Retailers like Big Y, Springfield, Mass., that run earth-themed promotions have the right idea when it comes to promoting paper products said to be good for the environment, said retail consultants. Grocers should also use as many opportunities as they can to promote their store-brand paper goods, they advised, including distributing samples during flu season and using paper towels during sampling events.
Jon Hauptman, a partner at Willard Bishop, Barrington, Ill., thinks upscale paper products could attract a stronger following if promoted differently.
“More expensive things like environmentally sound and upscale paper products, especially plates, napkins and cups, would sell better if retailers drew attention to them through the use of freestanding displays, special in-line racks, shelf strips and shelf talkers,” Hauptman said. “I believe that if shoppers are educated about the benefits, and if they can easily find them on the shelf, many more would be willing to pay a premium price for them.”
Too many supermarkets scatter such high-quality supplies throughout their stores, he added. Often, they are mixed in randomly with regular brands and merchandised secondarily alongside greeting cards. Some are also stocked in seasonal aisles.
Instead, Hauptman suggests carving out a single, more permanent space for paper products and highlighting their attributes using highly visible POS materials.