For supermarket retailers looking to participate in the growth of the natural and organics space, forewarned is forearmed.
According to data from Penton’s New Hope Natural Media, the natural products industry — a $150 billion U.S. business in 2013 — is projected to grow to $226 billion by 2018, an 8.4% compound annual growth rate. Moreover, food and beverages will account for more than two-thirds of that total.
Gaining visibility into this growth can help supermarkets develop leading-edge offerings in private label, and complement their work in category management, according to Bill Tuohig, VP and product leader of New Hope, presenting the case for New Hope’s newly launched Next Trend business intelligence tool during SN’s Expo West workshop, “Driving Health and Wellness in Supermarkets.”
(Both New Hope and SN are owned by Penton.)
Next Trend uses proprietary pre-shelf natural products data, future trend predictions and customer segmentation to help companies identify products, categories and ingredients poised for widespread adoption; develop targeted go-to-market strategies around them; and accelerate speed to market.
“If you’re interested in looking at the next innovation,” Tuohig said, “this is where you need to look.”
Identifying New Products
While supermarket retailers such as Safeway and Ahold have launched successful private brands in the natural and organic space, identifying the kinds of products to introduce to the line has tended to be troublesome, Tuohig said in an interview.
“The larger companies don’t have their finger on the pulse the way the smaller guys do,” he said. “So if you’re looking to innovate around natural products in a private label way, paying attention to this data is going to help.”
Next Trend taps New Hope’s 35 years of natural products data to illustrate trends in product categories and ingredients, and show where opportunities are arising. When overlaid with Penton’s predictive consumer segmentation data, retailers can identify and target the consumers who are most likely to be adopters.
“Understanding the leading edge on the product development perspective, where the most innovative entrepreneurs are placing their efforts, is arguably giving [supermarkets] a leg up,” Tuohig said. “They may already be good at [natural private label], but to stay ahead they’re going to need to have the data.”
Informing the Mix
Next Trend can help supermarkets’ category management efforts by informing the mix so retailers can differentiate their natural and organic offerings from competitors, Tuohig added.
“We are not talking about data that replaces shelf optimization, but we are saying, if you want to have the most interesting mix of products, understanding what is showing up on the early side is going to give you a lead,” he said.
Since Next Trend first launched in September, a host of natural products companies and CPG giants such as Clorox, General Mills and Kellogg’s have used the tool. Clorox, for example, used Next Trend to explore the potential of developing non-GMO skincare product, which allowed for a faster development process and identified groups of shoppers and regions in which the product was most likely to be successful.
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