Today’s consumers have more food options than ever before, from entire aisles dedicated to ice cream to the rapidly growing number of fast-casual restaurants. Brands need to find ways to differentiate among countless competitive products and retailers, and operators have to enhance the customer experience to keep them coming back.
As revealed in our latest grocery survey, customers expect innovation and convenience. The companies and brands that offer both will succeed.
There’s a new and significant way for brands, retailers and restaurants to stand out in the minds of consumers: distributed freezing. Single-serve frozen products are often the highest margin items, yet they typically fall victim to terrible placement, hidden among a sea of popsicles in the back of the store.
Through solid-state distributed freezing, brands and companies can take advantage of three key opportunities to sell more with increased freedom of placement.
1. Be front and center. The average supermarket carries more than 30,000 products and small convenience stores (c-stores) stock approximately 3,000 items. For consumers, this means they are never at a loss for options. For brand and category managers, it means that getting consumers to notice their products among all the others can be a seemingly impossible feat. In the short, rushed amount of time that most customers spend at a c-store or grocery store, many never even see the products in the back coolers and freezers. Instead of trying to compete with all of the other items in the built-in freezers, brands can now use compact, solid-state freezers to place high-margin products in highly visible areas (such as front of store) and to display more products directly at the point of sale.
2. Sell ice cream year-round. Anyone with kids in their life will tell you that ice cream is not a summertime-only item. So why is it that 40 percent of all ice cream sales take place in those three months? Retailers can increase ice cream sales year-round with compact, quiet solid-state ice cream freezers in high traffic areas like checkout. Novelties and single-serve portions are perfect candidates for promotions, such as BOGO or similar deals. And as healthy frozen treats (e.g., 100% juice popsicles, fruit bars, high-protein Greek yogurt bars and coffee bars) continue to grow in popularity, solid-state freezers can showcase a product type for every shopper’s diet and taste buds. With products that are consistently and easily visible to customers, brands can boost off-season sales, try out new promotions, and make ice cream (or other frozen treats) more convenient to buy when they aren’t necessarily top of mind for customers during the colder months.
3. Test new products. What’s the most effective way to get consumers to buy a new product? Let them try it first. However, in-store sampling programs are expensive and it’s difficult to track the direct correlation to purchases. Single-serve sizes allow a customer who’s hesitant to buy a box of 12 veggie wraps (without knowing how they taste) to purchase a single one first. Offering individual servings, especially at checkout where people have a few spare minutes to actually look at the products in a freezer, can lead to higher product adoption or provide an early indicator that a new product may have missed the mark.
It’s time to move your frozen items out of the deep ice chests located at the periphery of stores, restaurants and venues – and into prime, high-traffic locations. To discover additional opportunities to sell more through freedom of placement, check out Phononic’s new eBook: Out of the Deep Freeze.
The grocery industry is ramping up at warp speed to manage the explosive growth of this segment. In 2016, online grocery sales were $20 billion; given the pandemic’s urgency and massive behavior chang
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