Breakfast Is Booming Online

Breakfast's Online Opportunity
E-grocer FreshDirect is working hard to meet shoppers' breakfast needs amid the pandemic

The higher adoption of online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic has naturally led to retooled strategies for capturing consumers’ breakfast dollars.

We’ve created new subcategories in our taxonomy to make these items intuitive to find,” notes Scott Crawford, chief merchandising officer at Bronx, New York-based FreshDirect, which as a pure-play e-grocer, is somewhat ahead of the game in this area. “Email and social have also been scheduled to assist with the outreach. 

“Additionally, we are leveraging our shoppable homepage to offer relevant content to our customers and highlight the breakfast solutions available on FreshDirect across all categories, from our in-house prepared foods, to frozen aisle breakfast items, to multiserve yogurts and traditional breakfast cereals,” he continues. “We are also creating themed content pieces to align with reopening of schools and offices via a unique ‘Back to Routine’ landing page, including a breakfast module.”

Suppliers at the Ready

Manufacturers as well are targeting online shoppers.

Kris Bahner, spokeswoman at Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg Co., points out that “two years ago, we made the strategic decision to invest in our digital capabilities. E-commerce had already been growing in importance for us every year, and then came COVID. With the digital resources and fundamentals in place, we were ready for this. COVID simply accelerated our digital growth, and we continue to review and expand our capabilities.”

“In 2020, we launched Tillamook’s Farmstyle Cream Cheese Spreads through an integrated marketing campaign that disrupted the conversation of ‘bagel and cream cheese’ to ‘cream cheese and bagel’ – giving cream cheese spreads the credibility they deserve,” says Elizabeth Parker, the Oregon-based dairy cooperative’s marketing communications and brand strategy manager. “This came to life through direct-to-consumer marketing, as well as through hard work with our customers to craft impactful shopper marketing activations that helped us break through at both shelf and online.

Adds Abby Kempf, category manager, innovations at the co-op, “Tillamook is focusing on driving trial, particularly by leveraging online shopping programs, as we’ve seen the trend to shift more to click-and-collect and online order for delivery.”

Still, it hasn’t always been an easy adjustment.

“A lot of advertising language and creatives have changed,” admits Andrew Maida, founder of Vaughan, Ontario-based Flourish Pancakes, which has “really ramped up” its digital marketing. “We’ve refrained from having groups of people in photos, and, from nudging customers to ‘share’ when eating Flourish. Offline, demos have been hit the hardest for us. We hope to get our national demo team up and running again soon.”

In-store still Matters

But even though more consumers are shopping by computer, store-level marketing remains important.

“Our reps have been utilizing display shippers regularly,” affirms Maida, while George Weaver IV, brand specialist and fourth-generation co-founder of Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Utopihen Farms, notes: “Right now, we’re focused on bringing more attention to our products in stores. For example, we’re using shelf talkers to bring consumers’ attention to duck as an alternative to chicken eggs -- however many stores these days have ‘clean aisle’ policies -- so we also balance with consumer marketing and ads and directly providing our consumers with lots of recipes online.”

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