The Lempert Report ®

Boomers & the Economy -The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday May 7, 2009 Boomers & the Economy With the likes of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Tina Turner still filling arenas, is it any wonder that brand marketers are finally getting the message: 60 is the new 40. Baby boomers have no problem believing this concept; we are often the first to dance at our concert seats. In real life, we wield considerable buying clout in our roles as grandparents, heads of households with grown children, or as empty nesters. We are 76 million strong, and account for 58% of all CPG shopping trips and 60% of all CPG shopping dollars in the United States. Especially in the recession, marketers are looking to tap the budgets of Boomers, who are likelier to be mortgage-free, debt-light, and feeling freer to spend a bit compared with the unemployed and the job-jittered. Brand makers from the largest companies to smaller enterprises still need to learn much more about the value concepts, buying practices and special purchase triggers of the aging boomers. We may well be shopping less in brick-and-mortar stores and more in virtual stores to avoid the in-store mayhem and hassles. To turn Boomers on, we believe it is essential to go beyond marketing campaigns that feature older actors like Dennis Hopper selling financial services or Jamie Lee Curtis hawking probiotics. We believe that engaging older consumers within online communities, and creating new ways to satisfy them on the shelf with healthier recipes and packages that are easier to open are the keys. Need a boost? For those who are tired of their Red Bull or other energy drinks comes - ZizZazz - the "explosive" energy drink with 100 mg of caffeine B1, B2, B6, B12, Green Tea and Ginseng - along with a lot of other ingredients....the big differences? You make it yourself...its fruit flavored and just 10 calories On Food Sense - More peanut problems, this time its the environment Peanuts have been getting crunched. First came the salmonella scandal, which prompted the largest-ever food recall in U.S. history. And now, extreme rainfalls are dousing the prime peanut growing areas of Georgia. Questions are significant. How quickly can this industry rebound from two disasters in quick succession? Will the combined effect make the peanut industry look like a shell of its former self in 2009? What will be the impact on pricing, and in turn on demand, given the tight spending mentality that prevails? These questions may have to wait until after farmers bail themselves out so their peanut crops can grow. The effect on supermarket categories and their suppliers could be broad, touching everything from peanut butter to baked goods, from snacks to sauces and marinades. Between late-March and mid-April, 12 to 18 inches of rain fell in rich peanut territories of The Peach State, that account for more than 40% of the United States peanut production - that is 300% to 500% of normal precipitation for the period delaying field preparation by at least two weeks. Peanut planting typically begins in early May and concludes by mid-June. In the coming months, with peanut prices possibly higher, and consumer demand still uncertain due to the lack of food safety confidence, the peanut industry's fate for the coming year is still questionable. For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday. To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com/

May 04, 2009 Watch Video

Best Coffees - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday April 30, 2009 Food retailers are pushing loyalty programs, question is, is it driving sales? For a while, the classic thinking that foods and beverages would be safe havens in a tough economy held true. While consumer spending crashed on autos, apparel, home furnishings and more, people still needed to feed their families and sales on edibles didn't suffer much. But the enormous pressures on households in this persistent recession, couldnot be repelled over such a long term. Best-in-class store operators with well-run loyalty reward programs can post better sales and retain more customers, finds a new study by the Aberdeen Group entitled Cutting Edge Customer Loyalty: Retail Best Practices for Acquiring, Retaining, and Re-Engaging Customers. Certainly, food retailers have had their reasons to balk at investing in loyalty technology and the pricing/promotional strategies that these reward programs entail. As of the end of March 2009, 65% of retailers lack fully automated loyalty process tools at point of sale for customer sign-up, identity scan for program fulfillment, and redemption of loyalty rewards, according to the Aberdeen report. However, their findings suggest that loyalty tools—in the hands of Best Practice operators—work. For instance, 50% of best-in-class retailers use automated loyalty processes at POS, and they help improve customer retention by 16%. And when it comes to Best Practices: • 70% of best-in-class retailers are 1.5 times likelier to capture the CRM data at POS that enables them to map transaction data with customer demographics, and design effective loyalty offers. • 52% of best-in-class retailers can develop personalized loyalty offers. Having technology that can personalize the shopping experience is not new, but understanding how to use these tools still seems to be out of the reach of many food retailers.The Best Coffee in America This past Saturday we revealed the winners in our annual TODAY Show coffee taste test, and no surprise that best overall once again went to Dunkin Donuts which is now available in practically every supermarket for about $8.99 a pound. Cafè Bustelo won in the decaf category, and Weaver's of San Francisco for best organic coffee. Best Gourmet coffee kudos went to Bad Ass Coffee for their 100% Kona - which retails for just under $50. Unfortunately due to network standards we could not show or announce Bad Ass as a winner on the show - if you love coffee, this is one you will want to try badasscoffee.com No reservations These days, it looks like neither mom nor dad are making reservations. It is not surprising that findings of the latest SupermarketGuru.com Quick Poll show that households have absolutely clamped down on eating out or bringing in. When asked how many times per week do you eat away from home (breakfast, lunch or dinner)—thats 21 possible meals—24% said none and 44% said one to two. Thats more than two-thirds of adult respondents who said they eat less than 10% of meals outside of their own homes. Take out is less expensive than eating out, but consumers have iced that practice too. When asked, how many times do you order take out or delivery in a week, more than half (55%) said none. Another 38% said one to two. Thats more than 9 out of 10 who bring in rarely, and presumably are discovering new appreciations of home cooking. Our findings jive with results of a Better Homes and Gardens survey called The Food Factor: How America Cooks, Eats and Shops. Motivated by economic anxiety, 83% of women are trying to save money by regularly preparing meals at home, and 77% said the cost of food affects the meals they choose to cook.For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday.To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com/

