Supermarkets: Can the True Meaning of Food Drive Business Growth?

September 16th, 2015 Posted by food experiences, Insight, Navigation, Retail brand building, retail brand relevance, shopper behavior, shopper experience, Supermarket strategy, Uncategorized 0 comments on “Supermarkets: Can the True Meaning of Food Drive Business Growth?”

“The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground,
the source of sustenance and nourishment,
festivity, safety, and satisfaction.
A person cooking is a person giving:
Even the simplest food is a gift.”
– Laurie Colwin –

Imagine a grocery retail business that fully understands and embraces this thinking, then translates that down to the store aisles in how the business is organized to operate in service of the experiences and outcomes people associate with food.

Selling food products and related services is more than just pushing transactions. Ironically the pathway to sales growth has changed dramatically in the last decade.

The new route is based on consumers’ beliefs and values – this is what a business’s Higher Purpose should be based on. Building relationships with consumers to earn permission to sell to them.

When the retail business model is devoted solely to securing the transaction, the dynamic of that process can fight against the very tools needed to inspire stronger customer relationships that in turn lead to – transactions.

Delicious Strategy

The ability to see the food business based on the emotional ties people have to the experience of preparing and eating food is crucial to sustainable growth.


  • Respect the value people place on:
    • Food experiences
    • Social time around the table
    • Efforts to improve their health
    • Culinary exploration and creativity in the kitchen

Genuinely connect with people (the customer, the shopper) on a more meaningful and profound level – based on their interests and passions around food.


Bob Wheatley is the CEO of Chicago-based Emergent Healthy Living. Emergent provides integrated brand strategy, communications and insight solutions to national food, beverage, home and lifestyle companies.  Emergent’s unique and proprietary transformation and growth focus helps organizations navigate, engage and leverage consumers’ desire for higher quality, healthier product or service experiences that mirror their desire for  higher quality lifestyles. For more information, contact [email protected] and follow on Twitter @BobWheatley.

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