Webinar May 15th with the Specialty Food Association | Register for 'Understanding Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers'

Webinar May 15th with the Specialty Food Association | Register for 'Understanding Millennial and Gen Z Shoppers'

We’re excited to partner with the Specialty Food Association to bring the specialty food industry fresh insight into younger generations of shoppers.

Join Green Purse PR’s CEO, Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, for an in-depth look at how Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are learning about, shopping for, using and sharing specialty food products.

Lisa will share some valuable insights from the qualitative research (shop-alongs) she’s recently conducted with Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, as well as examples of other makers who are successfully connecting with young shoppers. Come away with practical insights makers can use in their own specialty food businesses to better understand your shoppers and how best to communicate with them.

The webinar will address these questions and more:

  • How well do you know your younger consumers?

  • How can I find who my “tribe” or most passionate consumers are/will be?

  • How are other makers effectively reaching younger consumers?

  • What should I be doing now to better understand my company’s young shoppers?

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Time: 2:00pm EST (USA time)

Register on the Specialty Food Association’s website here → → → https://bit.ly/2J3GMIb.

Photo Tour of Whole Foods Market's 500th Store | Midtown Atlanta, Georgia

Photo Tour of Whole Foods Market's 500th Store | Midtown Atlanta, Georgia

While in Atlanta over Easter break, I visited the newly opened Midtown Atlanta location of Whole Foods Market. I needed to see first hand the retailer’s 500th milestone store. It’s gotten quite a lot of good publicity and features some fun, new amenities.

Located at 22 14th Street NW in Related Group’s Icon Midtown residential development, the new 70,000 square-foot, multi-level flagship store is a community gathering destination featuring four fast-casual eateries and more than 1,500 local items from 250 suppliers, many new to Whole Foods Market.

I visited early Saturday morning, the day before Easter. It was super peaceful before the crowds came to get their pre-Easter #WholeFoodsHaul on. Since it was early and I LOVE Allegro coffee (iced latte every day for me,) my first stop was Capital Commons, a cozy full-service Allegro coffee and espresso bar. They are early risers too; the cafe opens at 6 AM daily.

Below are some photos of the new Midtown store.

The fresh fruit and veg section is super colorful and pretty!

whole foods midtown atlanta

Look who I spotted on the Prime Member Deals board at the entrance of the store — our client, Atkins Ranch lamb from New Zealand! Nice to see Wellshire Farms’ ham on there as well — both meat brands are animal welfare certified by Global Animal Partnership.

whole foods market amazon prime signage
Photo source: Atlanta Curbed

Photo source: Atlanta Curbed

pacha soap co whole foods midtown atlanta
pacha whole foods atlanta
butcher department whole foods market midtown atlanta

Huge meat department with gorgeous display on for Easter and Passover. I like to see those butcher case clings featuring Global Animal Partnership’s 10 year anniversary!

global animal partnership whole foods market atlanta

Look what’s featured front and center — Atkins Ranch leg of lamb, during its nationwide promo with Amazon Prime. Normally $9.99 USD per pound (in this region) for leg of lamb, the sale offered leg of lamb at just $6.99 USD per pound for Amazon Prime members. The team of butchers in this store made a gorgeous display of lamb!

atkins ranch leg of lamb whole foods market easter

Atkins Ranch’s retail ready lamb cuts are new to the South region of Whole Foods Market. Super convenient for shoppers who want to quickly grab and go.

atkins ranch retail ready atlanta whole foods market lamb new zealand

I spy some good looking beef from White Oak Pastures, local to Georgia.

organic grassfed beef whole foods market white oak pastures

Check out these new meal kits, mostly with meat and some with fish, with some calling out “keto” or “paleo.” Very cool.

meal kits meat whole foods market atlanta
values whole foods market midtown atlanta

Here’s what you’ll find on the roof of the new store. There’s a space for games, eating and even yoga.

Photo source: Curbed Atlanta

Photo source: Curbed Atlanta

Photo source: Curbed Atlanta

Photo source: Curbed Atlanta

Curious to learn more about Whole Foods Market shoppers?

Download our report, How to Win with Whole Foods Market Shoppers here.

- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, CEO, Green Purse PR

You may also be interested in our blog post, What Amazon Prime Members Think About New Lower Prices at Whole Foods Market. Read it here.




What Amazon Prime Members Think About New Lower Prices at Whole Foods Market

What Amazon Prime Members Think About New Lower Prices at Whole Foods Market

Learn what some Amazon Prime members think of the new discounts available to them at Whole Foods Market.

Travel Notes from Japan | Market Observations from Grocery Retail

Travel Notes from Japan | Market Observations from Grocery Retail

I was just in Japan for two weeks. I went to conduct some shopper research for a client and while there, had a vacation with my husband and our friends as well. I traveled all over Tokyo, took a bullet train over to Kyoto, drove a car to Mount Fuji and then back to Tokyo. I loved getting to know Japan (and will definitely be back,) had some amazing foodie experiences and learned a lot about Japan’s grocery retail landscape and Japanese shoppers.

Have a look at my photos below to see some of the many observations I made while working and traveling around in Japan.

Firstly, Japan makes a wide variety of specialty foods, some of which looks like good candidates to make it in America. More on that in this separate blog post.

Japanese Specialty Food

Much like the American market, you’ll find a wide variety of retail outlets ranging from convenience stores (Lawson’s or Family Mart are everywhere,) conventional supermarket chains, independent specialty shops, specialty food chains, and high end food halls and shops inside luxury department stores.

life grocery store tokyo Japan
akomeya tokyo japan specialty food
maruetsu grocery store Japan
This was definitely my favorite specialty food store, Akomeya Tokyo TOKYO公式オンラインショップのページです。 akomeya.jp .

