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Advertising Recipes for the Times

August 2, 2011

Tough times can be the ideal time to help shoppers see the supermarket as an ally. However, it may require fresh thinking in stores and a different approach to weekly circulars.

It’s clear that the economy is on the minds of many shoppers as they wander supermarket aisles today. Ongoing coverage about the sluggish recovery and rising concern about inflation are reported by media outlets every day.  But all news is not dismal, as this situation creates an opportunity to build store loyalty and drive new sales.

Consider some of the clever ideas found in Eating In, the most recent study from the Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council, conducted by the NPD Group www.npdgroup.com. The report details how shoppers make mealtime decisions for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and suggests how supermarkets can win meals back from restaurants.

In the section showcasing dinnertime ideas, NPD encourages supermarkets to develop their advertising circulars with a focus on building meals. The recommendation is so simple, yet requires a major change from the time-honored way these promotions have been traditionally organized.

“Redesign the weekly circular and organize it around meals instead of departments.  Add website features that make planning easier and actively promote them as a way to do more meal planning,” NPD suggests. As surveys revealed, shoppers try to do meal planning before they visit a supermarket, but the ad circular rarely matches up with such thinking.

Eating In is loaded with similar simple ideas that stores can employ to give shoppers another reason to consider the benefits of home-cooked meals – ones that fit with their nutritional, family and budget needs.

Michael Sansolo
Research Director
Coca‑Cola Retailing Research Council