he first step in hosting the perfect holiday
party formerly entailed a heavy-duty trip
to the grocery store. These days, however,
more often than not, it entails logging on to
the internet. Luckily for food retailers, the big shopping
trip generally remains a host’s second step.
With the advent of Pinterest and similar sites, entertainers are feeling the pressure to elevate their homespun
celebrations, much to the benefit of grocers. The opportunity to share pictures of decor and recipes has consumers
cozying up to the idea of getting creative with their hosting
duties, and possibly spending more to make a statement.
Retailers can get in on the action from the get-go by
finding ways to connect with the consumer outside of the
aisles. One way leading retailers are helping to inspire
consumers’ festive events is through website blogs, cus-
tom magazines and social networks. From Kroger to
Giant Food Stores to Publix, grocers are winning over con-
sumers with countless online recipes that spark ideas and
make their shopping lists even easier to manage. Kroger’s
Inspired Gathering site, for instance, is a one-stop repos-
itory for recipes for every at-home celebration. Between
unique dishes such as pizza sliders and churro caramel
popcorn, and game-day staples such as taco dip, the por-
tal offers easy-to-shop options catering to every palette.
For consumers not looking to do the prepping, shopping and cooking themselves, many retailers’ foodservice programs provide a temptingly convenient option.
Williamsville, N. Y.-based Tops Friendly Markets, which
operates 171 full-service supermarkets, has created extensive catalogs for the winter holiday season highlighting its
foodservice capabilities, complete with online ordering
for a range of options, such as bakery trays, hot foods and
game-day to-go bundles.
No matter the occasion, most at-home celebrations
cover the full spectrum of a meal experience, from appetizers to a main course with sides and right through dessert. Guacamole is one appetizer that has become a consumer favorite for many holidays, especially those that
are sports-related. In 2018, Irving, Texas-based Avocados From Mexico (AFM) will continue to use the biggest
sporting event of the year—the Super Bowl, of course—as
an opportunity to promote its brand. This season, AFM
will once again take to the airwaves during the big game.
“We believe it is important to continue efforts to elevate the game,” says Maggie Bezart-Hall, VP of trade
and promotion for AFM. “Creating big-game food destinations within stores is critical in order to drive deeper
engagement and ultimately purchase,” she says. Creating
a store-within-a-store concept for the Super Bowl can help
build excitement and increase spending, she says.
“Avocados are a great addition to these merchandising
Beefing Up Mains
displays, as consumers have a strong interest in guaca-
mole and they are a complementary product that can help
drive basket ring,” Bezart-Hall says. “Having these mini
shopping destinations not only funnels shoppers through
the store, but creates a halo effect for the retailer as the
one-stop shop for all game-time snacking needs.”
Secondary displays also work to get shoppers thinking
outside the box. This year, AFM will provide 24,000 sec-
ondary displays to its grocer partners for cross-merchan-
dising purposes. AFM is also partnering with the Food
Lion 360 program this year, which will include coupons,
AFM football-themed videos at the retailer’s in-store
kiosks and customized pallet bins.
As the main course is often the star of the show, consumers may be looking to splurge on the center-of-the-plate
portion of the party. Boise-based Agri Beef is pushing its
Consumers are pulling out all the stops to impress holiday
guests this season, meaning an elaborate fresh food spread
is the top priority for entertainers. By Arielle Flora
consumers will spend
on year-end holiday
food and beverages for
Source: Deloitte 2017