This was definitely my favorite specialty food store, Akomeya Tokyo TOKYO公式オンラインショップのページです。akomeya.jp.

lincos grocery store tokyo Japan
lincos japan supermarket
National Azabu Supermarket
Gorgeous specialty food section inside the high end department store, Kyoto BAL,  www.bal-bldg.com/kyoto .

Gorgeous specialty food section inside the high end department store, Kyoto BAL, www.bal-bldg.com/kyoto.

Japanese high end food

In the cities people are making multiple trips per week to the grocery store. Most pop in by foot or on bicycle. Riding bicycles is huge here. You’ll see moms on their bikes carrying around two children – one in the front and one in the back, leaving very little space to tote around a lot of groceries.

grocery stores in Japan

Coffee culture is alive and well here. So glad about that as I’m no fun to be around unless I’m properly caffeinated in the morning.

coffee culture Japan
Found the cutest Aussie cafe, Bondi Cafe, across from Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Check them out on your next visit to Tokyo:  bondicafe.net/bondi-cafe-yoyogi-beach-park .

Found the cutest Aussie cafe, Bondi Cafe, across from Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Check them out on your next visit to Tokyo: bondicafe.net/bondi-cafe-yoyogi-beach-park.

Specialty bread is also a big deal here. Definitely ate the most expensive bread I’ve ever had and yes it was worth it! Seriously though, how pretty is this bread store? It looks like a jewelry shop. Not limited to just the specialty, expensive types of bread, regular bread is popular too. On several occasions I saw people wrapped around a city block in line for fresh bread at a bakery. With a specialty product like the one you see below, this is more for a gifting occasion instead of a regular purchase, so I’m told by shoppers.

grand marble kyoto
Apparently everyone leaves here very happy as evidenced by these folks.

Apparently everyone leaves here very happy as evidenced by these folks.

Japanese love their beef. Everyone’s heard of Japan’s famous Wagyu and Kobe beef, both of which are delicious. I did some research on the meat category while there; look for another upcoming blog post soon just about the meat category in Japan.

wagyu beef japan
meat department grocery japan
Japanese BBQ

Japanese shoppers enjoy a wide variety of meat cuts. Go to a butchery or open up a restaurant menu and you’ll see some cuts you may not be familiar with -- like beef tongue. Nice to see people willing to accept those “minority cuts of meat” so the entire carcass is used and nothing goes to waste.

Japanese butcher shop
Beef tongue — looks nice, right?

Beef tongue — looks nice, right?

meat in Japanese supermarket

Presentation is taken very seriously here. In the higher end specialty shops you’ll see beautiful merchandising. Staff inside grocery stores seem to take great pride in their work (that’s a nice change!) and obsess over the details ensuring products look perfect on the shelves. While checking in on some of my clients products there, I was very happy to find them in perfect order.

honey display Japan
cherry blossoms grocery retail Japan
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breakfast traditional Japanese
beef butcher Japan
saki mount fuji yamanashi japan

And if you’re like me, and are attracted to pretty, minimal packaging, you’ll find a lot of products that catch your eye.

Japanese product packaging
Aseed Aster Japanese Beer
kids food products in Japan
People Tree Japan
pork jerky Japan
I took a close look at honey on supermarket shelves around Japan. I’ll have more on that for you in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned here.

I took a close look at honey on supermarket shelves around Japan. I’ll have more on that for you in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned here.

I observed some organic products, but not a lot. Most of the shoppers I conducted shop-alongs with were not having organic or chemical-free top of mind. That said, what was top of mind is food cleanliness, safety and country of origin.

organic Japanese tea
organic milk Japan
Cleavers organic beef Japan
brown sugar 1st organic japan

The USA, France and Australia have done a good job of promoting products from their countries here as the Japanese have an affinity for products coming from these countries.

American beef in Japan
I see Outback Steakhouse has also made it to Japan. Japanese enjoy a taste of the Outback as well.

I see Outback Steakhouse has also made it to Japan. Japanese enjoy a taste of the Outback as well.

true aussie beef Japan

I observed some unique flavors as ingredients in products like soft drinks, chocolates — basically anything had a version that was matcha green tea, wasabi, peach or cherry blossom/sakura flavor.

matcha tea KitKat Japan
I know it’s not organic, but I do enjoy a Coca-Cola every once in a while. Tried one of these and it was super sweet, but delicious. I could not finish it all, but definitely worth trying.

I know it’s not organic, but I do enjoy a Coca-Cola every once in a while. Tried one of these and it was super sweet, but delicious. I could not finish it all, but definitely worth trying.

On the go eating is not common here as it’s considered impolite to eat while walking around or otherwise on the go. If you buy some takeaway food, it’s meant to be eaten near the vendor before going about your business. Despite that, supermarket shelves have a wide variety of interesting snack food.

snack food Japan

Spotted some familiar products from back in the USA on supermarket shelves in Japan.

chuao honeycomb Japan
blue circle foods salmon Japan

Does your brand want to launch into the Japanese market?

While in Japan, we took a deep dive into the grocery retail landscape and shopped-along with Japanese consumers, delivering valuable insights, feedback and recommendations for our client who we conducted research for.

Green Purse PR conducts shopper research all over the world and looks forward to doing more shopper research in Japan. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about the Japanese market and consumers.

Or, are you from a Japanese company that wants to launch into the USA?

Good news — we’ll be back in Tokyo later this year and we’ll be bringing fresh insights from the American consumer market with us. I’m currently planning one of Green Purse PR’s Go To Market USA Workshops. These workshops are for exporters and focus on understanding the American consumer market to ensure export success. Each program is customized, but typically includes a half day or full day workshop covering topics such as: the American retail landscape, shopper insights, best practices in consumer marketing, competitive intelligence, resources and a brainstorming and Q&A session. Click here for more details on the Go To Market USA Workshops and contact us for details on the upcoming program happening later in 2019 in Tokyo.

- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR

#GetInHerCart’s Expert Q&A Series | Insight from Maria Reyes of Leading US Distributor, KeHE

#GetInHerCart’s Expert Q&A Series | Insight from Maria Reyes of Leading US Distributor, KeHE

We are launching a new blog series called #GetInHerCart Expert Q&A. This series of blog posts will connect us with some of our favorite industry experts who share our curiosity for how consumers around the world shop for natural products and what makes brands succeed in reaching them.

This first in the series features a Q&A with Maria Reyes, Director of Category Management at leading national distributor, KeHE, with the corporate office based in the Chicago area. If you sell olive oil in the USA, you’ve likely heard of, or know Maria Reyes. She’s someone I’ve known for several years and is an expert whose opinion I value. She also works for an outstanding company, KeHE, one I’ve been privileged to work with and a distribution partner to so many of the brands Green Purse PR represents.

Focused on premium, not processed extra virgin olive oil, Maria has helped bring to market and build brands like, Lucini, Colavita and Gaea back when these brands were first launched and are now rock stars of the specialty food industry and olive oil category. Most recently, Maria is focused on launching new and artisanal brands from Sicily, as well as Spain, the largest producer of olive oil in the world.

Continue reading below for our recent Q&A interview with Maria, and thanks for reading our blog, #GetInHerCart.

— Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder & CEO, Green Purse PR

Maria Reyes, Director Category Management at KeHE Distributors

Maria Reyes, Director Category Management at KeHE Distributors


Specialty food products that #GetInHerCart. Some of the products Maria purchases for her own home

Specialty food products that #GetInHerCart. Some of the products Maria purchases for her own home


Maria’s tips for getting (and staying) on shelves:

  • Know your market

  • Know your shopper

  • Determine your strategy & budget

  • Offer up your expertise to retail customers and when possible, consumers

  • Hire the right team & work with the right partners to help grow your brand and execute your strategic growth plan


Q. Before launching into a new grocery retailer, brands should be doing this__________before they launch.

A. “You’ve got to study and understand the market – the retail landscape and determine where your product fits in.”

Maria suggests:

  • Obtaining data on your product category, as well as your target shopper (category snapshot reports and shopper research, like interviews and shop-alongs.)

  • Developing a strategic plan (to include competitive shelf price, consumer advertising, social media, etc.)

  • Realistic budget for marketing and promotional activities.

  • Determining where you’re best suited for your launch (i.e. West Coast or East Coast, specialty grocery vs. natural channel, etc.)

  • Narrowing down your target retail accounts & ensuring you have the proper funding to support each of them via discounts, demos & consumer education.

Q. When we use the phrase ‘understand the shopper,’ what does that really mean? What specifically should brands be studying to understand their retail customers’ shoppers?

A. Who are the feet walking in the store, what are they looking for, and ultimately walking out with?”

Maria suggests:

  • Identifying the types of shoppers already primed to find your key claims of value.

  • Understand where shoppers learn about products in your category.

  • Identify what drives shoppers to purchase (price, format, quality, etc.) in the category you play in. This is called a “consumer decision tree.”

  • Learn how those products are used at home.

Q. Specialty food categories like olive oil (also wine, honey, cheese, etc.) can be overwhelming and confusing for consumers, unless they are experts. Do you have any examples of brands and/or retailers doing a good job of educating shoppers in stores or online?

A. Maria says that Cobram Estate (California & Australian olive oils) Gaea from Greece and BONO from Sicily, Italy, are excellent examples of marketing partners in that they work to educate consumers online and in stores.

Maria added that she had recently attended an education event at Cobram Estate’s office in Woodland, California for their retail partners and noted that programs to up level olive oil knowledge of retail partners is equally important to consumers as well.

Maria says there are some excellent olive oil experts around the world, like: Leandro Ravietti Techincal Director at Boundary Bend Australia, Dean Wilkinson, Head Panel Taster at the California Olive Oil Council, Dr. Mary Flynn from Brown University, Alexanda Diverini, Founder of The Extra Virgin Alliance and David Neuman, founder of the EVOO Guy. These are all professionals in the industry and great at helping educate key decision makers, consumers, and have also helped Maria over the past few years gain her olive oil knowledge.

One challenge Maria noted as it pertains to olive oil education is that “some retailers lack the infrastructure and time to properly educate themselves in order to help educate consumers in their stores,” and noted that categories like extra virgin olive oil and Manuka honey, are examples that should have more in-store education so shoppers can understand these products are unique and generally cost more.

Opportunity for brands to more closely collaborate with retailers to educate shoppers on premium categories, like olive oil, honey and wine.

“Consumers are more educated than they have been in the past, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement by both brands and retailers to educate consumers in premium categories."

— Maria Reyes of KeHE

Example of educating shoppers about Manuka honey inside Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland, California

Example of educating shoppers about Manuka honey inside Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland, California

Q. Just because a producer thinks they have an outstanding product, does not necessarily mean it’s going to do well at market. In addition to having a great-tasting, good quality product, what else is required to be successful in a crowded category, like olive oil?

A. “Money, time, patience, hard work and grit.”

Maria adds exposure such as, top tier media placements like, O the Oprah Magazine and Bon Appetit as well as awards, like, The Specialty Food Association’ Sofi Awards and the New York International Olive Oil Competition, can carry a lot of weight when building brand recognition and gaining exposure with retailers and often the consumers as well.

Source: Lucini.com | Example Maria shared of Lucini getting into O the Oprah Magazine

Source: Lucini.com | Example Maria shared of Lucini getting into O the Oprah Magazine

Q. When launching a new product (and new brand) at grocery retail, what are some of the must-haves?

A. “They need to have proper labeling, a national sales manager or regional sales team. If they don’t have someone here to help guide them step by step and develop a certain level of consistency, they’re going to potentially fail and often spend substantial capital. Another must have is having product inventory in the USA, that shows your commitment to the market.” Maria says that one way for brands from outside the USA can demonstrate that commitment is either working with an importer (who distributors like KeHE would be buying from,) or in some cases even opening up their own US corporation with their own warehouse (acting as the importer themselves) to service their American customers.

