Center store remains ‘vital driver’ of store trips, Catalina reports

BY Michael Johnsen

Center store remains a vital driver of trips and volume for grocery retailers, Catalina shared in a new survey published Wednesday. More than 80% of all baskets contain a center store purchase, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based shopper intelligence firm stated.

“The Center Store is alive and well,” Marta Cyhan, head of marketing for Catalina, said. “Some 8-in-10 baskets we looked at included a center store item, but many consumers are looking to discover something different. A new generation of brands and subcategories are reinvigorating the center store by appealing to lifestyle and ingredient-based preferences.”

Specific cross-category consumer preferences like “heart healthy,” “low-fat,” “trans-fat avoiders” and “GMO avoiders” are fueling the growth of some of the fastest growing product subcategories, Catalina reported. Big winners include non-fat/low fat ice cream, value-priced entrée frozen dinners, sparkling/seltzer water, ready-made coffee drinks, window and glass cleaners, fresh rolls, dried meat snacks, vinegar, value-priced bath tissue, and a variety of snack and candy subcategories.

According to the report, center store accounts for 60 annual trips per shopper, per store and shoppers spend on average $1,408 a year.

“Our study demonstrates that brands and retailers who can understand today’s shoppers based on their underlying motivations and meet their evolving needs with product innovation will be a growth engine for the center store,” Cyhan said.  “The ability to engage the right shoppers based on ingredient-level targeting will help these brands efficiently grow their business.”


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