While the average person thinks they make approximately 15 food related decisions every day, a study shows that this is far from the truth. According to Cornell University’s issue of Environment and Behavior , people make an average of 221 food-related decisions each day! So, in order to meet the consumer demand for convenience, retailers devise targeted food merchandising strategies in hopes of making the decisions easier.
While this post will not outline all food merchandising strategies, it will cover some benchmark examples from retailers like Morrisons, Walmart, Marks & Spencer, and Winn Dixie.
- Multi-Cultural Food Assortments
- Impulse Meal Solutions
- On-the-go Food Selection
- Prepared Food
Multi-Cultural Food Assortments
Three factors – rapidly growing immigration rates, globalization, and increasing acceptance of foreign cultures – have helped make markets much more diverse.
Retailers, realizing the growth in these areas, help make decisions easier by becoming more culturally accepting themselves. In the photo on the right, you can see the multi-cultural food assortment in a Morrisons store. While Morrisons is just one of many retailers that is segmenting its shelves by culture or ethnicity, this type of segmentation is only becoming more common with the trend towards a completely globalized society.
Impulse Meal Solutions
Cooked chickens presented in the action alleys of retail stores are strategically placed to offer customers an added convenience, as well as a delicious grab-and-go dinner option.
Shoppers who enter a Walmart Supercenter to pick up a new pair of socks, for example, can also find an answer to the lingering question: “What am I going to have for dinner tonight?”
If the average person makes a food related decision an average of 221 times a day, the likelihood that the thought will cross their mind while they are in a Walmart store is very high. So, by teasing shoppers with the tantalizing aroma of roasting chicken in grab-and-go packaging, Walmart is able to increase the number of impulse purchases while providing added convenience at the same time.
On-the-go Food Selection
With new checkout options like the Google Wallet and improved self-checkout systems, shoppers are finding that they can grab their lunch and checkout much faster than they could if they went to a restaurant.
Marks & Spencer Simply Food stores, along with a number of others, offer its customers the ability to fill their lunchtime needs quickly. The store provides a wide assortment of fresh sandwiches, including: chicken & duck, fish, vegetarian, etc.
Whether you are culinarily challenged, or you can’t decide what to make for dinner, or you simply don’t have the time to put together a meal, you can find solace in the approach taken by retailers like Winn Dixie, Whole Foods, Wegmans as well as a variety of others. These stores provide prepared food options in family style dishes.
Solutions like this one help narrow down the choices for shoppers, while allowing shoppers to try new and different options on a regular basis.