Fresh Thyme Breathes New Life Into Bulk Foods

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has formed a new partnership to help increase the appeal of its bulk foods with a new shopper insights-driven design that aims to drive traffic to the category, increase conversion and build basket size.

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based grocer teamed with ChangeUp Inc., a brand development firm based in Dayton, Ohio, to create an in-depth understanding of the category, including financial performance data. Importantly, insights were gathered from current customers through in-store intercepts and observational research. Among the topics addressed: shopper behaviors, category purchase barriers and shelf-level organization.

“Our most valuable input in the process was having the opportunity to interact directly with shoppers. Incorporating their perspective is essential to our process – powerful solutions and successful outcomes start with an understanding of the shopper’s desired experience,” said ChangeUp Partner Bill Chidley.

Shopper research uncovered a key finding: The bulk department was intimidating and lacked a relatable, overarching proposition. While shoppers voiced their interest to buy in bulk, they weren’t able to convert the individual product offerings into meal occasions, and too often dismissed the area altogether.

ChangeUp reorganized the merchandise to create a compelling breakfast proposition that acts as a new point of entry into the category. Positioned near the bakery, the Fresh Start proposition creates a logical adjacency that makes it easy and convenient for shoppers. Merchandising shifts across other bulk product categories brought additional propositions to the forefront. Amplified graphic communications convey a strong appetite appeal that entices the shopper to explore the entire bulk area.

Through the development of compelling propositions, unique offerings are celebrated and interesting flavor combinations are highlighted. Similar offerings are grouped together, making it easier for shoppers to understand the role bulk foods could play in their lifestyle. Suggested use occasions are communicated through strategically placed graphic elements both in-aisle and on end caps.

The reimagined bulk food department maximizes opportunities to attract new shoppers to the category, driving new purchase habits and making it easier for the shopper to navigate and locate products they're looking for. From distinctive fixtures and lighting solutions to merchandising and navigational signage, the experience brings renewed excitement to the center of the store. Bulk food has been made relevant to today’s shopper and is once again the heart of Fresh Thyme, upholding the brand promise of a fresh, convenient and healthy shopping experience.

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