Reggie Griffin wasn’t likely to stay retired for long. The former chief of produce and floral at Cincinnati-based Kroger has gone into business to share insights from a decade at the helm of one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers.
Griffin’s new business venture, Reggie Griffin Strategies, Hilton Head, S.C., was born out of a career spent trying to figure out the “ultimate consumer.”
“I fell in love with this mantra,” Griffin said. “I’ve spent most of my corporate life trying to appeal to and satisfy the ultimate consumer.”
Many in the supply chain “get” the idea of an “ultimate consumer,” the one who actually shops the supermarket or places the orders at a foodservice establishment, Griffin said, but many do not.
“For us to significantly grow the sales of fresh produce and floral, it will take collaboration of the supply side along with the demand side to accomplish it,” he said. “Many companies spend their marketing dollars ineffectively.”
Griffin said the key to marketing to this consumer is that collaboration.
“I’ve seen it happen before and know that it is effective,” he said. “Many in the produce industry look at the demand side, where I spent the majority of my career, and only see a buyer with a purchase order. That is a narrow view. A retailer today has to wear many hats to be successful.”
That includes knowing the customer, expertise in procurement, distribution, strategic development, team building and managing change.
“My 40-plus years in retail with the last ten years leading the produce and floral team at the U.S.’s largest supermarket chain has given me some insights and experiences that could help some companies today,” he said. “But most of all, I look forward to staying involved in the produce and floral industry in some capacity.”
Griffin said a website, ReggieGriffinStrategies.com, is planned to go live by the end of January. It will include specifics of the services he plans to offer, including strategic planning, retail brand building, effective team and organizational structure, supply chain management, food safety and retail design.