Maria has worked with several brands coming from outside the USA who produce the number one selling product in their country and they expect that they’ll also be the number one here in America. These types of high expectations come with the assumption that they’ll automatically have volume, expecting to sell by full imported container load, which is not always possible in the beginning and often takes several years to grow into.

Q. Are there any specific niches within olive oil where there is still some room to shine?  

A. “Yes. Demand for quality olive oil is increasing and supply is declining, except in Spain.” Currently Maria is focused on bringing olive oil from quality Spanish producers on board and taking full advantage of the current trend toward healthy fats, citing olive oil as “the healthiest fat of all, period.”  Maria recommends high quality extra virgin olive oil brands leverage the healthy fat positioning currently trending with consumers.

Another opportunity to shine is in product size. Maria says she is looking to market olive oil products in 250 ml (8.5 oz) format instead of just the typical 500 ml (16.9 oz) sizes. “Smaller bottles means less oil, which makes them less expensive and gives a lower retail price. That translates into more retail sales and allows consumers to be more adventurous with new products.”

Maria visiting olive oil producers in Spain

Maria visiting olive oil producers in Spain

Spanish olive oil products on retail shelves in Spain

Spanish olive oil products on retail shelves in Spain

Q. Are there any brands, countries or country promotion boards that do an outstanding job of telling their provenance story here in the USA?

A. “The Made in Italy brand protected by the Italian government through the Italian Trade Commission.” Maria also added that ancient cultures like Spain, Italy and Greece have a big advantage in telling a provenance story with the Italians being the best and most experienced at it.

Maria exploring Tuscan region with Bellucci

Maria exploring Tuscan region with Bellucci

Italy 3 Tuscan Region-Bellucci.jpg
Italy 6 Tuscan Region-Bellucci.jpg

Q. If a specialty food brand suddenly had an extra $10k, $20k, $50k or even $100k USD to spend on consumer marketing, where would you likely recommend they invest it?

A. “Getting the right story/messaging and certifications on their product packaging and tying that story/message back to current trends taking place here in America. Getting the right message and telling their story within their labels is a must.”

Maria ads that “social media exposure is a given, but don’t forget that there is a substantial value of both paid and earned media exposure.”

Source:  www.instagram.com/gaeaoliveoil  | Example Maria shared of GAEA from Greece’s on a billboard in Times Square, New York City during the Fancy Food Show.

Source: www.instagram.com/gaeaoliveoil | Example Maria shared of GAEA from Greece’s on a billboard in Times Square, New York City during the Fancy Food Show.

What Maria reads to keep up with food trends:

Consumer media: Clean Eating, Bon Appetite, Food & Wine & Saveur.

Trade media: Supermarket News, Olive Oil Times, Olive Wellness Institute, Specialty Food News, Nosh Newsletter, New Hope Network, Gourmet Retailer, Food Navigator & GMA Smart Brief.


Maria has a wealth of insight into the specialty food and olive oil categories, and she loves sharing it, which is why she is one of our favorite experts. Follow Maria on LinkedIn here, where she frequently publishes news, insight and commentary on the olive oil category and specialty food trends.

Brands whose strategy match a national distribution model and are interested in partnering with KeHE should inquire online here, www.kehe.com/distribution.

You can also connect with KeHE on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & Facebook.

 

View more of Maria’s travels from around the world speaking at olive oil industry events and visiting with olive oil producers from countries like, Australia, Spain, Greece and Italy.

Shopper Marketing for the Holidays | Mini Events for More Opportunities to Connect with Consumers

SHOPPER MARKETING FOR THE HOLIDAYS | MINI EVENTS FOR MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT WITH CONSUMERS

Building our public relations efforts around holidays (major holidays and also the plethora of marketing holidays — see our new 2019 Holidays for Food Marketing List) and seasons often serves as a foundation for the consumer marketing programs Green Purse PR creates. The holiday season and its holidays, (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Years) are more than just one-time events. Each major holiday can include what we like to call “mini events,” which can stretch out the season and create more purchase opportunities.

“You may be tempted to think of some holidays as just a one-day event, but in reality most holidays are made up of several ‘mini events’ that we can leverage in our shopper marketing. These mini-events translate into more reasons for shoppers to make purchases.” - Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos

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How many ‘mini events’ (or buying opportunities) can you think of for the holiday season?

Turns out, there’s a lot and some depend upon age and life phase. For example, to connect with parents of young children around just Christmastime alone, here are just a few of the “mini events” (and buying opportunities) you can build shopper marketing around:

  • Home decorating (which usually begins in the USA the day after Thanksgiving or around the last week of November.) – encouraging people to have the most festive house on the block. Depending on the type of dwelling, a lot of people will put the most effort into their front door - buying a new wreath and floral swag, getting a festive doormat and other accessories to spruce up the entrance.

  • Black Friday - informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

  • Cyber Monday - a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online.

  • Getting a Christmas tree & wreaths - some Americans make an event of going to a Christmas tree farm to cut down their own tree, while others may buy from a local church, garden center or grocery store.

  • Stocking up on home decorations - while a lot of people will keep using the same decorations year after year, it’s common to also buy new, trendy decorations like lights, festive cushions and blankets, and outdoor decorations.

  • Holiday cards - a lot of Americans have a tradition of sending out holiday cards to send greetings to friends, family and colleagues. These days, holiday cards can be quite an expensive production including: curating matching or color coordinating outfits, having a family photo shoot the few months before, creating the card online (with a website like Minted.com,) and spending time assembling and mailing them out.

