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Bay Food Brokerage's Erin McCulloch-Crume Dishes on Data Excellence and Value

Bay Food Brokerage's Erin McCulloch-Crume Dishes on Data Excellence and Value


TAMPA, FL
Tuesday, January 9th, 2024

With an industry constantly changing, on the cusp of new trends shifting into movements, how does a manufacturer or vendor stay ahead of the curve and how does a retailer stay up to date on those dynamic elements? Data.

Erin McCulloch-Crume, Director of Deli and Emerging Business, Bay Food Brokerage“It's really important for us to make fact-based decisions, and our industry is getting better and better with utilizing data to help make educated decisions on what consumers are looking for,” Erin McCulloch-Crume, Director of Deli and Emerging Business, Bay Food Brokerage, shares. “If we want to compare and analyze how a product is doing, and we want to see what the trends are, being able to have data easily available for us to analyze is going to help us make those fact-based decisions and will ultimately benefit both our retail partners and our supplier partners.”

Building relationships between product and consumer will always be a blend of emotion and logic—each supporting the other to build value in the shopper’s eyes. Incorporating data helps to validate those time and cost investments, ensuring they are being utilized to the best of their abilities.

“In the deli, we're constantly collaborating on innovation and new ideas because we're always taking trends from the restaurant industry and trying to incorporate them into an eating-at-home experience,” Erin reveals. “We look at the data to see what's trending, what types of items are succeeding, what types of packages are being purchased, or what flavor profiles are doing well, for example. Utilizing that information—what customers are actually purchasing—helps guide not only our manufacturers, but also the deli buyers on what direction they should head with a specific innovation or trend.”

Incorporating data helps companies validate time and cost investments, ensuring they are being utilized to the best of their abilities

Data also helps Bay Food determine if a promotional plan is driving incremental sales and new customers to the set.

“For example, say we decide to do a bundled promotion and offer a fried chicken with sides as a family meal. That syndicated data also helps us to identify and determine if that is a good promotion. Is it worth the financial cost to both the retailer and the manufacturer to run it again? Did consumers buy into that idea and that concept?” Erin expresses. “The data also helps us to do a little bit of an analysis after an ad has run to see if it's something that we should offer again.”

Items like limited-time offers can also be assessed by the data and by the rings at the register. Forecasting is both an art and a science that data can help strengthen as well.

There is data and then there is analysis—and having both is the value card many in the competitive deli and specialty foods landscapes are looking for. And value is the name of the game as we hit the ground running in 2024.

Bay Food Brokerage
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