Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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Lessons in Prepared Foods Four families learn to navigate the supermarket in a new way, unlocking the untapped potential of prepared foods. Chef Charlie Baggs shows the Ramirez family the best technique for deboning a rotisserie chicken. A D V E R T O R I A L "I learned how to make prepared foods in different ways to make them more exciting for my family." — Ebony Ramirez In part two of a three- par t series covering Tyson Foods' Prepared Foods Challenge, four Chicago- land families explore the prepared foods category with the guidance of a culinary exper t. S tore branding and marketplace differentiation are important retail strategies, but educating consumers is more critical than ever. Passing on the kind of knowledge that leads to under- standing, confident decision-making and an elevated consumer experience can be a real game changer in today's hyper-compet- itive grocery industry. Educating consumers about the prepared foods category is es- pecially relevant because, as it turns out, shoppers don't actually know that much about prepared foods and how to make the most of them. Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., recently completed its Prepared Foods Challenge with the help of Redwood City, Calif.-based marketing firm Green Bear Group. The consumer-centric experiment enlisted four Chicagoland families to exclusively use prepared foods from their local supermarkets to assemble seven consecutive family dinners. On days one through three of the Challenge, no assistance or advice was offered to the Keeley, Ramirez, Schnurr and Gebien families, leaving them frustrated and disappointed by the overall lack of product variety, freshness and quality in the prepared foods departments. To renew the families' enthusiasm, Tyson Foods brought in a seasoned chef on days four, five and six to help educate and inspire them to use prepared foods in new ways and to enjoy the benefits of the supermarket in its entirety. "Some supermarket retailers are trying to compete with QSRs; some are trying to compete with fast casual. Rather than trying to imitate our competitors' value proposition, we need to focus on our own," explained Eric Le Blanc, director of marketing for Tyson Foods. "What do consumers really want? Freshness, variety, quality, and in addition, the convenience of being able to combine trips. What do supermarkets have? Forty thousand SKUs. We need to embrace who we are and what we offer." Educating and Inspiring Chef Charlie Baggs, executive chef and president of Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations, visited the families on days four, five and six of the Challenge. Almost immediately, his presence had a positive impact on the families. He encouraged them to choose a dinner theme, such as Italian, Asian, Mexican or Medi- terranean, as a precursor to their shopping excursions. "I learned that when you have a theme it's must easier to T Y SO N F OO DS ' P R E PA R E D F OO DS C H A L L E N G E PA RT T W O PREPARED FOODS INSIGHTS

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