Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/873281

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Page 65 of 107

whether it's non-GMO, or organic, and we need to know where those products are on the shelf, and how to get them to the customer. "We are human, and we like that human interaction." Online Advantages Monica Schechter, specialty and interna- tional food category manager at Jet.com and Walmart.com, said that as consumers increasingly look for foods that meet their specific dietary and nutritional needs, they will either seek out personalized service in the store or turn to e-commerce providers that can make it easy to find such items. Asked by panel moderator Phil Lempert, founder of The Lempert Report, if there's a danger that consumers will be less likely to discover new products while shop- ping online than they would in the store, Schechter said e-commerce has evolved to a point where suggestive selling has become much more sophisticated than simply pre- senting a list of previously ordered items. "That was e-commerce 1.0, and now we are heading towards e-commerce 2.0," she said. "We understand your preferences, but we can also use technology to help you find new products, or help you find other products that match your profile— using technology to help with that discovery experience." Tony Stallone, vice president of mer- chandising for Peapod, the online grocery arm of Ahold Delhaize in the U.S., said the key to success in the age of blended physical stores/e-commerce is to focus on listening to what the customer wants. "You can't take your eye off the ball, and where is the ball? The ball is the cus- tomer," he said. Amazon acquiring Whole Foods "rein- forces our strategy to be everywhere the customer is," said Stallone. "Whether they want to shop in the store, and pick up at "If we don't think differently, we are going to be left behind." —Tony Stallone, Peapod FALL 2017 63

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