Kroger Makes "Fresh" a Top Priority for Beef Customers and Wins Second Annual National Retail Beef Backer® Award
The Kroger Company is the winner of the 2008 Retail Beef Backer® Award in the Innovator Category for its "Sealed for Freshness" program. Retail Beef Backer Award winners are selected based on their excellent merchandising of beef at the meat case.
Last fall, Kroger launched a new packaging program in its Dillons and Fred Meyer banners that was designed to keep meat fresh longer. The airtight packaging was introduced in September 2008 in all 94 Dillons stores and 129 Fred Meyer stores throughout the Midwest and West U.S. The initial launch featured several cuts of beef including Thin Sliced Beef Steak, a new cut from the Shoulder Clod.
The new packaging makes it easier than ever for customers to select and store fresh beef, plus addresses several key areas that impact retailers – shrink, in-stock position and sales. Kroger partnered with Tyson Fresh Meats and Cryovac® to use Darfresh™ packaging, a new technology that differs from traditional store-wrapped packaging. The bottom part of the package is printed with product information and recipes.
The stores got the word out about the new packaging through point-of-sale (POS) materials, weekly ads, radio spots, live radio remotes, in-store demos, in-store chef demos and recipe cards. The promotions conveyed these "Sealed for Freshness" benefits to customers:
Customer response during the packaging demo campaign was positive, with feedback that included "No mess in the refrigerator," and "I don’t have to re-wrap it prior to freezing." To help educate customers shopping the meat case, meat associates were provided with a wallet card listing talking points about the new packaging and the Thin Sliced Beef Steak cut.
The "Sealed for Freshness" packaging helped increase beef sales at both banners. According to Steve Kuntz, Director of Meat and Seafood at Dillons, "The incremental sales from the items we introduced were very positive for the category."
Both Dillons and Fred Meyer plan to continue using the Sealed for Freshness packaging. According to Tony Myers, Vice President, Meat, Seafood, Deli, Merchandising at Fred Meyer, "The 'Sealed for Freshness' program has been a success both for us and the customer by providing extended shelf life, improved in stocks, convenient leakproof packaging and freezing applications."
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