Supermarket Perimeter - September 2020 - 18

innovative cross-merchandising and promotional
strategies to further drive growth and emphasize its
distinctive offerings.
One example: the retailer's specialty cheese category
manager has created a "plant-based cheese board" for
Gelson's customers, highlighting some of the unique
ways to entertain the plant-based guest in every family.
"It's quite remarkable how plant-based cheese has
evolved to taste and feel just like traditional cheese,"
Hetman said. "Same goes for ice cream - sometimes I
can't tell the difference."
Gelson's also recently ran an ad campaign to "build
a better burger" by incorporating a Beyond Meat patty,
Field Roast cheese, and Follow Your Heart Vegenaise,
which was very successful, Hetman said. Additionally,
the retailer's instore chefs are integrating plant-based
meatloaf and cooked, pre-packed "crumbles" into the
daily menu in its kitchens.

A NEW TAKE ON
CONVENIENCE
from GOOD FOODS

I

n September, Good Foods introduced a new single-serve plantbased product. We sat down with Brittany Vetter, the company's
national director of retail sales, for an exclusive Q and A to learn
more about the product.

SP: What can you tell us about the new single-serve plant-based
product you will be introducing in September?
Brittany Vetter: We took our top selling flavors and made them
available in a convenient new single serve format - and we are
so excited to launch in retail! These are great for on-the-go and
portion control, but additionally single serves also satisfy the need
for safe and individual servings that are a great solution for any
meal or snacking occasion as communal dining has been redefined
during this pandemic.
SP: Does this represent a new direction for Good Foods?
BV: While Good Foods has always been committed to greattasting products made with fresh ingredients, we are equally
committed to innovation. Our R&D team worked hard on
perfecting our recipes to deliver on flavor first, while also being
better-for-you, and they are continuing new product development
within this expanding category. With the success of our guacamole
singles we decided to expand this size into our other categories, as
shoppers have embraced the single serve format.
SP: Why did you decide to introduce this product, and what niche
does it fill in the industry?
BV: As the plant based sector grows we want to make sure to offer
convenient formats that meet consumer demands and that have
proven successful in conventional categories.
18 - SEPTEMBER 2020

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www.supermarketper

To spread the plant-based message even further,
education is critical, Hetman said. Gelson's is revamping
its on-shelf callouts to better identify which items are
plant-based in its stores. The company used the term
vegan for many years, but more recently has recognized
that it doesn't resonate with today's consumers, who are
searching for a wider variety of plant-based options.
Gelson's may not be the first place Californians think
of when it comes to plant-based, but since the chain
has broadened its base in new markets and channels,
it's now a top choice for plant-based in the Southern
California market, Hetman said.
In 2019 the company launched the Impossible Burger.
Gelson's was the first retailer in the world to carry the
supplier's retail pack.
"It was great exposure for us since we're a regional
chain," he said. "Impossible Burger is still one of the
top selling packaged items in the store from a dollar
perspective."
Other top plant-based sellers for Gelson's include nut
and oat milk, cashew and coconut milk ice cream, nutbased cheese and dips and plant-based frozen meals. And
Hetman said the retailer is adding new items all the time.
Hetman has no doubt that there will be greater
investment in the plant-based category. How that looks
at the retail level is up to the customer, he said, and how
certain retailers merchandise those products will be
interesting to see.
"Some believe plant-based meats belong in the meat
department, some argue for a large dedicated plantbased section in the store, much like dairy is today. I
believe it will depend upon the individual retailer and
their customers' shopping habits. The overall goal is to
cater to your customers' needs in the best way possible."

GELSON'S

The role of education


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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2020

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