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23 Oct 2014
posted by: Amanda

Global manufacturer reveals 'secret' to genuine category growth...

The grocery industry in Australia has been abuzz following Woolworths’ launch of their new category strategy process in September...  

And this is not just unique to Australia. With Tesco in the UK in particular, it seems that retailers now seriously do believe that a structured strategy development process for the category is what's required in order to win with shoppers in-store

Do you agree? Read more to find out how this manufacturer made it happen...

What we’ve seen is that many grocery suppliers are now rummaging through their insights drawers to see exactly what they know about their categories to assess how seriously they can participate in a project with retailers about total category growth.

We were talking about this with one of our clients recently.  They’ve just had a great result with a major retail partner (which we’d like to share with you here) in the huge biscuits category.  They told us that the key to its success was an holistic approach to the category and an holistic approach to insights.  Combined, this really made the difference to them. 

So… what did this manufacturer do?  They found new ways to create category sales and increase consumption using a combination of insights from different sources.

Consumer + Shopper + Panel insight

Looking at the consumer insights and the various occasions when biscuits are eaten, the manufacturer found that one of the most important is crispbread at lunch. This manufacturer decided that this was big enough to invest time and effort into driving

Looking at the shopper insights, the manufacturer was surprised to learn that shoppers buying crispbread for lunch often had not planned to buy the product today and therefore needed reminders in store to purchase.

They also learned that for shoppers at the shelf, nutritional information was much more important than any special price - by a significant degree as this chart shows.

As such, they decided that nutrition communication in-store will have a greater impact than price.

They also learned that most shoppers browse before buying and they spend 1.5 times longer at the Crispbreads shelf to make their decisions than at the average category. Therefore learned that there is more time to influence shoppers of savoury biscuits, meaning messages at shelf have a higher chance of being seen and used by a shopper.

Loyalty card data was also key in working out the best fresh products to display with the crispbread; tomatoes and avocados.

So how were these insights actually used?  A well planned execution came together in four main ways:

1. A complete lunch solution

This was displayed in the fresh section of the supermarkets, featuring menu cards and a very shallow price cut. 

The manufacturer was keen to emphasise the following points....

- Packaged grocery products are rarely included in the fresh section of the store and they are convinced that this would not have happened without sound insight. 

- The high traffic, fresh location was key to interrupting these less planned lunch shoppers and providing sought after nutritional credibility.

- The money the manufacturer might have spent on a deep price cut instead bought menu suggestion cards which also had nutritional information on them. 

2. Aisle fins were placed at shelf

In order to remind shoppers about the lunch occasion whilst also reassuring them with nutrition messages.

3. A sampling campaign in the fresh section of the stores

Which really reinforced the nutritional message as well as providing another opportunity to talk to shoppers about lunch planning.

 

4. In-store activation

That was supported through the P2P both in & out of store.

 

The results were amazing.  The crispbread sales uplift during the execution period was quite a bit better than a normal price promotion.  At the display, the sales of tomatoes and especially the avocados went through the roof which made the fresh category manager really happy too. 

As this manufacturer said, it was the holistic approach to the insights that made the difference in the end.  They were able to combine the consumer, shopper & loyalty card insights to get a great category result.  At the same time, shoppers were pleased too because they really are looking for lunch options when they come into the store.  This display made their lives just that little bit easier!

Check in next time for my “Shopper – what do you need to know list”; a quick & easy checklist to find out if you have good shopper insights.

Good luck!