Three Emerging Opportunities at the Shelf Edge

We’re always looking for new ideas that would help our supermarket and drug store clients increase sales and profits. Here are three rapidly developing opportunities that have great potential as well as special implications for the shelf edge.

1. Single-cup Coffee Wakes Up the Home Brewing Market.

Although single-cup coffee is still a relatively small part of the overall coffee market, a recent SN article (“Change is Brewing,” 8/27/12), states that sales have more than doubled in food, drug, and mass outlets during the past year. What’s more, there’s plenty of room for future growth as patent expirations enable private-label introductions that could include innovative cold beverage versions.

New introductions will cause retailers to adjust their shelves to accommodate the expanded one-cup coffee and other beverage offerings. More retail chains may also expand into selling the machines. And while the incremental sales are certainly welcomed, education remains needed to get a greater number of consumers comfortable with the new technology and aware of the convenience of single-cup beverage making.

End caps, shelf talkers, shelf strips, and demonstrations all can play a part in getting your sales brewing.

2. Stealth Discounts for Senior Shoppers.

A colleague recently sent me the July-August 2012 issue of the AARP Bulletin (I’m way too young to get my own copy), that contained an interesting article titled “99 Great Ways to Save in 2012.” Right there at number 38 was as a shopping tip called “stealth discounts.” The copy noted how some grocery chains and stores are offering older shoppers unadvertised discounts ranging up to 10 percent.

Typically stores only make these available weekly or monthly on slow midweek shopping days. The discount program idea is not yet widely embraced by national chains, but local stores and regional chains are definitely getting into the act.

Increase Your Business with a Growing Demographic

If you don’t already have an unadvertised senior discount program, this could be a great way to get older customers into your stores during slower days while also providing a much appreciated discount. The U.S. Census Bureau projects the senior population will grow 147 percent by 2050 and comprise 21 percent of the population, totaling 86.7 million people.

Check this article, Grocery Stores Senior Discount, for a list of some stores offering discounts, including details about the individual programs, age requirements, and restrictions.

Keep in mind that targeted, shelf-edge promotion is a great way to create awareness of your discount program.

3. Retail Clinics Offer a Prescription for Healthier Profits.

In-store clinics have been springing up in grocery, drug, and discount department stores for several years. Now the U.S. Supreme Court’s blessing of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) means that 30 million presently uninsured people will increase demand for medical services, especially primary care services, beginning in 2014.

As author Michael Gary points out in SN (“Healthy Signs,” 8/27/12), alternative, lower-cost clinic services will be required both to serve the volume of new patients and to control program expenses. Combine that with an aging population that also will require more routine services and you have a real growth opportunity that fits perfectly with the convenience of retail stores.

Shelf-edge reminders of your services prominently displayed in your health and beauty aisles, entry-door and pharmacy counter signage, as well as check-out discount coupons are all great ways to increase awareness and business.

The Bacompt team is always eager to apply its creativity to making your new or expanded programs more successful. Give me a call at 1-800-533-7109 if you’d like to discuss some ideas.

Choosing the Right Tag Substrate, Part 2

In a recent Buzz post, we talked about tag substrates without a “backer” component. We’re going to conclude the mini-series with a post on – you guessed it – substrates that include a backer.

Four Major Categories

Again, there are four basic choices in this category with each having a unique set of properties and best uses:

1. Laminated Paper. This label material has a printed paper face stock that is built up by fusing together two or more layers of very thin plastic. Laminated papers also come with adhesive strips applied for use as pressure sensitive labels. These substrates have advantages over coated paper labels in their superior resistance to abrasions, creasing, sun damage, wrinkling, staining, smudging, or becoming marked by grease. They will tear, but again are more resistant to tearing than non-laminated paper. Laminated stocks are very versatile and can be used in most locations throughout the store.

2. Vinyl. Derived from two basic ingredients, petroleum and salt, vinyl shelf labels and shelf talkers have removable adhesive backing for easy label removal and repositioning. A heavy-duty 92# release liner top coating ensures uniform toner image adhesion and durability. The 8½” x 11” sheet size is ideal for use with laser printers. Some vinyl materials are also formulated for inkjet imaging. Vinyl labels are extremely durable and tear resistant, but are not well suited for freezers and coolers because of a tendency to curl in those environments.

3. PVC-Free Film.  This is a variation of a vinyl label offered by Avery Dennison. PVC-free film offers a 25 percent to 50 percent cost advantage over vinyl while being recyclable in mixed waste bins. It’s easy-to-use, pull-and-peel signage with a clear top that makes it perfect for placing over existing shelf-edge tags. You can also use PVC-free film in dry goods, freezers and coolers, peg hooks, flat surfaces, and bins.

4. Magnetic.  This stock consists of a sheet of Clairefontaine white paper that receives a magnetic paste comprised of iron, a flexible agent and adhesive. The resulting substrate provides a very good printing surface with exceptional color reproduction qualities. Magnetic papers cut easily and can be repositioned repeatedly on all types of metal surfaces.

If you’d like to see real-life examples of how some of these substrates are being used in creative ways, we invite you to view our “Tags That Make a Difference” e-newsletter special features.