Souvenir foods, select opportunities

Articles
September 09, 2010

Souvenir foods, select opportunities

The tastes, textures and aromas of ‘location-based foods’ help people evoke vivid memories of trips taken, cities and cultures visited, and perhaps some truly memorable meals served up by locals.

The tastes, textures and aromas of ‘location-based foods’ help people evoke vivid memories of trips taken, cities and cultures visited, and perhaps some truly memorable meals served up by locals.

Texas barbecue sauce. Maine lobster meat.  New Orleans jambalaya. New Mexico chili. Beer from St. Louis. Rum from Puerto Rico. Swiss chocolates. All have a ring of authenticity that seem to make them taste better – and when transported home as gifts, an express caring.

Since this trend has taken flight, airports have opened stores in terminals that feature local foods.  It’s their last chance to cash in on local food enthusiasm before people head home.  Similarly, it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Duane Reade drug chain – whose stores could capture immense tourist traffic in Manhattan, and which have stepped up their food presentations (including some with prepared foods) – to boldly present packaged New York City foods to fill this demand. Think bagels, knishes, hot dogs, street pretzels, Kosher pastrami and other ethnic delights.

This is one example we give of applying the opportunity. The Lempert Report urges supermarkets to mine their surroundings, understand their potential pull in certain locales, and offer compelling values vs. specialty shops in more touristy sections of their areas. 

We understand retailers might hesitate at such an effort, feeling that only transients would be attracted, that marketing costs might be high, and stores wouldn’t be building their core shopper base. The Lempert Report believes, however, that these one-timers would be coming to buy full-margin merchandise (far better than local ad sales cherrypickers), they might visit again, and they might build word of mouth among friends and family coming to your locale.