Viewpoints

Retailers Cultivate Rich Food Experiences

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Promoting nutrition isn’t enough these days. Food needs to do more. Take Sobeys’ new “Better Food” campaign.

SN’s Liz Webber reports that this campaign — a partnership between the Canadian retailer and the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — is not just about helping shoppers find nutritious foods, although that’s a big part of it. The campaign also aims to lead shoppers to high-quality foods, fresh foods, sustainable foods and value-added foods. There’s also an educational component to help customers put together “better” meals.

Although “better” is a somewhat vague term to me, it closely resembles how consumers talk. How many times have you heard, or said yourself, “I really need to eat better”?

Sobeys takes “better” to represent an overall food experience where shoppers can feel good about where the food comes from, its nutrition and the preparation process. Sobeys makes it easy to find these foods.

Savvy retailers — both supermarkets and restaurants — are making food about more than just food.


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Chipotle’s recent video ad has almost 6.5 million hits on YouTube since the restaurant released it earlier this month. Quite a feat considering the ad is over three minutes long. The video follows a scarecrow through a mechanical, urban city. The scarecrow grows horrified by the industrialization of food. After visiting the country and experiencing “real food,” the scarecrow moves to create a more authentic food experience back in the city.

This ad pats Chipotle customers on the back. It pats Chipotle on the back. Fight the good fight, the ad says. And the ad is incredibly impactful, especially with Millennials.

As industry experts say time and time again, and as we’ve reported at SN, Generation Y wants more from corporations. It wants to eat good tacos and feel good about the experience. It’s not surprising that Chipotle is often cited by those same experts as a restaurant favorite for Millennials.

Read more: Sobeys Enlists Jamie Oliver for 'Better Food'

Whole Foods Market has long been a leader in making its brand and its products represent more than sustenance. People shop at Whole Foods because of the movement it represents, a movement where suppliers all have stories and each has very high standards. Whole Foods promises customers to sift out any products, suppliers or processing they should be concerned about.

All retailers would be well served by promoting an experience for customers where they feel good about more than just the taste of the food.

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Contributors

David Orgel

David Orgel is executive director, content & user engagement, of Supermarket News (SN) and its website, SupermarketNews.com. Orgel delivers his opinions on industry trends through a bi-weekly...

Jon Springer

Jon Springer has been writing about food, food retailers and food retailing for more than 10 years, and is in his second tour of duty with Supermarket News. His prior experience includes covering the...
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In their Viewpoints columns, SN editors give their perspectives on current industry issues.

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