When better-for-you snacks and other items first started to make their
way onto grocery shelves, many retailers created segregated shelf space,
or even entire aisles, for these items. Now that the typical shopper is
more familiar with better-for-you items, and more likely to see them
as a healthier option rather than an alien species, retailers are working
to integrate them into the traditional grocery aisles. Hurst says that in
Kroger’s Michigan division, the retailer is working towards full integration in all its stores.
“When you’re shopping for say, pasta sauce, you might not
know there are healthier choices available unless you’re used
to looking for that brand,” Hurst says. “When you’re walking
down an aisle looking for something and a healthier option
sparks your interest as opposed to it being in a separate
department that you’ve never shopped before, you’re more
likely to pick it up. People who are making healthier choices
might not know the options that are available if they’re not
used to shopping in a specific department. As they’re shopping, integrating it will be more seamless for them.”
ELEVATING SECONDARY PLACEMENTS
Retailers can get creative with integration by moving past
simply placing better-for-you items next to conventional
brands and creating secondary placements within the store
that will help engage shoppers and help get premium better-for-you products noticed.
Andrew Cates, co-founder of Napa, Calif.-based The
Wine RayZyn Co., has worked on making creative displays
for his dried superfood snacks, dried grapes that contain as
many antioxidants as a glass of wine. The Wine RayZyn Co.
offers magnetic clip strips, which Cates says can be placed
in a variety of strategic locations around the store, such as in
the wine aisle, in the salad dressing aisle to be used as a salad
topper, or near the yogurt to be used as a mix-in.
The company also created a sophisticated half-barrel dis-
play that attracts shoppers to the item and uses a marquee to
educate them about the product in under three seconds. He
says this display is particularly useful to retailers because it
can be moved throughout the store to whichever location that retailer
would like to draw attention to.
“This is great for secondary placement and could go in cheese or wine
or in the deli section next to the salad bar,” Cates says. “What’s great
about this display is that retailers can move it around the store and cre-
ate a space around it depending where they want it and what they want
to promote with it.”
Keeping new items front and center is key to their success in the
store. Marc Seguine, CMO of Playa Vista Calif.-based popchips notes
that more than 50 percent of snackers find out about new items in-store.
“We’re up against much bigger competitors with much more shelf
space, so it’s imperative that we secure secondary locations within retail
through displays,” he says.
David Neuman, CEO of Gaea North America, based in Hollywood,
Fla., saw the integration strategy become a success with the compa-
ny’s liquid-free olive snacks, which Greensboro S.C.-based The Fresh
“These shoppers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon
and it’s not really a fad,” he says. “Conventional retailers
will find more success if they really start giving natural
brands as much attention or as big of a display as any-
Michael Watt, CEO of Go Gourmet, which pro-
duces the organic superfood snacks Slammers, agrees.
“Retailers which have made a statement to their shop-
pers dedicating prime category shelving [to better-for-
you products], often with premium blocking, off-shelf
displays, combined with competitive every day and pro-
motional pricing, are winning,” he says.
The strategy of integrating innovative, better-for-you
options into conventional store aisles can work both
ways, bringing shoppers that would have once only hit
the natural section into the conventional aisles of the
store. Munk Pack co-owner Michelle Glienke says her
company’s on-the-go oatmeal fruit squeezes do just that.
“We are trying to bring innovation into the center of
the store,” she affirms. “Typically, the oatmeal sets were
kind of boring, but now we’re bringing Millennial-type
shoppers and people that have dietary restrictions into
that section of the store.”