The ice cream drips have dried to the picnic table, the swimming pools are calm and flat, and the campground fires where s’mores were made and stories were told have all been put out – and just like that, summer is over. A chorus of groaning kids knows exactly what time of year it is: it’s back to school season.
With this transition comes a new set of challenges as busy parents adjust their schedules to accommodate school drop-offs, after-school activities and nightly homework. Meals and grocery shopping will also be squeezed into this tight schedule, so let’s explore what retailers and brands should keep in mind to capture the attention of harried parents.
- Make it easier to prioritize family time
Schedules get crazy. You are in a unique position to inspire busy families to take a moment to sit down and enjoy a meal together. Help parents reduce meal prep by providing options that cut out steps or can be used in multiple meals throughout the week. Consider various options that offer convenience. For the mom with little ones, convenience may look like meal kits, ready to go with all the ingredients in one package. For the dad running kids back and forth to practice, convenience may look like a pre-seasoned or marinated item that they can toss on the grill. For the parent who loves to cook but doesn’t have time, it may be a pre-sliced product that makes a meal come together in minutes.
- Help parents stretch their dollars
With the current economic environment, inflation is heavy on consumers’ minds and parents may not be loyal to a single store as they seek ways to stretch their dollars. They may be looking for promotions and coupons to save extra or might buy products in bulk. In fact, 24% of grocery shoppers get good value by buying a larger package size for a better price per unit/oz.1 Prices may also dictate parents’ purchasing cheaper cuts to manage their budget. Help your customers confidently purchase cuts that work well not only for their meal planning but also their wallet.
- Keep nutrition and health top of mind
Parents are seeking peace of mind that the food they feed their families is good for them. Purchasing a trusted brand or product means they don’t have to second guess their choice – 33% of grocery shoppers say they get good value when they purchase a high-quality product at a good price.1 Claims on products can help parents make choices they feel good about. Consider stocking products that are raised without antibiotics, have sustainable packaging or offer information on traceability.
- Merchandise the meat case
Parents often face decision overload, especially when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping. Simplify their choices by organizing your meat case effectively. Highlight meal ideas and pairings, making it easy for parents to quickly find what they need. Analyze inventory and the number of options available to prevent decision overload while still catering to your customer. Train your meat team to help shoppers with making decisions; a knowledgeable team can go a long way toward getting product in a cart. Add extra on-pack communications, such as coupons and cooking suggestions.
- Get more specific with your marketing tactics
Engage parents with family-friendly recipes that incorporate your meat products. According to Instacart, 89% of food and recipe social media content viewers report that recipe content influences what they cook at home.2 Offer mealtime inspiration and practical cooking tips to help guide parents through quick meal prep. On sales and promotions, encourage parents to stock up on items to stretch their dollar. Also consider those shopping online for their meals. Ensure your site is user friendly, offers recipes and has a seamless user experience so that a parent can easily order groceries while their kids are at soccer practice. Engage with your resources, whether that be your in-house marketing team, a brand’s marketing team or industry partners like Midan to make sure meat is part of the conversation with the consumer.
The back-to-school season presents a unique opportunity for meat retail brands to support and connect with busy parents. By recognizing their goals, addressing concerns and providing convenient and affordable solutions, you can foster lasting relationships with your customers. Embrace the changing behaviors of consumers during this transition from summer to fall and position your brand as the go-to choice for busy parents looking to make mealtime both enjoyable and stress-free.