  • Trip to visit with Santa - A lot of Americans have the tradition of going to see Santa Claus, either at a shopping mall, a local event, or neighborhood community center. This usually involves purchasing photos and perhaps giving some of them at gifts to close relatives. It could also include purchasing color coordinated outfits prior to the visit.

  • Gift shopping - from shopping online, going to the mall or even going on a shopping trip out of town, gift shopping is an entire season, usually starting with Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving,) and ending the day before Christmas.

  • Holiday party season - November through the beginning of January is holiday party time. Some host their own parties for family and friends, or go to others home to celebrate. With this comes the need to purchase party supplies, food and drinks.

  • Hostess gifts - It’s customary to bring a gift to the hostess’ home, which could include a specialty food gift basket, floral arrangement, wine, or a gift set of some sort. If your hostess has children, you might also bring their children separate gifts.

  • School parties - For families with children in school, they are likely to have at least one school party to celebrate the season. This may require buying small gifts for the entire class, or bringing a food item for a party. Some parents will also buy a teacher’s gift to show their appreciation.

  • Charitable donations - Whether at your child’s school, your church, gym, or community center, Americans are likely to go on a shop just for charitable donations for families in need. For example, my children’s preschool had a food drive and gift drive.

  • Neighborhood events - Some suburban areas have holiday events, like breakfast with Santa Clause for kids, street parades, ugly Christmas sweater contests, and other festive events where bringing food or a gift is necessary.

  • Green Monday - an online retail industry term similar to Cyber Monday. The term was coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the best sales day in December, usually the second Monday of December. This year we saw a lot of online retailers like Target using this day to promote special deals.

  • Christmas Eve & Christmas Day - the main days for big meal celebrations and gift giving.

  • Boxing Day - Although Boxing Day is not widely celebrated in the USA, some do celebrate it, and even if they are not celebrating the holiday explicitly, many Americans do give small gifts to folks like their landscaper, house cleaner, baby sitter or nanny, hair stylist, and others who they hire out for services on a regular basis.

How is your brand or retailer connecting with consumers during the many mini-events throughout the holiday season?

Let me know by commenting below.

Since we’re on the topic of holidays, Green Purse PR creates an annual list of holidays, specifically for natural and specialty food companies. It’s called our Holidays List for Food Marketing. Click here to download our 2019 edition — a 15-page social media planning resource to ensure you’re aware of and leverage the most relevant holidays throughout the year.

- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR


IN THE NEWS -- Natural Products INSIDER | Women Googling Their Way Into Motherhood

IN THE NEWS — Natural Products INSIDER | Women Googling Their Way Into Motherhood

When a woman becomes pregnant, everyday items, from food to supplements, medicines and cosmetics, suddenly are subject to increased scrutiny. When preparing to enter this new life phase, women tend to go on a massive hunt-and-gather style quest for information. That search often manifests itself in Googling a wide variety of topics, including fertility, healthy pregnancy and lactation.

Read our CEO, Lisa Mabe’s, thoughts on how brands can reach women heading into motherhood.

Access Lisa's new thought leadership article by downloading Natural Products INSIDER’s special edition on Maternal Nutrition here. Look for her article, Women Googling Their Way Into Motherhood, on pages 33-35.

Source: Natural Products Insider

Source: Natural Products Insider

IN THE NEWS -- Natural Products Insider | Leveraging the Influence of Influencers

IN THE NEWS -- Natural Products Insider | Leveraging the Influence of Influencers

In our shopper research, many consumers report that they first learned about a product through an influencer. There is certainly a lot of discussion around influencers, but what does “working with influencers” mean, what do influencer programs look like, and what outcomes can a brand realistically expect to get?

Read Lisa's new thought leadership article on the Natural Products Insider here: https://bit.ly/2RejvEt.

Source: Informa’s Natural Products Insider

Source: Informa’s Natural Products Insider

Exploring the Japanese Market | Upcoming Shopper Research During February 2019

Shopping Along With Japanese Women

Upcoming Shopper Research in Japan During February 2019

Green Purse PR is gearing up for our upcoming travels to Japan to explore what products #GetInHerCart. During the month of February 2019, our CEO, Lisa Mabe, will be working on an already commissioned research project to explore how health-conscious Japanese women shop for premium grocery products at grocery stores in Tokyo.

Our project will include:

  • Market & product category insights from several grocery store visits

  • Shopper insights from shop-alongs with Japanese consumers (along with a native Japanese speaking translator.)

Since we will already be in the market, we’re open to conducting more shopper research projects while there. If you’re keen to better understand the Japanese market, from a consumer insights and grocery retail landscape, contact us here.

We’re so looking forward to exploring the food and grocery scene in Japan!

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MUJI global flagship store in Tokyo’s Yurakucho neighborhood. Source: DesignBoom.com

MUJI global flagship store in Tokyo’s Yurakucho neighborhood. Source: DesignBoom.com

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MUJI global flagship store in Tokyo’s Yurakucho neighborhood. Source: DesignBoom.com

MUJI global flagship store in Tokyo’s Yurakucho neighborhood. Source: DesignBoom.com

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The photos you need now for social media | path to purchase imagery

The photos you need now for social media | path to purchase imagery

Shoppers need help understanding exactly what to look for inside the supermarket. Green Purse PR’s ‘path to purchase’ photography shows shoppers exactly what to look for.

Download our 2019 list of holidays for food marketing

Download our New List of Holidays for Food Marketing + Get Access to Our Upcoming Webinar on How to Leverage Food Holidays to Drive Awareness & Sales

Ever heard of National Cheese Lover's Day, Coffee Day or Beef Tallow Day? What about Weed Day or Farmer's Day? There are a lot of these so called food holidays or marketing holidays - some are silly, but some are serious. Serious in that some of them can help drive real awareness and sales.

