What works on grocer's central aisle shelves may not perform the same on specialty end-caps, or visa versa. Today, consumers are shopping very differently than in the past. Generation Z and Millennials approach shopping and meal planning very differently than their older Gen-X and Boomer counterparts.
Analyzing retail transaction log, loyalty card and panel data to better understand how certain market baskets were evolving across the U.S., we were able to identify a hidden product opportunity. Harlan's innovation team, which includes product development, manufacturing specialists as well as retail marketplace and data analysts, collaborated with a global retailer in order to ensure that our intelligence and approach aligned with their information and product goals.
This collaboration uncovered that younger consumers as well as value shoppers were often by-passing certain deserts. The data informed us that consumers were looking for greater variation in a smaller overall SKU size, without premium pricing. Moreover, the flavor combinations included in the offering had to be optimal in order to stand out on a specialty end-cap.
Making it easy to for younger consumers to select a range of fresh, packaged and even frozen items merchandised as a bundle in-store ensures that meal preparation is a snap. It's this removal of friction for the consumer that helps to drives larger market basket value and return visits.
Knowing where opportunities for conversion lie helps suppliers work with retailers to improve end-cap bundles. Without the proper actionable intelligence, developing the exact product to fill these gaps becomes guesswork.
Knowing the category isn't enough though. Understanding purchase patterns is critical and then aligning these patterns with variety of complimentary flavor combinations, which are often aligned with seasonality or occasions.
Pairing an Asiago Cheese bagel with lime, crushed red pepper guac and fresh tomato makes for a quick, flavorful and refreshing mid-day meal.
The result can often be an unexpected and highly valued merchandising option for consumers and deliver new uses for existing product categories driven by simple groupings or recipes that consumers can easily replicate.
We recognize that consumers never think about all the work that goes into delivering innovation and excellence, nor should they. That's our job as Food Professionals.