday. These are big differentiators which serve BOTH customers and employees alike. Everyone in the community likes to know their grocer stands for something. Podcasts are one of many good mediums to tell this brand story.

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Neil Saunders
Neil Saunders
Noble Member
2 months ago

Stew Leonard’s does not need a podcast, but with its quirky proposition and its charismatic owners and employees it is in a great position to launch one. Stew Leonard’s is an iconic retailer and a lot of industry insiders, employees, and customers will tune in to learn more about a grocer that approaches things with enthusiasm and excitement.

Richard Hernandez
Richard Hernandez
Member
2 months ago

You don’t see a lot of behind the scenes info published by Stew’s. If they want to do it, they should. It’s interesting and it’s no different than someone retailers using social media platforms to do the same thing.

Jeff Sward
Active Member
2 months ago

Many years ago when I first moved to Connecticut, I was encourage to make a trip to Stew Leonard’s. Iwas told I would never view grocery shopping the same again. True statement. And now they have a podcast. Perfect. And I love the premise of “Every Product Has A Story”. And in this day and age, there is a pretty easy way to tell that story in a manner that is differentiating and brand building.

David Naumann
Reply to  Jeff Sward
2 months ago

Great assessment Jeff! I think the nostalgic approach with humor can help retailers curatate an enthusiastic fan base that is very loyal. Customer loyalty is key in the grocery business and anything you can do to cultivate loyalty is worth doing.

Shep Hyken
Active Member
2 months ago

Any brand can have a podcast. If it’s overtly commercial, listeners will tune out and move on. If it’s interesting and relevant, they will stay, and the audience could even grow. Stew Leonard’s has a great customer base, therefore, a great potential audience. While a podcast by itself may not be the “golden ticket” for marketing, it can become part of the mix of many ways a brand engages with its customers.

Gene Detroyer
Trusted Member
Reply to  Shep Hyken
2 months ago

Exactly, Shep. Podcast listeners don’t need another commercial disguised as entertainment.

Brian Cluster
Member
2 months ago

Stew Leonard’s does not need a podcast but could use it to potentially elevate the consumer experience. These retail podcasts are primarily about building customer loyalty and communicating with them in stories that connect at a deeper level than what can be done in print, in the store or in a blog format.

Retailers or businesses with passionate brand followers, even fans, are great candidates for podcasts. Trader Joes, Stew Leonards and health food stores such as Natural Grocers and others have many stories to tell that are different & intriguing than retailers in mainstream grocery or heavily discounted formats

Gene Detroyer
Trusted Member
2 months ago

Stew Leonard’s podcast sounds interesting. What makes it different is it is personal, not just corporate babble.

I suspect we will continue to see more podcasts. They will become de rigueur from the social media departments. Their value is very questionable to me.

Brad Halverson
Member
2 months ago

Like Stew Leonards, smaller and independent grocers have stories to tell, a POV, whether by vendor/grower partnerships, products, or values being lived out everyday. These are big differentiators which serve BOTH customers and employees alike. Everyone in the community likes to know their grocer stands for something. Podcasts are one of many good mediums to tell this brand story.