How Can Retail Dietitians Reach the Millennial Shopper?

How Can Retail Dietitians Reach the Millennial Shopper?

November 26, 2014

Karen Buch, RDN, LDN
Interim Editor, RDBA Weekly

Young adults born between 1977 and 2000 are Millennials; also known as the ‘Me, Me, Me’ generation. These consumers are digital natives that are willing to engage deeply with brands that can capture and hold their attention. Achieving brand loyalty will be especially challenging among a group of consumers that are willing and able to take just a few minutes on their smart phones to scour the Internet to find the best possible prices. In the world of grocery retailing, this means finding other ways to build customer relationships and make lasting connections beyond ‘price and item.’ 

Retail Dietitians can contribute unique points of differentiation and value to attract and engage with this coveted group. Here’s one idea that you can further develop to make it your own.

Offer a recipe with a convenient in-store display of key ingredients
When it comes to recipes and meal planning, Millennials are more likely than previous generations to build their shopping trip around a particular recipe. They also tend to take a spontaneous, last-minute approach. According to research from the
Food Marketing Institute, one-quarter of meals eaten by people 'in their 20’s' included items they bought the same day. Healthful meal solutions that can quickly be assembled for dinner the same night are particularly appealing to this group of shoppers. 

You can try implementing this concept seasonally or make it an on-going program. To get started, consider starting with a pilot program to help you nail down the process and measure sales results against non-pilot stores. The following road map can help you get started.

Recipe Merchandising Pilot Program Roadmap

  • Present a plan to your fresh and center store merchandising teams to gain approval for a small pilot to test in an approved number of stores. 
  • Discuss with all category managers who oversee featured products.    
  • Select stores that you are confident will properly execute the merchandising plan.
  • Work in your test kitchen to develop a custom recipe or choose a tested recipe provided by a co-marketing vendor partner.
  • Conduct nutrient analysis of recipe ingredients to create recipe Nutrition Facts. 
  • Arrange custom food photography or purchase a stock image that closely matches your recipe.
  • Work with your graphic design team to create a recipe card layout.
  • Work with your graphic design team to create point-of-purchase signage that will draw customer attention to the in-store merchandising displays.
  • Order print quantities to distribute to the approved test stores.
  • Work with merchandising teams to create the display plan-o-gram.
  • Ensure adequate product distribution to remain in-stock throughout the display period.
  • Draft in-store execution communications for merchandising teams.
  • Include detailed instructions with pictures of a properly built display. 
  • Consider ways to extend the program’s engagement to interact with Millennials on social media. For example, send dinnertime posts featuring the meal solution (including your recipe image) and reward shoppers that post and share “Selfie” photos of themselves with their prepared meal. 
  • Measure and report sales and social engagement results.