As natural CPG expands further into conventional retail, are mass channels supportive environments ripe with opportunity? At NOSH Live Summer 2019, BevNET and NOSH editor-in-chief Jeffrey Klineman led a discussion with a panel of revered industry brokers: TJ Varecka, principal at KMG Group; Tregg Brown, chief sales officer at Team Direct Management, which works with Walmart and Sam’s Club, and Tracy Miedema, VP of innovation and brand development at Presence Marketing, about retailer relationships — and why mass channels “no longer have to be the last piece of the puzzle,” Varecka said.
Ten years ago, 25% of natural and organic CPG was through conventional retail; now it’s about 65% and will continue to evolve, Miedema noted. Though traditionally considered the last place to start, mass retail now provides a nurturing environment for entrepreneurial brands in order to offer shoppers a curated selection of offerings. In turn, big retailers can provide brands with omnichannel opportunities, including click-and-collect and shipping from store locations, which creates “an area of unlimited shelf space” that allows tribes to find their brands, Miedema said.
The panel also touched on the slow emergence of CBD products in larger retailers, suggesting that both Target and Walmart are following FDA guidance before selling CBD.
In the video above, the panel helps navigate the world of large retail, the importance of a clear channel strategy and how to prepare for entering mass channels. With consumers spending just a few seconds at the shelf, transparent brand messaging is one of the most crucial ingredients.