Apr 27, 2009 Watch Video

Dominos Pizza - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday April 23, 2009 It is the worst side of social networking When two Dominos Pizza employees uploaded their prank video, shot to be perceived as a "behind the scenes" expose in the restaurants kitchen, little did they expect felony charges. Nor did Domino's - who did nothing wrong - expect more than a million disgusted viewers, and a public relations nightmare. Welcome to the new world of You Tube and other social video networks where just about anyone can post just about anything; with little thought for the consequences. That might just change after this. In the video posted, a Dominos employee in Conover, N.C., prepared sandwiches for delivery. The mock video showed him putting cheese up his nose and nasal mucus on the sandwiches. By now the video has logged and estimated 2 million-plus views and has led to a number of online discussions about Dominos, some true and some false. We all need to learn from Domino's unfortunate experience and realize that social media is now the norm, available to almost all, and moves at lightening fast speeds. We might all covet those great You Tube success stories, but this event underscores just how fragile a food or retail brand can be at the expense of a video camera in the wrong hands. Domino's is doing the right thing. They are preparing a civil lawsuit, fired the two employees and are prepared to prosecute to the full extent of the law. Expect more surveillance cameras to be installed in kitchens everywhere and You Tube crisis management plans to be initiated. Domino's CEO is now on You Tube and the company is doing its best to tell, and follow, the true story on Twitter. And if you thought this is the work of young teens on their first job just goofing around - think again. Both culprits are over 30. The narrator, Kristy Hammonds apologized in an e-mail writing, It was fake and I wish that everyone knew that!!!!I AM SOO SORRY! As you should be, but that's just not enough. Love coffee but no time to brew a whole pot? Try the "java wand" a portable, single serve, glass straw with what looks like a miniature French Press filter on the bottom. Add 2 tablespoons of any French press style ground coffee to your cup, and then pour hot water over the coffee. Then stir the coffee, place the Java Wand into the cup and sip. we tried it a few times and while the coffee does taste very good brewed this way, I still find the idea of sipping hot coffee thru the glass straw a bit disconcerting, sort of a mini huka pipe - but hey, that's just me. It also comes with its own travel case. It is the battle of the bulge - and this time, at 30,000 feet United Airlines is now the fifth major airline to adopt new policies when it comes to overweight passengers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 34% of adults in America over the age 20 are obese.The new policy follows a series of complaints the airline claims they have received from over 700 passengers in the past year - saying they feel cramped when seated next to overweight passengers.The new policy basically states that in the event that a passenger does not fit properly into one seat, they will be asked to pay for two seats. It is a sensitive matter, and the airline has covered its procedures well, with differing options based on the circumstances. We only wonder if this comes as yet another method for the airlines to make extra money, or try to, in fact, make flying more pleasant for all. There is little doubt it is a bit of both. As a third of Americans inch there way into obesity, we can expect to see a lot more problems between seat mates.For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Apr 23, 2009 Watch Video

