How do pet parents decide which pet food product to put in their shopping basket? It’s a question that product managers constantly need to consider when deciding on private label ranges for a competitive retail environment. Now, one of our category managers is pioneering an innovative approach in helping our customers make key decisions about their pet food ranges.
Based in Spain, category manager Edith Ferrera has worked at C&D Foods for more than three years, but her career includes over a decade with a major supermarket as a product manager, with substantial experience of private label. As a result, Edith knows how important it is for product managers to understand how their private label ranges will fit on shelf, both within their retail environment and as part of the wider category, responding in real time to a competitor landscape that is constantly changing.
As part of our approach to supporting customers with strategic insight and data-driven expertise, Edith was keen to create a retail showroom within our Spanish office, which can be used to aid range selection, gain an overview of the category, and understand how products will compete on shelf. The space she has created includes shelves where product can be displayed as though in store, with the flexibility to move items around, visualise how they will look alongside competitor products and gain an insight into which products are competing head to head.
“In the retail sector,” Edith explains, “product managers usually have a buying space where they can see a whole assortment of products and move things around on shelf, which is really helpful for understanding what ranges will look like in situ. In our new showroom, we’ve also created a meeting area where we can open samples and customers can compare their own products with competitors’ ranges and arrange items on shelf as part of the same session.”
The new showroom is already proving popular with customers, who in addition to benefitting from C&D Foods’ category knowledge and market intelligence, can now also combine this with sampling and layout sessions for a complete 3600 range review.
Edith says: “We know that pet owners have many considerations when it comes to what they feed their pet – from quality to price, from nutritional value to flavour and texture, from variety to loyalty – however, they’re often making this decision in store in seconds. This new initiative means that we are able to join the dots between the product and how it appears on shelf, including a comparison with competitors and insights into current and future trends.
“It’s all part of working in partnership with our customers, bringing together the benefits of how we work and understanding of how they work. We’re so proud of the long-lasting relationships we’ve built with our customers over the decades, which puts shoppers and pets at the heart of product development. The new showroom is an exciting new way to support retailers in developing ranges that shoppers want to see on-shelf.”