Natural organic products are fueling sustainable sales across all categories and all channels. Health-focused shoppers base their buying decisions on quality, not price. They do not compromise. They demand transparency and authenticity.

Natural is the R&D in the CPG industry. Natural, organic brands are driving sustainable growth across all channels. Natural and organic consumers are not motivated by price alone. They base their buying decisions on transparency, clean label ingredients that are not only meet their nutritional needs, but products that they can trust. These consumers do their research, going beyond the four corners of the package. They vote with their dollars, purchasing products from a sustainable and mission-based brands, brands that provide true innovation that are closely aligned with their core customer, and remain true to their mission, and are steadily capturing market share.

For those who don’t know me, I’m the first person certified at the highest level category management proficiency, Certified Professional, Strategic Advisor, a CPSA, something I’m very proud of. In addition to speaking at various events like this, I’ve written over 300 articles that have been published nationally and internationally. In addition to that, I wrote the article, “Mainstreaming Category Management, Natural products sales trends and how to capitalize on them in the 2016 Category Management Handbook, I have a Turnkey Sales Story Strategies course and a popular industry podcast. 

I just finished a four-part webinar series for the Category Management Association. You can view those on their site, or I’ve actually converted the audio files too onto my podcast. So you can listen to them there. This presentation will be made available to everyone. If you want to download it, please go to categorymanagementsolutions.com/CMA2018.

My mission is to get healthy, natural, organic brands on more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. And I do this by helping the smaller brands compete head to head, toe to toe with the large brands. And the reason that I’m here, and the reason I did the webinar series is because I helped a large brand understand what makes natural, natural.

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BRAND SECRETS AND STRATEGIES

PODCAST #49

Hello and thank you for joining us today. This is the Brand Secrets and Strategies Podcast #49

Welcome to the Brand Secrets and Strategies podcast where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

I’m your host Dan Lohman. This weekly show is dedicated to getting your brand on the shelf and keeping it there.

Get ready to learn actionable insights and strategic solutions to grow your brand and save you valuable time and money.

LETS ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES AND GET STARTED!

Dan: Hello. I want to start by thanking the Category Management Association for inviting me to share this talk with you, to be able to speak with you at their annual Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. I also want to thank all of you for attending. So this is the What's Really Driving Health and Wellness Trends, and How to Remain Relevant and on Shelf.

Natural is the R&D in the CPG industry. Natural, organic brands are driving sustainable growth across all channels. Natural and organic consumers are not motivated by price alone. They base their buying decisions on transparency, clean label ingredients that are not only meet their nutritional needs, but products that they can trust. These consumers do their research, going beyond the four corners of the package. They vote with their dollars, purchasing products from a sustainable and mission-based brands, brands that provide true innovation that are closely aligned with their core customer, and remain true to their mission, and are steadily capturing market share.

For those who don't know me, I'm the first person certified at the highest level category management proficiency, Certified Professional, Strategic Advisor, a CPSA, something I'm very proud of. In addition to speaking at various events like this, I've written over 300 articles that have been published nationally and internationally. In addition to that, I wrote the article, “Mainstreaming Category Management, Natural products sales trends and how to capitalize on them in the 2016 Category Management Handbook, I have a Turnkey Sales Story Strategies course and a popular industry podcast.

I just finished a four-part webinar series for the Category Management Association. You can view those on their site, or I've actually converted the audio files too onto my podcast. So you can listen to them there. This presentation will be made available to everyone. If you want to download it, please go to categorymanagementsolutions.com/CMA2018.

My mission is to get healthy, natural, organic brands on more retailer shelves and into the hands of more shoppers. And I do this by helping the smaller brands compete head to head, toe to toe with the large brands. And the reason that I'm here, and the reason I did the webinar series is because I helped a large brand understand what makes natural, natural

So if you pardon the pun, I'm going to start by sharing with you that what makes natural, natural, I refer to this as being somewhat of a religion. And so if you pardon the pun, I'm going to take you to church. I'm going to help you understand what's driving these important trends and how you can help those customers, those brands that buy these products understand better what you're trying to do and how you're better working harder to meet their needs.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that I run into with working between small brands and big brands is that the large brands, retailers, and solution providers tend to commoditize the natural shopper and the natural products. Now, what I mean by this is they tend to lump us all into different groups, into similar groups. So let me explain why this is important by let's talking about what the different ... the key terms are.

