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Tyson Foods Taps Analytics To Improve Retailer Relationships, Boost Sales Featured

  • Written by  Alicia Fiorletta

Grocery_store
CPG brands rely on their retailer partners to help drive awareness, sales and customer loyalty. In a highly competitive environment in which consumers are rushing through stores to cross items off their shopping lists, ensuring product visibility and availability is key.

But nearly half (49%) of in-store displays are missing completely, promotional pricing is incorrect 22% of the time and items are out of stock 15% of the time, according to a study from Quri, a retail analytics and intelligence company.

Tyson Foods is addressing this issue by keeping a constant pulse on in-store activities, sales and marketing performance. The brand uses Quri to track on-shelf availability and conduct timely store check-ups via web-based surveys. This ensures that retailers are introducing, merchandising and promoting products according to plan.

For the prepared foods and deli division of Tyson Foods, product visibility and marketing are especially important. So over the past four years, Tyson Foods has focused more on “creating pull in retail stores and driving impulse sales at the deli counter,” said T Fuqua, Brand Manager at Tyson Foods, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Solid retail partnerships are paramount to allowing this pull to take place. “We have to gain the trust of supermarket retailers so they try new products, like our boneless fried chicken. Anything we can do to make them trust us and know we’re helping them grow their business is a huge deal.”

However, once those products are in stores, a top challenge for Tyson Foods is “understanding exactly what is being executed at retail stores and building best-in-class stories around what retailers do to ensure this prepared food is put out at the right time and merchandised attractively,” Fuqua added. “So if a shopper is looking for a specific product, they know where they can find it, which helps our retail partners maximize sales.”

Tyson Foods relies on distributors to delivery products to grocery stores, according to Fuqua. Because of this, deliveries are made once a week, or even every two weeks, “so it’s hard to gauge what’s happening every day in the stores.”

Using Quri, the prepared foods side of the Tyson Foods business can collect detailed analytics regarding the performance and product execution of retail partners. Team members take photos of in-store displays, signage and shelves to ensure compliance.

“Very few times you get a new tool to work with that everyone understands immediately,” Fuqua said. “It’s a photo, which is so obvious and in your face, so it has been so easy to integrate Quri into new product introductions.”

Providing Actionable Data Retailers Crave

Because Quri provides actionable data, Tyson Foods can help retailers rectify in-store merchandising and marketing issues quickly and efficiently. The company conducts surveys regarding product pricing, introductions and overall merchandising strategies. With the implementation of Quri, the divisions that handle the fresh meat orders and quick-serve partnerships also are using the solution to strengthen retailer partnerships.

Although Fuqua confirmed that Tyson Foods has “great relationships” with brokers, “you still need someone to ensure there’s execution. Many times, we’ll work with retailers because they also have a need to understand exactly how their stores and personnel are performing.”

Previously, Tyson Foods had “no system we could trust to ensure there was an objective view of what was happening,” Fuqua said. Now, the brand can see all aspects of product execution, helping to create more valuable, long-term retailer partnerships.

“Quri is a key investment for us,” Fuqua added. “As a CPG company and manufacturer, we budget for in-store execution and promotions. So we're focusing on implementing trategies and tactics that will help retailers drive impulse purchases and increase average order value, rather than have them just lower prices.”

In 2014, Tyson Foods plans to conduct studies and in-store surveys around its 20 key selling weeks. For example, during the Super Bowl, “we’ll have Quri out there a week before to see the setup and execution,” Fuqua said. “Then, we’ll do it again the Monday or Tuesday after the game so retailers can rectify issues accordingly. That’s very much in our plan and retailers are counting on that information.”
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