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The Stew and What It Means for You

Sometime in December, New York Times food writer Alison Roman published a new recipe for Spiced Chickpea Stew with coconut & turmeric. By late January, it had gone viral on Instagram, gaining millions of fans who gave the recipe it’s own hashtag: #TheStew. What made people want to try this recipe and share this post? It’s easy to make, hard to mess up, uses ingredients that people have in their pantry or are easy to find in any grocery store and it looks pretty. But we can find a deeper meaning behind this. It turns out millennials are growing up and staying in more. For years, we’ve been told we those millennials that we thought were eating out all of the time are settling down, having kids, and looking to cook for their families. They want to create restaurant-quality dishes at home that are healthy, easy, and relatively quick. That’s good news for the grocery industry. Social media has transformed the once solo activity of home cooking into a social experience, shared with friends via Instagram pictures and Facebook posts.…

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Trending Now: March

It’s happening, folks. The Brits are after us and they aren’t even trying to hide it. Over the past month, I’ve seen quite a few articles that compare how Americans do things in the kitchen to that of the Queen’s underlings. As a side note to this clash of UK and USA culinary delight, March brings with it a flurry of recipes that date back to cobblestone covered streets in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day. (I know, Ireland is neither part of the UK, nor is it British. Though Northern Ireland is. Don’t @me.) These recipes and traditions, along with some new fuel to the Revolutionary War fire, all top the charts for what’s trending through March. Nothing Particularly Healthy Unless you’re into that “good clean livin’” part of life, as you should be. Corned beef hash, corned beef and cabbage, corned beef and corned corn. It’s all out there, just take a few antacids before you fall too far down the rabbit hole. So many recipes this month seem to revolve around the idea that Irish folk only eat…

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A Case Study for Customer Surveys

Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers. I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE. Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study: When to Use Customer Surveys Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback. I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program,…

Say yes and then learn later - Dani Abram

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

More inspirational quotes brought to you by Creative Mornings events “It’s important to respect tradition and to challenge it as well.” — Jim Gray “It is selfish not to be honest.” — Meriah Garrett “Bravery: it means accepting responsibility for the impact of our actions and the weight of our words.” — Eleanor Perry-Smith “Our actions tend to have a ripple effect. Even a small act of kindness might mean more to someone than you can possibly even imagine.” — Stephanie Glaros “Jobs are critical, but the relationships that we gain in the jobs that we have are huge.” — Rob Perez “When I restarted my thinking and stopped being afraid of making mistakes, discomfort or the unknown, I was able to pursue my creative passions and experiences without limitations.” — Michelle Bazis “Being a survivor is not just limited to living through a tragedy. Being a survivor is taking that tragedy and making it purposeful.” — Leon Ford “Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life. They have strengthened you as you continue with your journey.” — Hassan…

Show Them your Private…Labels

Over the past few years private labels sales have continued to trend upward. Many factors have contributed to this with one of the biggest drivers being that consumers are no longer staying loyal to established brands. Millennials have really shaken up the grocery industry by being more likely to purchase private label products over name brands. Also, the stigma that private label brands are lower quality or cheap is starting to disappear. Private label products have also started branching out from mainly focusing on commodity items. Now you can find superior products and even organic offerings.  Consumer acceptance of private label has is at an all-time high. According to Nielsen research 65% of shoppers find them as good as name brand products and 43% consider private label quality better. So, with all of this to consider it would be highly important to have a strategy to take advantage of the private label brands in your store. Kroger has taken on this challenge with their private label Treasure EmporiYum. Having put together a brand strategy that merges center store, shelf signage…

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We’re Hiring!

Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc. (AWG) is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, serving over 3,800 locations in more than half of the states in the country from ten distribution centers. The Sales Services department is hiring a Shopper Engagement Platform Specialist. To learn more about the Shopper Engagement Platform, read this recent article about the program. Position Summary The Shopper Engagement Platform Specialist will assist the SEP Supervisor in building a strong relationship with vendors, category management and retailers. The SEP Specialist wiil be responsibile for weekly follow up with retailers, assisting in launch of new programs and execution of promotions. Position Responsibilities * Build, grow & cultivate strong relationships with vendors and category management team to generate support in retailer shopper engagement platform* Facilitate art for new launch, assign design work to artists and get approval from retailers, work with artist to ensure order completion. * Lead the development of multi-touchpoint shopper marketing initiatives and campaigns based on shopper insights and strong understanding of retailer strategy. * Gain alignment with key internal stakeholders by defining…

InKate

Shoptalk 2019

Overwhelming or energizing. Four days in Las Vegas at Shoptalk could elicit either one of those feelings depending on your perspective. For me, it’s a healthy mix of both because the overwhelming part demands focus and introspection into the practicalities of applying everything I just tried to absorb from the biggest and best in retail. The energizing part comes in seeing how we, and the industry, respond to all this great information. Brick & Mortar isn’t dead. But it is changing. Historically, grocery stores were designed to meet the needs of walk-in customers. Instacart’s Chief Business Officer Nilam Ganenthiran talked though about how that may need to change in the future. Rather, owners should consider designing expedite e-commerce fulfillment. Crate & Barrel CEO Neela Montgomery talked about enhancing their stores with in-store dining options. Helena Foulkes, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, showed before and after pictures of Saks Fifth Avenue store completely redesigned to have natural light by the makeup counter, easier access to the second floor for efficiency, and expansion of handbag category. All of these retailers are responding…

Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

Social Media

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

Social media used to be about grabbing your space on a platform, posting content and maintaining your presence on the platform. Some of you might be reading this and thinking “use to be?” I hate to break it to you, but the days of creating an account for your business and not thinking much about it are gone. If you are going to take the time to create a social media account and dedicate even the smallest amount of time, money and resources to it, you have to have a plan. And that plan needs to adapt as the social media landscape changes. I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions focused on the ever-changing landscape of social media. Angela Crawford (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group) and Matt Staub (owner, Proxima LLC) discussed the ways social media is changing and how brands who want to succeed on these platforms need to change with it. Crawford started by outlining the three categories brands tend to fall into on social media: Brands that inform (news,…