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From fine porcelain to a cooking event: how fresh food presentations are impressing customers in retail
Growth strategies: Why a great deal of potential is going to waste in the meat and sausage counters. Consumer needs: the expectations shoppers are placing on the counters.
Counter concepts: how food retail is promoting its image through Category Management.
Product presentations: how shoppers are “electrified” and emotionalized.
With turnover of EUR 33.5 billion, the meat products sector continues to be the leader in the German food industry by a long way. Despite all the scandals – for years it has owed this position to a really stable consumer trend - the German population is continuing to consume meat and processed meat products with a great appetite. In 2011 every private household in Germany purchased on average 31.6 kilos of meat products and spent around EUR 240 in the process. In this connection, sausage and processed meat products, in particular, are continuing to enjoy great popularity. According to Nielsen, in 2011 in the self-service sector alone, food retail registered a two-percent rise in sales volume and increased turnover of almost three percent to EUR 6.7 billion.
Today at the fresh produce service counter, pre-pack counters and in the self-service sector, shoppers can expect an extremely diverse range of meat and sausage products. There is no doubt about it: ultimate quality, safety, reliability and hygiene are top themes here. Regional products with certificates of origin, the foregoing of additives such as preservatives and flavour enhancers, as well as the “open food preparation behind glass” ensuring transparency in many service areas document the fact that food retailers understand their shoppers’ expectations and needs increasingly better. “We don’t have any preparation rooms, we work openly and freely, shoppers can observe every single thing we do”, says for example Konrad Kreuzberg. Such trust-building measures are a key strategy in the refrigerated counter concept for the owner of the E-Center Koblenz.
Cornerstones of success
Current consumer and nutritional trends are, of course, a key growth engine. A large variety of high-quality specialties, low-calorie products, convenience and snack articles and regional articles are a must when it comes to organizing and structuring the product range. The emotional and appetizing presentation of the meat and sausage product section is a further key component of success. Retailers are also called upon to take proper account of the different types of customer: the experience, theme and service-orientated customers at the meat and sausage counter, the buyer who for lack of time prefers to buy self-service goods, and those customers, who depending on the occasion, sometimes decide on the service counter and sometimes on the self-service shelves. Not least the customers’ price orientation and purchasing power also play a key role in the respective catchment area.
Taking into account its customers, Konsum Dresden for example is focusing on a very high-quality and deep Di Gennaro product range at the counter. “A further focal point is our home-made specialties and regional products, in this area we quite consciously set ourselves apart from the competitors who operate on a national level”, explains store manager Dirk Krompaß. The Edeka merchant family Hieber is also presenting its own independent image: at its fresh food and products centre Grenzach-Wyhlen just outside Basel, it registers up to 80 percent Swiss customers. There is therefore no doubt that the product range has a Swiss “flavour to it”. With the Tiffany counter Hieber has also developed an individual counter concept, which quite consciously decides to forego piles of products and heaps of sausages in favour of a decorative and very high-quality presentation on white porcelain. “We don’t cut any meat in advance, it’s freshly cut only for the customers”, says the department head at Metzgerei Horst Stiefvater. Less is actually sometimes more.
Concepts instead of a gut feeling
Especially the service counter offers retailers an outstanding opportunity to succeed and impress with emotionally designed fresh food displays. Here, consumers are quickly emotionalized especially when the staff also provides counter-service with sincerity and passion. Giant potential is lying dormant here and this has not been lost on GS1 Germany. An increasing number of full-range retailers are now looking at their own cold meat and sausage range – frequently in connection with cheese from the service counter – as an image-promoting category, which they are seeking to use to consciously set themselves apart from their competitors.
“In the past many decisions on product range structuring and positioning were taken on the basis of a gut feeling”, says Birgit Schröder, Category-Management expert at GS1. “Today, however, an increasing number of retailers are working with well thought-out concepts and strategies aimed at specifically exploiting this potential.” Potential-analysis, product range optimization and product positioning are key CM areas, which the meat industry and retailers are jointly servicing. In the process, they are, it must be said, looking at the situation through the eyes of the customer. It is not the revenue, raw profit and marginal return, which are the primary guiding principles in this alliance. It is a matter of recognizing how the customer perceives the product group – and offering him/her the greatest possible benefit. Only when this has been achieved is there a resulting win-win-win situation for the shoppers, retailers and manufacturers. In addition, especially in the self-service meat and sausage growth segment, the CM specialists have at their disposal a wide range of market research data as a basis for standardized CM processes.
New study on consumer behaviour
What fascinates consumers? Why do they queue up at the service counter? How influential is advice? Or also: what deters shoppers? The international trade fair trio InterMopro, InterCool und InterMeat has looked into these questions itself over the past few days and has commissioned Rheingold, a renowned institute for high-quality market analyses, in cooperation with Lebensmittelzeitung food magazine, with the “Germany at the counter” study. It aims to provide important consumer insights into the service and pre-pack counter themes, but also to analyse consumer behaviour at the self-service shelves. Now the study results have been published and will be presented for the first time at the food trade fairs in September 2012. They provide the retailers with important know-how for emotional and sales promotion-based presentations of their fresh food product worlds. In addition, a special exhibition area is available for numerous Best-Practice examples presented by German food retailers – from the Dornseifer Frische Center in Siegen-Waldrich up to the Sky hyper market in Ahrensbök.
InterMopro, InterCool and Inter Meat 2012 are open from Sunday, 23 September to Tuesday, 25 September 2012 in exhibition halls 9 and 10 at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, each day from 10.00 am – 6.00 pm. The day ticket costs EUR 33.-, when purchased online EUR 21.-. A two-day ticket is available for EUR 50.-, online for EUR 38.-. All admission tickets entitle the holder to free travel to and from the event using local transport operated by the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Authority (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr - VRR).
For provisional exhibitor lists and other information go to: www.intermopro.de, www.intercool.de and www.intermeat.de
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