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Category Best Practices

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A look at ways to sell more product, more profitably, by category.

December 2019


Bernatello’s Foods

The frozen pizza category continues to heat up, thanks to dollar gains by seven of the top 10 brands, most notably Red Baron (+12.4%) and Freschetta (+13.1%).  But one of the biggest advances was recorded by No. 11 Caulipower, up a whopping 101.3% during the 12 weeks ended Oct. 6. Total sales across channels rose 2.1% to $1.09 billion, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI (iriworldwide.com). However, units edged up only 0.4%, highlighting a continued shift to higher-priced premium products. So make sure your assortment keeps pace with changing purchase patterns. Continue reading.




Vital Farms

Although the fresh eggs category took a big hit after an oversupply sunk commodity prices, there’s still good news to report. Yes, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI (iriworldwide.com), dollar sales tumbled 14.5% to $1.11 billion across channels during the 12 weeks ended Oct. 6 (versus the same period a year ago). But even with less merchandising support, volume edged up 1.5%, indicating consumers are buying more eggs — partly because they’re so cheap but also because they’re compatible with so many popular diet plans. Even better is the news that although the commodity caged egg segment continues to decline, sales of higher-priced organic, free-range and pasture-raised products are on the rise. In fact, several specialty egg brands among the top 10, including Nellie’s (+6.7%), Vital Farms Alfresco (+24.6%) and The Happy Egg Co. (+58.1%), all registered strong gains, thanks to rising demand for more humanely raised products. How can retailers make the trends work for them?  Continue reading.




Red’s All Natural

Frozen breakfast sales jumped 2.7% during the 12 weeks ended Oct. 6 to $803.01 million across channels, reports Chicago-based market research firm IRI (iriworld wide.com). But growing demand for convenience and better-for-you attributes has consumers reaching in some different doors lately. For example, all of the bread-based segments were in decline: waffles slipped 0.7%, bagels were down 7.6%, and frozen muffins tumbled 14.1%. However, sales of portable, handheld items rose 2.9% while breakfast entrees, including on-trend bowls, were up 4.6%. And although growth came off of a small base, the biggest gain was posted by the “other frozen breakfast” subcategory (+32.1%), which includes unique new items like frittatas and egg bites similar to those popularized by Starbucks. Have you considered sampling some of those “other” products?  Continue reading.

Chris Poje

Chris Poje

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