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Top Insights from Coca-Cola at FMI Connect

Key takeaways for retailers to increase profitability

During FMI Connect in Chicago, June 21-23, The Coca-Cola Company provided insights and resources to help large store operators grow their businesses and increase profitability. The annual event hosted by the Food Marketing Institute included a trade show, education and collaboration that unveiled new possibilities in food retailing. The Company discussed ideas for occasion-based merchandising, center store, perimeter and front end, foodservice, equipment, product innovation and more.

Occasion-Based Merchandising
Testing a variety of themed merchandising solutions, The Company presented “Ready-to-Create Meals” that showcased various bundling offers such as a Grilling occasion with the supplies needed for a backyard barbeque and beverages. This occasion-based bundle was based on consumer insight that determined 35% of households cook their dinner on the grill at least once every two weeks, particularly men and millennials, according to NPD 29th Annual Eating Patterns in America 2014. 

Center Store, Perimeter and Front End
For the center of the store, The Coca-Cola Company discussed ways for retailers to draw attention to center store through its Beverage Aisle Reinvention (BAR) project. Using industry-leading research, The Company showed retailers how to incorporate fresh ideas for design, lighting, layout and merchandising in the center of the store. End caps in the store play a role in reenergizing the store by promoting food and beverage bundles to help shoppers assemble meals while helping retailers grow sales. For the perimeter of the store, The Company also introduced ways to increase snacking occasions and offer total meal solutions. The Company shared its front-end solutions that provide a shopping experience and incorporate new and emerging technology and compelling messaging since shoppers look for quick and easy beverages at the end of their trip.

The Company introduced new food and beverage research to help drive traffic and growth in foodservice. The Company discussed best practices for digital menu boards, including the partitioning of large menus, using a variety of animation to attract attention to specific menu items, and tailoring the content to match daypart occasions or holidays. Showcasing its Perfectly Paired Solutions, The Company revealed a new program designed to help retailers by meeting the demand for providing fast meal prep ideas.

Introducing its Zoned Communication Strategy, The Company recommended retail customers execute foodservice best practices around three primary zones in large outlets: the Transition Zone, Impulse Zone and Destination Zone. Each zone corresponds to the entrance in the foodservice area. For example, the Transition Zone encourages brand awareness and consideration of meal-to-go, while the Impulse Zone drives purchases by pairing a fresh meal with a Coca-Cola beverage. The Destination Zone helps retailers drive Coca-Cola beverage sales with best practices for staging brands and providing clear pricing and nutritional information.

Expanding its fountain offerings to include options for every taste, preference and lifestyle, The Company displayed equipment developed to generate profitability and drive growth for customers in foodservice and retail locations. The Coca-Cola Freestyle® 7000 dispenser and Coca-Cola Freestyle 9000 dispenser, and a four-valve ICEE machine, the latest generation of dispenser equipment were on display. The Company shared research by the Harrison Group that concluded that people are 1.5 times more likely to recommend an outlet that has a Coca-Cola Freestyle 7000 dispenser, according to a study by the Harrison Group 2015; total of 616 guest intercepts (304 legacy, 362 Coca‑Cola Freestyle 7000).

Product Innovation
The Company highlighted new water, tea and crafted and specialty beverage products. With crafted and specialty soda availability growing in the beverage business, The Company featured its recently relaunched Hansen’s® and Blue Sky® sodas, with Blue Sky available on fountain. Coke de Mexico, the number one selling crafted beverage, was also featured at the show.  

Product offerings like smartwater® sparkling, DASANI® Sparkling, Minute Maid® Sparkling and new flavors of Honest Tea® and Gold Peak® tea were available for sampling.

The next FMI Connect is June 13-15, 2017, in Chicago.

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Published: August 07, 2016