Range versus rationalization in frozen foods

Author: J. F.W. Yaxley


There is not so much a conflict between "range" and "rationalization" as a need for balance between the two: a need to determine the "rational range". The starting point towards this goal is to allocate store space to grocery commodities in relation to their true contribution to the store's profit, taking account of the "space responsiveness" of these commodity groups to changes in space allocation and the store's overall marketing philosophy. Once the frozen food space allocation is determined the issue of the extent of the variety sold through that space may be tackled. Birds Eye has conducted fairly extensive research into these issues, closely examining the consumer's behaviour in the shop. Taking the consumer as the starting point, it is important to recognise that about half of all frozen food purchases are made on impulse. The frozen food display is the key area of consumer interest amongst self-service commodities. Wide variety is a very strong attraction to the impulse shopper, and the benefits of increased range may be quantified. The basic finding of our inventory management studies was that, provided adequate stock cover is maintained, more sales come from improving product variety than from enhancing display impact with additional facings of a lead line.

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