The constant among them is that they understand their segment of consumers, and they over-deliver to their needs.
They invest in service and knowledgeable employees. The shopping experience they offer is extraordinary.
Interestingly, none of the three can claim the low price position in their markets.
On the seller/shipper side, small to medium companies will also have to find ways to innovate in order to win.
The opportunities come in a few key areas: innovative products, compelling promotions and consumer insights.
Being able to help the retailer grow in the categories you sell is critical.
Look at the tomato category over the past 15 years. Much of the growth and innovation at retail has come from small to medium companies located outside of Florida.
The big Florida tomato companies have had to focus more on foodservice as they have lost share at retail.
Several greenhouse companies have really thrived at retail by focusing on flavor, launching a number of high flavor, higher-cost tomato products.
Retailers and consumers have embraced these.
It’s hard to find a store today that does not offer snacking tomatoes, which have transformed the tomato category because of their innovative packaging and great-tasting product.
I truly think we are on the verge of another wave of retail consolidation.
Some will come from acquisition while part will come from raw market share gains.
However, I am optimistic that smaller, agile companies can thrive through a commitment to true, consumer focused innovation.
Don Goodwin is the owner of Golden Sun Marketing, which provides strategy and marketing services to the fresh produce supply chain from seed to retail. The company’s website is www.goldensunmarketing.com.
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