Supermarket Perimeter - August 2020 - 29

grocers physical samples to include in a customer's order, since cheese
is a perishable item, Saputo is giving grocers educational cards that
include a coupon and a recipe or other suggestions on how to use one
of the company's cheeses.
"Those are something that drive consumers to purchase the item
later and incentivizes shoppers to purchase something they might not
be familiar with, but since they have a coupon and are aware of ways
to use the cheese they're willing to try it out," said Jessica Sharma,
associate marketing manager at Saputo.

Reaching consumers online
Connecting with consumers in the store has become more difficult as
consumer shopping trips have become less frequent and more planned.
That's why the most beneficial way to reach consumers may now be
through online channels such as social media, websites and online
shopping. That's where suppliers like Schuman and Saputo have been
directing a chunk of their latest efforts.
Schuman has been doing a lot of connecting with consumers
through social media with contests and giveaways. While that tactic
only gets their product to select individuals, Currie noted that a little
exposure goes a long way.
"If they (the consumer) like it, they are more willing to talk about it
on their social media and amplify that message of, 'I tried cello copper
kettle, and it's amazing,' and if they talk about it on social media that can
be a proxy to their friends who may see their friend liking it, who has
done the heavy lifting and found a good-tasting cheese and they'll buy
into the concept," Currie said. "While we can't do sampling for everyone
who goes to the store, finding a few key people or influencers on social
media to talk about us has been very helpful."
Saputo has been working with some retailers to produce virtual
demos that can be shared with customers online before they go
to the store. Sharma noted that the demos have typically been live
cooking demos at a scheduled time in which customers can sign up to
virtually attend.
"Those who sign up get a gift bag which includes samples of product
or coupons to keep the brand top of mind for any purchases later on,
or they can use that coupon to buy product for the virtual event," she
said. "It's a great opportunity to try to gain customer loyalty right after
the event."
Since this pandemic hit, cheese sales have held strong. The last week
of July deli cheese sales were up 8.4%, and natural cheese sales were
up 19.4% compared to the same timeframe in 2019, according to data
published by 210 Analytics in partnership with IRI and IDDBA.
With more time at home, many consumers are cooking more, and
thus looking for new recipes. Both Sharma and Currie conclude that this
phenomenon has been an advantage to the specialty cheese segment.
"Customers are finding ways to add a little bit of a treat to maybe
a typical dish like pasta, and they're interested in putting a specialty
cheese like parmesan or Romano cheese so there's a little indulgence to
the everyday dish," Currie said.
Currie pointed out that consumers looking to add to their home
cooking might be driving trials, and encouraging buyers to try out new
things - making it easier to pitch an idea like a recipe or educational
fact about a cheese to a customer that then drives a purchase.
supermarketperimeter.com

Sample recipe to share
with customers
SCHUMAN'S ICE CREAM WHEELS
Ingredients
6 room-temperature eggs
3-ounces of Cello Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
1 cup of prepared syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 bag, Cello Parmesan Whisps
Chocolate syrup, for topping
Directions
Crack eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Beat in grated
Cello Parmesan Cheese and stir to combine. Stir
in syrup and cream. Cook in a double boiler. Strain.
Chill. Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to
manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container,
covered, to freeze entirely. Once frozen, spoon a
small amount of ice cream onto a Cello Parmesan
Whisp, top with a second Whisp, spoon on more ice
cream, then top with a third Whisp so you end up with
a two-layer ice cream wheel. Do this quickly to avoid
melting. Store in freezer on a tray until ready to serve.
Drizzle each with chocolate syrup before serving.
Chef note: If you don't have time to make your own
ice cream, use a store-bought variety like vanilla or
pistachio. Simply spoon onto Cello Whisps and drizzle
with syrup.
Source: Schuman Cheese

AUGUST 2020 - 29


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Supermarket Perimeter - August 2020

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