Private Label Buyer

Go For the Max

December 1, 2004

Go For the Max
Shelf-stable juice demands the maximum number of facings and multi-flavor displays to reach its potential.
The shelf-stable bottled juice category reaches nearly $3.5 billion in sales, according to Chicago’s Information Resources Inc. Private label only accounts for $581.7 million, but the numbers show there’s opportunity when the section is merchandised appropriately, especially with displays. Successful retailers have proven that maximum facings and a full-flavor lineup significantly grow the category and help support private label programs overall by creating a strong image in an important category for consumers.
The Imperatives:
Private label should sit to the right of national brands to create a direct comparison at the shelf. Displays to create a presence beyond the shelf should be drop-displays for apple juice and fruit punch – particularly popular items – and modular display pallets should blend apple cider and juice, cranberry and cranberry blends, grape drinks, juice drinks and grapefruit items. In shelf-stable juices, it is also imperative to catch new item introductions on the ‘upside of the bell curve’ as consumers do look to private label for value alternatives but expect them to keep pace with national brand trends.
The Demographics:
Families with children are a natural fit for the shelf-stable juice category, but adults over 50 years old are also primary consumers. Direct mail to heavy users helps drive sales in these groups, and ads should target them specifically.
Retailers that are leaders in private label have maximized facings in bottled juices and given the category full support. The ideal location for the section is a center-store aisle and shelf-stable items should be adjacent to aseptic juices and drinks, as well as isotonics. The consumer is used to this placement and may decide to purchase juice over isotonics if and when they recognize the added health benefits of juice.
Cross-Merchandising Opportunities:
Juice and cereal are natural counter-parts, and juice also works well with cereal bars, energy bars and produce. Lemon juice, in particular, does well when paired in promotion or merchandised with the meat and seafood departments.
Pricing vs. National Brands:
Private label should be no more than 50 cents less than national brands as consumers could react negatively and see the juice as lesser quality than the national brands.
Promotional Lift:
Buy-one-get-one-free promotion works very well in shelf-stable juice, as do stock-up sales pricing juice five-for-$10. Lifts vary in this category, anywhere from 20 percent to 30 percent.
Sales (in millions) and Promotion Lift
$ VOLUME $581.7$3,481.3
% Change Vs. Year Ago -5.6%-1.1%
% Dollars, Any Merchandising50.4%41.1%
% Change Vs. Year Ago 0.8%1.5%
% Dollars, Display Only18.2%11.9%
% Change Vs. Year Ago 2.1%1.7%
% Dollars, Feature Only8.2%7.8%
% Change Vs. Year Ago0%-0.2%
Source: Information Resources Inc. Total supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers(excluding Wal-Mart) for 52 weeks ending Oct. 3, 2004.