Increasing Basket Size by Selling Meal Ideas
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
“What’s for dinner?” is a daily question for most families and the supermarket dietitian is in a great position to provide mealtime solutions that naturally increase basket size and show an ROI. In addition, promoting easy, affordable and healthy meals will help your store compete with the growing meal delivery services. Here are some ways to provide practical meal ideas and inspiration to your shoppers:
- Always offer serving suggestions with in-store or online recipes.
- Create a “meal case” in the meat/seafood department. Provide clear signage and all needed ingredients. Take a multi-channel approach to communication, promoting through social media channels and in store radio.
- Highlight “assembly” meal ideas in ads for those nights when your shoppers have minimal prep time. Frozen Ravioli + Pasta Sauce + Green Beans + Milk and dinner is served!
- Communicate how to prepare simple meals from popular staples – chicken chili with shredded rotisserie chicken; fish tacos with frozen tilapia fillets; main dish salads from bagged salad greens; etc.
- Ensure store demos go beyond being a one product tasting station by showing an easy meal or snack that solves a consumer need (i.e.: an afterschool snack of fresh apple slices dipped in Greek yogurt and granola).
- Select a produce item of the week and provide an easy meal idea or two using that product.
- Provide meal planning or cooking classes in store or in the community to highlight your resources.
- Does your store offer on-line ordering and grocery pick up? Consider promoting menu plans using weekly sale item on the order website and/or put a recipe link near key items.
- Create a grab-and-go case of healthier snacks and lunch ideas.
- Share how your store’s prepared foods can be combined for no cook meal options.
- If funding is available, develop a store meal planning guide that provides easy recipes and tips. Distribute to shoppers during demos, store tours or community events.
- Provide a pantry stocking list to ensure meal-starter ingredients are at hand.
- Create sample meal plans for special diets such as diabetic-friendly or Gluten Free and provide through pharmacy, with one-on-one counseling or during diet specific store tours and classes.
Engage your shoppers by providing relevant meal planning ideas and they will reward you with a bigger cart and their loyalty.