Big retailer' chains have been trying for many years to get into the Specialties Category, their growth have been kind of slow in that area due to many many reasons:
- A very spread and different kind of clientele that differs in habits and traditions from State to State
- Tough to generate awareness in the customer about the availability of the new products without a massive marketing campaign
- Hi-Cost to generate awareness
- Incapability or not enough slotted space on the shelves to give enough visibility to the products to accelerate product awareness
- Specialty Products needs time to perform
- It is important to consider that no matter which kind of awareness about the presence of the new product, the customer can still decide not to go for it due to many reasons: pricing, unaware of the product, training absence, lack of advertisement
What is then the solution?
Retailers will need to invest into specific "Product Specialist" that are aware of the characteristics of the product top to bottom and also aware of the market situation and of the ethnicity in that specific geographical area where the product should be launch. For Food Specialties Products , having a launch on a National Level, even if at first can sound like a fantastic idea might very soon transform itself into a double edge sword, since purchases might have significant shifts from a store to another.
The more long term solution to this issue is to:
- Involve either the producer or product specialists to elaborate a tailor-made strategies for the launch of the specific new product
- Target a limited number of stores but with the best demographic for the potential purchase and consumption of specific product that has to be launched
- Give it a minimum of 6 to 12 months of time to have a full calendar year to evaluate numbers and define the high and low season for the product itself
- Try to avoid to put the product on the shelves but maybe especially in the beginning think about creating a dedicated "Shipper" that has to be located in a strategic position inside the store to give the product TOP visibility
- Think outside the box and for certain products do not follow the standard procedures that should be implemented for a grocery main stream commodity, but try to set a strategy that will benefit the product itself and ease purchase from the customers
The first big Retailer Chain that will implement this change of mentality will in my opinion have the edge towards a profitable steady grow in the Food Specialties Business