While digital disruption is grabbing headlines, it’s important to remember the significant opportunities that exist in the analog world of food. Certainly, the digitization of food has the potential to further isolate us from each other, but brick-and-mortar grocers have an opportunity to do the opposite: build community. I would like to offer some ideas of why and how to accomplish that—
and by doing so, how grocers can increase not only profitability but also retention at the same time. The key is
GROWING YOUR BIZ
going to be transforming grocery shopping from a chore
into part of the eating experience.
At the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, we start
with understanding who the current and future seafood
consumer is, which is what we recently commissioned
WGB’s sister research firm Technomic to discover for us.
Two important seafood psychographic segments were
uncovered: the Originator and the Optimizer. These two
groups combined make up 55% of the seafood spend,
78%-91% of which are still shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
The Originator skews female.
• She is an adventurous eater, on-trend, and she makes
deliberate purchasing decisions.
• She is eating healthier than she did two years ago, and
she’s eating more seafood to improve her diet.
• Dining is a form of entertainment in and out of the home.
• She is always socializing, both online and in person.
The Optimizer skews male.
• He is busy and food is fuel.
• He is willing to source quality fuel from a variety of
• He is price-sensitive and brand-loyal.
• Food is social currency for him.
• He is concerned about the impact his food choices have
on the planet.
Now that we understand who the seafood consumer is,
it’s our job to help retailers build a community to reach
and retain them.
Turn your store into a social platform where people can
interact with the most popular topic on Instagram: food.
Use seafood as an engagement opportunity for the whole
store. Put the best cooks behind those counters, and share
cooking tips and best website recipe finds with your customers. Indeed, 68% of Originators learn about how to
prepare seafood online. Listen to how your customers are
preparing their seafood and use those stories to inform
your ordering. You’ll reduce shrink and have more to talk
about in the neighborhood.
Omnichannel is flooding the retail space. Originators
and Optimizers are living lives surrounded by technology,
yet 34%-47% of them report that ordering seafood online
for pickup, delivery or in a meal kit “doesn’t feel right.”
We still have time to make a lasting impression on both
groups, but the clock is ticking. More than half of them
said they are likely to begin using e-commerce for seafood in the near future. Plus, our online grocery partners
are well aware of this objection and are actively working
to overcome it. Now is the time to carve out a permanent
place in the path to purchase.
Victoria Parr is domestic
marketing director of the
Alaska Seafood Marketing
How Seafood Can
Into Social Hubs
Retailers are awash in opportunities to expand their role in
the people business that serves groceries. By Victoria Parr
Expert views on retail strategy, talent management and leadership development