I could spend all day digging into the opportunities held by the specialty sector. From the deli department to the cheese case and everything in between, a trip to the grocery store is an immersive experience, and the merchandising strategies put in play by retailers make it all the more great. To help map out your next category blueprint, we touched base with a few industry friends for some display tips, cross-merchandising insights, and more.
“Retailers should ensure their merchandising practices are aligned with how the consumer shops,” shares Tom Orlando, National Sales Director of Conroy Foods. “The customer-centric focus of the past was the retailer’s practice of merchandising according to internal category hierarchy and not the shopping habits of the consumer. Can you have all the bread, rolls, and condiment options right next to the deli? No, but you can provide simple, creative, and unique pairings of products to fit consumer demand.”
Tom continues, sharing the value of transparency when it comes to specialty sales strategies.
“Transparency and sharing information are other practices that can benefit both manufacturers and retailers,” he adds. “If a retailer were to share their promotional plans for the deli department with manufacturers that don’t directly compete with the promoted products, then these manufacturers would be better equipped to pair their products for a great selling opportunity. For example, if a retailer was planning on promoting their Naan bread or pizza dough offerings, then we could cross-merchandise our White Pizza Sauces, and the consumer wins through the presentation of such a natural pairing.”
Convenience and consumer trends also rang as two key areas of focus, as reflected by insights from North Country Smokehouse.
“The back-to-school season and fall months are a strong time of year for our organic deli meats, and retailers can benefit by making options easy and convenient for their shoppers both online and in-store,” shares Alicia Baker, Director of Marketing for North Country Smokehouse. “October is a prime tailgating season, and our sausage products really shine here! Certified humane and organic recipes are available, with thoughtfully sourced ingredients and coarsely ground meat packed in natural casings. Retailers can also feature our signature smoked bacon and sausage links for holiday dinner inclusion as we approach Thanksgiving in November. For merchandising, it’s important to evoke some excitement and give shoppers new and exciting ways to use the products. There’s never-ending recipe inspiration to pull from!”
For retailers looking to harness the opportunities of the cheese case, Marin French Cheese Co. boasts a premium collection of 4 oz Petite flavored cheeses that are the perfect size for seasonal cheese boards.
“For the upcoming fall and winter seasons, retailers can showcase Marin French Cheese Co.’s Petite Boo, a seasonal play on our Petite Ash, boasting a vibrant orange hue that’s a delightful addition to any festive Halloween display. Given consumer’s enthusiasm for Halloween, Petite Boo sells itself, but you can add items to the shopper’s basket by merchandising alongside family-friendly accompaniments like pretzels, popcorn and chocolate treats, or alongside sparkling wine, cider and salami, and hot honey for the sophisticated crowd,” shares Bonnie Kaufman, Associate Brand Manager. “Retailers can spotlight our Brie en Croute, amongst other grab-and-go hor d’oeuvres. Merchandising opportunities include crackers, jam, and charcuterie to encourage appetizer consumption or look to dark chocolate, seasonal fruit, and honeycomb for a dessert offering.”
DMN will continue to bring you exclusive merchandising insights, so keep a tab open for our next deep dive.