We start this week with an interesting article that points to how search can directly influence how products are conceived (and category management). Yet another example of how we need to look to how changing consumer behavior will disrupt the industry. Following that, we include some articles about changes in the retailer space, and then we finish with some self promotion with an announcement of our product development with Topco, and how we're hoping to move the industry forward. As always, we hope this helps you kick start your week. The Amazon algorithm spawned a skin care line called Belei - vox.com A moisturizer isn’t just a moisturizer anymore. People have become a lot savvier, thanks to forums like Reddit’s /r/SkincareAddiction and Instagram, and robust media coverage of the intricacies of skin care. Affordable brands like Deciem’s the Ordinary have helped democratize skin care and increase ingredient awareness. As a result, shoppers are looking for hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and peptides now — they expect brands to talk to them about ingredients. Product descriptions often include these keywords and tout the benefits. (curated by @joe100books)
This week we've got a bit of a deep dive video. Titled: "Tomorrow's Category Management Today, The Future of Online Category Management", the video makes the argument that most growth in the foreseable future is going to come from online channels and that this is going to change the way we think about Category Management. “e-commerce is shopped one item at a time; every product detail page must stand on its own" – Danny Silverman, Clavis Insight The video is a deep dive, lasting 45 minutes, but is worth the time if you have any interest in the future of grocery, and in particular if you are in the category management function. Of particular interest, I found the way the video discusses the difference in customer needs between the "Push" of Brick and Mortar versus the "Pull" of e-commerce, and also how Brick and Mortar is more of a compromise for customers who take the brand that is available on the shelf, whereas e-commerce becomes a more discerning environment. If any of this is true, the demand for transparency and experiences that support better decision making is only going to increase. Hope you get out of it as much as i did. Have a good weekend.
The news this week starts off with 3 more acquisition announcements that our team found particularly interesting in the news this week. The acquisitions point to the disruption that is taking place across the industry, representing activity by a retailer (walmart), a CPG Brand (Unilever), and a 3rd party solution provider (Syndigo). Following from the acquisition news the team found news articles related to non traditional foods interesting and they found and shared posts around pickle chips and meatless hamburgers - for some reason. Lastly the list of curated news ended up with an informative article about the challenges of large retailers making the change to support e-commerce. In this case it was a fairly detailed exploration of Kroger's challenges. Definitely worth a read. Hope you had a great Easter weekend. Have a great week ahead. Walmart acquires ad-tech startup Polymorph to capture more brand dollars - marketingdive.com Walmart has acquired Polymorph Labs, which offers a cloud-based ad serving platform, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed, according to a blog post by the retailer. Polymorph's founders, product developers and engineers will join Walmart Media Group and Walmart Labs. (curated by @davebyman)
We wrap up this week with a video that discusses the evolution of Category Management practice over the last 3 decades, and explores whether Category Management is working presently. “If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail" – Marc Childs, principal of Childs Davidson Limited The high level coverage of the evolution of Category Management is very helpful context for those that may not be aware of how we got to where we are. The second part of the video discusses Category Strategy, and how this, in differentiation from category management, can help to move retailers and brands forward more productively by giving category management some focus and guidelines, therefore aligning category captains and insights within a framework. It seems clear that to get to the future of grocery retail, there needs to be significant further evolution of the category management practice. It's fascinating to watch this space to see those changes coming. I hope this helped give you a slightly new perspective. Have a good weekend.
This week we partake in some gratuitous self promotion with 3 posts published by some of the brightest among our team!!??!! The first is a post by yours truly, published in fooddive.com exploring how the consumer demand for transparency is changing the way we think about Category Management. The second is a guide to help brands with their SmartLabel decision making process, and the third is an exploration of how off-package attributes can change the way your brand is perceived in the market. The remaining articles this week are largely related to developments in retail and in particular e-commerce, exploring the space from both a trend and business model perspective as well as a user experience perspective. Hope this keeps you curious heading in to this week. Transparency and buying behavior are changing the game for category management - Fooddive.com The last several years have proven challenging for the CPG industry. With more emphasis than ever on convenience and experience, customers are demanding a personalized shopping experience. Busy shoppers no longer want to spend time walking down each aisle in the grocery store. That quest for convenience has driven many customers to buy groceries online. Nielsen and the Food Marketing Institute forecast that e-commerce could grow more than $100 billion from 2017 to 2025. This fundamental shift has created both a massive challenge and opportunity for CPG brands. (curated by @antonxavier)
Another video about Alibaba's Freshippo (formerly known as Hema) shopping experience in China. I'm a little obsessed about the new ideas and the connectedness of these stores. “If I have any questions at all about a product, I just scan and get the full ingredient list on my phone." – Alibaba I continue to get excited about the level of data competency that Alibaba displays in the Freshippo execution. In this video in particular the host talks about the importance of freshness using the example of how some fresh produce has a large "3" printed on the packaging so that you know it arrived and was packaged that day (Wednesday in the video) and is therefore fresh. The bringing forward and connecting of data competency, logistics innovation, and a digital shopping experience can truly change the way we shop. As you can tell, i remain very excited about the future of grocery. Have a good weekend.
