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    Category Captain: Cookies: Kraft Foods

    After years of expansion at 3 percent to 5 percent, the cookie and cracker category sputtered to 1 percent to 2 percent growth when the economic recovery proved uncertain.

    After years of expansion at 3 percent to 5 percent, the cookie and cracker category sputtered to 1 percent to 2 percent growth when the economic recovery proved uncertain. As category captain at a major grocery retailer, Kraft Foods needed to regain lost momentum.

    Kraft’s category management team came up with a “Cookie and Cracker Aisle Reinvention” that had two main objectives: surface actionable shopper understanding, and creatively translating the insights into a redesign with sustained sales building potential. The manufacturer took on customized qualitative and quantitative studies that delved into cookie vs. cracker perceptions and shopping behaviors.

    Armed with its new understanding, Kraft’s reinvention unfolded around three strategies:

    • Building a “better-for-you” cookie destination

    • Relocating the highest-penetration brands to lead the aisle

    • Increasing vertical brand blocking to encourage impulse buying

    A five-month controlled store test showed the reinvention concept increased velocity by more than one percentage point -- an impressive change for one of dry grocery’s largest categories. As a result, the retailer will be rolling out many of the initiative’s elements chain-wide.

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