Food retailers are making more of their own decisions on product shelf placement and not relying so much on the providers of those products, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
In earlier years, many grocers accepted suggestions, or even plans for whole sections, from their food processor suppliers, reasoning that the suppliers were the experts in their categories. The Journal’s article describes how Kroger and other big grocers are basing decisions on shelf placement more on proprietary in-house research.
As a result, store brands, niche items and other non-mainstream products are getting more space, especially more of the prime space in the so-called “strike zone” just below eye level, which is supposed to be especially conducive to sales.
More sophisticated in-store data is available to grocers, some of it from cameras that can gauge how long shoppers take to walk through a given section, or even track their eye movements. Brand owners told the Journal that they will work to provide more useful and impartial insights on stocking strategies to their retail “partners.”