Thursday, July 16, 2009

Track 1: What Shoppers Really Want

Phil McGee, Director, Shopper Insights & Category Management, Campbell Soup Company

Meal preparers are not prepared for the new role of having a spouse, a baby or living alone. Successes in the roles of a meal preparer are largely dependent on the success of people in the roles of family, caregiver or individuals on their own. Putting the meal on the table has a bevy of rewards, from it tasting good to being under budget. Meal preparers want to have the people that they are serving to be happy with their role. What the meal preparer do is transmits her nurturing and sharing her love with the people that she is serving. It’s important that we understand this, to work with the meal preparer to ensure that they feel confident in their role as the primary food giver. At the highest level, there is a reward of self actualization; it becomes core to the meal preparer’s identity to be the meal preparer.

Understanding the role of the meal preparer:
Every meal preparer has about 20 different questions that they are asking themselves whenever the people they are caring for ask, “What’s for dinner?” It’s incredibly stressful for the meal preparer, and they will answer this question or related questions about 10,000 times. At some point, it happens that the meal preparer gets overwhelmed and that’s where we as retailers and product developers can step in and help the meal preparer by making their life a little easier.

One strategy that meal preparers do is depend on easy meals (easy to prepare, takes no planning, having all of the items on hand and low in cost). The biggest trend we are seeing is a big demand for simple, easy to prepare meals.
Another strategy is that meal preparer’s seek help, in the areas of planning, preparing and executing the meal. Going to a restaurant is sort of “cheating” for the meal preparer. The most fulfillment that a meal preparer can have is if they create something themselves and its well received. Having help from others, via recipes and quick heat and eat meals, do not offer the same amounts of pleasure for the meal preparer.

As retailers, there is a white space in the areas of enabling meal preparers to execute a healthy and tasteful meal that is well received. It’s the “Home Depot” effect, i.e., “You Can Do It. We Can Help.” What grocers can do is find a way to help the meal preparers do it themselves—or making the grocery store their partner. Merchandisers can help meal preparers by showcasing entire meals not just the ingredients, doing so can be tremendous help to the meal preparers.

This can not only benefit meal preparers, but it can benefit the retailers. In-store recipes that are used by meal preparers—and those meal preparers promote retailer loyalty. A good recipe from the store means that the store provides something that the meal preparer needs and that loyalty to brand, to store and to product is ideal.
The center of the store is a retailer’s most valuable—but least productive—asset. The center store refers to packaged goods.

What they’ve done, Campbell’s, is help to solve the meal preparer’s dilemma of creating a meal by creating an in-store, center store located prototype that provides all of the information that meal preparers need.

No comments:

Post a Comment