Alcohol brands such as Bacardi, Jackson Family Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery have joined forces with digital meal-planning service eMeals to boost online and digitally influenced grocery revenues via strategies like menu pairings that place branded wine, beer and spirits recommendations as options on the weekly eMeals shopping list. Subscribers can send their final food and beverage selections for the week to Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart or Shipt for online grocery fulfillment, or use the list when they shop in a store.
The companies have joined eMeals’ BrandBuilder program, introduced last September, which aims to increase online and in-store sales for participating food and beverage brands through recipe discovery on the service’s 15 weekly meal plans, shoppable recipe content with brand placement on eMeals shopping lists, and related promotional campaigns.
For alcohol brands, the program can serve as a neutral multiretailer platform that helps raise awareness of alcohol’s availability within grocery pickup and delivery – particularly significant because wine, beer and spirits have extremely low online penetration compared with food products. Even though a recent Rabobank report found that U.S. online alcohol sales grew 22% between 2018 and 2019, including 115% in online grocery and 60% in online marketplaces, it also noted that alcohol’s share of online food and beverage spending remains 88% lower than its wallet share in brick-and-mortar stores.
“The digital environment is critical to alcohol sales growth, both directly from ecommerce sales and indirectly from the role that online visibility plays in building brand awareness and generating demand,” said Lorran Brown Cosby, VP of digital commerce at Bacardi North America. “eMeals’ BrandBuilder program offers a unique platform for alcohol brands to fuel growth from the top to the bottom of the funnel, including coupling drink recommendations with special-occasion menus to drive awareness of online alcohol delivery and availability.”
Additional program features include brand integration into weekly shopping lists automatically generated by eMeals based on the user’s specific weekly or occasions meal selections, brand placement in an Impulse section that enables additional products to be added to the shopping list, and the ability to leverage eMeals-developed content for brand activation promotions, whether through social media, in-store merchandising, TV commercials or other channels.
All participating food and beverage brands also benefit from comprehensive shopping analytics, among them which products are purchased via the eMeals app as well as which online grocery services are used, and measurable return on ad spend.
Birmingham, Ala.-based eMeals is a provider of curated meal plans connecting consumers and food brands to online grocery pickup and delivery services. Subscribers have access to 15 food style meal plans, each with new weekly dinner ideas that can be mixed and matched from plan to plan. Based on the selected meal choices, the eMeals app automatically generates a grocery list that can be shopped in-store or sent for pickup or delivery by one of its integrated grocery retailers.
Walmart, Kroger and Amazon are Nos. 1, 2 and 10 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.