General Mills helps its retailer trading partners maximize sales by providing valuable insights into shopper motivations and behaviors, earning SN's Supplier Leadership Award for Category Management.
General Mills helps its retailer trading partners maximize sales by providing valuable insights into shopper motivations and behaviors.
By understanding shoppers better, it helps retailers create improved store-specific marketing and merchandising programs.
One way General Mills brings enhanced leadership to its customers is in the form of “category growth initiatives” on its top categories.
These provide its retailer customers with a variety of resources. Among them:
• A three- to five-year vision including quantifiable drivers of category growth.
• Retailer and manufacturer strategies designed to drive short-term and long-term category growth.
Key to this effort are comprehensive “Path to Purchase” studies that assess shopper behavior from their home to the point of purchase, according to Scott Dillon, category management director for General Mills.
“The insights derived from the Path to Purchase studies enable us to provide immediate and long-term solutions to activate against every step of the shopper Path to Purchase to maximize growth for that particular category,” Dillon said.
General Mills provides a toolbox of insights and solutions across distribution, merchandising, shelving and pricing. It then works with its retailer partners to execute those plans across their stores.
The grain snack category has been a notable success story for General Mills, according to Dillon.
The company provides the following best practices to retailers to manage the convenient wholesome snack category:
• Ensure sufficient assortment: Top-performing retailers have distribution averages within the following ranges: 124-158 grain stockkeeping unit, 44-46 fruit SKUs and 35-44 toaster pastry SKUs.
• Align the shelf with consumer shopping patterns (from left to right): adult, all-family and then kid products.
• Add 4 feet to the section.
Efforts like this are among the reasons why General Mills experienced the highest growth in the consumer insights/category leadership segment of Kantar Retail’s 2011 PoweRanking Study. PoweRanking is an annual survey that highlights those manufacturers and retailers that have performed the best in the eyes of their trading partners.
Nearly 32% of retailers said General Mills was the manufacturer that provided the most helpful consumer insights/category management in 2011, a 4.8-point increase from 2010.
The manufacturer was touted for reinventing key categories, and providing strategies for improving shelf placement. It came in third place overall in the consumer insights/category leadership category, following Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods.
“General Mills’ people are the true category leaders, and they suggest what is right for the business,” one anonymous retailer is quoted as saying in the survey.
Another retailer commended General Mills for its “share of wallet” insights; segmented customer data, focus groups and consumer decision trees; and new item success.
General Mills provides “the data to grow sales based on consumer feedback and continue to improve upon insights,” said a third retailer.
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