One of the most underestimated aspects of food-to-go retailing is the fact that people eat with their eyes.
That is to say, in order to attract, entice and ultimately convert a potential customer into purchasing food from a convenience grab n go store the products must first and foremost be merchandised (displayed) screaming order, freshness, cleanliness and abundance. In short, the days of just ‘throwing’ a few sandwiches and cakes in the refrigerated cabinet are well and truly gonnnne!
Given the significant amount of time, money and effort most food retailers invest in not only developing innovative new recipes and products but also managing the ever-present challenges associated with COGS and labour costs, there also needs to be the same level of care and attention to the way in which the products are displayed and merchandised in order to ensure the best possible chance of a meaningful return on that overall investment.
In the hypecompetitive marketplace of food-to-go, it is simply no longer good enough for a business to rely solely on the quality of its products. Today’s educated ‘foodie consumer’ considers quality and freshness as ‘a given’, so the battleground has now shifted to businesses engaging in highly visual merchandise strategies as means of differentiating themselves and their products from their competitors.
The businesses which stepup and embrace this latest trend swing towards visual merchandising will remain engaged and relevant to the evolving expectations of mainstream customers, whereas those who don’t run the risk of being left behind pondering what might have been whilst battling the landlord for rent relief.
Not much of a choice really…