The Coca-Cola Co. brought an extra dose of happiness to the 2013 FMI Future Connect conference in Orlando earlier this week—in the form of the “Happiness Lounge.” Ben Middleton, director of industry communications for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, told The Shelby Report that the setup allowed the company’s sales personnel to “reinforce some of the major initiatives that we have in the market today—to take advantage of the major trends in the grocery channel.”
Making meal solutions easier
“These are things that are representing great opportunities for retailers to improve their business results through the use of beverages and the other products that they are selling in the store,” Middleton said. “So the idea of combining and bundling ready-to-go meals or meal ingredients is so important because, as you can see here, (over) 50 percent of dinner decisions are made one hour before the meal. Make those meal solutions easy for those moms who are coming in trying to make those things happen.”
Social and mobile
“We’re trying to draw attention to the (Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council’s) work, which is a recent study on the use of social media,” Middleton said. “It’s free to download for the industry and very relevant to how people are using social media in their businesses. It’s no surprise that people are using, in particular mobile devices, in the stores as well so we want to be able to generate conversations around how those trends work and what we can do to help you take advantage of them.”
Above the Basket Display
This piece of equipment “helps put cold drinks right there at the point of purchase,” Middleton said. “So they’re over contributing in terms of profitability for the amount of volume that’s being sold. It’s a pretty attractive proposition through a small footprint; you’re able to deliver a very profitable item at the checkout counter.”
Variety and choice
“…People want lots of choice…because where you’re able to offer people more choices they are happier and they come back more often, they shop more often,” Middleton said. “So for our brands, we have over 650 products…most people know three or four, the handful of brands as a consumer that The Coca-Cola Co. makes, but we have so many in many categories including coffee, tea, juices, bottled water and ways to enhance your bottled water to make those things more attractive. Many of them are low or no calorie, or if your favorite beverage is, like mine, Coca-Cola Classic, you can get that in small can. We have different package sizes available, too.
“That’s really the key insight here,” Middleton added, “being able to provide people lots of choices is a winning formula.” (See the choices and variety display showcased in the Happiness Lounge in the featured photo at top.)
Find more 2013 FMI Future Connect photos here.