Will we see more retailers promoting their soon-to-expire goods?
More and more people are looking for bargains these days, the cost of living is one of the most talked about topics in trade magazines for grocery retail. Waitrose for example have created communication to help customers to find the most price worthy items in the store. Aldi just had a Thanksgiving campaign that rewinded the prices to 2019, to give customers the most bang for the buck this holiday. These examples are important to meet the need of course, but I want to shine a light on how you meet this need and at the same time reduce food waste.
Reduced price, just as nice
We can see that Tesco is creating a fresh, clean and inviting area for their discounted food with the slogan “Reduced price. Just as nice.” planning to roll out soon. Is this a strategy we’ll see more of in the future? It seems to me as a smart way to meet the need in the current situation with inflation. We’ve previously written about how inflation is shaping shopping in different ways here, and I keep noticing different tactics from grocers trying to adapt to this reality.
Much like the pandemic forced changes for social distancing and curbside pickups etc, the financial state of the world now, will force a change too. I think this particular change is a really good one. According to surveys commissioned by Tesco 69% of their customers are actively looking for reduced items. Why not help them find them?
By creating and maintaining an attractive place for your markdowns, you get a lot of wins. First off, you make it easier for customers to find the bargains to help them save a buck - a win for your customers. Second off, you’ll get a higher sell through on your markdowns and a chance to communicate to the customers that you care about the food waste issue. Coop in Sweden does a great job with the new branding on their waste fridge, where the customer is greeted with big green stickers with the phrase “Here you stand, making a difference!”. This makes the customer feel like they’re doing something good while also saving money - a win for you (and the customer). Lastly, it’s of course a win for our environment because you reduce food waste and stop it from ending up in landfills. To be able to reach UNs global SDGs that aims to halve food waste by 2030, we need to accelerate.
Treat it good
One thing you need to keep in mind if you choose to use this practice: Be sure to keep it fresh and clean. It’s important that customers feel that the soon to be expired-goods still have value. The risk, if you let this area go a bit, it can taint the products with an unfresh feeling. You want to make them feel like they buy a perfectly fine product for a lower price. Which is exactly what they’re doing.
Brag about your markdowns
If you use digital date checking from us you can automatically push your offers on in-store screens or in various popular consumer apps. Combine that with a fresh and clean reduced items area and you can proudly say that you’ve given your products a fair chance to get sold - not wasted.
There are of course many retailers that don’t do it this way and still keeps their food waste on the low side so it’s not a given that it works in all stores. It’s all about knowing your store and your customers and what works for them. What do you prefer? That you find the marked down item in its original place or do you prefer that they’d be collected in the same area? Let’s see if others follow Tesco and Coop in this change.
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