business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There’s a really nice consumer-oriented piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning entitled “You Could Be Having More Fun at the Grocery Store,” that, I think, also offers lessons to marketers.

The story points out that there is a “difference between fun food shopping and functional food shopping,” and that shoppers can exploit the difference to their own advantage.

It suggests that “you will spend less time in grocery stores and improve the quality of your meals if you make in-person trips for things that make you hungry (the fun stuff) - peak produce, excellent meat and sparkling fish, great dairy and bread - and get the rest online or on a separate pantry-stocking trip. When you don’t have a million things to get, you’ll pick out what truly appeals to you.”

It also is important, the column suggests, to “keep a lean but diverse assortment of pantry items, seasonings and perishables on hand. Your cupboards should be pared down, not stockpiled. There’s no advantage to having more than one or two types of dried beans in the house. If you have a short, textured pasta plus a long strand, you’re covered. It means less to keep track of, fewer items at risk of going stale and more available cabinet space.”

Now, this kind of shopping isn’t for everyone … especially if you don’t have a store or stores near you, or your personal and/or work life don’t lend themselves to this approach to shopping.

But … if I were a retailer, I’d certainly thinking about how to make consumers’ trips to my store more experiential and fun. I’d be thinking about how to make people hungry when they walk in my store. And I’d be doing my best to make functional shopping more frictionless and just easier … especially by focusing on things like automatic replenishment and e-commerce.

Read the story here, and think to yourself, “Am I helping my shoppers have more fun, and am I a solution to the problem of drudgery?

You can ask yourself, “What can I d better to make their lives better/easier/tastier?”

Your answers could be an Eye-Opener.
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