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FMI2012: Innovative Formats Tap Consumer Trends

FMI2012: Innovative Formats Tap Consumer Trends

DALLAS — Food retailers around the world are experimenting with innovative new formats that reflect significant changes in consumer behaviors, said Neil Stern, senior partner, McMillan Doolittle, during a presentation here Thursday at FMI2012.

From innovative hypermarkets like Iper in Italy to H.E. Butt Grocery’s new discount format, Joe V’s, in Texas, retailers are seeking to tap into what they see as emerging — and lasting consumer trends and shopping patterns.

Those include convenience shopping, ethnic shopping, trading up, trading down, one-stop shopping and non-traditional shopping.

“If we don’t innovate in the supermarket channel, someone may innovate for us,” Stern said.

In the U.S., Stern cited Giant Eagle’s Market District format as a “food laboratory” that seeks to capture those consumers who are trading up and seeking an “experiential” shop. Concepts tested there are rolled out to the chain’s other stores, he explained.

Joe V’s, at the other end of the spectrum, offers only 5,000 SKUs in a 50,000-square-foot space with an emphasis on bulk displays and high productivity.

“This is thinking about those consumers who are the ‘have-nots’ and are watching their pennies,” he said.

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