Snacks & Candy

The Colors of Kroger

Grocer highlights variety in "refreshment center"

CINCINNATI -- Kroger is trying out a pair of colorful category management programs in its snacks and beverage aisles. A handful of Kroger supermarkets have rolled out a "Refreshment Center" department that arranges the chain's eclectic beverage category into a streamlined, four-aisle destination, according to a report from the In-Store Marketing Institute.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group developed the Refreshment Center for Kroger, enlisting Paramus, N.J.-based marketing agency LG&P to aid in design and merchandising. Executives from both companies described the program during [image-nocss] a seminar at the In-Store Marketing Summit in April.

The program reserves gondolas for specific categories, which are designated by color: red for carbonated beverages, green for juice, and blue for water and sports drinks. Color-coded aisle violators and floor strips help identify the categories, while in-line headers carry lifestyle images and evocative phrases. Green headers, for instance, describe juice as, "healthy, fruity, flavorful," while blue signage represents sports drinks with the phrase, "restore, refuel, replenish."

The outer gondolas, which house carbonated beverages and water, span the length of the department, while the interior aisles feature shorter gondolas, two of which run into coolers devoted to energy drinks and new-age beverages, such as vitamin-infused water and tea.

Endcaps include permanent three-sided displays from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo's Gatorade, which join generic displays that showcase beverage brands as "Weekly Features." The department also uses semi-permanent floorstands from such brands as PepsiCo's Lipton and Tropicana, and Ocean Spray. Temporary corrugate is also employed, according to the report.

Meanwhile, some Kroger stores have also installed a similar category management program in the snacks aisle, where the report saidcolor-coded graphics identify six distinctive categories along a single gondola:
"Fun Favorites" (yellow) "Sensible Snacks" (green) "Kroger Snacks" (blue) "Family Size" (red) "Multi-Pack" (orange) Across the aisle, yellow-orange signage marks a section of "Hometown Favorites." Aisle violators designate each section, along with curved headers that feature colorful lifestyle photography.

Channel strips further highlight the color-coded sections, with graphics along the "Sensible Snacks" section describing featured SKUs as baked, grains or light. PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division receives special attention, with aisle violators naming Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos and Tostitos chips and dips, said the report.

Kroger, Cincinnati, operates 2,481 supermarkets under 24 banners in 31 states, as well as nealy 800 convenience stores..

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