Families Choose New Routines with a New School Year

July 8, 2020

By Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, NGA Live.Balanced. Consultant

During summer – especially the current one – families throw out all normal routines, planning trips, managing summer activities, and enjoying outdoor family time later into the evening. Come late August and into September, families are establishing new routines and being more planful about their days. This planning includes more traditional or routine meal patterns, an area where they look to their favorite grocery retailers for assistance.

While previous studies have defined consumers by their preferred meal pattern, interesting research from the National Pork Board shows that families don’t eat the same type of meal every night. In fact, there are nine different dining occasions that happen in kitchens, dining rooms, and on sofas and coffee tables across America in any given week. For example, Easy Prep Meals are the go-to when families are in a hurry due to evening events, according to the Dinner at Home in America report. Teenagers at home alone or parents whose kids have left for college might opt for Single Meal Exploration at dinnertime.

The National Grocers Association’s Live.Balanced. Meal Solutions program offers turnkey resources for retail members wanting to provide solutions to their shoppers for these meal occasions. Here are step-by-step guidelines on how to activate omnichannel meal solutions promotions:

Step #1: Using the Live.Balanced. Meal Solutions materials, determine which of the three meal occasions has greatest appeal to your shoppers: Easy Meal Prep, Simple Assembly, or Single Meal Exploration.

Step #2: Plan for a solution stations bunker, which includes all the ingredients for a recipe, merchandising display in-store. The Live.Balanced. Meal Solutions resource kit provides detailed instructions, printable recipe cards and in-store signage, making it easy to execute this merchandising set. Partner with vendors to offer promotional pricing of featured items.

Step #3:  To kick-off the promotion, post provided content and the featured recipe on your website, leverage available social posts, and run intercom messages in your stores.

Step #4: During daily huddles, encourage all employees to promote the solution station bunker to shoppers.

Step #5: Ensure you have adequate product on hand to replenish bunker frequently.

Step #6: Measure shopper feedback and track program sales.

Solution selling not only positions your retailer as a valuable resource to your shoppers, but it also drives sales and increases basket size. NGA’s turnkey resources are here to help you accomplish your goals. For more information and to gain access to the  Live.Balanced. Meal Solutions resources, click here.