Project 100 to intensify grocery competition
Smart & Final celebrated the one year anniversary of its public stock offering by telling investors a growth story about differentiation and new store expansion.
Smart & Final, a uniquely positioned operator of 266 warehouse style stores, has plans to open 100 new stores in the Western United States during the next four years. CEO Dave Hirz dropped that bombshell while he and other senior members of the company were at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell to commemorate the one year anniversary of the company’s listing.
"We have achieved strong financial growth during our first year as a public company, and have accelerated the expansion of our Extra! store format,” Hirz said. “Building upon our established Extra! and Cash & Carry footprint throughout the Western United States, we are now focused on executing our Project 100 plan, which includes opening over 100 Extra! and Cash & Carry format stores in the next four years. We believe our consistent focus on value, quality and convenience resonates powerfully with our business and household consumers, and gives us an edge in a competitive market."
The company’s Extra! format is an larger footprint store than a traditional Smart & Final introduced six years ago with the additional space devoted to perishables and household goods. Extra! stores average about 26,000-sq.-ft. and stock about 14,500 items. The Cash & Carry stores average about 20,000-sq.-ft. and stock about 9,000 products geared toward restaurants, caterers and a wide range of other foodservice businesses.
Study: Grocery shoppers create social recipe
Social media plays an important role in the grocery shopping process. According to a new study from market research firm Packaged Facts, “Retail Food Marketing Trends in the U.S.: Technology, Mobile, and Social Media,” a majority of grocery store shoppers use social media to get recipes (59%).
More than half of grocery store shoppers also use social media to compare prices between food brands, or access a supermarket website to check prices or find products or a sales flyer (54% each). And three out of 10 grocery shoppers go online to search for online grocery flyers, promotions/sales, look for coupons, conduct product research or look for recipes.
Not surprisingly, social media is far more likely to influence millennials' grocery purchase decisions. Social media is particularly influential among millennial men, adults with household income more than $50,000 per year, and those who are married with kids.
Millennial men emerge as 165% more likely than average to say social media advertising from supermarkets influenced their decision to buy a food/grocery product in last 12 months, followed closely by social media posts from friends/family, and social media post from supermarkets.
Similarly, middle-aged men skew higher in allowing social media to influence their buying habits. While women are often thought of as the social media mavens, the study suggests men are prime targets for social media advertising.
Millennial dads in particular are exhibiting behaviors that are a significant departure from previous generations. While younger men are certainly shopping more than their older counterparts, being a parent is a key driver in their likelihood to grocery shop.
Millennial dads are significantly more likely than average to shop for groceries four or more times a week. And frequent social media posts are effective in influencing millennials who are married with kids to purchase food/grocery products.
Kroger app enables virtual Pope visit
Mobile customers of two discount Kroger grocery banners have a unique connection to Pope Francis’ U.S. visit.
DigitalFood, the free mobile app for Kroger's Food 4 Less and Foods Co. shoppers, is providing a free, mobile virtual reality viewing of Pope Francis' American trip and his canonization of Fr. Junipero Serra in Washington, D.C.
Available on Wednesday, Sept. 23, consumers can digitally unlock the exclusive footage, courtesy of Mission and Guerrero Tortillas, by downloading the DigitalFood app and following onscreen instructions to view the content.
"This is such an exciting and pivotal moment as we continue to expand the frontiers of what we can offer customers and what we are able to achieve through virtual reality," said Eddie Vasquez, Food 4 Less. "For the first time in history, consumers will be able to get up close and personal with the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. We are deeply honored to be able to provide this opportunity and excited for what's to come."
CausePlay, the agency behind the DigitalFood App, partnered with 12 Corners, Wonder Vision and Invision by The Associated Press to provide the exclusive content.