RICHMOND, Va. -- Ukrop's Super Markets here is slated to showcase its "solution selling" concept June 13 as part of an educational series and store tour organized by the Grocery Manufacturers of America, Washington.
Solution selling, coined by the GMA and Andersen Consulting, Chicago has been defined as "simplifying the shopping experience to meet the consumer's need by bundling and merchandising products, service and information to create value for the consumer -- beyond product distribution and single-item products."
Ukrop's program, called "What's for Dinner Tonight?", caters to time-pressed consumers by offering five-minute recipes. It incorporates products from all over the store, although the dedicated stand-alone, refrigerated case is found in the meat department at five Ukrop's stores, according to "Solution Selling -- Coming to a Store Near You," a report published by the GMA and Andersen, in cooperation with the Association of Sales and Marketing Cos., Reston, Va., and the Food Marketing Institute, Washington.
The report states that retailers who are currently testing or implementing solution selling are doing so in Center Store dominated categories, such as pet care, beverage and baby needs.
Moreover, 48% of retailer respondents said they are currently using dry-grocery products as part of their solutions, and 29% said frozens were represented in their solutions, the report disclosed.
Ukrop's uses frozens and other packaged goods in its solutions. Customers can pick up these and other necessary ingredients for a particular week's meal solution -- all in one place. Recipe cards with preparation directions are available as well.
Weekly meals, which change every week, are created from an established menu of solutions that is consistently expanded. Before purchasing the meal components, shoppers have an opportunity to taste the meal and watch its preparation.
According to Ukrop's April on-line newsletter, grilling, picnic and tailgate meal solutions were offered in six stores. On April 14, the day before tax day, Ukrop's promoted a "Stretching Your Tax Dollars Dinner" at its Meal Idea centers.
From April 28 to May 3, shoppers took advantage of a Cinco De Mayo campaign, in which the meal solutions area offered Mexican meals.
The program falls under the Ukrop's banner, but products involved in the solutions are not necessarily store-brand items. Each meal features about eight to 10 stockkeeping units, which are grouped into A, B and C categories. "A" products are essential to cooking the meal, B items are optional and C are products likely to be found at home.
The report also says Ukrop's plans to expand the solution-selling format beyond meal solutions to other types of solutions, some nonfood.
Two existing locations, Colonial Heights and Short Pump stores here, already feature an Entertaining Idea Center, in addition to the Meal Ideas Center.
At the end of last month, those two stores presented some tips for making spring weddings and baby showers more festive, according to information presented on the retailer's web site.