So consumers are confused about natural--which is healthier? So there's natural, non-GMO, organic, clean label. So with a show of hands, I'd like to see what you think is cleaner, what you think is best and why. So natural? Okay. Non-GMO? Organic? Okay, clean label? It looks like most people chose non-GMO, and that's not surprising. I get this all the time, including when I give this talk to natural organic brands.

So let's go through this. Natural doesn't mean anything. Natural's a term that we use to personify the better-for-you trends, that we use to identify the natural channel, natural retailers, natural brands, et cetera. Non-GMO simply means that the grain, the seed that produced the ingredient is non-genetically modified. However, a non-genetically modified grain can be planted in a field that is treated with herbicides and pesticides. So why this is important is this: We believe that you are what you eat. And if what you eat matters, then what goes into that product also matters.

So if you're spraying a pesticide on a crop or on something, a pesticide is designed to essentially knock out the nervous system of a bug. So the residual could potentially get onto that product, and then we could be ingesting it. And after talking to a lot of people in industry, we don't remember having the food allergies and some of the issues that we see today. And so while there's no exact scientific proof saying that this is the cause, there's that question, that lingering question out there that maybe some of those products, some of those pesticides, et cetera are getting into the crops and into the products that we're consuming. So that's why non-GMO is an issue.

Organic: Organic is something that is certified organic by the government, USDA certified. What that means is it's a very rigorous process. They check and recheck and recheck and recheck to ensure that the products that we're eating that are certified organic are in fact clean and organic. Clean label is a term that really doesn't mean anything, but it personifies organic. The whole idea behind it is that the ingredients on the package are simple and easy to understand. So the best is organic. Organic is always the gold standard.

As I mentioned that consumers are confused about organic, consumers struggle to understand, is it chemical free? Is it local? Does it respect animal welfare, et cetera? This is our opportunity to help work with those consumers, to help the consumers make the best choices. In addition to that, it is imperative that the brands work closely with the retail partners to understand which of these things are fads and which of these things are trends that they should pay attention to.

The whole idea to remember is that the consumers that we're talking about today are the consumers that are going to look beyond the four corners of the label and understand everything about the product probably far better than the nutritionist at the retail store. I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about here. The ALOHA consumer, the lifestyle of health and sustainability, some mainstream solution providers will kind of lump us all together and believe ... They'll say that the ALOHA consumer, someone eats a couple salads and goes for a walk, someone who aspires to a healthier lifestyle.

Well, in my world, ALOHA shopper is somebody that is concerned about reducing their carbon footprint. They're not only concerned about how their product was planted, where it was planted, how transparent the ingredients are, they also want to make sure that the product doesn't adversely impact the environment. They want to know that the packaging is completely recyclable. They want to know that the person who made the product is not getting an unfair wage.

The whole idea behind this is the ALOHA's consumer is, if you will, the very orthodoxy group of natural that is really focused on everything that goes behind the label, that goes into the product, those causes, those missions that those brands stand for. Another example that I want to share with you in terms of why say that things are commoditized is that you always hear that price is what drives shoppers to the shelf. Well, if that was true, then decadent and luxury products would be declining in sales. And that's exactly the opposite.

And as category managers, we've been trained to pay attention to margin and to penny profits. Well, this consumer base is unique. And we need to understand why this consumer base is unique. So the reason for that is that we're not clones. The whole idea is that people talk about price. Well, have you ever gotten a great deal on something that you didn't like? The committed natural shopper will not settle--they want what they want.

They will pay a premium for a product that meets their needs. Remember, these are the consumers that typically understand the product from a traditional standpoint probably a lot better than anyone in the retail store. The whole idea behind this is that this is what's driving this consumer. Think of it this way: If you throw a rock into a pond, you get a little ripple. And as that ripple progresses and shows up on a Walmart shelf, that trend becomes very mainstream. I'm focusing on that ripple when that rock first lands in that pond and starts to develop its ripples--that's where the core natural shopper is hanging out, if you will. That's where that core natural shopper is driving sales from that point of influence.