We see retailers, media and consumer-influencers, like food bloggers, leveraging these holidays on social media, such as Instagram, and retailers using them for in-store promotions. Some holidays, like National Cookie Day (December 4) are made into big promotions at grocery retailers like Whole Foods Market. (See an earlier post we wrote on retailers taking a bite out of Cookie Day here.) 

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If you're keen to see how you can leverage food related holidays to market your specialty or natural food product, download the list here. We’ll be hosting a one-time bonus webinar session exclusively for those who download our list. The webinar will highlight some of our favorite examples from companies creating content around holidays, like Halloween, Ramadan, National Coffee Day and National Picnic Day.

Creating “Mini-Events” for Holidays + Celebrating Female Leadership | Recap from the Path to Purchase Expo

Creating “Mini-Events” for Holidays + Celebrating Female Leadership | Recap from the Path to Purchase Expo

I attended a shopper marketing conference and trade show, the Path to Purchase Expo, by the Path to Purchase Institute for the first time this year. It was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the first week of October and was attended by a lot of big consumer packaged good (CPG) brands, retailers, creative agencies, and technology service providers. The likes of retailers such as Walmart and Kroger, brands like Coca-Cola and The Clorox Co. and service providers like Volta and Aha!ogy were there. I noticed a few from the natural products industry – Organic Valley and the Fair Trade Association. There were a few from the meat industry as well – Hormel, Superior Farms (lamb) and the American Lamb Board.

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I’ve been reading the Path to Purchase Institute’s trade publication, Shopper Marketing Magazine, for years, - I’ve even had my work featured in it before, but this was my first time attending one of their conferences and I’m glad I went. I attended mostly because I want to learn – learn what big CPG brands and mass retailers are doing to understand and connect with shoppers, both from a research and shopper marketing perspective.

While there, I also participated in the inaugural When Women Lead Symposium made up of other female leaders who work in shopper marketing. Helping to promote female leadership in my industry (the natural products industry) is naturally something I’m an advocate of. As a female entrepreneur and thought leader, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to share my expertise with companies around the world on the topic of marketing to women.

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Lisa of Green Purse PR participating in the When Women Lead Symposium. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

Lisa of Green Purse PR participating in the When Women Lead Symposium. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

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I’ve had the opportunity to work with several clients that have female CEOs and leadership. In fact, nearly all of the clients Green Purse PR has worked with have excellent track records (in my opinion) of valuing the opinions of women and ensuring their voices are heard, recognized and celebrated at the highest levels.

One of the female leaders that immediately come to mind is Dalene Wray of OBE Organic, a leading organic, grassfed beef company from the Outback of Australia. Dalene works in a male-dominated industry – agriculture and meat, but is continuously ‘kicking glass’ as we like to say. She’s become one of the most recognized female voices in Australian agriculture and is now sought out and awarded for her unique expertise by Government and industry bodies. It’s not uncommon to find Dalene on a speaker panel or in a working group at an industry event in Australia, Hong Kong, New York City or Saudi Arabia where she is the only female on the stage sharing her voice. In addition to sharing her own voice in a big way, Dalene is a champion for others – for other women (like me,) for promoting diversity in general within Australian agriculture and also reconciliation for indigenous peoples of Australia. In fact, OBE Organic was one of the first Australian agribusinesses to adopt a Reconsilation Action Plan, a plan to create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through relationships, respect and opportunities.

Even though the CPG industry as a whole is mostly ran by men at the upper levels, we’re seeing more and more women take up leadership roles. I’m happy to have connected with a group of women and men here in the USA who are dedicated to helping create, encourage and celebrate female leadership across CPG, retail, and in my case, shopper marketing and the natural products industry.

Finally, I do want to share a few key takeaways that I learned from the conference portion of the Expo from my unique #GetInHerCart perspective.

I’m a big fan of using holidays (major holidays and even the so called made up marketing holidays) and seasons as a basis for planning your shopper marketing activities, in places like social media and inside stores. Some folks from Mars Wrigley Confectionery gave a presentation focused on the Halloween holiday and how to think of it in terms of several “mini events” in an effort to stretch out the season and create more purchase opportunities.

You may be tempted to think of some holidays as just a one-day events, but in reality most holidays are made up of several mini events that we can leverage in our shopper marketing. For example, Mars shared a case study for the current, 2018 Halloween season that’s in market right now. Companies like Mars are launching their Halloween shopper marketing campaigns as early as August now.

How many mini events can you think of for the Fall/Halloween season? Turns out, there’s a lot and some depend upon age and life phase. For example, to connect with parents of young children around Halloween season, here are just a few of the “mini events” (and buying opportunities) you can build shopper marketing around:

  • Home decorating (for fall and then again for Halloween) – 2 encouraging people to have the best house on the block.

  • Pumpkin picking.

  • Booing (and also the adult version, “boozing.”)

  • Costume hunting.

  • Trick or treating.

  • School parties.

  • Neighborhood parties (suburban.)

  • At-home parties (pizza is super popular.)

My favorite from this list is booing. If you’re located in the USA and live in a suburban area + have young children, you might know about this. The case study that Mars shared indicated that just 7% of Americans currently participate in booing. For retailers located in suburban areas, this is a ripe opportunity just waiting to be picked.

My house just got booed this week!

My house just got booed this week!

Some Halloween merchandising I noticed recently at a Whole Foods Market

Some Halloween merchandising I noticed recently at a Whole Foods Market

Here are some ways that retailers can connect with parents in suburban areas around the mini event of booing.

  • In-store shopper marketing like end caps that invite shoppers to boo their neighbors. For a limited time, curate a special selection of products ideal for booing – boo bags, tags, candy. Because you usually only boo a few houses (we do two) and because you’re likely to boo peoples’ homes that you know well, you can encourage better quality, more expensive candy for these, than candy given out in much larger amounts for trick or treating.

