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Introducing the 2013 N.G.A. SupermarketGuru Survey...

Author: Phil Lempert

The Independent View

Phil Lempert

Introducing the 2013 N.G.A. SupermarketGuru Survey...  

 February 15, 2013 


In 2013, consumers will see supermarkets either as part of the problem or part of the solution to help them live better. Questions they ask as they assess where they shop will connect food with their lifestyles and focus less on price. This creates a special opportunity for IGA supermarkets, which may lack scale to compete fiercely on price, but have many elements in place consumers covet.

This past Tuesday at The N.G.A. Show in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of releasing this year's benchmarked survey from the National Grocers Association and leading a discussion of the findings with industry leaders, including IGA's own CEO Mark Batenic, as well as other retail executives and experts from the grocery retail industry. 

IGA NGA 2013

We discussed a number of important topics for independent grocery stores, including:

  • Are stores offering enough nutritional guidance and better-for-my-family foods?
  • Are stores convenient and easy to navigate?
  • Do stores look, smell...sing...fresh?
  • Is shopping an upbeat experience of new taste discoveries?
  • Are food values and savings in-place and highly visible?
  • Is private label great in its own right, not just less costly?
  • Are enough experts available (butchers, cheese mongers, nutritionists, deli chefs) to help shoppers serve great meals at home that satisfy and support our household wellness?
  • Do shoppers feel welcome and appreciated?


Some great news from the survey found that primary supermarkets earned more satisfaction scores of 8, 9 and 10 (on a scale of 10 where 10 is excellent) this year, up 5.4 points over the 2012 Survey.

So what should IGA members emphasize to align deeply with consumers in 2013? Focus on healthy/fresh/local expertise and assortments to help people eat smarter, cooking insights to raise consumer confidence in the kitchen, easy store layouts and speedy checkouts, survey findings suggest. And Batenic agreed...

"Shoppers are smarter now than ever before because they have access to more information. Today, more and more shoppers research a store online before shop, and their focus is changing. Shoppers are going where they can get the safest, most nutritious food; where they can save the most time; and where they have friendly people who are invested in the community serving them. The good news is independent retailers have a huge edge over the chains. If you're not focusing on one of these things, you can make on-the-spot decisions to change how you're going to market and how you're reaching the consumer."

IGA supermarkets can leverage many more insights from this report to build customer closeness and competitive advantage in this crossroads year of 2013. I look forward to delving into these issues in future issues of The Independent View.


Phil Lempert