Progressive Grocer

DEC 2016

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62 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2016 Growth Strategies Fresh Food F or the past few years, in response to rising consumer demand, retail- ers have introduced a plethora of "fresh-focused" store formats play- ing up the produce, meat/seafood, deli/prepared food and bakery departments, often at the expense of perceived lower-value sections such as center store and frozen foods. But how long will this interest in fresh last, and how can retailers prevent it from growing stale? Following are five key pieces of advice to retail- ers to maintain a booming fresh offering. Although some comments refer to one category in particular, many observations are applicable across departments. Stay on Top of Health and Other Trends Since fresh products are so closely connected with consumer perceptions of better health and nutri- tion, retailers need to strike the right balance in communicating these properties to customers, so that they'll be encouraged to incorporate more and varied fresh items into their diets. "When promoting fresh food, retailers should Fresh Foresight Five tips for ensuring continued success in the perimeter categories. By Bridget Goldschmidt be careful not to lecture or pressure consumers into eating healthy," notes Dionysios Christou, VP mar- keting at Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce. "ey should promote the nutritional value and many benefits that the products can bring to consumers and their families. Consumers like to have free will when making shopping decisions, and negative promotional tactics or comparisons to oth- er products may make them feel forced and turned off from a particular message and/or product." Kathy Means, VP of industry relations at the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Associa- tion (PMA), urges, "Use programs like [PMA/ Sesame Workshop partnership] Eat Brighter! to attract attention and make it easy for kids to want produce — parents will thank you!" "Following a successful test, we expanded deli offerings in many of our stores by adding a salad bar stocked with ready-to-eat healthy and flavorful salads, prepared proteins, healthy side dishes, and an improved assortment of entrées, meals and side dishes," observes Diego Romero, corporate com- munications manager at Phoenix-based Sprouts S P r O u TS ' S P lend O r The prepared food service case at Sprouts Farmers Market boasts a wealth of convenient and tasty options.

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