Kraft Goes Wall-to-Wall to Drive Sales
Kraft Foods’ sales reps are rolling up their sleeves and helping to drive the company’s sales with a hands-on presence in 15,000 stores across the U.S.
The initiative known as Wall-to-Wall is a result of two years of testing that has given Kraft reps the ability to go into a store and manage the company’s entire portfolio of brands within the location. In the past, the portfolio was split between reps handing Kraft products and those in charge of Nabisco.
Some reps, such as Eric Diling, spend so much time at a store (in this case Woodman’s in North Aurora, Ill.) that the manager of the location told Reuters he was “almost like a Woodman’s employee.”
Sales at stores where Wall-to-Wall was in place showed a one percentage point increase for the year ending April 30, compared with stores where the program was not being used, said Todd Hanus, vice president for sales operations and strategy at Kraft Foods.
Interestingly, sales at Wall-to-Wall stores picked up as time went along. Sales at the Wall-to-Wall stores were up 1.8 percent more than stores not using the system in the eight weeks leading up to April 30.
The beauty of the system is that it allows Kraft to use its own people to engage in hands-on merchandising of its products in stores. It can help open up opportunities that wouldn’t exist without such a presence. Kraft reps are authorized, for example, to work with store managers to promote products using secondary displays.
In the case of the aforementioned Woodman’s store, Mr. Dilling was able to get a front-of-store display of Kraft’s reformulated salad dressings.
“A lot of times, you don’t get displays unless you have a presence,” Andy Anundson, the manager at Woodman’s, told Reuters.
Discussion Questions: What do you think of Kraft Foods’ Wall-to-Wall strategy? Is this a program that only makes sense for a large company such as Kraft or would it work for smaller vendors as well?