Today’s food market is not the market of old. To be sure the old staples are still very prevalent in the local super markets but there has been a huge change.
Specialty foods have literally changed the way we shop. Healthy food habits have precipitated this change and food preferences have changed over the past 50 years. No longer is our diet simply meat and potatoes with serving of vegetables and a glass of water.
Gourmet foods are in great demand as shoppers have expanded their dining and cooking horizons. All natural, gluten free, no MSGs and organic are terms not heard 50 years ago. Precise labeling of nutritional values and ingredients in foods is also a must. This is a result of consumer demand. People want to know what they are putting in their bodies. How it will affect them and their loved ones is of great concern.
And with that great concern comes great power. Super market managers must be very responsive to consumer requests and demands. If they fail to carry popular or requested items, they will fail to maintain the loyalty of the very consumers they need to maintain a viable business.
But one question remains in all of this. Do the consumers realize the power they possess?
It is my contention that many do not. Often times they may look for particular items in their local store and not be able to find them. They either go to another unfamiliar store to find the items they could not find in their local store or they resort to ordering the item online. Both alternatives carry costs to the consumer. To go to another store requires time and money for gas. To shop online once again requires time and often requires the cost of shipping. Both alternatives are not desirable to the loyal shopper.
But, seeking out the store manager, grocery manager or meat manager to ask them to bring certain items into their store is very powerful. First, it tells the manager that you would prefer to buy the item in their store. It tells them too that you are a loyal consumer to their store and would prefer to not have to chase down the item of choice somewhere else. And it may inform the manager of what items are becoming popular or what consumers are trending toward. Everybody wins as the managers are trained to listen to the demands and wants of their customers and to grow the business the customer gets what they want.
Specialty food stores are notorious for listening to their customer base. They are always bringing in requested items for their customers because often enough, other consumers want and need the same items. The staff at these stores are well trained to assist the gourmet consumer in their needs are they are very responsive to product requests. This is one big reason for the rise in popularity of specialty stores.
So the next time you are frustrated because nothing you seek seems to be available, just ask a manger and your frustration just might come to an end. Remember, the power of the gourmet consumer is a powerful thing!