Food Merchandising Trends

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This photo seems passé in comparison to the fancy organic supermarkets. We're evolved to expect the a certain "fresh" look at grocery to tantalize the senses.

Many merchandisers have taken a cue from Farmers Markets. Whole Foods and premium markets have adopted the "Farmers Market" look and adapted it for grocery- giving the impression of local and seasonal produce under an organic platform.

Key components of the "Farmers Market" look include:

  • The placement of bright produce arranged by in color contrast instead of category
  • Produce free of plastic bags
  • Handwritten signage instead of computer printed ones
  • Stacked boxes in lieu of generic display fixtures.

We've also found that shifts in merchandising often correspond with a perception or awareness of food. Today, romaine seems bland given the lettuce selection available at any farmers market and shoppers are requesting local as well as organic products.

Given the current economic situation, the trend toward more basic foods and mainstream "Farmers Market" look, we predict that functional merchandising of like items together might be on the forefront. Additionally, functional merchandising (i.e. how the product is used), represents an opportunity for specialty purveyors to delights the eye with color while communicating a greater purpose (all of the items go-together in a recipe) in a seemingly natural display.

Think of functional cross-merchandising as the melding of farmers market and color trends with purpose and some suggestive selling based on consumers desire to have a closer relationship with their food.