Retailers Get Personal to Reach Shoppers

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Retailers Get Personal to Reach Shoppers


Ahead of next month’s annual International-Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) meeting, that organization's What’s in Store 2013 reports that grocers are heeding marketplace trends and responding in kind, including more targeted, customized efforts to meet the needs of a demographically-changing shopping base.

Among those changes is the increase in this country’s population of Hispanic consumers, whose buying power is expected reach $1.7 trillion in 2017. Also by that time, the Hispanic demographic group is projected to comprise 11.1 percent of the U.S. population, according to research published by IDDBA.

Given the size and buying power of Hispanic shoppers, the What’s in Store 2013 publication notes that supermarket chains are working to reach out to Latino buyers with various products and promotions, from authentic fare from Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other cuisines to bilingual packaging and campaigns. Some supermarkets are even adding in-store masa production for tortillas.

While many supermarkets have beefed up their Hispanic food sections, others have created broader ethnic aisles that include fare from Asian, Italian, and Eastern European cuisines. What’s in Store highlights research from IBISWorld showing that ethnic supermarket sales in the U.S. will likely increase by 3.7 percent annually to reach $31.2 billion by 2016.

Age is another demographic touchpoint of interest to retailers and deli operators trying to connect with customers. Baby boomers have long been in the sights of marketers (actually, they’ve always been a target audience), but the products and messages are evolving with the age of the boomers. As a result, changes like wider grocery aisles and lower shelves, along with health- and wellness-oriented products, are here or on the horizon as this mature consumer base ages.

Millennials (those born between 1981 and 2000), meanwhile, represent another age-based demographic group with buying power and a distinct influence. What’s in Store includes research from WD Partners indicating that millennial consumers look for fresh foods, new products, organic foods and ethnic products, and that they tend to cook more at home compared to other age groups.

Retailers and deli operators can also customize SKUs and promotion tactics by gender. Although women influence nearly 80 percent of purchases, according to research cited in What’s in Store, more men are grocery shopping and moving into more flexible and non-traditional careers.