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Harris Teeter President Shares Updates At CFIC Convention

Harris Teeter
Tammy DeBoer

Last updated on August 22nd, 2023 at 04:11 pm

A brand refresh, a focus on shopper marketing and plans for new stores are among the many things that Harris Teeter President Tammy DeBoer is excited about.

She talked with The Shelby Report’s Maggie Kaeppel at the Carolina Food Industry Council annual convention, held July 16-19 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Harris Teeter’s brand refresh, the first since the mid-1990s, is going “really well,” according to DeBoer. The new banner was placed on a remodeled expansion recently, “and it just looks amazing.” The new look for the company is starting to show up in different touch points throughout stores, including uniforms.

Harris Teeter

DeBoer said Harris Teeter’s new VP of marketing, Matt Martin, led the rebranding initiative and “did it so well, in a pretty abbreviated timeframe.”

Overall customer feedback has been positive, she said. The company’s new mantra, “In Food With Love,” also is gaining traction with customers. 

“I’ve heard from people who said, ‘At first, I didn’t get it. But then I started thinking about it. And it really makes sense. You guys are all about food.’ We love food. We’re foodies, in food with love, and it’s really taken hold across everything we do,” she said.

DeBoer added with new stores in the pipeline, “We’re really excited about the future and our growth model.”

She noted that shopper marketing launched in a big way this year. It delves into the analytics, offering more specific and targeted shopper marketing programs.

“We’ve had exceptional supplier engagement so far this year. Actually, it was quite overwhelming. We’re excited about all the shopper marketing events that are being executed in stores for the remainder of the year.”

Harris Teeter’s No. 1 consideration for any program is its customers, DeBoer said. “Everything we do, starts with our customer.”

As part of this commitment, Harris Teeter, is focused on learning more about its customers and gaining additional insights. “We are steeped in analytics and understanding our customer,” said DeBoer. 

Harris Teeter’s supplier partners have access to the company’s insights as well, to help make the best recommendations for assortment and promotional activity. “It’s a wealth of information,” she said.

DeBoer said as the supply chain has stabilized, the company is able to offer more promotional activities and inventory and supplier partnerships are strong. “We’re having an incredible summer.”

She noted that some suppliers have more variety of SKUs post-COVID-19 pandemic, although a number of them went through a “SKU rationalization,” learning it was more productive to offer fewer SKUs. 

DeBoer said the amount of innovation is exciting for all parties. “The customers love new items, love trying flavors, and I’m encouraged by the amount of innovation coming into the market.”

There has been “tremendous innovation” in the beverage category, with new flavor profiles and functionality. DeBoer said that category has “exploded.” There also has been a lot of innovation in the snacks category.

“Fresh produce is an important part of our offering.”

DeBoer said many stores now feature refrigerated mobile merchandisers to spotlight new items, innovations and popular items. Cut fruit has been quite successful. 

Customers also are picking up more items such as organic produce, artisan breads, premium wines, oils and vinegars – testing new flavors and new meals. To meet customers’ interest, Murray’s Cheese Shop, an iconic New York cheese brand owned by Kroger, will be in more than 100 Harris Teeter stores by the end of the year.

DeBoer, who assumed her role as president of Harris Teeter in February 2022, said she continues to be amazed at the company’s culture and purpose – Enriching Lives. 

“Our 35,000 associates do more than sell groceries. They care about their customers and their communities. It’s so heartwarming to hear all the stories of connection and care – from helping inspire new dishes to administering CPR to a customer-in-need. We truly are enriching lives.”

Read more marketing news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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