February 24, 2019

It All Begins with Food – Working Creatively with Your Retailers

It’s so delightful to see the creativity retailers have in their marketing and customer outreach communications.  Take a look at this newsletter from Zabar‘s in New York. The post features a cookbook review of It All Begins with Food from Tracey Zabar and includes a contest and giveaway of the cookbook, for customers to win.

Tracey writes, “This book is overflowing with fun and delicious recipes to feed your children. With monkey milkshakes and miniature lasagnas, the grown-ups can find some treats too. When my children were little, we spent a lot of time in London. Our favorite meal was nursery tea, with the requisite sandwiches and pudding, and the oh-so-British Eggs and Soldiers, or eggs with tall, narrow pieces of toast, covered in butter and jam. Ah. Reminiscent of those teas is this adorable egg person with toast. Cheerio!”

Zabar’s is a historic family business where Louis and Lillian Zabar, started the business back in 1934, opening a 22-foot-wide shop along NYC’s Broadway at West 80th Street. Louis was a real stickler for quality, roasting his own coffee, and personally visiting smokehouses to sample and inspect the fish – rejecting far more than he accepted.  They publish their story on their website stating that “the principles and practices of our founder and father continue to guide us: Respect the customer. Never, ever stint on quality. Offer fair value. And last but not least, keep searching for the new and wonderful.”

Food retailers around the country provide food and beverage experiences that seem to be tailor-made for their customers and their unique lifestyles. An emerging brand has the opportunity to partner with their retailers and work creatively to find the right promotions and customer engagements that will drive sales.

Each retailer and region will offer different opportunities. Culinary differences still exist, depending on geography and culture, and the retailers who recognize that are the ones who benefit the most.

Take, for example, the retailers who offer cooking classes. At first glance, there’s nothing unusual about that – except for the fact that different people in different communities want to learn to cook different things – and they’re not always what you would expect.

Otherwise, you might not go looking for a class in how to cook Korean bibimbap or a number of Thai dishes at some of the 16 Harmons Neighborhood Groceries in the Salt Lake City area. Who – besides Harmons – knew so many Utahans were interested in Asian cuisines?

 Reflecting the interest in healthy ingredients in the Northwest, you can visit any of six Town & Country Markets to learn how to make butternut squash, kale and brown rice casserole; muffuletta sandwiches; and crunchy baby bok choy salad.

 Or you can sign up for Miguelito’s Cocina Club, a cooking school for kids in 38 Northgate Gonzalez Markets in Southern California. Promising the “truest ingredients imported from Mexico,” Northgate wants to help its many Latino shoppers assure that their culinary traditions are passed on to the next generation.

Looking for really fresh juice? At the Market of Choice’s six stores in Oregon, you can pick out the citrus fruits that look good to you and ask the staff to squeeze them into juice while you watch. Then you can enjoy your juice on the spot, sip it as you stroll the aisles or take it home with you.

We are excited to see how emerging brands partner now and in the future with retailers. Share your pictures and stories with us! emerge@fmi.org