Coca Cola Retailing Research Council of North America (CCRRC)

Challenge:

The CCRRC is a group of high level Supermarket industry executives which works on providing solutions to issues important to the supermarket industry. One such issue was attracting and retaining the increasingly large and growing multicultural market in their trade areas that come in to their stores looking for products from countries of origin and expecting a different in store experience that what many retailers are currently prepared to offer. Many of these retailers want to prevent losing customers to independent supermarkets which are opening in these neighborhoods to more relevantly cater to multicultural customers’ specific needs and requirements.

How We Resolved It:

With the intent of providing the U.S. retail industry actionable guidance, About Marketing Solutions (AMS) was hired to lead a 10 month project that investigated what multicultural customers want and expect in the grocery store and what this looks like in terms of customer service, product assortment, pricing, merchandising, employee mix/diversity, training, and community involvement.

The AMS team brought a tremendous depth of experience to Coca Cola and consistently exceeded our expectations through their efforts to deliver the best possible project.
Bill Bishop, President, Willard Bishop Consulting, Ltd. – facilitating consultant on behalf of the Coca Cola Company

About Marketing Solutions designed a three phased study which resulted in the following insights:

  • Multicultural food culture, shopping habits, meal preparation and overall attitudes about supermarket shopping among Asians, African Americans and Hispanics is varied, but not complex.The supermarket industry is in infant stages where multicultural targeting is concerned.
  • Retailer centralized models and resistance to change impede supermarkets’ ability to move beyond their current operational frameworks
  • Supermarkets know more about Multicultural retailing than expected, but they haven’t organized to develop or to mobilize their organizations to implement multicultural strategies in a consistent and sustainable manner.
  • Many excellent multicultural best practices are being implemented across supermarkets, but much of it is piecemeal and no one is doing so holistically or consistently.

Results:

The findings were published in a report titled, “Grow With America – Best Practices in Ethnic Marketing and Merchandising.” The report has become an industry handbook / guide to supermarket management who want to improve how they respond to the supermarket shopping needs and preferences of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians. It has been downloaded over 12,000 times and has been used by other retail industries, banking and other businesses types which operate from brick and mortar locations. Please contact us for a PDF copy of the report.