Category Captain: Packaged Salads: Dole

Dole analyzed salads across North American retailers and created a scorecard for best practices. This included, but was not limited to, assortment, pricing and promotions. The company also analyzed promotional effectiveness, in addition to changes in purchase behavior during the recession. Insights included a new category segment, as well as significant changes in consumer purchase behavior from the beginning to the end of any given month.

Trip missions, along with retailer insights, allowed Dole to create a customer-specific roadmap by account, ultimately driving category growth at three major food retailers. The company also created the D.A.R.T (Dole’s Analytical & Reporting Tool), as a result of which scorecard, fair share, sales modeling, promotional analysis, segment/SKU performance are now automated, enabling the category development department to focus on value-added analysis.

Leveraging shopper insights and consumer research, the company relaunched all Dole Salad Kits, thereby invigorating a stagnant segment and driving the total salad category to show positive growth for the first time in several years. Guided by the understanding that shoppers purchase by taste and texture, new packaging simplified the process by emphasizing salad type.

The company’s efforts have translated into positive category trends at its retail partners, the first such gains in three years. Dole is the only leading brand with organic growth, up 6.3 percent in dollars -- four points ahead of the category and 16 points ahead of the leading brand. This improvement in brand velocity has helped overall category velocity by 39,500 units per point of distribution.

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