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How Coca-Cola Connected at FMI

Merchandising ideas to drive sales in foodservice and retail

At FMI Connect in Chicago, June 20-23, The Coca-Cola Company shared insights and resources to help large store operators generate higher profitability and growth in all areas of their stores. At the annual gathering of food retailers put on by the Food Marketing Institute, The Company also showcased a variety of merchandising options, from digital racks to endcaps, coolers and more.

In the area of foodservice, highlights centered around occasion-based merchandising strategy to drive dine-in and carry-out sales — think digital menu boards and dispenser equipment, such as the latest generation of the Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser, Coca-Cola Freestyle 7000.

To help operators make decisions about the growing away-from-home iced tea consumption trend, The Company sampled its dispensed Variety Tea Towers, featuring the home-brewed taste of Gold Peak® Tea. Other samples included vitaminwater®, Coca-Cola Life, Honest Tea®, fairlife®chocolate ultra-filtered milk, Dasani® Sparkling and fruitwater®.

Research highlights included a report from A.T. Kearney and Technomic showing that sales of fresh-prepared foods are projected to grow 6-7% annually through 2017, outpacing sales projections for the supermarket channel overall. The Company reminded attendees that it provides its partners resources like DINE (Diner Insights, Needs and Experiences), which examines foodservice guests and occasions.

In the area of store perimeter, The Company showcased how it offers meal bundle and joint-occasion opportunities. Coca-Cola has made strategic partnerships in order to be a part of more snacking occasions through merchandising programs, featuring a rack placed in the perimeter or destination centers, coupons and other in-store campaigns.

The Company also highlighted research that helps drive perimeter traffic, basket size and sales. For example, Coca-Cola shared that it recently partnered with Nielsen Perishables Group to uncover total store connections, including correlations between food and carbonated soft drink purchases. Findings included opportunities to maximize existing connections and build new partnerships across the entire store — from the center store to the perimeter.

And, finally, with an eye toward beverage aisle reinvention, attendees got research-based advice on reinventing the ever-important center store.

The next FMI Connect is June 20-23, 2016, in Chicago.

Published: July 28, 2015