Shoppers are going hunting - The Lempert Report

The Lempert Report
March 02, 2009

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®,, 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: 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 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 For information on New Products, visit our weekly videocast: