Although category management and merchandising commonly are associated with shelf resets and assortment rationalization, for White Plains, N.Y.-based HEINEKEN USA, it is much more than that. The global beer company works to thoroughly understand its consumers’ beer-drinking occasions while building relationships with retailers that will drive long-term, sustainable customer loyalty, says Vikas Satyal, senior director of category development.
Although more than half of consumers have purchased milk, juice and/or carbonated soft drinks in the past 30 days, sales were stagnant during 2014-2015 with top categories struggling to grab consumer attention, according to Chicago-based Mintel’s June 2016 “Beverage Packaging Trends” report.
Regardless of whether consumers are drinking beer, wine or spirits when dining out, suggested food pairings and recommendations from influencers, like bartenders and wait staff, can motivate consumers to try something new or trade up to a more premium product.
As consumers’ shopping behaviors continue to evolve, the drug store channel has seen a boon within beverage aisles. Although the channel is struggling to grow, beverages could offer potential for the channel going forward as these stores expand their offerings, says Evan Hoffman, industry research analyst at Los Angeles-based IBISWorld.
As today’s consumers spend their dollars across more channels and store formats, retailers are facing increased competition for dollar share, experts note. Despite this fact, the overall discount retail channel performed “quite well” last year as dollar stores drove growth of nearly 7 percent, notes Jon Hauptman, senior director of retail at Long Grove, Ill.-based Willard Bishop Co., an Inmar analytics company.
Comprising 46 percent of the retail share, traditional supermarkets remain the largest channel in the retail food industry; however, Jon Hauptman, senior director of retail at Long Grove, Ill.-based Willard Bishop Co., an Inmar analytics company, notes that dollar sales in the channel have been flat as more consumers shop at supercenters, fresh-format stores, dollar stores and online.
Last December, Adobe Digital Index indicated that online consumers spent more than $3 billion on Cyber Monday, 16 percent more than in 2014. That was on top of the more than $8 billion spent online during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Although the vast majority of purchases were for non-consumable consumer packaged goods (CPG), consumable products are finding their place in the eCommerce channel as well.
Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI) announced results from its study analyzing the habits of U.S. consumers regarding alcohol beverages. Although drinks of choice differed among generations, consumers — from millennials to seniors — continue to indulge in beer, wine and spirits products with regular frequency at home and on-premise, it reports.