Bill Pizzico, Synergy Group.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Many of today’s retail-focused food processors have found themselves in a go-to-market dilemma. With the ever-growing in-store foodservice segment evolving as a consumer-driven business, there is a need to strengthen and align their supply chain’s “push” strategy and incorporate a “pull” strategy to align with the menu planning and recipe demands of today’s consumer.

Planning for that next-level strategy can become a daunting task when developing the go-to-market strategy. To get the attention of this new customer base and get to that next growth level, I recommend targeting their meal planning needs.

Today’s retail operators should recognize they have become the menu planning source for consumers. To execute a strategy based on this shifting paradigm, manufacturers must integrate a “sell-through” approach dictated by retail operators who have their ears to the ground and finely tuned to the demands of their shoppers. It is time for a new category structure based on recipe management. With consumer-focused advertising, using traditional media and/or social media, manufacturers and operators should share the goal of getting their brand and the brand’s message into a recipe-focused marketing campaign.

Aligning the purchasing focus of consumers’ demands with the manufacturer’s ability to meet the requirements of operators, including consistent product performance, is the harmony required to address the concerns of food manufacturers when planning for that next level in the growth strategy. 

Connecting the unconnected dots in the push-pull supply chain will require a different go-to-market approach, one requiring an “in sync” market approach that balances consumer buying habits and the operator’s purchase patterns.

The more traditional category-managed and revenue-driven strategies now only align with the “push- through” supply chain model.  A recipe management strategy aligns not only with the operator’s demands for product movement but is also aligned with the consumer’s demands for menu planning assistance.

A dedicated “sell-through” recipe management strategy should be designed to focus, inform and assist consumers with their meal planning purchasing decisions and must be totally aligned with the retail operator’s current adjusting and communications strategy. When the strategy of push-and-pull do not align, the disconnect causes the sell-through process to stall, creating not only a competitive opening, but also may result in market share losses, for both the operator and the manufacturer, and an unhappy consumer.

Bill Pizzico is president and CEO of Synergy Group.