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Collaboration Drives Gains at Wakefern

ORLANDO, Fla. — Aligning the entire organization — from warehouses to stores to corporate teams — is essential to maximizing results from collaborative partnershps with suppliers, said Steve Henig, vice president of corporate merchandising at Wakefern Food Corp.

Speaking at Food Marketing Institute’s Future Connect conference here on Wednesday, Henig described some recent — and ongoing — promotional partnerships with snack-food supplier Mondelez International in which the ShopRite cooperative has seen measurable sales lifts through coordinated efforts.


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One Mallomar promotion, for example, which leveraged email offers and in-store materials celebrating the 100th anniversary of the brand, has been 34% ahead of early projections in driving Mallomar sales, he said.

“The key is that we had the entire organization aligned on this,” he said, including individually owned stores agreeing to display banners and other support materials.

Rick Brindle, vice president of industry development at Mondelez, described other collaborative efforts with Wakefern, including one targeting Hispanic shoppers with an offer for Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.

Read more: SN's 2013 Future Connect coverage

“We put together a team with product demonstrations, and bundled it with ice cream,” he said, noting that both products index high with Hispanics.

The result of the promotion was a 5.8% conversion rate and a 28% increase in buyers of the product at ShopRite stores, he explained.

Another partnership with Wakefern helped reduce out-of-stocks, Brindle explained, by using daily POS data to determine which stores were running low on product in a recent 4-for-$8 promotion on Nabisco items.

“By analyzing daily scanner data, we were able to target stores with out-of-stocks, and deploy our DSD teams,” Brindle explained.

Rich Tarrant, chief executive officer, MyWebGrocer, described another promotional effort in which ShopRite teamed with Campbell Soup for an online promotion pairing a Campbell's product with another product from ShopRite, with a call to action.

Clicking on the offer directed shoppers to the websites of individual ShopRite locations. The promotion led to a 1.2% conversion rate (in which the products was added to a shoppng list), a 2.9% conversion for recipe views and a 59.9% conversion for ad circular views, Tarrant said.

Product sales were up 180% year over year.

"Everybody won in this scenario," Tarrant said.

Tim Hassett, senior vice president of sales, Campbell North America, described some of the challenges and opportunities of working in the digital space.

"It is a shame we use online to deliver discounts, because that is not what the customer is looking for," he said, citing reaerch showing that 32% of shoppers use their mobile devices to look for recipe solutions every single week.

For suppliers, Hassett stressed the importance of gaining a spot on cosumers' online shopping lists early, as often those lists are auto-generated based on previous lists.

"You need to be on their shopping list the first time they build it," he said.

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