And as I said, this is what's driving sales across every category. I'll get to that more in a minutes. So we all know that innovation is the key to growth. True innovation is filling sustainable sales in every category, but not all innovation is the same. So here's what I mean by this: A lot of brands rely on focus groups to tell them what they should make or how they should make it. What's unique about the core natural shopper is that those brands that those consumers buy are more closely aligned with those shoppers; they have a more intimate relationship with them.

So innovation is designed around satisfying the solutions of the core shopper. Natural products are at the heart of innovation. And that's what's resonating with consumers. So that's why I say that natural products are the R&D of the CPG industry. Transparency is key. Consumers go out of their way to find products that are free of chemicals, toxins, and pesticides, products that are free from, products that have no artificial additives or preservatives.

Transparency matters to all age groups. And as you can see by this chart, the core natural shopper carefully reads labels. They do not settle for products that do not fully meet their needs. Attitudes are driving change. And where I'm going with this is that consumers are looking for healthy products for prevention and cure. And so this is a big shift in the way consumers look at the products. Shoppers are looking for healthy solutions that help with healthy aging. There's a direct correlation between consumers choosing products that support both preventative and cure.

Shoppers are actively looking for healthy products to replace and reduce their need for prescription medications and excessive doctor visits. The whole idea behind this is that this is that underlying current that is driving these products that we've been talking about. So what are consumers looking for? Consumers are looking for products that are free from and organic.

As you can see by this chart, both of these have about a 46% in growth over the last four years. Shoppers want what they want. They want products that they can trust, products that are free from and organic. So what is the outlook look like this in the future? Healthy solutions are the future growth drivers in CPG. These products are expected to continue their growth trends well into 2021 and beyond. Organic and free from are the primary growth drivers, remember.

Shoppers want vitality. Shoppers want to feel good about the products that they're buying. They want products that are going to fill them, help them feel healthy and vital, products that enhance their quality of life. Shoppers want to live more active lives. They want to feel better. So endurance, energy boosting, and free from are the three health and wellness trends that are driving these sales. And as you can see on this chart, free from is about 46% growth last four years. Energy boosting is 53%. And endurance is about 24%.

And as we look forward in the future through 2021, all of these attributes are going to drive sales even more, so including general well-being. These trends are forecasted to accelerate as shoppers live longer. Shoppers are proactively seeking healthier, more active lifestyles. These health trends reduce the need for reactive solutions, problems to avoid, like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes. In other words, these consumers are looking for specific solutions to problems, products that reduce inflammation and so on.

Consumers are active. You'll hear a lot of times that consumers slow down as they get older. That's not true about this group. While their activity becomes less intensive, they start doing a lot more low-impact exercises like hiking and walking, riding a bike, et cetera. Good nutrition plays an important role in these healthy lifestyles, and they understand that the food they eat, the fuel that they're getting from their food is what helps them feel better and helps them do a lot more of these activities that they enjoy.

Now you notice in this slide that you're going to see my logo next to Nielsen. I invited Nielsen on the stage with me a couple years ago, and they were kind enough to put my logo next to theirs, so I appreciate that. Almost four out of ten suffer from an ailment. Seventy-five percent of consumers believe that they can manage their health issues through natural ... through proper nutrition. The reason this is important, again, is because it's these unique consumers that are going beyond the four corners of the package. It's these consumers that want quality over price.

Shoppers are actively choosing better options. Fifty-three percent will pay more for foods that promote health. Local is another thing that consumers are interested in, and in terms of giving back their community, helping to support their neighbors. The fountain of youth is important. Consumers are adopting anti-aging products. The whole idea behind this is that consumers are continually looking for the fountain of youth. Shoppers want to look and feel healthy and vital.

The fountain of youth that we're talking about here is from within, and it radiates out. Natural products offer the promise of better nutrition, focusing on you are what you eat. And remember, if you are what you eat, then what you eat matters. And what I mean by that is that everything that goes into those products matter. Again, we talked about non-GMO, pesticides, et cetera. But let's go a little bit further.

