Tag Archives: Supermarket

Shopping and Mood are Strongly Correlated

We were surfing MSNBC to get the latest US medal count when we came across this little dandy:

“Shopping in a lousy mood will cost you.”

You’ve heard how hungry shoppers spend more? Well, a study shows the SADDER you are, the more you spend. Check it out here.

The good news for food marketers is that shopping can actually LIFT your mood.

Can’t you just see a whole new line of weekly supermarket promotions?

Perk up your disposition with outrageous deals on asparagus and T-bones.

Give your mood a lift with this week’s stock-up sale on meat.

Feeling blue? Our two-for-one blueberry special will fix you right up!

It may seem trite, but this study adds to the credibility of our conventional wisdom that there is a strong relationship between the visceral feelings and the act of buying something.

People are less likely to SEARCH for a solution than to REACH for the nearest solution to their discomfort. We happen to be selling one of their favorites: FOOD.

Traditionally, we’ve focused almost completely on price. What if circulars were more about promising feelings than discounts?

Obviously, it’s something that will require a delicate balance in the current economic climate, but it bears repeating:

Emotion sells and emotion spurs purchase.

On the road and lovin’ it

Three days ’til family vacation blast-off. Meanwhile, the Spoon is taking it to Tulsa for a couple days to visit grocery stores (it’s nice to have family in the business).

Look for a post or two on how a regional chain of stores is having success in the same locations its larger, national predecessor couldn’t make work.

The Doc is in…for lunch

Now, the cynical traditionalists will scoff, but we think it behooves (love that word) food marketers to find ways to appeal to people’s desire to connect to unique and relevant brands with local flavor.

It’s pretty clear to us when something is completely contrived, like when we walk into ESPN Zone and the hostess has no clue who Stuart Scott is. Boo-Yah? No, just Boo.

But when you walk into a place called Doc’s Steakhouse in Wichita, you know you are someplace special.

Photo courtesy of kansas.com

There is a “676 Miles to Wall Drug” sign on the wall. The signature dishes are the Garlic Salad and Hamburger Steak. News clippings heralding the discovery of “new galaxies” also adorn the walls, along with menus from the last half-century. Worn carpet and stale smoke complete the bygone experience. As soon as you are seated, ice water in stubby, eight-ounce tumblers is raced to your table.

I went with my friend Steve. Here are just a few of the things I heard from him:

“My dad used to take us here for special occasions.”

“My wife and I used to come here a lot when we were dating.”

“I remember when the guy taking your money at the cashier stand wouldn’t let you by without talking to you for awhile, even when the line was backed up 15-people long.”

Ought to be some way for chain restaurants and supermarkets to tap into the potential to be unique the way Doc’s has done.

It has to have integrity and can’t appear stilted. Just authentic, neighborhood and familiar. Giving people a little¬†something extra to hold on to in uncertain times never hurts, either.

To take advantage of a megatrend, just focus on the family

For some, the most wonderful day of the year comes once in the fall, but it’s not a paid holiday or a religious celebration. It’s Family Day, and this year, it falls on September 22.

So why talk about it today of all days? Summer vacation have visions of loud, sweaty nine-hour minivan rides dancing through your head? Well, just briefly, let’s consider a few facts:

  • According to Yankelovich MONITOR, more than three-quarters of adults wish they had more time to spend with their kids.
  • About the same portion says they receive their greatest satisfaction from their children.
  • When pressed, many children echo these sentiments.

In a Post-911 world, the American family unit has regained its position as the epicenter of the social network. This is heightened by the influx of other cultures which bring an even more profound emphasis on staying connected with family.

Which begs the question: Are we as food marketers doing all we can to leverage the emotional power of family ties? You don’t have to look far to find that there is profit potential in the most mundane¬†occurences of family togetherness.

It’s true, Family Day gives an almost unavoidable reason to focus on family, but our chance for relevance rests in how well we relate to the reality of consumers’ family interactions on a day-in, day-out basis.

Today, I encourage you to examine the basic components of your family life that make it special. You may just uncover an insight that leads to your next packaging innovation or promotion.

Viva la familia!