Supermarket Ratings -The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday April 16, 2009 Everyone should want to be the best - but when it comes to ratings, timing makes a difference Consumer Reports magazine takes consistent measures to uphold its credibility and reputation for fairness and unbiased advice. No question. The Consumer Reports cover story in its May 2009 issue has consumers rating supermarkets on many criteria, and this year, Wegmans topped the list. Congratulations, Wegmans, which we at The Lempert Report agree is a wonderful retailer. Since our nations economic volatility has changed the way people plan trips, approach stores and buy what they need - it seems like common sense to us that ratings of stores would also change. In normal times, Wegmans would appear to be an obvious contender for the top spot. It is important to note that this Consumer Reports' survey was based on 32,599 respondents about their experiences at supermarkets, supercenters or warehouse clubs during the period between -- April 2007 and April 2008. The data is frankly just too old to be believed accurate in today's climate. For these ratings to be accurate and powerful, the timing lag between fielding the survey and reporting it must be shortened. Supermarkets operate in a just in time world, more households are doing the same, and those who consider themselves as pollsters must follow suit. The topline is that Wegmans is a full-service chain that earns high marks for meat, produce and service, and clearly operates in a different realm from value focused retailers like Aldi, Costco and Trader Joes; any of which we would suggest would earn the top spot if the survey was conducted over the past 9 or so months. Ron Popiel, you had BUTTER watch out! It seems like the next big thing is all about butter - but its not about taste or health. It's about how it is served at the table. The Butter Wizard is a temperature controlled butter dish, battery operated of course, to keep your butter spreadable and at the perfect temperature everytime. For those who like their butter hotel style, there is the One Click Butter Cutter, which acts like a guillotene and slices off pads of butter - 4 slices to a tablespoon - with just a click. The rise in Family Planning If you are having more sex these days, join the rest of the country. How else do you think people entertain themselves and relieve stress of the recession, when they can no longer go to restaurants and theaters and take fewer vacations? 2007 was a record birth year with 4.31 million newborns and a 2.3% birth gain among women ages 30-34 according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But there are indications that the birth rates of 2008 and 2009 might be even stronger. 'Couples fun' is indeed the trend. Nielsen data for U.S. food, drug and mass merchandiser stores (including Walmart) in the 52 weeks ended March 21, 2009 show that total family planning dollar sales were up by 7.9% to $722.3 million, which followed a 9.3% lift in the prior 12 months. The aisle of promise looks to be in over-the-counter female contraceptives. This segment has more than doubled in size quickly—to $165.9 million in the latest 52 weeks. Equivalized unit volume gained an impressive 29 percent. The question begs to be asked. Are people having more fun in the bedroom, or just being more concerend about the costs attached to raising a child. For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday. To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Apr 15, 2009 Watch Video

Urban Farm Proposal Shines Hope on Detroit - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report - Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®,http://www.supermarketguru.com Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday April 9, 2009 An urban farm proposal shines hope on Detroit Crushing losses at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have devastated Detroit. Empty lots stain entire neighborhoods, foreclosures taint other at-risk homes, unemployment is high, and people feel low. Yet prospects of lush, productive urban farms could soon bring some optimism to this gritty city. Hantz Farms proposes to convert barren blocks into inner-city agricultural engines that help feed, employ and regenerate the town. In the first phase, more than 70 acres of underutilized vacant lands and abandoned properties on Detroits lower east side would be used to grow natural, local, fresh fruits and vegetables. They have aligned with Michigan State University for its expertise on agricultural and soil sciences, and with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leader in community-based food systems. The idea is not original, but the scale could make it the nations leading example of urban farmingthe combination of land consolidation, blight removal, conservation of city services, and the beautification of the city itself are just some of the byproducts that can come from this commitment to urban farming. Detroit may be depressed now, but fresh ideas like these are essential to the citys uplift. If forests can re-grow after wildfires—with the help of sunlight that nurtures life anew at ground level—this great city driven by human spirit and a common purpose can rise again. It would be an inspiration across the United States. Take one part, bottled water tax, one part a growing demand for clean water and what do you get? Brita and Pur have already convinced many of us to forgo the bottle and use pitchers that have built in water filters, now, a new competitor - Zero Water goes one step further. With an ion exchange filter that according to the company, is the only one that meets the FDA's definition for purified bottled water. What is most important, is that the pitcher includes this z-tester - a device that tests not only the water in the Zero Water pitcher to let you know when its time for a filter change... but any water, any time. zerowater.com What are you doing to enticing recession-weary consumers? To say that 2009 has been a watershed year for consumer spending would be an understatement. Though food suppliers and retailers havent been hurt as badly as others -- yet, theyre fending off the worst of todays tight spending realities with sharp offers that keep people buying. Nobody knows what will happen. But a new study, Point of View: How Will This Recession Affect the Future of Retailing, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Retail Forward, suggests a rebound will take shape by 2010 and retail winners will be operators who tailor existing stores to specific customer segments and local markets as opposed to adding stores". Look for more creative strategies such as breaking the 80/20 rule with more limited editions to generate shopper excitement. So much the better if these puncture limiting shopper behaviors cited by a majority of respondents to the Retail Forward survey, 65% are reportedly buying only things I truly need, 55% buying fewer things AND 54% shopping less often. The report anticipates that food-drug-mass channels will fare relatively well, though their growth will slow tremendously to 2.4% in 2009, a near three-percentage-point decline from their average annual rate during the 2003-2008 period. The Lempert Report sees that a steady stream of innovative, limited-run products could stand out as small, affordable indulgences. These items will serve an escapism from daily pressures and bring small relief to a tense populace holding on for dear life. For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday. To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Apr 08, 2009 Watch Video

