More products doesn’t mean more shelf space

Has anyone noticed that the enhanced/flavoured water brand Vitaminwater now has twelve flavours on the market?

Or that Aquafina Plus has eight flavors?

Is it realistic to expect a retailer to stock all twenty flavours on the shelf in the beverage aisle?

Flavour expansion in this category seems to mirror what’s happening in other beverage categories like energy drinks and sports drinks.

Notice how Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy both have a wide range of energy drink flavours?

Or how Gatorade not only has numerous flavours, but also has beverages for different drinking occasions?

With so many different varieties, how is it possible to manage your shelf space and keep growing your sales?

Since the category’s role may vary from one retailer to another, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to manage shelf space.

Some retailers may simply want their selection to mirror the market performance.

For example, if the market data indicates that the top eight flavors generate nearly 75 per cent of the total volume, simply stock these eight flavours and move on to other pressing issues.

Other retailers, on the other hand, may adjust their assortment to mirror specific ethnicities or demographics.

This may mean stocking a little more variety than just reflecting market conditions.

And still others may want to appeal to the masses, carrying all flavours to ensure they do not miss out on any opportunities.

The best strategy may involve some creativity and compromise from both parties.

While both retailer and manufacturer would like multiple points of display–the retailer may want multiple points of display for different products while the manufacturer wants it for the same product.

Consider carrying some flavours exclusively in other sections of the store to alleviate the beverage aisle spacing.

Or reduce the product’s beverage aisle shelf space, but provide facings in other store areas.

For example, carry healthier options in the fresh produce or health & wellness section, or some energy drinks in the hot food section.

This not only softens the shelf space burden in the beverage aisle, but also helps present the shopper with some more options to pair with foods as they make their way through your store.

There’s also the option of asking your beverage manufacturer to provide refrigerated equipment to stock their beverages.

Just because there are new products, you don’t always have to worry about shelf space.

There are always opportunities to stock the product in other areas that can benefit everyone.

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