Experts talk strategy behind the grocery wars

Canadian Grocer consulting editor among panel of analysts

Target’s exit from Canada has inspired many news organizations to take a closer look at the changing landscape of the grocery industry.

TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin aired a segment titled “Grocery Store Wars” which took a look at some of the major players in the grocery game and how their actions influence consumers.

Panelists included Sarah Kaplan, professor of strategic management at Rotman, Bruce Philip, author, and Canadian Grocer’s own consulting editor George Condon.

The participants identified consolidation as being the primary story for the industry, and the reason for its growing competetitiveness. But Kaplan noted growth in ethnic foods is also a trend to watch, and expects the same consolidation we’ve seen in mainstream grocery stores will happen with ethnic grocers.

The pressure manufacturers face to get products on shelves was also a subject of debate. Condon noted the biggest change happened when grocers began charging for shelf space. Now manufacturers need to be willing to prove their value, or create a product that’s so outstanding that a grocer will forego larger fees in order to stock it.

Grocery’s slim margins, consumer demand, and Target’s failures were also on the show’s agenda.

Watch the full segment below:

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