Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry Buzz

Free yourself from backdoor bottlenecks
Direct store delivery, while intended to streamline the supply chain, can also waste a lot of time and money for both vendors and merchants. A new study outlines ways that collaboration between stores and vendors can save money and allow DSD drivers to focus on tasks that build sales.

In a study done by Willard Bishop Consulting for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, researchers found that snags most commonly occur in delivery scheduling, check-in procedures and paperwork. When streamlined systems were implemented, DSD drivers had 23 percent more time for in-store merchandising and creating custom assortments.

Healthnotes rolls out improved kiosk look
"Tech spending is increasing across the industry," says Healthnotes Co-founder Skye Lininger. "A lot of that investment is going into customer-facing technologies" such as Web sites and kiosks. With seven out of 10 supermarket chains already using Healthnotes, and 40 percent of users reporting they made a purchase as a result of using the kiosks, "we don't want our small natural products stores to be left out of that," says Lininger. The latest version of the Portland, Ore., company's offering includes greater emphasis on diet and lifestyle, colorful graphics on both kiosk and screen, and a user-friendly design that lets even the computer-challenged get to any page within three clicks.

Shoppers dis functional foods
Functional foods. It's a phrase loved by packaged goods companies, but it means nothing to consumers, according to The Hartman Group in Bellevue, Wash. Shoppers don't want to hear food described in "quasi-pharmacological language" that talks about diseases. "The language of natural healing is much better suited to frame the addition of strange health substances into the diet of ordinary consumers," study authors James Richardson and Kirk Cornell write in the Jan. 18 issue of HartBeat. That means saying "smart fats" instead of "DHA" and talking about subtle benefit claims such as "heart health" instead of specific claims such as "lowers cholesterol."

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 3/p. 74

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