CPC SAYS WHOLE-LINE DISPLAYS BOOST SALES

CHICAGO -- Retail stores that display the entire line of Knorr specialty foods in a single location often post sales increases of 20% or more across the product range, said Peter Matarese, Northeast regional sales manager for CPC Specialty Products. But convincing retailers to commit to what amounts to a permanent, cross-merchandised destination for Knorr has been a challenging process, he said.Matarese

CHICAGO -- Retail stores that display the entire line of Knorr specialty foods in a single location often post sales increases of 20% or more across the product range, said Peter Matarese, Northeast regional sales manager for CPC Specialty Products. But convincing retailers to commit to what amounts to a permanent, cross-merchandised destination for Knorr has been a challenging process, he said.

Matarese attributed the sales rise to consumer recognition of the breadth of product available when all of the items are displayed in a section. The Knorr line encompasses 11 grocery categories.

"This has also aided repeat purchases by creating a future destination for customers to return to," he added.

Matarese spoke here at a conference here titled, "Retail Shelf Success: Launching New Food and Beverage Products," hosted by The Marketing Institute, New York.

CPC Specialty Products, a subsidiary of CPC International, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., first introduced the Knorr destination display concept to retailers five or six years ago, but many retailers have resisted the idea, he said.

"We are still pitching the concept. Those retailers that have adopted the concept have reaped rewards in increased volume. The increases are across the board, but some categories benefit more than others," he said.

Because Knorr products are delivered to stores via CPC's network of specialty food distributors, unified merchandising also has practical advantages which translate into system cost savings, he added.

"We rely on the network for easy execution. It is easier for them to merchandise in a single location in store," Matarese said. "It not only increases volume for us, but for our distributors and for the retailer."

Some retailers have resisted the idea because they believe in total merchandising integration, he said.

Even among retailers who are receptive to the idea, Matarese added, "This concept may not be for all 100 stores in a chain, just for those 50 stores that are really geared toward the specialty food arena."

Another CPC brand, Rit dyes for use in the home, was "revitalized" using a similar display technique that offers the full range of product including color dye, specialty care and treatment items and stain removers together in a section, he said. "Rit's in-store merchandising draws consumers to the everyday section. That has been helpful," he said.

The idea is to keep and use hard-won display space at retail, whether it be in a food or drug store, mass merchandiser or other format, he said. The existing space can be used to introduce products or increase consumer awareness of offerings, he said.

CPC offers a variety of merchandising and shelving concepts for both its Knorr and Rit product ranges.

"Generally, Knorr is displayed in an in-line section, most likely in the soup aisle because we were originally known as a soup company in this country, and vegetable soup has been our number one item," Matarese said. "The theory behind being in the soup aisle is when the consumer finds our vegetable soup, he or she will discover we also have goulash mix or hollandaise sauce and this will become a multiple purchase type section.

"If the line is to be displayed on an endcap we would like it placed at the end of the sauce or soup aisle to have a relationship with the category we are strongest in," he added.