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Retail Leadership Forum

Best practices in food marketing

Didn’t have a chance to attend The Center for Retail Leadership’s Executive Forum event in Portland this year? Never fear, here are our “Cliffs Notes” from the CPG industry’s top researchers, manufacturers and buyers (Whole Foods Markets, New Seasons Markets, Fred Meyer).

Six Food Marketing Takeaways

  1. 3 is the magic number: When it comes to the optimal number of SKUs needed to launch a new brand. If you only have one product, you can get lost on the shelf, but with three, you get more real estate and it’s easier for people to find your product. But don’t try to force it. Each product has to be good enough to stand on its own.
  2. You need a compelling story. Having a product that tastes great is the cost of entry. Having a great story, that is authentic and compelling, elevates you in the hearts and minds of retailers and consumers. And keeps the product moving off the shelf!
  3. Don’t jump at the first partner who shows interest: For companies looking to grow, don’t jump at the first distributor interested in your products. Do your due diligence and make sure it is a good match.
  4. Create a tradeshow booth that’s “imagination capturing.” Whether you’re investing $5,000 or $50,000, make sure your booth is engaging and “imagination capturing.”
  5. You can’t afford to price your product incorrectly. Work backwards from a realistic shelf price—not from the cost of goods sold. Do your homework—farmers markets are great for real-time consumer feedback–and know what the market will bear. You can always work on your margin by making a smaller size, selecting different ingredients, etc.
  6. Don’t discount in-store demos. They are one of the most cost-effective ways to engage with retailers and consumers. And, you’d better have a compelling story! (see #2)