The National Grocers Association's recent NGA Show 2023 in Las Vegas featured a variety of panels and discussions, including how to innovate and attract consumers to the perimeter of the grocery store.
In a panel discussion hosted by Ari Goldsmith, VP of Marketing & Digital Media at KeHE Distributors, Amber Hammond, executive director of Sales at KeHe, Michael Tyson, Chief marketing & merchandising officer at Indiana Grocery Group, and Mindy Rich, VP of Data Analytics at Associated Food Stores Inc., discussed what’s trending in the fresh and prepared food categories.
Hammond said that at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when prepared food sectors temporarily closed, KeHE’s retail partners looked for ways to fill that store space, with pre-sliced deli meat as an example. Now, she added that the challenge is driving innovation in the section.
“Now, we’re seeing that we need to drive innovation through our mixes, reduce labor, and bring the customers in with things they connect with,” said Hammond. “Things like diverse-trade, what is the brand about… people want to learn more and more about the brands that they are buying.”
Tyson added that at his company’s stores in the Midwest, convenient and ready-to-go options are seeing success.