By Jim Dudlicek / NGA Director, Communications and External Affairs
The fall and winter holidays offer independent grocers an opportunity to leverage the spirit of the season to generate excitement among consumers and the community in their unique and exclusive offerings, as well as drive sales.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa present opportunities for traditional holiday-centric promotions, as consumers plan gatherings for family and friends with festive meals and trimmings. But the broader season itself offers chances to engage with the community, display your wares, and encourage and reinforce loyalty to your brand.
For example, Ohio’s Dorothy Lane Market not only features fall favorite products in store and online, but also holds a Fall Fest that features its own cider, caramel apple dipping and hearty fare like chili and cornbread. Louisiana’s Rouses Markets celebrates football season as the official supermarket of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Iowa’s Fareway Stores prominently features seasonal recipes while Gelson’s in Southern California embraces the bounty of fall produce among its social media posts.
To be sure, there’s no shortage of products, cuisines and occasions to celebrate in the coming months. In fact, there’s something to celebrate almost every day all year round, and most certainly during October, November and December.
And there’s no shortage of ideas to inspire winning promotions to excite customers, engage the community and drive seasonal sales. In fact, why not share the stories behind your successful promotions by entering the National Grocers Association’s Creative Choice Awards, which honor the most innovative marketing and merchandising campaigns of the past year. Learn more about the awards program and what makes for a winning entry by viewing this recent webinar.
Fall and winter promotions also present a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the great value that independent grocers deliver, despite the current challenging economic times. And while inflation is still a struggle for many, it appears this year’s holiday season will bring a bit of relief.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, turkey supplies have recovered since last year’s avian flu outbreak, with production up nearly 10% since July 2022, a good indication of lower consumer prices ahead of Thanksgiving.
In fact, the average price for an 8- to 16-pound turkey was $1.27 per pound this past August, 22% lower than a year earlier. Additionally, boneless skinless turkey breasts have declined by 61% from a near-record $6.65 per pound to $2.59 per pound in August.
That’s some good news independent grocers can share with customers as you help them set their holiday tables this season. It’ll go a long way toward enhancing transparency and trust, whether folks choose to invest that savings in extra side dishes, hosting an extra guest or two, or taking it to the bank.