Novel twists for Valentine’s Day

Articles
January 21, 2014

Novel twists for Valentine’s Day

Personalized food gifts could open customers’ hearts to your stores.

Let your shoppers give their loved ones a food hug – with the help of your stores – this Valentine’s Day.

Accessible, low-cost technologies (webcams, label printers) leave practically no reason supermarkets can’t print on demand and personalize food packages easily – to amp up excitement and play up the emotional plusses of individual food gifts on special days like these.  

Consumers are largely aware they could order personalized M&M’s product, or the newer-to-market Goldfish cracker packages (with a person’s picture within a printed red frame above a Happy Valentine’s Day message with a name) – or at a Starbucks, routinely have their name handwritten on a coffee cup.  

The Lempert Report urges supermarkets to expand this concept in-store with some fun and healthy twists – and cool-looking labels.  People enjoy bakery cakes and large cookies with personal messages, for sure.  But think of the smile from a child or partner when they get a package just for them – and it’s an unexpected choice, a favorite center-plate or better-for-you item. 

Think of a mom with a toddler whom she wants to teach to eat smart. She could give him a see-through snack pack of baby carrots – and that package bears his face and his name. It’s a triple win for mom, the kid and the store that becomes more of a destination.

Say a parent goes to the deli or prepared foods counter, and has a smartphone full of family pictures.  She could upload face photos of different family members to a wireless printer; the store staffer could create and affix individual labels to each person’s food.  The label is a clear “hands-off” signal to anyone sharing the refrigerator at home or work; it also underscores the thought that went into the food selection to satisfy each recipient, perhaps a gluten-free main course for big sister or a pepperoni pizza for little brother.

Personalized food gifts create special moments between givers and recipients – and food stores could be the ones to make these happen.