FOOD and VISUAL MERCHANDISING: a changing world.

food e visual merchandising un mondo in evoluzione

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Dear Readers,

If until yesterday, the Visual Merchandising word for operators instantly connected to clothing, footwear or accessories store, by now we must add new markets also.

Increasingly companies devoted to food sector pay attention to display their goods  in the stores. And we can add that it doesn’t mean only the well organization of the displays, but something that goes beyond and conquer the consumer. This is the reason for VM, as happened for clothing and accessories sectors, and for some time for the pharmaceutical one, has being discovered in the food segment too. Increasingly companies pay attention to the visual elements characterizing the display systems of their stores and the products.

Specific visual techniques are implemented to suggest the consumer. This way draws the consumer to relate differently to the surrounding area. A cared displaying system, a well focusing lighting system, specific colours, are elements if used strategically, can surprise the buyer, catch his attention, or confuse and intrigue him in order to approach him to purchase.

FOOD and VISUAL MERCHANDISING: a changing world

Really to reach to this revolutionary an dynamic world that VM meet the food sector, to coin the phrase “eating with the eyes” and become real. Since several year this way, originally used only for clothing and accessories, takes hold in the food sector too, by exploiting the fundamentals of VM, but developing specific terms. By joining VM and food arise the category management. This implementation basis onto the category concept and the knowledge of the consumer.

The combination of these aspects are strictly connected, since a category, that is all the products enable to meet the consumers’ requests, leads to positive results for the company (if the distributor knows its customers, and meets the real needs).

FOOD and VISUAL MERCHANDISING: a changing world

The same attention dedicated to emphasizing apparel, jewelry, footwear or cosmetics, by now is addressed also to food. Thence they point out on features involved to catch the attention of the consumer.

The process doesn’t consist on focusing on some characteristics of the products, but also in considering the brand identity: the line connecting whole the sales points. Nowadays many companies exploit the category management in order to enhance the interaction with the customer.

In order to understand the reason why the companies are addressed to improve their sales points and enhance their products, we interviewed  Mr Eugenio Gallo of Click Cafè and Mrs Valentina Fiore of Libera Terra.

To the question: “What are the Visual Merchandising strategies that you implemented and which are the goals for the current 2018 year?”  The answer of Mrs Valentina Fiore was: “We try to encourage the visitors and let us have particular visibility. We studied a dedicated displaying system to enhance our products, in addition we use special adv vehicles such as posters,  shoppers or collars useful to customize the available places and catch the attention. For us it is important on focusing the exclusivity of the products and this represents one of our main goal. Our ambition is to diversify our work: 100% Italian origin of the staples is the most important factor for the customer as well as our manufacturing process which exploits only clean energy.”

Mr. Eugenio Gallo Click Cafè

At the same question Mr Eugenio Gallo says: “We will develop a new line of Visual Book to reformulate the look of the sales points and implement the company’s visibility by marketing and communication activities to be our brand acquainted on the market.”

XT has reconfirmed the partnership with Chef Express, another Italian Company in the food sector. The architect Mrs Simona Fiore explained this partnership and the activities involved in: “Firstly we are devoted to open new sales points. We are carrying out in store coaching courses that is, our retail merchandiser coaches will support the employees in the visual merchandising and shopfitting activities. The course includes the theory in the classroom followed by the shopfitting directly on the sales point.”

For Chef Express, we interviewed Mrs Maria Grazia Alcibiade also, who explains: “We want to focus on the linearity of our brand. Those who visit our stores must recognize us, and what perceived by the customer must refer to us. Thence we give much importance to visual merchandising to optimize the company’s identity. By the Visual Books we communicate the various stages of equipment throughout the network. The training of our employees too plays a significant role for the formation of the sales points, to which we hold high regard.”

FOOD and VISUAL MERCHANDISING: a changing world

We deduce that increasingly companies devoted on the food sector stat to pay attention not only to the quality of the products and their aesthetics, but the right way to be displayed. Each company has a different way to relate with its customer. Generally, they tribute the work on the perception that is the basis of visual merchandising. So the five senses are involved.

In the visual merchandising field, the most “caught” sense is the sight, even if the global communication has been bestowed by smell, sound, materials, or following the trends or combining them to the brand identity to be always recognizable and different from other companies. Therefore, to make a sales point attractive, as already told, it’s not enough to keep in order and clearly visible the products. The companies confirm this by expressing the wish to make further attention to display of the goods. That’s why the need to exploit a VM strategy able to address the client and let him to positive experience. E.g. we will consider the new food trends with an attentive client looking at the origin of the products, we will notice a different presentation of food. The buyers look for products that help and improve them for a wellness and really healthy. These components are perfectly embodied by the organic products. They recall to the idea of “nature” and conceived for wellness, not chemically treated therefore very healthy.

These topics are enhanced and emphasized by the visual techniques. Considerable the lighting system on fruits and vegetables which make them vivid within the concept of freshness. The strategic display of some products could suggest the client and buy both. The layout, the organization of the products, the colors and the lighting system are elements playing a fundamental role in the layout of the sales point and well feature the visual merchandising. Close attention on these details, better will be the interaction with the clients and encourage him to buy.

A question comes to mind, that’s what can we attend the visual of the food sector?

Mostly have already find out that the future of retail will see the existence of visual merchandising again. The most attentive web visitors will have realized that this year, Amazon has opened in the United States the first store where make purchases mainly as seen in the physical sales point avoiding the problem to charge the cart or the basket. From this it is clear that visual will have the leading role because focused on the request of the final consumer.
by Paolo Zanardi XT Retail  for AN shopfitting magazine no.144 ©