- TYING INTO CONSUMER TRENDS: Routinely works with retailers to optimize trends, and has jumped on the popularity of “mini.”
- INNOVATION: In-store efforts, print and television ads are designed to show how Hormel products in all categories complement each other.
HORMEL FOODS HAS strengthened its efforts to stay on top of deli department trends with new products and line expansions.
“We consider ourselves nimble enough to go with consumer trends quickly,” Mike Farrand, Hormel's vice president, deli development, told SN.
“One thing we did this year is create meat slider kits to fill a need for deli operators. We introduced them at the IDDBA show this year, and got excellent response. Mini is in.”
Since they are supplied as a kit, the sliders give the deli operator flexibility, to serve them hot, or pack them up and chill them.
“Cheeseburger, chicken, pulled pork, sausage patty, everything's in the kit, including buns and a four-pack package.”
Showing notable innovation a few years ago with its packaged party trays, Hormel now holds a significant share of that market.
Building on that, the company has added seasonal and event-related trays, the most recent a Tailgate Party tray shaped like a football. New trays, including one that utilizes a cutting board, are ready for the holidays.
Hormel has continued a partnership with the Perishables Group, giving it access to market data that complements its own research.
“We started out with them, mostly getting data on fresh meat and pork, but now we're beginning to use them more for deli,” said Stephanie Postma, regional team leader for category management in consumer product sales. “We tie our category management research closely to our retailer-partners.
“Working with the Perishables Group gives us an excellent view of the market. We found, for instance, that chicken, generally a small segment, is moving very well, and is under-displayed. So we've interested our customers in some of the newer flavors such as buffalo chicken and have encouraged them to increase display space.”
The company is tuned in, too, to what prices particular markets can bear.
“We might find a retailer is under-pricing a protein. He possibly could be charging more without diminishing volume.”
Postma said Hormel rarely goes to market without having a good idea of what consumer acceptance will be. That goes for advertising, too, Farrand said. The company knows its brand is known and respected.
So print and television advertising show how products from different categories complement each other.
“Our aim is to get consumers buying our brand wall to wall.”
COMPANY TO WATCH
TYSON DELI MANAGEMENT: Tyson Deli took flight with wings this year, concentrating on innovations in that category. Darwin Gore, Tyson's vice president, deli sales, and Eric LeBlanc, director, sales development, told SN about some of them. LeBlanc said. Gore described one new product, Rotisserie Bakes, designed to repurpose leftover rotisserie chicken, mitigating shrink and adding sales. “Think about a casserole or a pot pie,” Gore said. “All they have to do is add the rotisserie chicken.”