Progressive Grocer

DEC 2015

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54 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2015 the store. It's important for partners to focus on trends in a given category, and in deli, snacking and entertaining are hot right now." Tat approach is illustrated by IDDBA's Show & Sell Center, where rather than selling an individual product, community members are encouraged to sell solutions. "It's all the elements," says Eardley, "including ingredients, recipes, equipment, prep. … We want to show all the details, create an atmo- sphere, have the equipment and speakers to address all the topics. Instead of a display, it's showing people how to interact with a consumer." Building a community takes risk and earned trust, says Eric Le Blanc, VP of marketing at Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods and a member of IDDBA's board of directors. Te opportunity for retailers is to build a true brand in areas where that has been missing, includ- ing deli and bakery, says Le Blanc. Retailers have lots of great data, but they lack the time or expertise to get value out of it. Suppliers can provide retailers with the infrastructure needed to create a successful, retailer-branded deli experience, through insights and communication, merchandising, product mix, signage, and the right information in the right place. "Community is necessary because no single party can manage the shopper path and bring value to the shopper experience," adds Le Blanc. Retailers traditionally don't want supplier partners in their stores doing research; they want product at the lowest possible cost. "In many ways, the diference between average and outstanding is a little imagina- tion, not a lot of dollars," notes Le Blanc. Privacy concerns regarding data are real, but retailers need to share information on a case-by-case basis. "Risk a little, and risk selectively with some suppliers," he advises. "See who makes the partnership work." With the exception of a few standout banners, retailers are hard-pressed to persuade shoppers that they're doing something diferent or of good qual- ity, he adds. "Tere are two ways we can go as an industry. One way is to keep being a small handful of banners that have fgured it out, and the rest limps along," he points out. "But that's a drag on the ones that are getting it right and doing a good job. "Te other way is that we have to behave in a way we're not always good at," he continues. "I'm going to give 100 percent, even if I get only 70 percent of the beneft. ... We have to get away from the transactional purchase." For community to work, insists Le Blanc, it needs to be neighborly. "It's a trusting environment that has to be earned," he says. "It doesn't sound like a hard-nosed business environment, but it will get us down the road. Risk a little, earn trust; it's good for the business. And we beneft a little, too." PG In many ways, the difference between average and outstanding is a little imagination, not a lot of dollars." —Eric Le Blanc, Tyson Foods

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