RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Catering to consumers is the thrust of Spokane, Wash.-based Rosauers Supermarkets' cereal category management program, according to Post here, a division of Kraft Foods, Northfield, Ill.
"The retailer basically knows its customer base and geographic trading area," he said. "What we can provide is the understanding of what drives a particular category -- what are consumers looking for? What makes the category interesting to them?"
Callahan said each retailer sees its cereal department in a different light. For example, while Rosauers sees cereal as a destination category, using TV commercials to draw shoppers in, other retailers might use their cereal aisle as a "routine category." And some might use massive displays to call attention to the department once shoppers are in the store.
Post works closely with Rosauers and other retailers to help them perform the "marriage" between the retailer's knowledge of its customers and operating area and Post's understanding of cereal tastes and trends, said Callahan.
"We work with our own sales planning and information group to distill that [category insight] down to usable information for an account on a local basis," Callahan said. "Then it becomes relevant to them as to how they can take that information and create customer plans."
These customer plans look at how to merchandise and shelve the category and decide what the pricing should be, among other strategies.
"We are taking what we know nationally, understanding the consumer insights about the business and offering practical recommendations to the particular customer," he said.