Promoting the food category across channels

by Dan Malovany
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Menard's groceries
Interested in growing sales and brand awareness? Look for outlets that are now selling food along with everything from appliances and lumber to lawn seed and cabinets.
 

Interested in growing sales and brand awareness? Try channel surfing. Instead of using a remote control, look for remote outlets — or at least different ones — that are now selling food along with everything from appliances and lumber to lawn seed and, yes, even the kitchen sink.

Stores such as Menards, a Midwestern competitor to Home Depot, are cross-selling with frozen and shelf-stable food items, providing opportunities for placement of cookie and cracker products, said Todd Hale, principal, Todd Hale, L.L.C., during the recent American Bakers Association’s annual Technical Conference.

“Promotion alone does not guarantee you’re driving growth,” he cautioned. “You need to be very smart about how you promote your category.”

Likewise, Phil Lempert, “The Supermarket Guru,” challenged snack companies to find alternative outlets for their products.

“You need to go into c-stores; dollar stores; supermarkets; Bed Bath & Beyond; IKEA — everyone who is selling food,” Mr. Lempert said during SNAC International’s Executive Leadership Forum. Furthermore, he urged snack producers to give consumers a clear choice instead of “overwhelming them with a sea of indifference.”

Yes, there has been a lot of chatter about how Amazon and Whole Foods Market will change how people shop for food. Then again, it looks like that change already has begun. It’s just moving in yet another direction.

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