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As summer fades into fall, thoughts of football and at-home entertaining are brewing in customers’ minds.
“Summer isn’t the only season that brings out people who want refreshment" says Matt Dzarnowski, Director of Large Format channel marketing for MillerCoors. "There are many occasions in the fall where our brands come to life and can be shared with family and friends."
Indeed, tailgating is prime-time to score beer sales and the Miller Lite “Grillin’ for Greatness” program featuring Guy Fieri’s recipes paired with Miller Lite can help retailers own the 2014 tailgating season and make Miller Lite the brew of choice this fall.
“Grillin’ for Greatness” is an extension of the Guy Fieri program that kicked off in stores this summer. “Grillin’ for Greatness is very customizable, delivering strong digital content to help connect with Shoppers in the pre-shop.” “Guy’s Miller Lite recipes deliver on the promise of the great foods we all want to enjoy during the tailgate season, or simply grilling out at home this fall. 20 different tailgate recipes, video’s featuring Guy demonstrating how to make the recipe, and video’s featuring Guy’s grilling tips complete the digital content found on GrillwithGuy.com,” continues Dzarnowski. By leveraging the program tools, retailers can engage shoppers with new ideas for fall tailgating occasions,” notes Dzarnowski, who encourages retailers to include “Grillin’ for Greatness” content on their websites, Facebook pages and other digital properties.
“By leveraging digital and social media, retailers can reach their customers before they even enter the store. Then, once they are inside, our displays featuring Miller Lite “Grillin’ for Greatness” with Guy Fieri help deliver a shopper solution for immediate and planned occasions, building the basket with beer and food items. The displays inspire shoppers to try new recipes that pair well with Miller Lite or use Miller Lite as an ingredient.”
Guy Fieri is a trusted source who inspires shoppers. “With Guy’s help, shoppers feel confident and comfortable about adding beer to their baskets to enhance any meal and grilling occasion,” Dzarnowski explains. Retailers can utilize program displays featuring Miller Lite in and out of the beer aisle to deliver a shopper solution which builds the basket, improves beer conversion, and delivers great recipes Shoppers can enjoy during many occasions this fall.”
Promoting Seasonal Selections with Pints and Plates
Miller Lite isn’t the only promotion-appropriate brew for fall. “There are also several exciting seasonal beers that are popular with Shoppers this fall, like Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale.” relays Dzarnowski. “Shoppers enjoy the changing seasons and they want flavorful beers to mark the occasions.”
Retailers can leverage MillerCoors’ Pints and Plates program to reach shoppers even before they enter the store. The Pints and Plates program provides customers with palate pleasing recipes and complementary beer pairings. Customers can mark autumn’s arrival with beer pairing dinners – fun events to host for Oktoberfest, Halloween, and other gatherings with friends and family this fall, or plan an everyday weeknight meal and experience a new way to enjoy beer.
The way customers shop and eat was the catalyst behind the MillerCoors’ Pints and Plates program.
Statistics show that 72 percent of all meals are eaten at home; that the demand for new and fresh cooking ideas is high; and that the digital path to purchase is becoming increasingly important. The role beer plays is also key: 54 percent of craft beer volume is from “at- home meal” occasions, and one in three shoppers want more beer education, according to the Craft Attribute and Usage Study conducted in 2012.
Stores participating in the Pints and Plates program can share recipes plus food and beer pairing ideas with their customers in a variety of ways – online, and via in-store displays that let shoppers scan a QR code to find recipe and beer pairings. For example, retailers can access Pints and Plates recipe content and integrate it into their POS displays, websites, circulars, emails, loyalty programs and social media posts, says Dzarnowski.
An example of a recipe great for fall dinner parties that was created for the Pints and Plates program is Braised Beef Short Ribs paired with Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale.
Success So Far
Retailers who have implemented the programs have boosted beer sales, including Kroger, HEB, Publix, & HyVee to start.
“This summer, HEB incorporated Guy’s Mac N’ Cheese Bacon Burger recipe into their ‘Beer & Burger Days’ program,” Dzarnowski says.
Along with receiving the recipe, HEB shoppers had the opportunity to register for a chance to win grills and coolers as well as Guy Fieri-autographed cookbooks, where legal. The promotion helped drive sales across categories. “While the POS and digital elements featured Guy Fieri, the program was customizable for HEB to take on the look and feel of their own ‘Beer & Burger Days’ program,” adds Dzarnowski.
Because retailers customize Pints and Plates by featured brand and merchandising plan, results have varied by store. Beer’s overall performance, however, has been positive for stores that have promoted the Pints and Plates program.
“Pints and Plates program executions are delivering results of 30%+ on featured brands across all executions combined according to our data,” Dzarnowski says. “We have also seen one chain that doubled sales of Peroni for the featured month vs. the prior year. This is great news for retailers, since no price promotion is needed to help sell these higher margin ‘above premium’ and craft beers.”