B2B | Shopper Connection | April 2010
Family Fun Spices Up October
Having an in-depth understanding of moms' needs for hearty meal solutions and creative family gatherings during the October time frame has helped ConAgra Foods and retailers broaden the scope of the season to encompass more than just football or Halloween. Working with one major retailer, ConAgra Foods set out to focus on October as a season of transformation, driving significant results.
Nestled between the hectic pace of Back-to-School time and the festive celebrations of the winter holidays, October is a brief rest between the seasons and a transformative time for families. Food changes from light and cold fresh fare to hearty and warm cooked meals. The carefree emotions of summer transform into the rigidly planned schedules of winter.
In 2009, one retailer staged an October Fling promotion that lifted sales by double digits across many participating brands. Redemption of coupons for Halloween party foods for kids and adults exceeded the previous year's tally, including double-digit redemption for online offers. Special recipes, targeted ads and online links rounded out the campaign.
To drive these results, ConAgra Foods promoted an assortment of fitting brands for this season of football and Halloween, including Crunch 'n Munch®, Act II®, Peter Pan®, Hunt's® Snack Pack, Kid Cuisine® and others. The company combined coupons distributed to retail shoppers with dozens of simple recipes for desserts and dinners. The combination softened the pain of the recession as well as inspired meal ideas with featured products.
Last year's promotion left clues for winning with shoppers in October. Here are the key takeaways:
• Encourage moms to prepare for many activity-filled weeknights by shopping early and assembling meals in advance.
• Dress up and merchandise the store to reflect Halloween's ever-growing popularity as an authentic holiday event for the whole family. Leverage Movie Night at Home routines with snacks for every age.
• Don't forget dad and his football game and tailgating rituals.
Hunt's Brings Innovation to the Ketchup Category
Shoppers rank all natural, low sodium and no high fructose corn syrup as the top three labeling claims that positively influence their ketchup purchase decision. Introducing Hunt's All Natural Ketchup, a new recipe with no HFCS or artificial ingredients.
Bringing Fresh Ideas to Shelf Stable
Since 1988, traditional grocery stores have lost 53 percent of their market share to other classes of trade, "leaking" shoppers to warehouse clubs, dollar stores, supercenters and limited assortment stores. Now more than ever, retailers must be tightly linked as strategic partners to find creative ways to maintain shopper loyalty.
Fall is the Familiar Routine Time
During the fall month shoppers tend to stock up on easy-to-plan, hearty family meal favorites. Moms are more creative, and networks with neighbors for easy solutions before the holiday "storm".
U.S. consumers spend about 7 seconds per product when choosing what to buy in a supermarket. Consider that:
• Messages about how to juggle work, home, family, personal time dominate the media.
• Consumers increasingly live "jigsaw lives", with one person having multiple roles.
• Formal meal occasions continue to drop, as grab-and-go activity increases.
• Input overload and the ever-growing proliferation of choice results in a confused, exhausted consumer.
Mintel International Group Limited. Shelf-stable Meals and Meal Kits - US - October 2008
Kowalski's Markets' Boo Bash, a Halloween event for children, attracts bigger crowds each year, officials said. All nine Kowalski's units participated on the same evening this Halloween, and kids — with parents in tow — numbered anywhere from hundreds to 1,000 per store.
Food retailers are testing planograms that group shelf-stable convenient meals together, rather than with their category parent.
High-traffic departments like meat and produce are prime real estate for meal solutions. Progressive retailers are capitalizing on this notion by cross-merchandising everything from proteins and vegetables to shelf-stable sides, spices and even serving platters.
Retailers have been responding to new consumer emphasis on convenience and value in prepared foods by offering grab-and-go versions of their most popular dishes and sides. Doing so is no easy feat, as retailers who offer these convenient solutions for customers must also ensure that these meals and dishes can be merchandised appealingly, and maintain their quality and integrity in a grab-and-go cooler.
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