Hannaford Walking Tightrope - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday April 2, 2009 Is Hannaford walking a tightrope in promoting health? What comes disguised as a discount, may well be a dangerous step toward Big Brother oversight of shopping carts and home kitchens. Consumer advocates have long cautioned that frequent shopper card programs could lead to harm if shared with the wrong partner. Hannaford's Guiding Stars program, in and of itself has been a moderately valuable tool to shoppers in helping them identify "good-for-you" foods. But now, a pilot program by the New England chain is focused on rewarding shoppers who buy healthy foods, with free gift cards, for products that earn Guiding Stars ratings. The pilot will launch in Q2 and includes discounts on monthly insurance premiums. This program, that seems benign in an effort to promote healthful food purchases, actually makes it possible for the next step - allowing insurance companies to track what a shopper buys and then could easily analyze individual health and disease prospects. What is the possible backlash if a shopper buys tobacco products or liquor for someone else? Or loads of sweet treats for entertaining, or processed foods to make sandwiches for their kid's soccer squad? Even if one does eat these less-than-stellar foods, whose business is it, in a land of free choice and supposed privacy? Perhaps it was Steve Burd of Safeway who inspired this program with Safeway's health insurance premium reductions for employees who buy healthful foods -- but this Hannaford program goes further in putting shoppers information at risk and seems less rewarding. We feel the program means well, but potentially places the supermarket industry in a perilous position. Hannaford needs to rethink the program, or even retract it. If Hannaford wants to promote healthy eating to its loyal customers, and keep them safe as loyal customers, they have other avenues to pursue. What could start out as a discount for healthy eating, could easily lead to a premium increase for those who do not. Decaf Test Strips In what could be called an ultimate weapon in the lack of consumer confidence in our food supply, comes Decaf test strips. Just a take a half a teaspoon of coffee, dip in one of these strips for 5 seconds and a minute later you will see if your decaf is really so. Hmmm...didn't anyone tell these folks that all decaf has traces of caffeine?To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com/

Apr 01, 2009 Watch Video

The Independent Grocer Fills the Nutrition Gap -The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday March 25, 2009 THE INDEPENDENT GROCER FILLS THE NUTRITION GAP WHERE CHAINS WILL NOT VENTURE To the 60s refrain, you are what you eat, we can now add you eat where you live. Some 40 years after digesting the first premise, were being told in a new study, that a neighborhoods food environment largely determines the healthiness of the local diet and the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. A study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found there are many geographic pockets where supermarket chains just wont go, and that independent grocers who fill the vacuum can mine the huge opportunity of health. On average, the presence of a large supermarket in a neighborhood raised the average fruit and vegetable intake by 0.69 servings per day. The finding suggests that ethnic groups nutritional habits may be equally driven by access to the right foods and dietary motives. Latinos with a large local grocery store ate 2.2 more servings daily than did African Americans, according to research on Health Behavior News Service. At The Lempert Report we see this as one more notch in a growing body of research that lashes food retailers for their inability or unwillingness to open in certain neighborhoods, when it is so obvious that better foods in these areas could lead in turn to a healthier population, and especially a more attentive and successful group of youthful students. FOOD MARKETING 101 In a new weekly feature, we take a quick look at why some new food products become a success: this week, it's all about SweetRiot's new chocolate concept. These 100% dark cacao nibs are dunked in one of 3 chocolate coatings softening the often bitter taste of 100% cacao. Taking a page out of the Tic Tac marketing book, the package is convenient - but goes a step further, packed in a 100% recycleable (and reusable) metal container. Just like Tic Tacs they are 1 to 2 calories per piece. But here's a surprise - inside each tin is a slip of paper with a tidbit one cannot live without in cacao country Columbia, the fine for gossiping can be up to 90,000 dollars, and then lucky numbers on the back. Sweetriot is using their package art to define a new type of social network, where struggling artists can submit their works that embrace sweetriot's culture on its tins. The company's blog and networking tools is extraordinary. At $3.99 a tin they better be. Talking about Blogs CPG and retail marketers looking to connect their brands to consumers online, will increase their chances of success if they focus on blogs and social network sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Thats because two-thirds of the global online population visit blogs and social networks a lot; Internet users worldwide spend one out of every 11 minutes at these sites. They are now the fourth-most popular online activity — actually ahead of personal e-mail—according to the new Nielsen Global Faces and Networked Places report on social networkings new global footprint. Brand image in this online realm could quickly affect how consumers relate and buy, or not buy, specific brands in the offline or online worlds. Some brands, like Skittles, Pepsi, Jack in the Box, and Whole Foods, have ventured into the member communities space with varying degrees of success. Most CPG brands have yet to follow.To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com/

