Shifts in the global economic reality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic mean that “business as usual” is no more.
The buyer journey in the food industry has changed dramatically as restaurants and other businesses rejiggered their operational models, carved out new distribution systems and retooled to meet consumer demand as well as to feed their own bottom line. Restaurants that closed for dine-in service met the challenge head on by offering options such as takeout and delivery, as well as by operating as neighborhood grocery hubs.
Some of these changes may be temporary; others may stick around. Particularly promising — and exciting — is the opportunity to pursue an alternate wholesale channel that makes products available to retail consumers. Already, businesses that have taken this step have become go-to resources and heroes to consumers who, themselves, have adapted to and embraced new retail realities.
Welcome to the new normal.
Is your brand retail ready?
We’ve teamed up with fellow packaging experts, PTIS Global, to compile a set of considerations for identifying and optimizing your product mix for a retail environment.
Today’s changing business climate reinforces the importance of being agile.
Channels have become more fluid as traditional B2B modes shift into hybrid B2C opportunities, showing there’s more than one way to be customer-facing.
The road to retail leads to opportunity. The route involves some changes in direction, but take a strategic approach and the ride doesn’t have to be a bumpy one. We’ve mapped out ways to get you off to a good start.
How do you think of your business? Strictly B2B? B2C? Strictly service? What’s in your product portfolio? What are all the ways in which that portfolio currently serves your customers? Is there more you could do for them if you reconsidered the parameters of business?
Break down any lines of demarcation that exist only because of tradition. Expand your thinking. Which formats could readily be optimized for retail? Look for opportunities everywhere. Conduct research to identify unarticulated consumer needs. Fresh, outside perspective can shine a light on key marketing avenues.
Rise to the occasion and think in terms of the scope of opportunities before you. Your business may have always operated in a set way to meet a particular set of needs, but carefully planned proactive changes to production, functionality and distribution allow for expansion that leverages the expertise you’re known for and takes it into new territory. What’s easily transferable to the plate? What would help a restaurant operator prepare for mass takeout in terms of food that holds well and can be part of profitable family bundles? What could you retail as pantry provisions, stock-the-freezer entrées or meal kits?
Gear up and tech enable for new ways to satisfy consumer needs and build sales.
Build positive word of mouth as you’re shifting product-mix strategies. Get the word out about all the ways in which your retail efforts serve customers and provide unmatched value.
The bottom line?
When it comes to succeeding at retail, the readiness is all.
Schedule a free 30-minute consultative discussion with NK.
With the mass adoption of smartphones and use of social platforms to engage with each other, consumers are visible to and begin familiarizing themselves with brands before ever experiencing them personally. B2B brands prove no exception here. As you consider bridging from foodservice to retail or retail to foodservice, don’t lose sight of channels like social, email and other digital means of getting in front of potential buyers.
Looks also matter. Think outside the plate. However good your products may be, the appearance, feel and functionality of your packaging can influence purchase decisions, value perception and overall customer satisfaction. The following is outside-the-box thinking about packaging and customer interactions.