Where culinary passion meets business opportunity
Simple done right
Jim Anderko, Elle Fearing, and Emanuela Bigi Discuss Specialty Merchandising Insights

Jim Anderko, Elle Fearing, and Emanuela Bigi Discuss Specialty Merchandising Insights


UNITED STATES
Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

Shopping the specialty department has become a ritual for me. I fill my cart with products both new and familiar, and am always delighted by merchandising displays that pop up across the store. With so many specialty experts in our network, I thought I’d pick a few of their brains to learn what goes into excellent specialty merchandising.

Jim Anderko, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Venus Wafers “Our display units are our shippers that we utilize, especially during the holiday season. They’re an instant off-shelf display that gives much more presence to the items you’re trying to promote or sell,” Jim Anderko, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Venus Wafers, tells me. “Merchandising crackers near cheese, breads, meats, and even soups can be advantageous to the retailer. Even though it’s not the holiday season, shoppers are still entertaining in the kitchen. Between Easter, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and more this season, there are plenty of opportunities to promote crackers.”

Jim touches on an important aspect of many merchandising efforts: marketing materials. By sprucing up your display with some colorful graphics and recipe inspiration, buyers can really make specialty products stand out amongst the sea of CPG items occupying the shelves.

Display units, marketing materials, and more can make for a beautifully merchandised specialty food set

Of course, cross-merchandising is another advantageous tool in the retailer’s belt. As a charcuterie girlie myself, I would be remiss to pass up a beautiful display adorned with crackers, cheeses, and other accouterments.

Elle Fearing, National Sales and Marketing Representative, Carr Valley Cheese“Successful merchandising is key to spreading brand awareness and selling more products,” Elle Fearing, National Sales and Marketing Representative for Carr Valley Cheese, adds when I ask her about merchandising specialty cheese. “It’s important to create a memorable experience for the customer by making the case flow and each unique cheese stand out in its own way. We always suggest using the brand’s labels in-store to catch loyal customers and add shelf talkers or recipe ideas to give customers easy applications to use the product. Every delicious piece of cheese is waiting for its perfect buyer!”

Emanuela Bigi, Marketing Manager of Veroni USA, also has some tips to share. She makes an excellent point that merchandising in the store creates a unique opportunity for the supplier and buyer to collaborate.

Emanuela Bigi, Marketing Manager, Veroni Salumi“A strong relationship with retailers is fundamental to determining the success of products in the store, since they give important information to customers. When in-store personal interaction is not possible, it’s crucial to create a destination through signage, dividers, product description, and branded packaging,” says Emanuela. “With our clear label showing the caption ‘Imported from Italy,’ for instance, consumers easily recognize our products as authentic. This helps to educate the customer to make them understand the quality of the products. Additionally, our pre-made charcuterie boards, ready to open and share, create a new consumption occasion—a way to mingle with friends and indulge in a relaxing moment.”

With the spring season just beginning, opportunities to cross-merchandise specialty items are endless. Stay tuned as we continue to bring you industry insights.

Venus WafersCarr Valley CheeseVeroni USA
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Where culinary passion meets business opportunity Simple done right

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In This Story


Since 1931, Venus Wafers has been making healthy, delicious, and natural crackers for people who care about their food. Our company spans three quality brands, with nearly 20 flavors baked every...

Carr Valley Cheese is the most acclaimed cheese company in the world. We make over 80 different varieties of cheese.

From an Italian family tradition, the taste of good salami as it once was.