Hello from the 2013 United Fresh show in San Diego, California!
MJR Creative Group has a number of clients that exhibit at the trade show, so we are here to support them and attend several of the symposium sessions. Like we have done for Fresh Summit, Unified Wine Symposium, and the NASFT Fancy Food show, we’ll be reporting from the education sessions and posting pictures and information about the trade show floor throughout the event.
Refresh this page to get the latest information.
Friday, May 17, 10:48am
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference
We continue with June Jo Lee VP, Strategic Insights, Hartman Group. Her topic is Ethnography and the Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, and all the research that will be presented by her today was conducted by June herself with a team of 6.
June is moving fast and communicating a great deal of behavior insights that are anecdotal, but supported deeply by her research. I will attempt to capture some of the key nuggets of her presentation as bullets. Her full presentation will be made available post-conference. I’ll link to it when available.
- Social media has changed our whole relationship with food and places consumers in a mode of discovery versus planning.
- It has also influenced our approach to food. Social media has changed shopping and meal times as well.
- Primary barrier to online grocery shopping is it forces consumers to make a list and delays the immediate food gratification.
- Single eaters no longer eat alone, they eat while socializing with their friends and families on Twitter and Facebook, often sharing their solo dining choices with others.
- We now start planning with an image of what we eat, not from a shopping list.
- Mobile has become a personal prosthetic, a natural extension of modern human experience. Consumers increasingly can not imagine a life without sharing and dsocivery made possible by mobile.
- 46% spend more time engaged with food on social media than any other topic. Makes new foods more desirable and familiar, less threatening.
- Consumers no longer learn to cook from their mom, but from the internet: YouTube, blogs, Google Image.
Interesting moment. June is saying her research, developed from living with consumers, shopping with them, watching their behaviors, indicated that promotional efforts in the produce aisle have minimal effect. The best opportunity lies in connecting with consumers occurs before and after the shopping experience. While at the store, its about quality and price. The time to influence occurs before and after the shopping experience.
- Email is the preferred communication channel between brands and consumers.
- Social media should be used to create a personal relationship, not a new sales channel.
We are sharing our shopping experience. Case Study: Leigh buys her husband a grill
- Queried Facebook friends about grills
- Read reviews on multiple retail websites
- Joined 20,000+ followers of Weber on Facebook
- Became a member of an online grille forum
Leigh chooses a Weber Summit Series Grill
- Posted pictures of the grill on Facebook
- Posted pictures of the first meal (husband’s birthday party)
Leigh loves the new grill and her new recipe and now her 550+ friends on Facebook do too.
Coverage for the afternoon moves over to Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/mjrcg) where Geoff Johnson will be updating you for the rest of the program. Thanks for following along on the blog this week.
Friday, May 17, 8:30am
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference
Nick Schittone (@schittone118) VP of conference sponsor Hothouse has given some opening remarks and is handing over to Michael Sansolo (pictured above), President of Sansolo Solutions (@michaelsansolo). He will be leading the day’s program.
Michael is framing up a discussion about the state of the consumer. He’s reaching back to Sept 15, 2008 when Lehman Bros. collapsed, identifying that moment as pivotal in understanding the nature of the contemporary consumer.
He is using the famous Wired magazine cover to showcase four men who have forever changed marketing. Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Page (Google), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon). He is talking about how each man has changed the face of marketing – Jobs brought mobile, Zuckerberg brought social, Page brought search, and Bezos brought online shopping.
Michael is now introducing the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council study examining today’s consumer https://www.ccrrc.org/study-index/.
The study has found that demographics no longer tell the complete story. Michael is arguing that Need States are the new consumer definition. He is using phrases like SEEKER, DESPERATE, CARETAKER, RELUCTANT to define new types of shoppers. BARGAIN HUNTING, COURIER, HUNGRY are more categories. The study also found extremes and dichotomies in consumer behavior. Example: People obsess over food shows, but don’t cook cook at all. Another example: People can’t prepare a meal fast enough during the week, but will become Martha Stewart’s on the weekend with elaborate meal preparation.
Michael is concluding with illustrating how an amazing opportunity exists to communicate with consumers. He sees the biggest challenge for marketers today is in how to use the tools properly, and how to understand how consumer behavior has changed.
Michael is now introducing our next speaker, Terry Solo, President and CEO, About Marketing Solutions who will be discussing the It’s Mealtime with Hispanics study and offering some understanding the marketing and merchandising strategies for the Hispanic and other cultural populations.
Terry is presenting some data about the ethnic makeup of shoppers. While data shows that by 2050 the majority of American shoppers will be multicutural, the reality today is some of the largest consumer markets are already over 50%.
If total US Hispanic spending was viewed in terms of a country, it would represent that of the 12th largest country in the world. Within 15 years, they would move up to the world’s eighth largest spend. Additionally, multiculti consumers are driving 86% total spending growth in the United States.
Hispanics spend 35% more on groceries, and 55% more on produce than the average consumer. They shop less often than non-hispanic whites, but shop bigger baskets.
The It’s Mealtime with Hispanics report found some interesting data about consumption patterns of Hispanics in the United States. Heritage plays an important role in food preparation for at least two thirds of Hispanics and this must be considered when marketing to them.
Language proficiency is correlated to the degree to which Hispanics consume traditional foods.
Vegetables and legumes are deeply integrated into Hispanic diets. They are also used differently – not as side dishes, but incorporated into main dishes as ingredients. so, when marketing produce to the Hispanic market you need to take into account how they are integrated into their meals.
Mealtimes have varying meanings and behavior compared to Non-Hispanics. Heartier items are consumed during lunch time: La comida. Fruit is treated more like a snack than a meal item.
Additionally, there are fundamental differences in the perception of what defines health. Skinny people are seen as possibly sick. Whole milk is seen as more healthful than skim. A voluptuous figure is seen as healthy and prosperous. Furthermore, taste will trump most health-related choices.
Produce is king in Hispanic households.
Terry is now reviewing the Cocal-Cola Research she was developed that resulted in the report: Best Practices in Ethnic Marketing and Merchandising. that research resulted in the following somewhat obvious but often not addressed Best Practices in Ethinc Marketing:
- Learn more about your ethnic shopper
- Define your ethnic merchandising look
- Tailor your offer
- Enhance the in-store experience
- Recruit and retaining a diverse staff
- Communicate value at all points of contact.
The challenges of adoption of the best practices come from the nature of American grocery retailers: Unwillingness to customize store formats. Reliance on vendors for marketing insights, however those insights are often not used to make marketing decisions. Additionally, the American grocery industry is homogenous – a white male dominated industry.
Terry is going into great detail about the background on the best practices. To get all the data– and its worth exploring in detail– check out the complete report: Grow With America: Best Practices in Ethnic Marketing and Merchandising.
It’s time for a quick break, we’ll be back with a report from the Hartman Group’s presentation.
Thursday, May 17, 8:30am
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Conference
A full day of educational sessions lies ahead. We’ll be posting about each of the sessions we attend. First, breakfast!
Thursday, May 16, 4:30pm
Best of United Fresh Awards:
Best New Vegetable Product at United Fresh 2013 goes to AMF Farms – Pumpkin Pie Making Kit:
United Fresh 2013 Best New Packaging Mastronardi /Sunset :
Winner, Best New Fruit Product: Sunkist, L’il Snappers:
Thursday, May 16, 2:00pm
Sights from the show:
United Fresh’s famous Wall of Meeting Rooms
Mastronardi / Sunset easily had the strongest presence at the show:
Sunkist was serving up some amazing food.
Natural Delights and their delicious Medjool Dates:
The United Fresh 2013 Sponsor Wall.
Thursday, May 16, 10:30am
Mid-Morning General Session
Had an issue with wifi that has delayed my reporting today. The problem being, there is none. I know, right? Anway, got tethering going on my phone, so we are back live again, at least until the 40% battery I have left gives up the ghost.
What you missed while I was fighting the dark ages at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego:
Introduction of incoming Board of Directors by Tom Stenzel, current Chair. He reviewed the 2012 achievements of United Fresh, including:
- Growing produce consumption – Student Fresh Fruit School Snack program.
- School Salad Bar program: 436 salad bars to California schools
He also debuted two new programs:
- United Fresh Recall Ready
- Sustainability Guide
Next up, Greg Johnson, Editor of The Packer who presented the award for Man or Woman of the All Seasons – honoring lifetime of achievement in the produce industry. This year’s honoree was Mike Cavallaro Dole Fresh Fruit Company. He accepted his award with some surprise and a simple thank you.
Today’s keynote speaker is former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, covering “Fresh Produce Perspectives”. His counterpart on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski was also supposed to speak, ,but there’s no sign of her yet. Maybe later? I’ll let you know.
Amazingly, I have not seen Joe before. I’m not much of a TV news fan. So I entered this event with a ho hum attitude. But I gotta say, Joe is a smart guy. He’s a Republican, so there’s that, but he’s a good speaker, and he’s making good points. He’s also pretty funny. But politics is his game and politics is the topic today. So you can probably guess the content.
Question from the crowd: “What’s your favorite vegetable?” Joe’s answer, “What the hell kind of question is that?!” (Spinach was his ultimate answer, by the way).
Joe has careened away from audience questions (they were amazingly dull, have to admit), pivoting off a question about sequester to go back to his point that Congress is broken. He predicts that immigration will not pass. He also notes that Repubs are dead wrong about Benghazi ruining Hilary Clinton’s presidential chances — she’s gonna take it and run with it, and they need to get their act together or she’s going to win it.
Another audience question: “Why did you leave Congress?” Answer: “Have you ever BEEN in Congress?” His serious answer was this: “I was gone 200 nights a year for seven years. I loved my job, but I missed my family.”
Last question: “Where is Mika?” Ah, now we get the dirt.
Answer? “She’s on a book tour.”
Wait, one more question. Health care reform. This should be good. Joe’s answer: Small biz owners are going to get h