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Revving Up Refrigeration

Creating refrigerated sets in center store aisles could help retailers get their premium, perishable offerings noticed.


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Refrigerated cases have made their way into unexpected grocery aisles in recent years. Baby food aisles now often have a full fridge of fresh items right next to the jarred products, and even pets have their own mini-fridge filled with perishable treats.

As consumers move away from foods packed with preservatives, the future of center store grocery aisles looks chilly. Out of all of the manufacturers and grocery officials to whom I have spoken, one thing that almost everyone agrees on is the importance of integrated-segregated sets. An example of this type of set could be putting the better-for-you pastas on the same shelf, but making sure this shelf is right next to the conventional pastas so that a shopper who is looking for pasta might notice the premium option and reach for it instead. I could very well see this happening with perishable refrigerated products, and I could one day see the refrigerated pastas and pasta sauces that are sneaking onto the scene sitting right in the pasta aisle in their own cooler.

Retailers should take note of this convenient way to push premium, perishable items off shelves. There have often been times when I have walked the perimeter of my local grocery store and noticed products in very strange places in the refrigerator. Instead of putting the local, perishable pickles next to the yogurt, why not add a small cooler full of pickles and olives next to the conventional sandwich pickles?  

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