February 9, 2015

Merchandising the New Items on Passover

When it comes to merchandising Passover products, it seems that there is a fixed set of ideas that repeat themselves from year to year. The FSI’s, newspaper ads, discounts on some basic items, loss leaders, Matzoh giveaways and of course distributing haggadahs and recipe booklets make up the standard list. When I canvassed some retailers for some novel ideas, invariably most were already on the standard list I mentioned.

Elsewhere in this issue is a review of some of the estimated 300 new products that will be on Passover shelves this Passover. The list is impressive as there is something new in almost every category. Yet, with few exceptions retailers do little to take advantage of what I believe is a huge opportunity. Consumers like new products and especially on Passover. Ideally, these products should be flagged with shelf talkers. Stores should distribute lists of the new products and perhaps they should have a special display of the new products. They could even highlight a few of the new products in their advertising.

So why don’t they? One retailer put it this way: “Passover is one big headache and I opt for the safest course which is to stock and promote the standard basic items that Jews have been eating forever on Passover. New items, they’re wonderful but maybe a bit risky.” I for one do not agree and still believe that merchandising the new items can add to the bottom line!