David Fikes, US-based Food Marketing Institute Communications VP, opened the FMI Private Brand summit with a bold declaration:
“We need to understand that we are no longer solely in business to sell groceries…” he announced to the packed room of manufacturers and retailers.
“…We are publishers sharing information about that food.”
SHOPPERS ARE HUNGRY FOR STORIES
The age of information has ushered in an awareness and desire for shoppers to control their consumption. Furthermore, they want their consumption to tell a story about their world view.
FMI’s research highlighted that 82% of shoppers now proactively look for at least one label claim, an increase of 6pts on the previous year. Shoppers see claims as important signals to help them and their family to eat well.
To them, ‘Eat Well’ means curating a diet that provides:
- A mindful connection
- Within their budget
GROCERS STILL THE VILLAIN TO SOME
However, retailers are not yet seen as allies by most consumers in this mission. In 2019, only 49% of consumers stated as such – a reduction of 6pts on the previous year. Surprisingly, manufacturers fared significantly worse with a slim 18% of consumers considering them allies.
The data in David’s talk highlighted a clear need for the entire private brand experience – marketing, store, packaging, purchase and consumption – to align consistently to build greater trust expected of any ally.
‘CO-SHOPPING’ MEANS STORIES MUST FEED THE WHOLE FAMILY’S IMAGINATION
Fikes went on to describe how the growth of ‘co-shopping’ – where multiple members of a family partake in grocery decision making – further emphasised the requirement for retailers and manufacturers to facilitate those conversations with accessible and clear information.
The channels where this co-shopping occurs have become increasingly diverse with the average of 2.5 weekly grocery shopping occasions per household occurring only 47% of the time in a primary store. A dramatic fall from 67% in 2005.
Shoppers are also now visiting four different companies per month. FMI’s research suggested that, far from dissatisfaction with traditional bricks and mortar grocery stores, it was a consequence of the increasingly varied family-by-family needs under the four sub-headings of ‘Eat Well’. No single company can consistently serve all combination of family needs.
Furthermore, the research showed that the cannibalization of bricks and mortar by online channels has stalled. Online shopping continues to grow, but now fuelled by digital natives shopping more frequently.
Read the more including the Moral of the Story in the latest SR4B blog post.