For example, lactose intolerance, I don't remember lactose intolerance being a huge issue before. Well, there's a belief, again, not scientifically proven, but there's a belief that if you drink grass-fed milk or eat grass-fed beef, then that's better for your body. It metabolizes better within your system. And consumers are beginning to understand that these are the trends that are fueling this.

Consumers are seeking out healthier food options. Sixty-six percent of consumers now eat healthier than any time before. Sixty percent of consumers believe that quality is far more important than price. Sixty-four percent try to buy healthier foods. Again, we're going back to this whole notion that consumers are going out of the way to buy their product that meet their needs. Price is not a consideration.

The interesting thing I found is that boomers are driving demand across all the healthy ingredients, for example, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, whole grain, protein. The point here is that the boomers are the ones that are driving these changes. And as we know, Millennials are the up and coming generation that has the money that they're going to be spending in CPG--that's where we need to be focused. What's interesting is that the Millennial consumer is following in these trends. So, again, don't overlook the boomers. They're a key part of, should be a key part of any strategy that you have.

Retailers are constantly being bombarded by the amount of claims, product claims that they see. For example, in the last three years, non-GMO retailers get an average of 204 items; natural: 239 items; organic: 117 items. Going back to what I said earlier, brands and retailers need to work closely together to understand which one of these trends or which of these trends are driving sustainable sales, and which are fads.

You need to help the retailers of your brand understand what's going to drive sales on their shelf. And as a retailer, you need to work closely with the brands, especially the natural organic brands that understand these trends. The majority of natural organic products are being sold in conventional--they are mainstream. Now, what's interesting is that if you had looked at this same chart, and I used to have the same version of this several years ago, and the point being is that the majority of natural organic products were sold in natural retailers. This is something that's only going to continue.

Mainstream retailers want and need those natural shoppers. They understand that those natural shoppers are less price sensitive, and they understand that those consumers are the ones that are driving sales across every category. So you're going to continue to see mainstream brands and mainstream retailers adopting natural organic brands. And that's why you're seeing so many of the small natural organic brands being bought by mainstream brands. This can be both a good and bad thing. I talk a lot about this on my podcast, but the gist is this: Natural brands need to remain true to their mission. When they are acquired by a mainstream brand, the mainstream brand needs to help and support them any way they can. But they have to leave the brand alone from the standpoint that they don't want to try to remake the brand as a carbon copy of them self. In other words, assimilate them into the way they do things.

You hear about a lot of mainstream brands that kill natural brands. And the whole idea behind this is that they essentially move that natural brand away from its core consumer, and then that brand essentially dies on the vine. You can see that natural products are being bought across every outlet. They're available anywhere consumers shop today, which is great because it makes it, it gives more people an opportunity to sample some of these natural healthy organic products.

Shoppers are more connected today than in any time before, especially using their smartphone. The idea behind this is that when a consumer walks up to a shelf, no longer do they just pick the green box or the blue blocks. Millennials, especially Millennials, but shoppers today so research online while they're standing at the shelf. They want to understand what goes into the product. What are the ingredients? How are they sourced? everything else. In addition to that, they're also looking for examples, like recipes, and they want to get some influence in terms of what their friends think of the product.

Content is king. Every brand needs to have rich content that extends well beyond the four corners of the package. The shopping experience is important. Shoppers want to try things. You hear a lot of people saying that brick and mortar is dying, and it's quickly going to be replaced, and it's quickly going to go by the wayside. I don't believe that's true for a minute. The whole idea behind this is this: Consumers want to try thing before they buy it. Consumers want to be able to immediately purchase things. The experience matters. The theaters matters. So I was having a rally good conversation with one of my podcast episodes with Phil Lempert. And he was talking about how the theater some retailers have in terms of how they drive consumers into the store.

You see something unique about what they're doing in the butcher area, the deli, or one of the other departments, that experience is what brings consumers together. In addition to that, community. I was talking to Bill Bishop about this. Consumers want to belong to the community. They want to know or be connected with their neighbors, and sometimes shopping at a retail store, especially grocery store, is the one place where they can feel connected.