  • Educational signage that offers guidance on booing, why to do it and what to include in your boo bag.

  • Host a Halloween prep in-store event one weekend sampling healthier candy and sweets options + educate on fun ways for families to celebrate the season.

  • Website landing page and accompanying social media and email marketing driving people to a site all about making their boo bag the best on the block.

In fact, Green Purse PR creates an annual list of holidays, specifically for food companies. It’s called our Holidays List for Food Marketing. It’s a social media planning resource we created for the first time for 2018 and we just released our 2019 edition. Click here to download our 15-page list of holidays for food marketing.

Halloween merchandising at The Market inside The Twitter Building, San Francisco, California

Halloween merchandising at The Market inside The Twitter Building, San Francisco, California

Target’s Halloween section, Hyde and Eek!

Target’s Halloween section, Hyde and Eek!

Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween at Target

Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween at Target

Halloween signage at Target

Halloween signage at Target

Lisa of Green Purse PR meeting with exhibitors at the show. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

Lisa of Green Purse PR meeting with exhibitors at the show. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

Lisa of Green Purse PR listening to one of the workshops. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

Lisa of Green Purse PR listening to one of the workshops. Photo source: Path to Purchase Expo.

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- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR

Photo Tour of MOM's Organic Market | Gaithersburg, Maryland

Photo Tour of MOM's Organic Market in Gaithersburg

MOM's Organic Market is an independent, family owned, natural foods retailer with currently 19 stores in the Washington, DC area, as well as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The newly opened store I visited is located at 10 Upper Rock Cir, Rockville, Maryland 20850. The address is technically, Rockville, but it's right on the cusp of Gaithersburg.

If you've not been to a MOM's store before, you're in for a visual treat if you scroll through my photos below. I've shopped at other MOM's locations in DC for many years and love it. With an emphasis on organic products, along with their mission to protect and restore the environment, MOM's curates exceptional products and delights shoppers with unique offerings they might not find anywhere else. This is a store you can truly feel good about shopping with.

This new Gaithersburg store has lots of wide open spaces, given that it's in the suburbs. It's the nicest MOM's store I've seen yet! One thing I immediately noticed was the focus on bees throughout the store. I love all things honey, bees, bees wax, and of course saving the bees, plus I've been doing a lot of shopper research on the honey category recently. See for yourself in my photos here.

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As I've been doing a lot of shopper research in the honey category lately, of course I checked out the honey aisle.

As I've been doing a lot of shopper research in the honey category lately, of course I checked out the honey aisle.

This store has a wide selection of honey.

This store has a wide selection of honey.

Including 6 skus of Manuka honey from New Zealand

Including 6 skus of Manuka honey from New Zealand

I'm noticing a theme throughout the store -- very bee-friendly. This plastic wrap alternative, Bee Wrap, made from bees wax, is nice.

I'm noticing a theme throughout the store -- very bee-friendly. This plastic wrap alternative, Bee Wrap, made from bees wax, is nice.

More bee-friendly products

More bee-friendly products

Portland Bee Balm

Portland Bee Balm

Burt's Bees (from my home state of North Carolina.)

Burt's Bees (from my home state of North Carolina.)

Excited to see the Global Animal Partnership label here, on Bilinski's chicken sausage. That's the label I look for to buy higher welfare meats.

Excited to see the Global Animal Partnership label here, on Bilinski's chicken sausage. That's the label I look for to buy higher welfare meats.

La Quercia also touting the GAP label.

La Quercia also touting the GAP label.

An outstanding body care section! So many different brands and products from what I usually see in other retailers.

An outstanding body care section! So many different brands and products from what I usually see in other retailers.

Tons of essential oils.

Tons of essential oils.

Spotted the Jack N' Jill brand from Australia; this is the kind my kids use.

Spotted the Jack N' Jill brand from Australia; this is the kind my kids use.

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I bought some of these sticks and the stick holder for my backyard. Seems to be working well!

I bought some of these sticks and the stick holder for my backyard. Seems to be working well!

Found some wool dryer balls, also from New Zealand. Love the branding; I bought these too - love to support the New Zealand companies.

Found some wool dryer balls, also from New Zealand. Love the branding; I bought these too - love to support the New Zealand companies.

I've not seen beekeeper supplies in a grocery store before; very cool.

I've not seen beekeeper supplies in a grocery store before; very cool.

A look inside my shopping basket.

A look inside my shopping basket.

I'm not kidding about the emphasis on bees. Super cute grocery bag!

I'm not kidding about the emphasis on bees. Super cute grocery bag!

Stayed tuned here on our blog, #GetInHerCart, for more grocery store visits from our travels around the world as we speak at various conferences and conduct shopper research in different markets. 

If you're keen to learn more about the grocery retail landscape in America, consider working with us on a workshop. Our workshop, Making it in America: How to Enter & Succeed in the Diverse Food Retail Marketplace, is one of the sessions we teach most and is very popular amongst companies from outside the USA. Contact me, Lisa Mabe, for more details about our workshops and other retail related services we offer. We teach workshops, conduct research and plan or execute public relations programs for companies all over the world. I look forward to hearing from you. Contact us here.  

- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR

Photo Tour of Thanopoulos (Θανόπουλος) - Athens, Greece

Supermarket Tour | Thanopoulos (Θανόπουλος in Greek) in Athens, Greece

While in Greece recently on holidays, I took some time to squeeze in a bit of work. I've been to Greece several times before, (my husband is from Greece) but this was my first time doing a proper supermarket tour of Athens and conducting shopper research there. 