Mar 24, 2009 Watch Video

Shoppers Become Commanders - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday March 19, 2009 Shoppers Become Commanders There is little question that we are still in the very early stages of learning how consumers might respond to messages from brands and retailers on their cell phones and mobile devices. The questions abound. Intrusive? Privacy threatening? Valuable? Timely? Perhaps the answer will be all of the above—with individual reactions that vary with how messages are served up, whether people are shopping at the time, or have previously exhibited any interest in a specific brand. Some 40 million people currently access the Internet on phones, twice the number of 2006. To put in perspective, that is only 16% of people with cell phones and those visit six sites a month on average versus 100 on their computers. Look at a few ongoing programs: Kraft software for an Apple iPhone application, the iFood Assistant, helps people find recipes, build shopping lists and consider dinner suggestions. Coupons.com claims that its Grocery IQ shopping list builder, with more than 130,000 items in it, is the top-selling lifestyle application in the Apple iPhone store. The Kroger-Cellfire program with CPG leaders, including Kimberly-Clark, links a mobile application to a users grocery savings card and a retailers point-of-sale system to apply discounts automatically at checkout. As The Lempert Report sees this trend, one hoped-for retail outcome is to deliver consumers a sense of control and in-store satisfaction that will make repeat visits likelier to the store. For CPG, we believe, its about intimacy, privilege and insights that help lead people to more intelligent and appropriate brand purchase decisions. Retro Sodas Whats old is new again, and there is little doubt that the retro flavors of both Pepsi and Mountain Dew that are slated to hit the shelves in early April will be a very interesting test to see if consumers will do what they say they will. It is all about the sugars: these two beverages, with distinct retro labels, will be made with real sugar (although its not yet disclosed if it is cane sugar or beet sugar) instead of the controversial High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The throwback strategy leaves Pepsi an easy out. If the throwback formula works to get people to drink these two sodas instead of other beverages, Pepsi can easily make the move to include these in their regular offerings. Sure, the novelty will attract trial, but we would suggest that the strategy also has a huge opportunity to regain some of the lost baby boomer drinkers who have shunned away from HFCS as well as an entire new generation of beverage drinkers who have not gone the soda route. Initial reports say that these two sodas will be sold at the identical price as the conventional HFCS formula and be available only from April 20 till June 13th. Expect to see those die hard anti HFCS soda drinkers use this as an opportunity to load up as insurance just in case the products disappear after June 13th (although our bet is that they will be around for a long time). While the strategy may seem risky to some, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been producing a limited run of Coke without HFCS and using sugar to make its Kosher for Passover products for decades and yes, there are the real Coke aficionados who use the opportunity to stock up for months to come; just remember to be sure to store the products in a cool dark location, otherwise you may actually have a loss of sweetness over an extended period of time. For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday. To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Mar 17, 2009 Watch Video

