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SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Labeling Trend Shows Shifting Consumer Priorities

Posted by SugarCreek

Aug 21, 2015 4:30:00 PM

Grocery shoppers have been gradually changing their habits as more and more people become concerned with the sustainability of their food choices. For many years, "organic" was the go-to designation, with "natural" winning people's food dollars, as well. But, as people consider different aspects of where their food comes, "local" and "seasonal" are starting to gain traction.

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Topics: Millennial Consumers, Retail

What Will Grocery Shoppers Be Buying in 2025?

Posted by SugarCreek

Aug 3, 2015 2:00:00 PM

grocery-shopping-couple

What will grocery shoppers be buying 10 years from now? It's a vexing question for food producers and marketers alike.

New food products take months, or even years, to develop. It's extraordinarily difficult to anticipate, that far out, not only what consumer preferences will be, but also what laws, agricultural production factors and market conditions will prevail.

Of course, that doesn't prevent industry experts from trying. And Technomic has done just that, in its recently published report, “Food Industry Transformation: The Next Decade,” which seeks to predict what grocery shoppers' preferences (and the market's responses to them) will be in 2025.

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Topics: Trends, Millennial Consumers, Retail

Your Next Big Target Market: Hispanic Grocery Shoppers

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 31, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Are you noticing a shift in the demographics of grocery shoppers? The NPD Group has. According to the market research firm, Latinos are one of the fastest-growing consumer demographics in the United States, and they're beginning to influence overall shopping trends more than they ever have. Nielsen reports that the buying power of US-dwelling Hispanic consumers now tops $1 trillion.

So, how can grocery store owners and food producers reach them? Are there ways to segment your marketing directly toward Latino shoppers? Let's take a look.

"Latino" customer does not equal "Spanish-speaking" customer.

Nor is it considered, by many in the Hispanic community, to be an ethnicity. Rather, it's a descriptor of origin. Many people who identify as Latinos/Latinas were born in the United States and speak English as a first language. The word "Latino/Latina" is thus used only as a signifier of culture.

There’s even disagreement about terminology among members of the Hispanic/Latino community. Some prefer the term "Hispanic" (especially in Texas), whereas others prefer the term "Latino/Latina." Regardless, the community is robust, diverse, vibrant and eager for merchants to engage them.

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Topics: Retail

Make Grab-and-Go Deli Options More Attractive to Grocery Shoppers

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 24, 2015 2:30:00 PM

When consumers think about grab-and-go deli offerings, many think about potato salads drenched in mayonnaise or processed lunch meats packed with nitrites—hardly a healthy prospect. Leading the reversal of this trend is Whole Foods with its popular self-serve salad bar and grab-and-go prepared meals. As grocery shoppers continue to vote with their wallets and demand healthier food options, grocery chains are under increased pressure to innovate or risk losing out.

The good news is that when it comes to creating healthier deli options, there’s no need to completely reinvent the wheel. You can turn a traditional turkey and cheese sandwich with a side of potato salad into a non-GMO turkey and Swiss on rustic bread with an heirloom bean salad, for example, and you’ve nailed both shoppers' desires for healthier options and the trend towards locally-sourced, artisan food.

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Topics: Retail

Consumers Want Healthier Diets. What Will They Give up to Get It?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 17, 2015 2:30:00 PM

As grocery shoppers continue to seek healthier alternatives to their traditional food choices, the question for food producers becomes how to figure out what consumers are substituting toward. For shoppers, those decisions are largely dictated by four criteria:

  1. Nutritional benefit

  2. Taste equivalency

  3. Mouthfeel

  4. Price

How can we quantify those factors? How best can food producers and food manufacturers meet consumers' demands for healthier options? Let's take a look.

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Topics: Retail

Healthy Living Trends Encourage Consumers to “Shop the Perimeter”

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 13, 2015 3:00:00 PM

A growing number of healthy living and fitness experts have been encouraging grocery shoppers to "shop the perimeter" at the supermarket in order to find healthier foods. The advice proceeds from the fact that large grocery stores often place the foods with the least amount of preservatives on the outer rim, and natural foods with few preservatives are en vogue.

Think about it: The fresh produce section, dairy products, eggs, the deli, the butcher counter, live seafood tanks and the bakery are all typically located around the edges of a store. Most items in those sections aren't processed and prepackaged. Some — like whole-grain breads, gourmet sushi and other artisan foods — are made right on site. Plus, foods on the perimeter tend to be larger in volume; they take up more space to display.

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Topics: Retail

Does the Low-Carb Fad Mean More Opportunity in Protein Snacking?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 10, 2015 2:30:00 PM

What goes around comes around. Remember the Atkins diet? It's back. Well, at least Atkins is. It is once again marketing its low-carb food line with a new round of TV ads on CNN and other high-visibility cable channels. And this time, it's focusing not on entire meals, but on low-carb snacks.

A response to the snackification trend? Undoubtedly. An attempt to grab back market share in an era when protein bites are becoming increasingly popular? Certainly. But what does the low-carb trend mean for the grocery shopping experience?

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Topics: Retail, Proteins

Small Bites Are a Big Hit with Grocery Shoppers

Posted by SugarCreek

Jul 6, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Snacks are big business at the grocery these days, representing an area of massive opportunity for food producers.

Between March 2013 and March 2014, Snack sales totaled $374 billion, representing inflation-adjusted growth of another 2 percent from the previous year. Snack sales in developing regions grew at more than double that rate.

But what sorts of snacks are American grocery shoppers looking for? Which consumers are most driving the trend? And how can you balance merchants' demand for long shelf life with consumers' demand for more natural ingredients? Let's discuss.

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Topics: Snackification, Retail

Young Adult and Hispanic Grocery Shoppers Drive Fast-and-Fresh Trends

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 26, 2015 2:30:00 PM

As a growing number of consumers give up their habitual eat-out or take-out routines in favor of preparing meals at home, it seems only logical that food market sales would surge. But, odd as it may seem, the large (and still expanding) segments of the population that demand the most up-to-the-minute time- and labor-saving devices to support a busy lifestyle are the groups most likely to embrace "fresh and from scratch" when it comes to groceries.

It’s not that these grocery shoppers have given up convenience. Rather, these savvy shoppers simply demand that their convenience be fresher, healthier and tastier.  The trend can be seen in microcosm in the surge of fast casual restaurant chains scrambling to cater to customers who demand lighter choices, fewer calories, fresher options and made-to-order menu items.

Buying habits are, in short, evolving.

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Topics: Retail

How Does Artisan Food Hold Up in the Mass-Produced Market?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jun 22, 2015 2:30:00 PM

The food industry has a bit of a terminology problem when it comes to one of the top trends in the industry: artisan. There's no question that the term has become a buzz phrase, but what, exactly, do food brands mean when they label a loaf of bread or block of cheese “artisanal?”

Is it meaningless marketing-speak targeted toward young consumers? Is it an acknowledgement by the industry that consumers want less mass production in the food supply? And given population sizes and price sensitivities, is less mass production of food even possible?

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Topics: Retail