I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 IDDBA trade show in June. Let’s be honest: who would turn down a company trip to California with free food?
In all seriousness, as someone who is still very new to Hubert, it truly was a great show to give me perspective on what challenges this industry is facing. I also got to see what food trends are shining right now, and it even gave me an opportunity to meet some of our awesome customers.
Along with collecting customer feedback on the Hubert mobile app prototype we created, I had the chance to walk the show floor, and listen to a few of the Show and Sell workshops. That was the most insightful part of the show for me, and I learned about many different hot topics within Dairy, Deli and Bakery. At the end of it all, I noticed all of the sessions had one thing in common: opportunities.
Here are some of the biggest opportunities our Deli – Dairy – Bakery customers have.
Steve Dragoo was the first presentation I saw at the show, and most of his presentation was about the opportunity for businesses to create experiences for their customers. In an age where products are continuing to become more and more commoditized and younger generations are growing in size, experiences are a great way to add value.
Steve talked about the 4 E’s of creating an experience: Entertainment, Education, Escapist, and Esthetic. Each has its own advantages, and the more of these E’s you can hit with your experiences, the more successful your experiences will be with customers.
One great example he shared was how the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle went from being on the brink of bankruptcy to having over 10,000 visitors per day by creating awesome customer experiences. Throwing fish back and forth is one experience in particular that has captured the attention of many TV shows and customers.
That’s not to say throwing food around in a deli is going to get the same kind of reaction, but the point is this: creating customized experiences catered to your business will add value to your business, get more attention, and ultimately generate more revenue.
Follow Hubert on Instagram for food merchandising trends and ideas.
Tapping Into Your Superconsumers
The last major topic that caught my attention was introduced by Eddie Yoon at his Show and Sell Workshop: Superconsumers.
What is a superconsumer, you ask? Simply a consumer who loves a certain product or category, and buys a lot of that product or category. Eddie mentioned that often times with certain products or product categories, 10% of the consumers make up to between 30 – 70% of the purchases. That’s crazy! And I have to admit, I am probably a superconsumer of Amazon (Prime Day got the best of me this year).
So superconsumers are smaller in number, but way more passionate and engaged. So not only can you generate more revenue through these superconsumers, but you can also improve your products and business by listening to what they have to say. Constantly keeping in contact with these superconsumers, introducing new product ideas, getting feedback from them, and rewarding them for their loyalty are all things that can be done to achieve a better product and a better bottom line.
Capitalizing on New Trends
I noticed while walking around the show all kinds of different food trends. I can’t lie, I tried everything from creamy pumpkin pie flavored fudge, to parmesan cheese crisps, to mochi ice cream. They were all so good, and our customers were showing a lot of interest in these food trends.
So what did I learn? Getting on top of these food trends quickly, and being able to capitalize on them is vital. There has never been a time like now where trends can come and go in the blink of an eye, so it is vital to identify and jump on them as quickly as possible. I believe this is most likely thanks to social media, and a growing consumer base that is interested in experiencing new and unique ideas.
In tandem with food trends comes merchandising trends. It’s not just about the food trends themselves, but it’s also about how you use and display those trends to your customers. I think the IDDBA show made that very clear for me. Seeing the number of people gravitating towards the Show and Sell Center was incredible, especially since Hubert helped to merchandise so much of that space. You can find also check out even more hot merchandising trends here.
To sum it all up, I got to meet over 25 of our customers, I learned a whole lot about the industry, and I got to eat free food all week. Needless to say, IDDBA 2017 was a massive success for both Hubert and I!