In last weeks post of "video of the week" we introduced a video about the "Hema" shopping experience - a new concept in grocery retail that is growing rapidly in China. This week we follow on from that with a video from Alibaba, the leaders in online commerce in China and their explanation about what the "Hema" stores are all about. “For Alibaba, the future isn't total domination of e-commerce, rather it is the complete digitization of ALL commerce that could be the key to saving retail. We call this NEW RETAIL" – Alibaba It is exciting to see this holistic vision being executed. It's also eye opening when we think about Omni-channel, and Transparency, and Digital Commerce vs Mobile Commerce, each individually as hurdles to overcome, we aren't really seeing the forest for the trees. A vision like Hema, takes complete, and connected data and systems to execute. No matter which way you look at the future of grocery commerce, it is, in the least, going to be interesting!! Hope you had a good week.
We kick off this week's curated news with a research project that scores a host of retailers in regards to their level of competency in online grocery. The conclusion of this report is that Amazon and Walmart are leaders in this area. It's interesting that this report did not include pure-plays like Instacart, Thrive, and Peapod. Following that, we include 3 articles from our in-house Personal Care Manager, Anna Thibaut who helped educate the team about developments in this vertical. Following on with the non F&B theme, we wrap up the curated list of news from last week with a post focused on how Petco has moved to ban artificial ingredients in their products. It's interesting to see the same trends taking place across all product types. Hope you have a productive week. In online grocery, Amazon and Walmart at ‘genius’ level - supermarketnews.com Amazon and Walmart stand above other food retailers as “geniuses” in online grocery, an area that has become the industry’s top growth catalyst, according to Gartner L2’s Grocery U.S. 2019 Digital IQ Index. The only two grocery retailers achieving the Genius level in this year’s index, Amazon and Walmart earned respective scores of 144 and 140. (curated by @john veltri)
This post was supposed to go out last friday but there was an outage with our Content Management System, so only able to get it out today. So a video, to start the week. We have often looked to China, in this blog, to learn about the future of Grocery as the "blank slate" approach they are taking to addressing grocery challenges is serving up some incredibly futuristic solutions. One of the most comprehensive solutions being Alibaba's Hema stores. “There are three pillars to its strategy, serving as a place to shop, a distribution center for online orders, and a robot powered restaurant" – Uptin Saiidi, CNBC These stores combine the grocery store with a distribution center for 30 minute online delivery, as well as automated robot delivery restaurants to pull in visitors. The experience is connected across all stages of the buying process through the Hema app, which enables the shopper to get information about products and supply chain, navigate the store, place orders, as well as to pay. It's a pretty fascinating to get a real life view into what the future of Data and AI powered shopping experience can lead to. The shopping experiences in 10 years time could be very different from they are now. Hope you enjoyed this one.
Last week saw news come across the internal wire that seemed to paint a picture of the symptoms related to disruption across the CPG industry. The first article, by Google, discusses the need for Brick and Mortar retailers to embrace online grocery. The second article, explores a new partnership between Budweiser and Coleman Natural to brand fresh meat with the Budweiser logo - just in time for spring. And the third article talks about the challenges of Organic Farms as a result of loose labeling standards. All three of these posts can be linked back to fundamental changes in the CPG Food & Beverage vertical. The rest of the week in news focused on developments in the personal care and beauty product types, both articles indicating the changes in that vertical that seem to be following behind, although in some cases leading, the changes and disruption taking place in the Food & Beverage vertical. Enjoy the news and have a good week. How grocers should embrace online shopping - thinkwithgoogle.com The grocery category is on the precipice of major change. Today only 3% of U.S. grocery shopping occurs online, but e-commerce penetration is projected to triple over the next 10 years.1 This will create a major shift in how consumers spend grocery dollars as they embrace digital and expect grocers to do the same. Traditional grocers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this shift. Their deep relationships with shoppers and ability to meet critical, frequent needs position them to shape new behaviors in grocery. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)