Will the U.S. and China really cooperate on climate change? - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday March 12, 2009 Today in food Sense: Will the U.S. and China really cooperate on climate change? Skepticism may abound over China's attempts to improve food safety and human rights. But when it comes to facing the universal challenge of climate change-think global warming-the U.S. is looking to China as a willing and significant partner. High priorities for both nations are the lessening of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases, which scientists connect to rising temperatures. A new report, "A Roadmap for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate Change," by the Asia Society and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, urges both governments to "lay out areas for cooperation, including low-emissions coal technologies, energy efficiency and conservation, and renewable supply." At The Lempert Report, we were disheartened to learn from a recent Financial Times report that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao doesn't plan to agree to specific limits at a United Nations conference on climate change slated for December 2009. If, as we fear, China's apparent intent to cooperate with the U.S. turns out to be so much hot air, or gets diverted by other significant issues between these two countries, the entire planet and its human and animal populations could suffer dramatically as a result. It is time our leaders unite on an issue that is growing hotter with each passing month. What do shoppers think about peanut butter now? Nine people have died, hundreds have been sickened, and thousands of products have been recalled. When the salmonella outbreak in peanut products, traced back to a plant in Georgia, initially came to light, no one expected the storm that would follow. This massive recall of products has shaken up the nation's confidence in our food supply and the controls that have been put in place by our government that have ultimately revealed themselves as not affective enough. We surveyed our Consumer Panel on SupermarketGuru. com to see how their decision to purchase peanut products has been affected in light of this recent disaster. To begin with, we were not surprised to find out that 100% said they are aware of the recent peanut recall. When asked, "Has the recall affected your decision to purchase peanuts or peanut products?" 74% said "yes". And when it comes to candy or chocolate products containing peanuts or peanut butter, 70% said their purchasing decision has been affected. A most important lesson to the food world is to understand how to communicate. There is little doubt that the sales of brand name jarred peanut butter has been affected in a negative way - and the fact that this product category is not been implicated in the recall seems to go unnoticed by consumers points to the failings of our messaging. For more analysis and insights log on to the B2B page of SupermarketGuru.com. The Lempert Report uploads right here every Thursday. To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Mar 12, 2009 Watch Video

Shoppers are going hunting - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com The Lempert Report for Thursday March 5, 2009 Shoppers are going hunting and finding food treasures in lower-priced stores While it sure feels good to shop the aisles of an upscale Wegmans, Whole Foods or Gelsons supermarket, these days their luscious presentations are more a reminder of happier economic times, when people spent more freely on better cuts of meat, exotic produce and other gourmet foods. With some resourcefulness, many shoppers are now filling their dining tables to the brim with unexpected delights from a dollar store like Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, or an extreme value operator like Grocery Outlet, Aldi or Supervalus Save-A-Lot. The opportunistic buying practices of these stores means shoppers will find different assortments wherever and whenever they go, but that is satisfying yet another desire and need for adventure. And the other need? Stretching the food dollar at savings between 41% to 71% compared with supermarket prices, according to a money.aol.com report. Extreme-value stores offer even more variety at compelling savings. Aldi claims it can supply up to 90% of household needs and save shoppers up to 50% on their baskets. The stores focus on 1,300 fast-turn items. And as early as a year ago, before Wall Street truly crumbled, Grocery Outlet co-CEO Eric Lindberg told Supermarket News Were seeing a dramatic increase in new faces in our stores. He explained that the chain of no-frills stores carry 3,500 SKUs at a time—including expanded perishables and many meal components—but rotate so heavily that the effect is 35,000 SKUs over the course of a year. The lesson here is that consumers will not be denied. Since they rely on food for emotional uplift as well as sustenance, it is not surprising to see the efforts made to rise above current circumstances and keep better times in mind. CPG brands and retailers who think they have any kind of lock on shoppers or how they think will certainly be proven wrong in these volatile times. In our Food Sense series, we look at 7-Elevens Green Commissary When the company instituted the daily delivery of fresh foods, bakery items and other perishable products in 1994, 7-Eleven set up an intricate preparation and distribution system designed to decrease the number of daily deliveries from multiple suppliers. These efficient centralized distribution centers (CDCs), by their very nature, turned out to be environmentally beneficial. Last month, 7-Eleven took their consolidation concept even further with the launch of their state-of-the-art, green commissary and CDC in Bohemia, Long Island. We talked to Dennis Phelps, VP of Fresh Foods at 7-Eleven, about the advantages of an Earth-friendly supply chain. The new facility was designed to lower energy use and water demand, improve the quality of grey-water discharge, lower the cost of utilities, improve product quality, and lower the cost of manpower. How will other retailers learn from 7-Elevens success? To reach me directly, please email me at Phil@SupermarketGuru.com For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: http://www.ratefoods.com

Mar 02, 2009 Watch Video

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