This week SPW is proud to introduce a new weekly column, Ideas Ripe For The Picking, from renowned industry analyst and consultant Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics. Many of you know her already, and if you don’t, you know her work.

Anne-Marie Roerink

Anne-Marie specializes in quantitative and qualitative market research. Prior to launching 210 Analytics, she served as the Director of Research for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

Responsible for all research projects, she distilled complex research data into usable and easy-to-understand materials for business audiences ranging from America’s largest retail chains to single-store family companies.

Through countless consumer studies, Anne-Marie has developed an excellent perspective on the ever-changing wants and needs of the grocery shopper in a one-size-fits-no-one world. She understands the challenges and opportunities in the grocery retailing business today as well as the drivers of success tomorrow.

Every week, Anne-Marie will share one of her favorite retail displays or grower marketing success stories with a photo and her thoughts on why it works.

This week, Anne-Marie is at the Amsterdam Produce Show (she sent back the photo you see above). So since she’s not here to stop us, we’re going to jumpstart Ideas Ripe For The Picking with three of her favorite entries. So keep it under your hat — if we don’t tell her, maybe she’ll never know.

Moving forward, look for one great idea perfect for snatching up and putting into play in your own operation every week from Anne-Marie — plus we’re cooking up a few other surprises that are just around the corner.

Without further ado…

Ideas Ripe for the Picking

What I Love About This:  Carrots are a staple for most households. So how to drive lifts beyond promotional offerings? By having some seasonal fun.

It’s December, Santa is about to make his appearance. Great for the toy and candy industry, but how about produce? Some categories see nice lifts as people prepare elaborate holiday meals. Oftentimes, these items are part of a larger holiday set and merchandised at significant discounts.

That’s why this idea jumped out at me. This marketing campaign is sure to draw a smile and people’s wallets with clever seasonal fun, positioning carrots as Australian-grown reindeer carrots — grown and selected by fresh food elves and 100% reindeer tested and approved. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 100% kid approved as well.

What I Love About This: There is no denying local is hot. But technology enables growers and retailers to bring shoppers to the farm regardless of whether it is up the street or 2,000 miles away.

In the past few years, growers and retailers have worked closely together to develop integrated marketing strategies leveraging the local farmer and local economy. Looking at the popularity of local, this is clearly working. But where does it leave growers who sell to retailers in other parts of the country?

Like this California berry farm selling products in my Florida store? The answer is technology that allows shoppers to visit the farm virtually. With traceability being the ultimate form of transparency, growers can still connect the farm with the end user, even if on the other side of the country.

What I Love About This: Local is hot and shoppers want more. They buy local for very specific reasons and linking marketing messaging to shoppers’ thought process can help drive increased purchases and penetration for a higher-margin item.

Most stores sell local items, but not everyone tells a good story. When the Retail Feedback Group asked shoppers why they buy local produce specifically, keeping the dollar in the community, freshness and environmental impact emerged as the top three reasons.

Why not remind shoppers about that when in-store? They just may open their wallet a little further when reminded of the farmer up the street or a reduced environmental impact. And, what inspires current buyers may inspire a few nonbuyers as well! After all, while organic continues to see distinct pockets of interest, local sees broad demographic interest.

Anne-Marie Roerink is a Principal at 210 Analytics, LLC — providing customized research and marketing strategies with a specialty in food retailing for clients such as FMI, NGA, NCA and many others. 

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