Progressive Grocer Product

Spring 2015

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cover feature 8 Progressive Grocer Products Showcase / Spring 2015 or granola bars, but with the added diference of having a layer of dairy product that meant it required refrigeration. From the get-go it was consumer confusion—normally such a product would be on a shelf-stable aisle, but instead these were positioned next to yogurt. Was it a snack? A breakfast item? There was little efort on the part of the manufacturer or the retailer to educate consumers about the new product, in addition to the fact, as Schneider notes, "creating a new category or location for a well-known type of product is truly prohibitive." Ask a retailer or supplier about collaboration, and no doubt they'll say they're all for it. But in reality it's strikingly underused. According to those surveyed by Progressive Grocer, 33 percent of retailers said they have no input on the new product development process with suppliers. From the supplier side, 21 percent said they closely collaborated with retailers, but a whopping 60 percent responded that retailers have little to no input during development. So if it's so important, why aren't more people doing it? Collaboration is great in theory, says AT Kearney's Burt, but delivering on it is another story. Simply put, priorities and objectives for a retailer and a manufacturer don't often align. "A single product for a retailer is never going to be as important as it is for a manufacturer selling it across multiple customers," Burt explains. Furthermore, collaboration between retailer and supplier can be rife with trust issues. A manufacturer has multiple clients it sells to across diferent channels and within the same channel, Burt continues, and retailers are often reluctant to share point-of-sale information, or private label strategy. Private label, it should be noted, is one area where collaboration is king between retailers and suppliers. These days, retailers aren't looking just for a low-cost manufacturer to put out their own- brand products, they need a company that can be a true partner that can help them go above and beyond their current line and into new segments and new value tiers. "Retailers are looking for contract manufacturers that can bring innovation, understanding of the customer and insights about shoppers, things that How MuCH effeCt doeS SoCial Media Have on your launCH ProCeSS? a lot Somewhat a little none 24.2% • retailer/wholesaler • Supplier 13.9% 18.2% 33.3% 22.2% 15.2% 30.6% 42.4% It helps to let people know what we are doing and planning and also provides feedback to the products we are launching. The trend of social media is transforming our market. The word gets out very fast and this truly helps with any launch. You MUST ha ve a social media & website platform as that is all y ounger shoppers look at. Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, Stagnito Business Information

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