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Archive | Columnists

COMPETING WITH ALDI

No, it’s not easy. But here are some ideas that might come in handy. Extreme discounter Aldi has put many grocers off balance in the 32 states where it operates. Now Lidl — also from Germany — is building a DC in Virginia and hiring a team for its own aggressive invasion of the U.S. […]

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CLAIMS TO FAME

Many products with on-pack wellness claims are outpacing overall retail growth. Across Nielsen-measured retail channels and categories, Nielsen Wellness Track reports products labeled organic achieved a four-year compounded dollar growth rate (CAGR) of 14% — considerably higher than the 3% sales growth across the store the past 52 weeks. But several more specific wellness claims […]

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YOGURT SALES TOP $7.7 BILLION

Up another 3.3% last year, the category remains a major growth driver, but retailers and manufacturers need to stay on top of shifts in consumption. Across Nielsen-measured retail channels, refrigerated yogurt sales topped $7.7 billion during the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, ranking a very respectable 23rd out of 342 Nielsen-measured categories. In addition, yogurt […]

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LEARNING FROM C-STORES

They may not be a big threat to your business right now, but you can learn from some of the things they do really well. Supermarkets need to take a close look at what convenience stores are doing these days. No, not because C-stores are going to steal away their sales of eggs, milk and […]

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‘TIS THE SEASON

Winning the seasonal frozen and refrigerated food shopper is an important driver of year-over-year growth. While stories about Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate media coverage of the retail industry leading up to Christmas and Hanukkah, you can bet retailers have their eye on year-end holiday food shopping as well. My local Kroger has some […]

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YOUNG OR OLD: WHO MATTERS MOST?

Todd Hale discusses differences in the buying habits of Millennials and Boomers and how they might impact the future of frozen and refrigerated foods. At last month’s 2015 NFRA Convention, I shared insights on how well NFRA member categories are connected across generational and multi-cultural consumer segments, as well as among households at the extremes […]

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RELATIONSHIPS.’ WHERE’D THEY GO?

Business lunches and golf games are becoming scarce. People change jobs like undershirts. And trade relations are worse than ever. Hmm… When I was new in the business, my boss told me “You have to have good relationships with the people who call on you. They are the ones who will make you or break […]

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I PREDICT…

Listen, this wasn’t my idea. But here are eight things I see coming down the pike in the next year or two. (Or three.) As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But this month’s cover story is full of predictions, and Warren asked me to come up with […]

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PROMOTE OR INNOVATE?

That is the question posed by Todd Hale, who examines the impact of each approach to growth on frozen and refrigerated sales. For the third time since 2011, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) selected Nielsen to create a comprehensive state of the industry report. The company was charged with providing new and […]

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TIME FOR MORE ‘SCROUNDS’

Lots of good things have been happening in dairy department packaging, but there’s still room for improvement that will lead to better packout and stronger in-stock positions. First, hats off to Unilever for being an innovator here, just as they were with “scrounds” (square-round) containers for Breyers ice cream 15 years ago. Looking back, it […]

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