Retailers and Suppliers Gather to Discuss Center Store Challenges & Opportunities  8/14/2019

ECRM Center Store TIP Discussions

Last month's ECRM Center Store Week encompassed five sessions spanning several categories -- ranging from coffee, tea and cocoa to ethnic and multicultural foods to snacks and beverages -- and featured a wealth of educational opportunities for participating buyers and suppiers. 

One of these educational programs was ECRM's Thought Interaction Pod roundtable discussions, in which buyers and suppliers across several of these sessions gathered for informal conversations on several topics relevant to the center store, ranging from ethnic foods, the challenges of selling CBD food and beverages, snacking trends, driving center store traffic, and even what the center store will look like ten years from now.

The format is simple -- we had five tables set up, each covering a different topic and with an attendee serving as moderator, and attendees come in and select a table on a first-come, first-serve basis. They chat on the topic for 30 minutes, after which we break for a minute, everyone chooses another table, and then has one more discussion on that table topic.

Following the TIP discussions, ECRM's Joseph Tarnowski and Lauren McNichols conducted video interviews with each moderator in which they each discuss takeaways from their respective discussions. Here are the videos.


Trends in the Snack Category (Moderator: Wayne Bennett, ECRM)
What exactly is a “snack” these days, and what is a “meal?” This is one of the topics of discussion from the Thought Interaction Pod roundtable on snack trends that was moderated by ECRM’s Wayne Bennett. His table participants also discussed how digital and convenience are impacting the category.

ECRM's Wayne Bennett


Driving Traffic to the Center Store (Moderator: Mark DiDomenico, Datassential) 
Datassential’s Mark DiDomenico's table discussed different ways in which retailers can drive traffic to the center store, including sampling, leveraging social and mobile marketing, and creative signage/merchandising displays

Datassential's Mark DiDomenico


The Multicultural Food Consumer (Moderator: David Mesas, Claritas)
Claritas’ David Mesas moderated the roundtable discussion on the multicultural food consumer, and among the topics discussed by his roundtable attendees were: Ethnic foods that crossover to mainstream; how many ethnic food trends originate in the foodservice channel; and brand loyalty among multicultural consumers

Claritas' David Mesas


The Future of the Center Store (Moderator: Charley Orwig, Datassential)
Datassential’s Charley Orwig moderated a roundtable on the future of the center store -- what that will look like, what types of products will be selling, how they will be marketed and merchandised, and what the future center store consumer will look like.


Datassential's Charley Orwig


Challenges & Opportunities in Selling CBD at Retail (Sally Lyons Wyatt, IRI)
IRI’s Sally Lyons Wyatt moderated a retailer and supplier roundtable on the challenges and opportunities of selling CBD products, such as vetting suppliers, merchandising products, and regulations around ingestible CBD products.

IRI's Sally Lyons Wyatt


Tyler Barich

Category Development Director - Grocery

Tyler can be reached at (352) 797-2726

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