Shoppers have a myriad of choices. Bill Bishop coined the frame personal supply chain, and the whole idea behind it is this: As a consumer, I have an abundance of choices as far as where I go buy my products. If I don't have the products that I want on your shelf, I'll just simply go elsewhere. And instead of reacquiring and reacquiring customers like so many retailers and so many brands to today, we need to focus in on how do we retain that customer? How do we build true loyalty around that customer?

Ease of shopping is what drives purchase habits. Eighty-three percent are expected to purchase products in store. Smartphones are making shopping easier. The shopper journey is continually changing. Consumers use smartphones to make purchases. They use smartphones, as I mentioned, to do research before buying a product. Selling extends well beyond the register. It includes input for family, friends, and other influencers. And where I'm going with this is that a lot of brands make the fatal mistake of believing that once you get the product into the store, you're done, finished, none, don't need to do anything more. That's the biggest mistake any brand can make.

Selling starts as soon as the product gets put into the packaging and doesn't end ever. It goes, extends well beyond the register to when someone takes it home, and then when they share it with their family and friends. You've got to remember that consumers are always talking about your product. Loyalty is getting consumers to engage with your product.

As a side note, loyalty cards are a bit of a misnomer. Here's my point: I have a loyalty card for every airline that I fly. I have a loyalty card for every retailer that I buy products at; most consumers do as well: They use the loyalty cards as a coupon or a discount when they go buying products. True loyalty occurs when you get a consumer who will evangelize your store as a retail store or your product. I will go out of my way to support my local store because they gave me tremendous value, because they bend over backwards to answer my questions, to make the shopping experience easy and friendly. Same is true for other consumers.

Personalization is important. Shoppers want the shopper journey to be focused on their specific needs. Let me repeat that: Shoppers want the shopping journey to be focused on their specific needs. Personalized shopping experiences are the key to sustainable sales. We talked about personalization. If you're a consumer and you have a need state where you're trying to reduce inflammation, and you go into a store, and you find a product or a retailer that is able to help them find products that reduce inflammation, then you've just personalized that shopping experience. Again, that's how you keep that consumer in your store. That's how you build loyalty.

So what you find here is that personalization is far more important as consumers get younger. So point here being that as consumers age and mature, this is going to become even more and more important. Belief drives choices. I mentioned earlier that consumers want to feel good about the products they buy. Well, the point here is that consumers can't always take off a week or a day to go work on at a food bank or go to a Third World country and help out, or teach English, or whatever.

Consumers look to products that have a mission that aligns with their core mission that they can get behind, that they can get excited about. And then they support those products. So as an extension of their dollars, remember, they vote with their dollars, as an extension of their purchase, they can feel good about what they're doing. So consumers want to make a difference in the world, and that's one of the key drivers in a lot of the choices that they make.

Younger shoppers are taking the lead when it comes to purchase-driven by values and belief. Natural organic products frequently support important causes that resonate with consumers. Shoppers choose retailers and products that align with their core values. Shoppers want to feel good about their purchase decisions. A lot of consumers would prefer spending their money on experiences rather than on a thing.

Subscription services offer tremendous convenience. Shoppers want convenience. One of the things that I think really appeals to shoppers or really makes the buying decision easy is consumers that can buy their groceries online and then pick them up at a retailer. So even though subscription services appeal primarily to the younger shoppers, never, ever, ever overlook the experience. Remember, consumers love the experience. They love the theater that the retailers offer.

Balancing privacy with convenience continues to be a challenge. Most consumers say that they would be lost without Internet access. The point here is that shoppers want what they want. More importantly, they want brands and retailers who will listen to their needs. So in addition to providing excellent customer service, you also need to be very careful to let the consumer know that you're listening to their concerns, that you're going to protect their data, that you're going to make them a priority. Remember, consumers want personalization. This is a big part of that.

Consumers are shot multiple channels. I put this slide in here to indicate how shoppers will, again, if they can't find what they want in one store, they'll simply go to another store. Let me take a quick segue. Generically speaking, retailers don't make anything. They sell their people's products. What I'm getting at is this: Retailers sell shelf space in the form of real estate. So that small area of space that your products take up on their shelves, that's where they make their money. They want as sustainable profit for selling that space. They want to know that your product is going to contribute to the growth within that category.

