More than 22,300 attendees visited the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show in Chicago from Oct. 1-4. This year’s event featured a record number of international attendees from 58 countries, the association said. The NACS Show featured a 387,000-plus net square foot exposition floor with 1,333 exhibiting companies, including 324 companies new to the show. The following is a highlight of beverage-related features during the show.
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, at its North America Market Tour event in Houston in late September highlighted the company’s North American roadmap for growth goals, which are to build strong brands, translate brand value into customer value, and build the capability to sustain and repeat success in the region. Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, and Steve Cahillane, president and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Refreshments, noted the benefits of bringing together portions of The Coca-Cola Co., Coca-Cola Enterprises and the bottling investments group as Coca-Cola Refreshments.
These days, consumers have a plethora of choices to make while they’re shopping for beverages. Besides the flavor, brand or product type, they’re bombarded with statements like “low sodium,” “low calorie,” “natural” and “organic.” According to “Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition,” from market research publisher Packaged Facts, New York, 37 percent of U.S. adults buy organic groceries and 56 percent of U.S. adults buy packaged food products marketed as “all natural.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Some guidelines in reference to beverages include reducing intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, monitoring intake of 100 percent juice for children and adolescents, and consuming soy-fortified beverages.
One of the keys to success can be as simple as: “location, location, location.” For developers of new beverages, the phrase is not as cliché as it sounds. Not only are consumers shopping across more channels than ever, retailers are offering more spaces for beverages, too.
As restaurant operators continue to recover from the effects of the recession, fast-casual restaurants have received positive marks from analysts. According to Chicago-based Technomic Inc.’s 2011 Top Fast-Casual Chain Restaurant Report, the foodservice segment outpaced the rest of the restaurant industry in 2010, with the top 100 chains growing 6 percent to nearly $18.9 billion. The total units grew 3.9 percent, which was slower than last year, but faster than other dining segments, according to the report.
New platforms drive innovation, opportunity in retail engagement
June 20, 2011
Technology has made nearly everything shoppable in recent years, from billboards to social media sites. If the 2010 holiday shopping season was any indication, it’s serving as an increasingly important tool for consumers making purchasing decisions. This past holiday season marked the point when smartphones and other interactive technologies switched from “novelty to something that the average shopper [was] excited about because of the utility that technology affords,” says Alexandra Smith, a global analyst at Chicago-based market research firm Mintel International Group.
The grocery store segment consists of equal parts of decline and optimism. According to a grocery store retailing study published in July 2010 by Chicago-based Mintel International Group, the grocery products market grew by just 0.6 percent in food, drug and mass merchandise outlets. This market includes bakery, dairy, deli, edible, frozen foods and drinks, general merchandise, health and beauty items, and non-edible products, but excluding alcohol beverages.
No matter who you ask or which study you read, consensus suggests that constraint and resourcefulness are the new norms in grocery shopping. Given the still less-than-robust economy, a tight consumer credit market and sluggish consumer confidence, Americans have changed the way they shop. Moreover, many agree that these new behaviors are here to stay. The so-called new consumer — one who is slower to spend and always looking for ways to make $2 buy what $4 once did — is still out there.
The biggest change to the retail environment in recent years isn’t something retailers have done; it’s the growth of shopper-driven mobile connectivity. Recent research indicates a large majority of consumers have used, or plan to use, quick response (QR) codes to get more information on products and access offers via their smartphones.