Athens has some lovely supermarkets and one of my favorites is Thanopoulos, known for stocking a wide variety of products from all over the world and the place to 'see and be seen' apparently. For those not already familiar with Thanopoulos, it is a privately-held family business that has been around since 1877.  Thanopoulos currently has three locations in Athens. I visited the Thanopoulos supermarket in the neighborhood of Kifissia (Κηφισιά,) an upscale residential and shopping district, and quite possibly my favorite place in Athens, other than the coast (Vouliagmeni is still my most favorite spot.) Have a look inside one of Athen's best supermarkets, Thanaopoulos, located at: N. Kifissia Ελαιών 38 14564 Athens, GR-A1.

Entrance to Thanopoulos N. Kifissia store

Entrance to Thanopoulos N. Kifissia store

View from the large, roof top patio offering views of nearby mountains.

View from the large, roof top patio offering views of nearby mountains.

From the roof top patio. There is a cafe just inside.

From the roof top patio. There is a cafe just inside.

View from the second level, looking down on the cash registers.

View from the second level, looking down on the cash registers.

Organic fruit & vegetables

Organic fruit & vegetables

Fancy Greek olive oils, something Greece is certainly very well known for in the USA.

Fancy Greek olive oils, something Greece is certainly very well known for in the USA.

Minced/ground beef. Lamb and pork, however, seem to be the meats of choice in Greece.

Minced/ground beef. Lamb and pork, however, seem to be the meats of choice in Greece.

The meat aisle

The meat aisle

Organic poultry with the EU Organic Farming certification. Other than that label, nothing real signifiant in terms of claims & product attributes.

Organic poultry with the EU Organic Farming certification. Other than that label, nothing real signifiant in terms of claims & product attributes.

Notice some familiar American brands on the snack ailse.

Notice some familiar American brands on the snack ailse.

Tons of fancy Greek honey.

Tons of fancy Greek honey.

Love this pretty honey packaging.

Love this pretty honey packaging.

Natural laundry products

Natural laundry products

The Greeks take their sea salt very seriously. I buy some of these same brands at my local Greek specialty food shop in Washington, DC.

The Greeks take their sea salt very seriously. I buy some of these same brands at my local Greek specialty food shop in Washington, DC.

My first time seeing donkey milk.

My first time seeing donkey milk.

Organic Greek chocolate

Organic Greek chocolate

Dining space & cafe

Dining space & cafe

A special perk for parents - a play space with an attendant to watch your children while you grocery shop. This mom loves seeing special accomodations for moms, parents and children.

A special perk for parents - a play space with an attendant to watch your children while you grocery shop. This mom loves seeing special accomodations for moms, parents and children.

One more shot from the roof top patio. It was so pretty, I came up here for coffee and a meeting.

One more shot from the roof top patio. It was so pretty, I came up here for coffee and a meeting.

If I lived in Athens, I would definitely shop here. It's a modern beautiful, store with lovely amenities and a huge variety of international products on offer. It's no wonder that Athenians are willing to drive out of their way (in some cases,) just to shop at one of the three Thanopoulos locations. 

Stayed tuned here on our blog, #GetInHerCart, for more grocery store visits from our travels around the world as we speak at various conferences and conduct shopper research in different markets. 

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- Lisa Mabe-Konstantopoulos, Founder, Green Purse PR

Natural Products Millennial Women Buy | What’s In Her Freezer?

Natural Products Millennial Women Buy | What’s In Her Freezer?

Our new blog series, Natural Products Millennial Women Buy, will first explore some of the frozen food products that health-conscious, millennial aged women purchase on a regular basis, products that save her time, are a good ‘plan B’ when she can’t get to the grocery store or cook from scratch.

Exploring Natural Products Frequently Purchased by Millennial Women

Exploring Natural Products Frequently Purchased by Millennial Women

We recently asked our forum of health-conscious, millennial aged women about some of their favorite natural products they buy on a regular basis. We are launching a new series of blog posts, Natural Products Millennial Women Buy, where we will explore some of the products that ‘get in her cart’ and into her life.

Scenes from Natural Products Expo West 2018, Anaheim, California

Photos | Natural Products Expo West 2018

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the recent Natural Products Expo West 2018 trade show. As always, Expo West was a great use of time to connect in person with clients, colleagues and friends. 

Green Purse PR's Lisa Mabe at the entrance of Expo West

Green Purse PR's Lisa Mabe at the entrance of Expo West

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Nice to see so many GAP (Global Animal Partnership) rated products at the show.

Nice to see so many GAP (Global Animal Partnership) rated products at the show.

Grass fed continues to be a big focus.

Grass fed continues to be a big focus.

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We LOVE this brand and this particular flavor of LaCroix!

We LOVE this brand and this particular flavor of LaCroix!

Lots of Aussies at Expo West.

Lots of Aussies at Expo West.

Representing some Kiwis from New Zealand too.

Representing some Kiwis from New Zealand too.

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Made the social media visualizer board at Expo West.

Made the social media visualizer board at Expo West.

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Also don't miss this time-lapse video directly from the show. 

Download our 2018 list of holidays for food marketing

Download our New List of Holidays for Food Marketing + Get Access to Our Upcoming Webinar on How to Leverage Food Holidays to Drive Awareness & Sales

Ever heard of National Cheese Lover's Day, Coffee Day or Beef Tallow Day? What about Weed Day or Farmer's Day? There are a lot of these so called food holidays or marketing holidays - some are silly, but some are serious. Serious in that some of them can help drive real awareness and sales.

We see retailers, media and consumer-influencers, like food bloggers, leveraging these holidays on social media, such as Instagram, and retailers using them for in-store promotions. Some holidays, like National Cookie Day (December 4) are made into big promotions at grocery retailers like Whole Foods Market. (See an earlier post we wrote on retailers taking a bite out of Cookie Day here.) 

If you're keen to see how you can leverage food related holidays to market your specialty or natural food product, download the list here. We’ll be hosting a one-time bonus webinar session exclusively for those who downloaded this list during our initial offering phase. The webinar will highlight some of the most relevant holidays and why holidays like these are worth incorporating into your social communications program.