30 May Keeping Up With The Consumers
We all know it – the supermarket shelf is changing, fast. Amid delistings and price pinches, every item on the shelf has to earn its place there, keeping up with the consumers’ ever-changing needs and wants, whilst still promising value for money and time. A perpetual challenge for brands, yet one they’re well used to, and as the entries roll in at Product of the Year we’re enjoying seeing all the innovative new products – and picking out the key trends to share with you.
Reflecting the trend for shopping to be an occasion, rather than a dull necessity, the products are more inspiring than ever before. Innovation can get away with its price tag, as it offers a new experience for consumers – a key reason why it’s important for brands to innovate through the pinch, as Helga explained last year – but along with its price point comes a new, richer vocabulary.
After all, it isn’t just food, it’s nutrition. It’s not health, but wellness. It isn’t simply cleaning, this is household zen.
This occasion approach to shopping is changing not just the products on the shelf, but the entire face of groceries. Subscription services are now available for your meals, your razors, even pet food – offering consumers the gift of time as well as high quality products. Delivery times are being slashed to as low as one hour, and you can even have your food delivery brought to you by a robot!
Gimmicky? Maybe, but it’s fun and it’s popular, so if it can keep your delivery hot and get to you on time, what’s not to like?
All this off-shelf innovation does mean that traditional supermarkets need to up their game if they’re going to successfully keep up with the consumers. Giving shoppers exciting new products to try (check out Product of the Year winners for each year’s favourite products, as voted for by over 10,000 households) – and samples and deals on new products can go a long way, too. Smart stores and knowledgeable staff are a great asset in making your customers feel welcomed, as well as keeping them engaged on social media.
Most importantly, make grocery shopping an experience, not a chore. Consumers’ time is valuable, and if you’re to keep up with the consumers and compete with the subscriptions, we’ve got to make supermarkets somewhere shoppers want to be – not somewhere they have to be.
A challenge? Hell yes. But you’re up to it.