Usually around this time during the holidays, people are enjoying meals with families and friends. But this year, the cost of food is causing a lot of stress. And perhaps understandably, consumers are pointing their fingers at brands, accusing them of using the current inflationary cycle to increase prices, also known as “greedflation.”
A thoughtful grocery branding strategy is vital right now for brands to set the record straight.
Is It Really Greedflation?
In a recent survey, nearly 70 per cent of Canadians thought brands are guilty of greedflation. In Quebec, a law firm has launched a class-action lawsuit against Canada’s largest beef suppliers for allegedly conspiring to restrict competition and raise prices.
Of course, food isn’t the only industry having to raise prices in this economic climate. Across the board, from automotive to pharmaceuticals, prices are rising. But the food industry is unique.
Firstly, costs in the food industry can be very volatile. Many products are perishable, for instance, relying on cold chains to stay fresh. Secondly, food is so important to our lives—not just physically but socially too. When people see the price of food rise, it triggers an emotional response.
That being said, there is little data to support accusations of greedflation.
Loblaws’ profitability in 2021 was 3.53 per cent, which was up from 2.10 per cent in 2020, but on par with its 3.26 per cent in 2017. These numbers are consistent with the country’s other big grocers.
If there’s a conspiracy to raise prices, it isn’t clear how that could be possible.
A Thoughtful Grocery Branding Strategy
Explaining these nuances to customers can be challenging. A CEO going on TV and trying to say “It’s not my fault” is likely to be poorly received. Instead, brands need people on the floor to engage with consumers.
One solution is using brand ambassadors who can promote positive customer sentiment in stores, on websites, and at events. Ambassadors understand their communities and will be able to personalize messaging to better communicate pricing.
Brands can also audit stores to confirm if pricing is correct and staff are properly educated. Retail staff are the ones who will be selling your product, so they must have the correct information about the product.
We Can Help
Marketsupport offers sales and merchandizing solutions to support your grocery branding strategy, including brand ambassadors and store audits. Our national field force of over 500 knowledgeable employees has experience in a variety of sectors. Wherever you need a trained professional, we can be there!
Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit our website to book a consultation.« Back to Blog