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Breaking the Paradigms at Retail

by | Feb 7, 2017 | Dairy Foods | 0 comments

Chef Inspired Meals

I’ve just returned from a meeting which included senior level executives from several high profile grocery retailers from around the country. In addition to the esteemed retailers in attendance, two of our speakers included two internationally known experts in the retail grocery industry. As a 30+ year veteran of the grocery industry, participating in this meeting, with these individuals, was definitely a high point for me.

During our meeting, we discussed several merchandising concepts, which when implemented, will help increase the sales of dairy products. The merchandising concepts will provide suggestions to shoppers to include dairy products in their choices for breakfast, dinner and snacking occasions.

What I found most interesting about our discussions is that the conversations we are having today about reaching the consumer with innovative merchandising ideas, are much like the conversations we were having 30 years ago. The conversations conclude with the need to break down old paradigms about how a store is managed, merchandised and measured. For example, does it make sense to cross merchandise milk with cereal; cheese with apples; sour cream with potatoes; or yogurt with strawberries? Or to provide dinner meal solutions, which include recipe cards and a display of all of the ingredients necessary to make the recipe? Of course it does. But retailers need to allow themselves to get beyond the traditional methods by which they have managed and measured success.

Quick and Easy Breakfast
When designing a store, or developing a merchandising strategy, retailers need get into the head of the consumer and understand what solutions he/she is looking for and design their strategies to fit those needs. This means breaking the old paradigms about which department gets credit for a sale within a store; or worrying about giving up floor space in one department in order to cross merchandise a meal solution within the floor space of another department. When a retailer can effectively meet consumers’ needs, it will develop loyal shoppers who appreciate the retailer’s ability to identify and provide solutions to those needs. In a competitive retail environment, with increased channel shifting, this could be the competitive advantage required to win against the “other guy” in town.

Let me know how your local grocer is providing solutions to your grocery shopping needs? What innovative merchandising ideas have you seen?

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Cindy Sorensen

Hi, I’m Cindy Sorensen, the “retail guru” and former Sr. Vice President of Business Development for Midwest Dairy Association. Why do they call me the retail guru? After many years of sales experience with Nestle, Minute Maid and Cadbury, I have learned a thing or two about grocery stores. In addition to my retail responsibilities with Midwest Dairy, I also consult with many dairy industry partners and provide them with strategic information which will help them grow their dairy product volume, which in turn sells more milk for the dairy farmers of the Midwest. I enjoyed selling chocolate and orange juice, but I sure am glad I entered the dairy business. I am honored to represent the hard working dairy farmers of the Midwest and consult with retailers on their behalf.

Like you, I am constantly on the go. Whether it is racing to another meeting, getting my two sons from one activity to the next, or training for my next half marathon, my body starts to wear out. This is where dairy comes in. I attribute my boundless energy to healthy eating habits (including nutrient-rich dairy products) and exercise.

I am going to combine my knowledge of the grocery business and the shopping experience, along with my knowledge of the benefits of dairy to provide advice to you to make good decisions in the grocery store.Our goals are the same. We want to provide the healthiest and most economical food choices for ourselves and our families. My experience in the grocery business will help you do that.

In my spare time I enjoy traveling to new places, running, attending my sons’ baseball and basketball games and playing in my church’s handbell choir.

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