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Short takes from Shoptalk

Retailers and food companies had plenty to share at the Las Vegas event

As Shoptalk wound up its four-day residence in Las Vegas yesterday, the more than 8,000 attendees and exhibitors headed home with a wealth of knowledge gleaned from a dizzying array of speakers, presentations and exhibits. (At least those of us who could get home — many visitors from the East Coast found their flights canceled or delayed due to the spring nor’easter that tangled up travel east.)

Here are just a few of the (golden) nuggets we heard at Shoptalk:

Mark Berinato, VP, Digital Experience, Panera Bread
“We have always differentiated ourselves on food. The customer has evolved…they want food transparency, mobility, and to feel recognized and special.
“We’re always thinking about the back-of-the-house. While an app may be amazing, it has to deliver. If a customer has to wait 10 minutes more for their food than they expect, your business will suffer.”

Jared Lukin, VP, E-commerce, KIND Snacks
“Food is the smallest, but fastest-growing category in e-commerce. There are three things you need to do: build a strong foundation; differentiate; and be more than a store.”

Kyle Ransford, founder & CEO, Chef’d
“Today’s consumer seeks individual meal solutions rather than traditional grocery inventory. Fewer households are planning out their menus for the week.
“We expect Chef’d meal kits to be in about 1,500 stores by May-June, in endcap presentations and kiosks in supermarkets.”

Rachel Drori, founder & CEO, Daily Harvest, a superfoods meal delivery service
“We are solving a modern-day eating dilemma with fresh frozen, healthy foods. We’re educating consumers who grew up believing frozen food is a compromise of convenience over flavor and nutrition.”

Tim Steiner, founder & CEO, Ocado
“We are meeting the challenge of online grocery head-on in the UK by hand-picking 1.5 million items a day for shoppers from our sheds [warehouses]. And we are able to match the price they would pay in a Tesco retail store.”

Jason Ackerman, co-founder & CEO, FreshDirect
With $700 million in sales in and around the New York area, “what we’ve found is that New Yorkers are very picky about their food. The challenge is getting past having someone else pick your fresh food.”
“We offer a wide range of meal kits, over 1,000 different types of prepared foods. The fight for dinner is a huge one.”

Oskar Kaszubski, VP of E-Commerce Acceleration, Kellogg
“We need to develop stabilized, consistent packaging for online delivery. Different-size packaging makes it difficult for robots to pick and pack. We’re calling for a product consortium among manufacturers to overcome these types of supply chain issues.”

Rafeh Masood, chief digital officer, BJ’s Wholesale Club
“We are laser-focused on convenience for our customers via digital. We’ve relaunched our mobile and desktop sites, we have our mobile app, and we’ve launched digital microsites for our private-label brands Berkley Jensen and Wellsley Farms.”

Tarang Sethia, senior director of CRM & Loyalty, 7-Eleven
“We survive everything, we have survived Amazon. We are like the cockroaches of retail. And we have stores within a mile of 60% of the world’s population.”

TAGS: Marketing
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