For more than 140 years, Quaker's brands have served as symbols of quality, great taste, and nutrition. Now that they are a Red Oval partner, Independent Grocers Alliance members can pass along benefits like offers and recipes to their shoppers.
Quaker provides consumers with a diverse range of high-quality products across many categories in the grocery store. Whether a shopper is seeking breakfast, snacking, or meal options, Quaker delivers great products such as Quaker Oatmeal, Life Cereal, Cap N’ Crunch, Pearl Milling Company Pancake mix and syrup, Chewy Granola bars, Quaker Rice Cakes and Crisps, Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, and Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese to help meet their needs.
We spoke with Mike Skoglund, Quaker's senior director of sales – regional grocery, to tell us more about product performance, shopper trends, and how this Red Oval partnership will help independent retailers.
What differentiates Quaker from your competitors?
Mike Skoglund: Quaker is an iconic brand with more than 140 years of experience offering both nutritious and delicious food choices to consumers. Quaker is a household name, delivering high-quality products at a good value that consumers have come to trust.
Do your products perform better in particular seasons? What can our retailers do to capture those sales?
MS: Quaker’s portfolio of products appeal to consumers throughout the year. While products such as Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni always make a great addition to everyday meals, certain products in the Quaker portfolio see an even stronger performance during specific seasons. Chewy Granola bars, for example, meet consumer snacking needs during the busy back-to-school and summer break windows.
Additionally, Quaker Oatmeal tends to see a strong performance during the winter months, but can also be used to make delicious overnight oats or be a nutritious addition to smoothies during the summer. By focusing on the versatility of the offerings and the appeal to the whole family, retailers can extend sales all year long.
What product trends are you seeing in this category right now, and what do you expect to see in the coming months and year?
MS: Overall, the at-home breakfast occasion remains strong with hot cereals and pancake mix outpacing total breakfast growth. Additionally, ready-to-eat cereals and pancake syrup are showing positive dollar sales momentum with an increase in units per trip, a trend that is expected to continue.
Consumers are also eating a wide range of snacks from different categories and like a variety of sweet and salty. Flavor is by far the most important driving factor in this category.
Quaker Oats can be utilized for a variety of recipes. (Source: Quaker Brands)
What shopper trends are you seeing in the category, and do you expect those to change in the next year?
MS: Within the breakfast category, consumers continue to take the reins and seek nutrition, with 22% reportedly eating more healthy and nourishing breakfasts. Convenience at breakfast is also top of mind, with 18% of consumers eating breakfasts that require minimal prep time and clean up. In addition, enjoyment is still critical at breakfast, with 23% of consumers eating more homemade breakfasts and 18% prioritizing breakfast options they know their family will eat.
The snacking occasion(s) continues to be on the rise, with growth in both light snacks and snack bars. Consumers eat an average of 2.7 snacks per day and almost half of consumers eat 3+ snacks per day. Those in the 18-34 age group are snacking more frequently.
How are you addressing supply chain and inflation issues right now?
MS: Quaker is well-positioned to navigate the current environment given the efficacy and strength of our supply chain and procurement practices. While we’re not able to predict the future, especially given the current volatility in the market, we have plans in place and are working toward solutions to help mitigate any potential impact we may see.
What benefits will this partnership afford our independent retailers?
MS: As a Red Oval partner, Quaker is looking to help independent retailers win locally by delivering in-demand products as well as creative ideas and solutions that help build momentum and grow the trajectory around mealtime at home.
Do you have any best practices or resources you can share with our retailers to drive sales of your products?
MS: Retailers that are winning with Quaker are leveraging our full portfolio across breakfast, snacking, and mealtimes. Combining products across all three categories helps meet consumer needs related to convenience, portability, and value. Offering bundled programming makes shopping simple and easy, saving customers time and money.
How can our independent retailers engage with Quaker and best let shoppers know they carry your products?
MS: The best path to success is to leverage your wholesaler contacts to connect to their respective Quaker customer manager. In-store communication can include shipper and pallet displays, with full messaging about our products and events, as well as localized shopper marketing, where available.