Shopper centricity a key message at FMI

Foor Marketing Institute Connect reiterates the importance of your customer

The shopper muse be at the centre of every decision a supermarket retailer makes in 2015.

That was one of the key messages at Food Marketing Institute Connect this week in Chicago, and was repeated both in the educational sessions, in the keynotes and on the exhibit floor.

“Shopper centricity will touch your business practices, organizational structures, planning processes, technology requirements, required skills and more. Shopper centricity will have as great an impact on the grocery industry as category management did 25 years ago,” Mark Baum, senior vice president at FMI, said in a session titled “Category Management in the Age of Transparency.”

The bottom line is the majority of CPG manufacturers and retailers want change in terms of the way they collaborate and engage the shopper together.

FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin presented the 41st annual U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends study and identified several demographic influences that are coming together to form a new shared shopper paradigm. She also presented facts and figures that argue for more shared meals as a family and updates to shopper values, including a convergence of personal health and community wellness ideas.

Sarasin noted, “more and more people are playing a larger role in grocery shopping. In fact, 57% of the population reported that it does all or most of the grocery shopping." Stats also showed that 26% of the U.S. populations says it shares in at least 50% of the grocery shopping, resulting in a whopping 83% of adults who participate in at least half the food shopping for their households.

Sarasin said those numbers might seem high because of conflicting views within a household regarding what constitutes a "primary shopper." One person might define it as the number of trips made to the market, while the other person in the household might define it according to the quantity of groceries purchased.

"Regardless of the metric used, grocery shopping has clearly moved into shared territory in the household division of labor,” Sarasin added.

Regarding shopper considerations about health and wellness, consumers were asked to identify the groups they tend to view as being on their side, and those they tend to view as working against them. Family tops the support list with only 4% of consumers saying their family works against them and a significant 79% reported their family is on their side.

The exhibit floor continues to shift from CPG products to operations, technology and in-store solutions. Pepsi, Coke, Kraft and others were all offering health-oriented food and beverages. Continuing with the organic trends of recent years, several food and snack companies introduced new lines ranging from popcorn to pizza.

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