News Feature | September 25, 2013

Grocery And Convenience Store IT News For VARs — September 25, 2013

By Anna Rose Welch, contributing writer

BSM-Loyalty

Business Solutions searched recent headlines for news of interest to VARs serving grocery and convenience store clients.

Gas Prices — High Or Low — Increase Consumer Pessimism

According to Convenience Store Decisions, more than 61 percent of consumers claim they are pessimistic about the economy this month, despite falling gas prices.

Consumer pessimism has risen from August when gas prices were higher and 58 percent of consumers surveyed expressed pessimism. The September NACS National Consumer Fuels survey reveals 9 out of 10 (88 percent) of consumers’ views of the economy are affected by gas prices. NACS VP of government relations John Eichberger claims that consumer uncertainty over gas prices, political tensions with Syria, and market volatility could negatively affect consumer spending. Monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Surveys can be found here.

Would GMO Labeling Increase Grocery Prices?

Josh Long for Natural Products Insider reports that grocery costs for consumers will not increase should manufacturers be required to label products containing genetically modified ingredients. Long includes a link to a study by Kai Robertson, an Independent Consultant for Just Label It. Robertson’s study describes factors affecting how supermarkets set prices and provides perspective on why label changes do not affect food prices. 

Corporations For “No On 522” Financially Crush Competition

POLITICO states that Monsanto and Dupont Pioneer have contributed $4.5 million and $3.2 million this week to fund a campaign battling the Washington labeling ballot initiative, I-522. I-522 is calling for foods produced using genetic engineering to be labeled as “genetically engineered.” While the “Yes on I-522” and the “No on 522” campaigns had been funded equally at $3.3 million each prior to the recent donations, “No on 522” has now risen to $11 million. Brian Kennedy, spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers Association claims the GMA supports “No on 522,” calling the proposal “costly, confusing, and unnecessary.”

Supermarket Deals At Their Highest Since 2006

David Benoit for The Wall Street Journal reports that supermarket deals are currently at $6.3 billion, more than all the previous six years combined. Globally, supermarket deals stand at $15. 3 billion. This increase in deals in caused primarily by competition from larger stores like Walmart and Amazon.com that threaten smaller stores. 

Grocery and Convenience Store IT Talking Points

Erik Rigik for Convenience Store Decisions claims that good communication and negotiation skills can be the solution for convenience stores looking to cut supply chain costs. Rigik includes tips and strategies from various industry experts on how to negotiate deals, keep shelves stocked with and without technology, and eliminate non-selling products.

Generational shopping preferences have been the focus of several studies. Marketing Charts profiles some of the results of the Acosta Sales and Marketing report. The report reveals that Millennials show less brand loyalty than Boomers, Generation Xers and Silents, with 42 percent purchasing store brands to save money. Despite the fact that Millennials make the most shopping trips a month, Millennials spend the least on groceries ($252.60 per month). Generation Xers are spending $323.10 a month, making them the highest grocery spenders. The study also reveals generational channel and product preferences.

In a 2012 Supermarket News article, Steve Orgel discussed the slow rate at which the Millennial Generation is starting households, increasing the grocery industry’s financial pressures. In his most recent article for Supermarket News, Orgel reveals that Millennial household formation, while increasing, is still behind.  However, he also cites a recent IRI quarterly Shopper Sentiment Index showing that Millennials are leading a rise in “consumer sentiment regarding grocery shopping.” Orgel argues supermarkets must better meet Millennials’ needs and hope for quicker household formation to improve their relationship with Millennials.

Concentric Marketing recently released a report focusing on Millennial customers’ attitudes towards brands, shopping habits, and preferences. The results show that the Millennial generation breaks from some of the commonly held assumptions about the generation. Bob Shaw, president of concentric marketing, claims that marketers must be more precise in breaking this diverse population into groups. In doing so, he claims that marketers will be able to provide the “right balance of segmentation and generalization.”

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