4 CONSUMER PERISHABLES DATABOOK 2016
Very few consumers talk about supermarkets’ canned goods sections when comparing one chain to another. Nor do they bring up snacks or candy sections. Cereal and soup? Certainly very
important sections for a typical grocery store, but yester-
day’s news when it comes to defining the store’s image.
What consumers talk to their friends and family about
and what gets the bulk of their attention are the fresh
departments—meats, bakery, dairy, seafood, and of course,
the growing and prospering produce section.
The fresh sections are the categories that make a difference for any retailer looking to create an image with consumers showing that they are on top of trends and have the
merchandise shoppers need to make tonight’s dinner and
tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch. It should also be mentioned that the fresh sections also contribute more than
their fair share of sales and profits to most retailer’s financial statements.
That is why we publish our annual Consumer
Perishables Databook, an in-depth statistical study into
dozens of key categories across the spectrum of the various fresh categories. With the great help and assistance of
Nielsen Perishables Group, we offer retailers a closer look
at the key statistics that can help them make the hard decisions on what products to carry and where to place them.
It is absolutely necessary to delve into these numbers.
The old days of mom’s fresh section are long over. Today,
consumers demand a wide range of products in the fresh
arena and they are putting a lot of pressure on retailers and
their supplier partners to make sure they have the correct
products in their stores and
importantly, at the right times.
At the same time, these shoppers, fickle and demanding, will
settle for nothing less than the
best quality when shopping these
sections. A worm in an apple
will be noticed immediately and
spread throughout the community like wild fire. Spoiled milk, shoddy meats and stale
doughnuts: You get the message, right?
On top of all of that, space remains a big concern for
supermarket retailers trying to be all things to a more discerning consumer, who coincidentally wants everything
from their favorite store. While fresh is super important to
most chains, it is still not getting enough space to satisfy all
shoppers’ needs—and that is a big problem.
So what is a retailer to do? The answer, of course, is to
develop a strategy that incorporates as many of the popular
items as possible while not overwhelming and confusing
shoppers. At the same time, they need to train their staffs
to ensure that products are handled correctly, that service
is paramount to a great shopping experience and that consumer questions about these items are answered, quickly
These are all tall tasks for a retailer that is trying to satisfy the masses that enter the store twice a week on average. But it is all absolutely necessary if merchants want to
keep their customers satisfied. And, in the end, that is all
Fresh sections are the difference makers for retailers
looking to create an image with consumers.
BY SETH MENDELSON