NORTHLAKE, Ill. -- Next month Dominick's Finer Foods here will begin testing an in-store recipe card program that encourages the purchase of specific grocery products and evaluates consumer response by using scanning data.
The recipe distribution system was created by Purchase Point Marketing, Grand Rapids, Mich. It is vendor-supported and features recipes printed on the back of glossy 3-inch by 5-inch cards displayed on a kiosk.
The front of each card features a four-color photograph of the finished product along with a logo key to manufacturer products used as ingredients. For example, a recipe for turkey and vegetable lasagne features Mueller's lasagne and Mazola corn oil.
The program has been used for more than a year in 114 supermarkets supplied by Grand Rapids-based Spartan Stores, including Glen's Markets, Daane's and Value Land.
Dominick's will be the first larger supermarket chain to test the program. It will conduct a three-month test in 21 food and drug combination stores. The chain operates 85 stores in the Chicago area.
"During the trial test period we're going to really work on learning a lot about how this can be most useful for our customers, as well as our category managers and our suppliers," said Cheryl Robertson, registered dietitian and manager of consumer affairs at Dominick's. "Hopefully, we can make it a win-win situation for everyone, and if it is successful we will keep it and expand it for our customers."
Robertson also said that Dominick's would consider adding its own recipes, using private-label
products, to the program.
The cards will be merchandised in a kiosk standing about five feet tall and displaying the retailer's name. The kiosk will hold 18 different recipes and has pockets for other information.
PPM has been sending crews twice a month to service the kiosks at the participating Spartan retailers. The crews supply new recipes and take the remaining ones back to headquarters, where they are counted to see which are the most popular. They also clean the kiosk and refurbish it with new recipes.
"Because Dominick's is a chain, we'll have more control and accessibility to scan data, and we're engaging a national research company to work with us on the collection, collation and analysis of that data," Frank Van Dinther, executive vice president of PPM, told SN. "With Spartan we're only able to work at the warehouse level because the independent retailer owns his data and his own store."
PPM, originally a research company, detected "an appetite on the part of retailers and manufacturers to provide recipes in-store," he said. PPM then created the kiosk program and ran it with neighboring Spartan Stores for a year. "We found out from the manufacturers that further data is required, so we designed the Dominick's test to get the register data," Van Dinther said.
"We'll be analyzing sales data to see how many boxes of grocery products the program sells in relation to the market basket size, along with complementary and secondary items that are purchased as a result of buying the key name brand product used in the recipe," Van Dinther said.
Robertson of Dominick's told SN that while site selection for the kiosks is not completed, they will be located as close to the beginning of the shopping trip as possible. "We will be mentioning the recipe program in our ads. Our combination food and drug stores are our larger stores that have more room to test different programs, and we also do target advertising with these stores so it will be easy to put information in our ads. We're discussing the possibilities of using endcap displays and in-aisle signage to further promote the program, although we're not planning in-store demonstrations of the recipes," Robertson said.