- Like manufacturers, retailers can also benefit from applying a fresh-focused approach to their store format, customer experiences and product development for in-store departments and private label brands, according to a recent webinar from Mintel and Ingredion, Food Business News reported.
- Expanding product selections like meat, produce and dairy departments along the store's perimeter and providing in-store experiences that rival food service establishments can help retailers compete with restaurants.
- Mintel estimated the U.S. perimeter category's value would rise from $315 billion in 2014 to an estimated $345.8 billion to $370.9 billion by 2019.
Retailers have a number of potential options for "fresh" in-store experiences, including "more sampling, more local foods, a wider selection in specialty categories like gluten-free and ethnic, help with recipes and meal planning, signs to better navigate the store, cooking demonstrations and classes, and an in-store dietitian," according to a Mintel survey.
Many of these in-store experiences revolve around providing restaurant-quality products and services, particularly when it comes to freshness and artisanal offerings. Manufacturers have spent the last several years determining how to embrace trends like local ingredient sourcing, ethnic flavors and health trends like simple, natural ingredients and free-from foods and beverages. Now retailers are catching up by offering similar private label or department-based products and in-store amenities.
Pushing private label brands in center store aisles is a viable marketing strategy, but retailers should also maximize transparent packaging, front-of-pack messaging and other visual cues.