The point here is this: Savvy retailers are focused on trying to get consumers to spend as much on their shopping list within their store without inviting them to go shop their competition. Having a healthy mix of organic products is one way to do this. The share of organic is growing in retail. As you can see by the green line, it is growing exponentially faster, that's food, versus nonfood. The share of organic products continues to increase across the entire store.

Shoppers are willing to pay for more. Now, I mentioned that shoppers are willing to pay more. This slide is great because it says that shoppers are willing to pay 10% more for foods or beverages that are healthier for me and my family, are fresh, and then 46% of consumers are willing to pay 10% more for products that are natural.

So let me boil all this down. I mentioned that I had a privilege of writing a feature article for the 2016 Category Management Handbook. I had the opportunity to look at all outlets sales for every category and subcategory within the Nielsen database. So here's what I learned: Total food is at 1.9%. Total natural organic sales are up 11%. Organic represents only 7.7% of total U.S. food sales. Total U.S. food without organic is only up 1.2%.

So let me drive this point home. Total U.S. dairy is up 1.5%. Total organic dairy is up 12.1%. Organic dairy sales represent only 9.8% of total food sales. Now, remember, we're talking about a multi-billion dollar category. Total dairy sales in the absence of organic are only at 0.5%. So what I'm saying is that 9.8% of the sales in dairy are natural organic. Those sales are responsible for the sustainable sales across that, of course the dairy category. Now, I can tell you from my research from the other projects that I've done that I see this even more so with, excuse me, gluten-free and non-GMO and plant-based and some of those other attribute trends.

I mentioned earlier that fresh is more important than natural. The point be here is that consumers want to be able to pick out their vegetables, their produce within a store. They don't trust someone to go pick it out for them. Sixty-five percent of consumers want products that are fresh, so 59% without pesticides, and 57% that are natural.

I want to share with you that there are common themes across all different categories. So on this slide, we can see how protein resonates in almost every single category. Several years ago, remember the chemistry, the Better Living through Chemistry? We were taught that if we wanted to eat healthy products, we needed to avoid the center of the store. Well, that's changed today. Healthy, natural, organic products in the center of the store sometimes taste far better than their traditional counterparts because kind of going back to the joke about how the package usually tastes better than the product inside, that's no longer true today.

And what I wanted to illustrate here is that the perimeter store, you're going to see similar trends in the perimeter that you're going to find inside the store. It's the perimeter that drives consumers within into the main part of the store. Organic is driving growth across all categories. As you can see by this slide, organic is something that you're going to find in every single category. Now, what's interesting here is that the perimeter categories are where consumers begin to experiment with organic. They begin to understand what's organic, and what it means, and how it's grown.

And it's easier to understand a product that's organic in terms of something that's produce or milk rather than the ingredients within a package. So, again, this is where consumers begin to experiment with this. Produce is the gateway to center store. As you can see by this slide, produce accounts for some of the highest growth. Remember the slide I showed you just a little bit ago that talked about organic dairy? Well, let me bring this in. Let me share new data with you. This'll bring this home. Produce represents 68% of perishable dollars. Total produce is up 1.3%. This is the slide, similar to what I shared with you before.

Organic produce represents only 8% of total produce. Organic produce is up 7.3%. Again, these are the trends that are fueling the growth across every category. And when you can focus on not only what is this sales increase on an item within a category, but how does it impact the shopping basket? So let me explain. A consumer that comes into your store that buys organic produce is probably more likely to buy organic bread, organic spread, organic pasta, organic everything else. That consumer as a result has a much higher market basket than any other consumer that comes in the store; therefore, that consumer is more valuable to the retailer.

So these are the consumers we need to focus on. Instead of focusing on the penny profit from an item from a promotion as we're taught to, we need to start focusing on overall shopping basket. So a few years ago, there was a ... Actually, you still see it some places. There was a store within a store concept. I think this is the worst idea. The whole idea behind it is that consumers are forced to go on a scavenger hunt. The point is that consumers are forced to shop one part of the store where all the natural organic items are, and then go into the center of the store to try to find other things.

