Jim Dudlicek, NGA Director of Communications and External Affairs
The ongoing effects of the pandemic on the marketplace, including an expected winter covid surge, will certainly bring a departure in the way consumers celebrate the fall and winter holidays.
With fewer and smaller gatherings changing the protein needs for most consumers, how can current supply conditions best fulfill these evolving needs? How can suppliers and retailers better work together to deliver better shopper solutions? What marketing and merchandising strategies will be most effective for both meeting these needs and maximizing meat sales for grocers?
To answer these questions, NGA recently hosted a webinar with the North American Meat Institute. Moderated by Susan Backus, NAMI’s VP for regulatory and scientific programs, the panel included Michael Uetz, principal at Midan Marketing; Amari Seiferman, president and CEO of Certified Hereford Beef; and Bill Esch, director of marketing for Hen House Markets.
Here are some key takeaways from their discussion:
To create effective marketing solutions, grocers must understand the consumer’s motivation. According to Midan research: 53% of shoppers are buying and freezing meat more often; 62% are experimenting with new recipes; 46% are purchasing a wider variety of meat; 54% are seeking out healthier types and cuts; and 44% are cooking larger servings to use for multiple meals.
Know what customers are looking for from your brand. Uetz said consumers’ priorities are safety and security, transparency, recognition of their needs, variety/options, and convenience.
Grocers and suppliers should regularly discuss their common goals and challenges. These include market updates, product availability, shopping trends, promotional opportunities, brand propositions and educational resources.
Create meal solutions that leverage additional components to reduce holiday stress in a year that’s been stressful enough. Your meat department should team up with the deli to create pre-made meals that surround turkey breasts, beef roasts or hams with side dishes, fresh produce, breads and desserts.
Assemble a store holiday playbook that outlines your merchandising, display and operational plans. These should include incremental promotions, ad activity, labor requirements, on-call professional resources and value-added services for customers now and moving forward. The goal is to create a memorable experience.
Be prepared to make your customers’ live easier, with both solutions and safety. Anticipate customer demand and secure product accordingly, including the correct ad item merchandise mix. Herald the holidays with appropriate merchandising and extra staff. To reduce crowds and promote social distancing, encourage early shopping and maintain specific hours for seniors to help spread out customer traffic. Leverage social media promotions to prevent panic buying.
To view this complete webinar and others in the series, visit https://nga.sclivelearningcenter.com/MVSite/default.aspx