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Micro Market – Selling More And Selling More Often

woman browsing open air commercial fridge image on the Due North website

“A micro market is an unattended vending concept variously described as:

  • self-checkout food facility located inside of an enclosed workplace and available to a known group of employees. Employees can access prepackaged food directly and then pay for their selection at a kiosk.
  • a self-checkout retail food establishment that replaces a bank of vending machines.

Within a typical 8 hour work day or shift, a micro market will experience 3 peaks periods in which the bulk of sales occur; morning break, lunch, and afternoon break.  But what if there were a fourth opportunity to boost sales by simply adjusting your product mix and Point of Sale promotions?

Enter home meal replacement

Taking a page from the play books of most major grocery and c-store chains, HMR has become a popular add-on and revenue center that provides customers ready-made meal options (think baked chicken, frozen or refrigerated pastas, salads, sides, etc.) that are typically heat higher offerings than fast food.

For consumers faced with the time-consuming task of preparing a hot meal for their family at the end of a long day, it’s a simple and convenient solution. And by providing a comparable refrigerated or frozen option at work, it eliminates the trip to the store altogether!

How to promote in the micro market

With HMR options not usually offered in micro market, its success will largely depend on how it’s promoted. Here are a few tips and suggestions to make your HMR offering a success.

  • Consider offering larger portion sizes (in addition to single portions) that would appeal to a 2-4 person household or bundle single portions at a reduced cost.
  • Encourage frozen food purchases earlier in the day. As most of these an entrance will take several hours to defrost, purchasing them before lunch will reduce the required heating time at home. (remember, it’s all about convenience)
  • Build combo / family meal deals that offer an entrance, side(s) and perhaps dessert for a bundled (slightly discounted) price
  • Use engaging info graphics at the point of sale (on video screens, freezer/cooler doors and food packaging) such as “What’s For Dinner Tonight?” “Take Me Home!” “Who’s Cooking Tonight?”
  • Establish “Theme Nights” so customers learn an established pattern of food selections throughout the week, even if they have not visited the Micro Market on that given day (e.g. Meatball Mondays, Tortellini Tuesdays). This can also work for daytime promotions.
  • Incorporate HMR purchases into your loyalty program to encourage repeat purchases

In a 2015 article by http://www.foodserviceandhospitality.com annual HMR purchases in Canada alone total $2.5B. Without a doubt, it’s a market segment worth paying attention to.

We’re happy to help you plan out some better displays for your store. Give us a call to talk over your options today.

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