Novel twists for Valentine’s Day

January 21, 2014

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.