Dial up the deals
Promotions are a great way to highlight innovative meal solutions. But once you’re beyond half-price ready meals, putting together effective deals can be a challenge. Someone might be buying products from several different categories: how can you stitch these together into a clear, enticing offer?
One easy solution is to match up products that sit beside each other anyway.
“We do pizza and garlic dough balls on two for £6,” says Bimal Patel. Elsewhere, mix-and-match freezer deals – on fish fingers and chips, or chicken and gravy – are a simple way to warm up sales in the frozen category.”
Another alternative is to pair up quality products that go well together, highlighting their compatibility with PoS. Bimal Patel promotes his premium Twyford soups with French baguettes at £4.
Product placement is important, too. Bimal Patel has placed a rack of quality wines next to his freezer of gourmet Cook ready meals. “People often grab the two together,” he says.
Similarly, cross-category merchandising can help customers create their own meal solution while also boosting sales for the retailer.
“We’ve put a sauce, meat and pasta in a basket for £5, next to the fresh veg, which encourages them to buy some veg to cook into the sauce, too,” says Jimmy Patel.
However, such cross-category merchandising can be made difficult by the layout of your store.
If the products are all in different areas, then promoting them together becomes pretty difficult. Jimmy Patel, who is in the middle of planning a refit, is taking this into account as he sketches his new store layout.
“The chilled section is key for the future,” he says. “I would like to make more space there to bring together meal ingredients, and merchandise them together.”