Meat+Poultry - June 2018 - IFT - 24
Smaller retailers rely on processors to provide
new products and marketing ideas
By Donna Berr y
he independent supermarket presents a unique
opportunity for meat and poultry processors to
provide innovative meal solutions, among other
value-added proteins. Oftentimes privately owned,
many times by a multi-generation family, or controlled
by a regional food retail company operating a variety of
formats, independent retailers have flexibility in operations
and do not have to follow bureaucratic chains of command
to try something new. In fact, they rely on their suppliers
for a flux of new products and marketing ideas.
Some are serviced by wholesale distributors, while
most are partially or fully self-distributing. Independents
are the true entrepreneurs of the grocery industry, which
was confirmed at the National Grocers Association's 2018
NGA Show held in Las Vegas on Feb. 11-14.
Foodservice is a powerful opportunity for
independent grocers, according to Kellie Janssen,
president, Henry's Foods, Alexandria, Minnesota.
Henry's Foods is a foodservice-at-retail distributor that
services more than 2,000 stores in the upper Midwest.
One of the company's branded concepts is the Teco's
Tacos program, which offers a variety of traditional fully
cooked and prepared Southwest-style foods that retailers
can customize into everything from breakfast bowls
to a take-home family-pack of burritos. The company's
DeliMax program provides retailers with the components
to create signature pizza by the slice or take-and-bake
pizzas, calzones salads, subs and more.
Grecian Delight Foods, A Pure Mediterranean Foods
Company, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, presents a new
opportunity for retailers with its ReadyCarved Off-theCone Gyro Slices. These are quick and easy solutions for
operators looking to add authentic ethnic flavors to the
menu without the labor and equipment. Operators can
offer flame-grilled flavor without lighting any flames.
MEAT+ POULTRY / IFT PROTEIN PLANNER 2018
Independents can make meaningful gains in
foodservice without having to launch in-store restaurants,
agreed Mike Eardley, president and CEO, International
Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison,
Wisconsin. He offered an example of portable foodservice
equipment that can change out offerings by daypart,
including a concept called Pop-Up Wok, which was
developed by IDDBA as a concept for its members.
"In today's omni-channel retail environment,
independent grocers maintain a unique and strong
connection with their shoppers," said Jeanne Danubio,
executive vice president of retail lead markets, Nielsen,
Citing recently released findings from the third
annual National Grocery Shoppers Survey, conducted by
Nielsen on behalf of NGA, Danubio said that 64 percent
of independent shoppers are very/extremely satisfied
with their local supermarket. In fact, over 80 percent of
shoppers prefer their local store to an online alternative.
Much of this has to do with service, quality fresh foods
and meal solutions.
"There's no doubt that the supermarket industry
is rapidly changing, either because of the growth of
e-commerce or the explosion of new formats, along with
shifting consumer trends. However, independent grocers
are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles and
with strong ties to their communities, they know what
consumers want and need," said Peter Larkin, president
and CEO of NGA.
The study showed that loyal independent grocery
shoppers spend more than 40 percent more in grocery than
the average shopper. This makes it critical for independent
grocers to maintain the quality and personal connections
that keep these consumers coming back to the store.
Innovative meat and poultry meal solutions assist.