Get Ready for Retail Resurgence

A Newhall Klein | PTIS Analysis
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 is changing dramatically as restaurants and other businesses adjust their operational models, carve out new distribution systems and retool to meet consumer demand, as well as to feed their own bottom line. For example, many restaurants that closed for dine-in service have met the challenge head on by offering options such as takeout and delivery, curbside meal kits, and 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.
So, welcome to the new normal. Is your brand retail ready?
We’ve teamed up with fellow packaging experts, PTIS, to compile a set of considerations for identifying and optimizing your product mix for a retail environment.

The three Rs of Retail:
Re-examine. Reinvent. Reach out.

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.

Re-examine business models.

1) Re-examine business models.

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.

Re-define your business. 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?

Reinvent your business.

2) Reinvent your business.

Gear up and tech enable for new ways to satisfy consumer needs and build sales.
  • Packaging. Determine optimal packaging for new ways of presenting and transporting products. Choose packaging that keeps food secure, preserves and showcases its quality and facilitates convenient consumption (reduced mess, flat packaging for stability on laps, reheating, container reuse, etc.).

  • Image-building. Optimize opportunities to use packaging as a brand- differentiation asset in terms of communicating authenticity, security, sustainability, recycling, etc.

  • Convenience. Launch leading-edge online and mobile apps that provide customers with fast, easy access to product information, ordering, payment and delivery tracking.

Reach out now.

3) Reach out now.

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.
  • Ramp up direct-to-consumer marketing with a digital-first mindset.

  • Enable e-commerce and open up new and relevant direct-to-consumer commerce channels.

  • Train your sales force to support the needs of this new channel and actively promote its unique benefits based on key research findings.

  • Generate buzz via chef endorsements, influencer marketing, social media and traditional press.

  • Make it easy to shop. Give customers and prospects the inside track on how to shop your retail offerings to their best advantage.

  • Develop relationships with fellow retailers.

The bottom line?

When it comes to succeeding at retail, the readiness is all.
Contact your NK & PTIS partners to set up a complimentary consultation.

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