Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020 - 26

Deli: Popcorn

Customizable and easy to market
Consumers choose snacks based on the availability of flavors they think
they will enjoy. Mintel's salty snacks study found that 49% of consumers
like cheese-flavored popcorn; 32% enjoy indulgent flavors such as chocolate or caramel covered-popcorn; 39% are interested in mixed-flavor
bags with a variety mix like cheese, caramel and salty popcorn; 20% like
additions mixed in, like candies or dried fruit; 12% like seasonal flavors
such as pumpkin spice or peppermint bark; and 45% of consumers want
to buy an all-natural variety.
Kansas City, Mo.-based Price Chopper has several stores in its
52-store portfolio that make popcorn fresh instore.
"The nice thing about popcorn is that we can have fun with the
flavors and colors," said Casie Broker, Price Chopper's chief marketing
officer. "We can match colors for cocktail parties, fundraisers, golf tournaments and sports teams. With KC going to the Super Bowl this year,
we made more red and gold popcorn than we could have imagined."
The Midwest chain's most popular flavors are white cheddar, cheddar
and Chicago blend - a half cheddar and half caramel mix. Broker said
it's common for the fresh popcorn-armed stores to receive special
orders. Price Chopper has seen popcorn become popular for weddings,
and the retailer offers a specific wedding cake flavor of the treat.
The snack is easy to market. Broker said shoppers love the smell of
the popcorn, and the retailer has found that offering up fresh popcorn
for customers to sample leads to higher numbers of impulse buys.

Gold Medal suggests popping at strategic times when store traffic
is heavier to prompt shopper interest in the snack. Bakala advised that
in addition to offering instore samples, hosting promotional events
centered around popcorn like beer or wine pairings that showcase
complimentary flavors of the treat is also a smart marketing technique.
He added that displays near the cash register are another good way to
encourage impulse buys.
For Price Chopper, popcorn is a high profit item. Gold Medal has
worked with hundreds of retailers and Bakala said that stores usually see
gross profit margins from fresh popcorn sales ranging from 50-70%.

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26 - APRIL 2020

SP_Apr20.indb 26

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Supermarket Perimeter - April 2020

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