Remember that consumers want choices. And the best way to drive sales within a store is to put the two products, the organic next to its mainstream counterparts. So the new topic that I want to share with you is integrated/segregated. And this is something that you're seeing in a lot of retailers. The problem with this is that retailers are putting natural products next to their mainstream counterparts in a ribbon. I believe that the best strategy is to be able to put them side by side.

So on this slide, you've got red being mainstream, green being natural, brown being organic. And in this slide, what I'm doing is I'm putting the organic product next to its mainstream counterpart. So let me make help make sense of this. If a consumer goes into a store and they buy the generic bread, they're probably going to be hungry almost before they finish eating it. If a consumer goes into a store and buys the best mainstream bread out there, it'll probably satiate him for three, four hours or so. Well, for 30 to 40 cents more, the consumer can go in and buy the organic equivalent, and that product may satiate them for an extra hour.

So the point is that a consumer has the choice or can make the best choice for themselves. And a consumer can say, "Well, I'm going to pay a little bit more at the shelf today, but if that product satiates me longer and better meets my needs nutritionally, then that product is a better value in the long run." That's why this is so important.

So the key to your success depends on how well you satisfy your shoppers' needs. Remember, shoppers can't buy what they can't find. Product placement is key for every item and every brand. This includes every place consumers can purchase your brand. Integrate natural and mainstream brands together. Focus on the way consumers shop the category. Commit to develop a collaborative relationship between retailers and brands.

And the small brands, especially small brands, need to become an expert on their category, shopper trends, and on your competition. Now, as a caveat, I want to point out that the small brands need to get more engaged here, and the retailers need to help support them, need to start listening more to them because they have such great insights.

Take an active role in helping your broker, your distributor manage your growth in your business, develop score cards, and hold them accountable too for your growth and success. Education: We've been talking about this through this entire day. Education is the key to helping the retailers grow sales. Remember, retailers effectively don't make anything--they sell other people's products. A retailer cannot possibly be an expert in every category in every item on their shelf. It is incumbent, therefore, upon the brands to help the retailers understand what's driving sales in their category.

I want to thank everyone for showing up today, and I want to thank you for your time. And we'll take questions in a minute. But, again, if you want to download this presentation, you can go to categorymanagementsolutions.com/cma2018. I am also going to turn this episode, this talk into a podcast episode, so be looking for it in the next couple of weeks. So, again, thank you for your time. I appreciate your listening. Let's open up the floor for questions.

Hello again. This is Dan. I opened up the floor for questions, but the microphone that we use unfortunately created a lot of feedback that really made a lot of noise and a lot of static on the line. So unfortunately I've cut those out. There are a lot of really great questions that I answered for about 15 minutes. If you have any questions about how to capitalize on these trends, then please reach out to me or listen to my podcast, where I cover a lot of these topics. I appreciate your listening. Again, this podcast is about you, and it's for you. If there's anything I can do to help you take advantage of these important trends, again, please reach out to me. I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

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Thanks again for joining us today. Make sure to stop over at brandsecretsandstrategies.com for the show notes along with more great brand building articles and resources. Check out my free course Turnkey Sales Story Strategies, your roadmap to success. You can find that on my website or at TurnkeySalesStoryStrategies.com/growsales. Please subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, and recommend it to your friends and colleagues.

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Until next time, this is Dan Lohman with Brand Secrets and Strategies where the focus is on empowering brands and raising the bar.

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Empowering Brands | Raising The Bar

Ever wish you just had a roadmap?  Well now you do!

Don’t miss out on all of these FREE RESOURCES (strategic downloadable guides, podcast episodes, list of questions you need to be asking and know the answers to, weekly newsletter, articles and tips of the week.  You will also receive access to quick and easy online courses that teach you how to get your brand on the shelf, expand distribution, understand what retailers REALLY want and address your most pressing challenges and questions.

All tools that you can use, AT NO CHARGE TO YOU, to save you valuable time and money and grow your sales today!

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