Progressive Grocer - September 2011 - (Page 152)

Nonfoods Cleaning Added value is a key selling point for today’s topselling cleaning products Putting the Shine On Suppliers have some advice for grocers: “Don’t give up — clean up!” By Bob Gatty I nnovation. Excitement. Shopping destination. A tool for building a store’s image and strengthening its brand. Can those words and phrases actually apply to a supermarket’s household cleaning and laundry departments? A number of suppliers believe they do, and they say many supermarket operators are proving it. But they also say many more are failing to meet changing consumer needs and to leverage new product opportunities — and are ceding category sales and profits to discounters, home centers and big-box competitors. Certainly, there are innovation and plenty of new products within the cleaning and laundry categories, but there’s also the danger of trading sales of one product for another and doing little more than confusing the consumer. Clearly, it’s a challenge. As with most GM categories, the reality is that many supermarket operators are focusing on perimeter innovation and strategies to build shopper excitement, sales and profit. Unfortunately, in many cases this is occurring at the expense of GM, either in terms of space or commitment, and possibly both. “There is constant pressure on space as grocery store management tries to determine what direction they should go,” says Jas- per McKinney, president of Aero Concepts, a Middlebury, Ind.-based manufacturer of household chemical products, including the new line of Evolve brand laundry and dishwashing tablets. “With food retailers, the landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. Supermarkets had control of a lot of different categories, but with the advent of mass merchandisers diversifying into the food arena, now you have everybody selling essentially the same types of products — but at varying prices.” So the channel-blurring phenomenon is certainly having a direct impact on supermarket sales of household cleaning products, in McKinney’s view, and that, combined with increased financial pressure on consumers, is affecting supermarket sales of these items. Scott Harper, VP of marketing at Cinnaminson, N.J.-based Quickie Manufacturing Corp., manufacturer of a wide variety of mops, brooms and other cleaning products, observes that many supermarket operators realize that use of current space must be optimized. “The incremental impact of ‘me-too’ type products — quite often with over-faced sections and multiple packouts of similar items, has been weak, and retailers are increasingly looking for valueadded assortment and meaningful innovation to drive growth,” Harper says. What Do Consumers Want? “The category impact from new introductions has been mixed, with too many new items simply cannibalizing sales of current items,” he explains. “Consumer demand for products that improve their quality of life — either through time-saving innovations or products that create a safer home — has been a big influencer, because these are translating into increased category sales.” Bob McDonald, CEO of Cincinnati-based consumer packaged goods powerhouse Procter & Gamble, made a similar point during an August news conference. “Our overarching growth strategy is to touch and improve the lives of more consumers in more parts of the world more completely,” he said, noting that there are more than 7 billion people in the world. “We want to reach all of them with products and services that make their everyday lives just a little bit better.” McDonald outlined new product launches and upgrades he said are helping to drive growth, including Gain hand dishwashing liquid, Downy 152 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What’s Next | September 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - September 2011

Progressive Grocer - September 2011
Table of Contents
New Era for Old World
Inside the Market Basket
Perfect Partners
Still Pink
Progressive Grocer Independent: Lasting Impressions
Breakfast Retailing Handbook: Breakfast Across the Store
Breakfast Foods/Frozen Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast
Cereal, Energy and Snack Bars, Q4 2010-Q1 2011
Fresh Priorities
Innovation in Focus
Goodness Grazing
Practical Implications of Food Safety Research
Gleaming Opportunities
Putting the Shine On
Seasonal Excitement
What Price Beauty?
Progressive Grocer Tech: Sourcing Savings
Bright Ideas
Supplier Side News
Editors’ Picks for Innovative Products

Progressive Grocer - September 2011