Shopper Marketing and Customer Experience Management

we believe it takes an inspiring story to make people buy

ice cream is NOT impulse in supermarkets

  • ICE-CREAM is an impulse category – TRUE
  • ICE-CREAM in a supermarket is bought on impulse – FALSE
  • Think about where is ice cream stored in a supermarket – old flat boxy FREEZER
  • Now think of where the freezer is placed in a supermarket – WHERE EVER once can afford that kind of space. As much as the retailers may love to they cannot afford prime space for the dispensing unit of this category.
  • Space inside a supermarket is gold. The space above the height of the freezer is dead space for the retailer.
  • Also think about impulse purchase of ice-cream, unless you peek into the icy freezer you wont know what’s inside. After you do that you will need to put you hand in to move the tubs to browse through the available options.

How much more difficult can we make buying of what is supposed to be an impulse purchase product?

Image060 all cats (12)

Now here were the available options to address this challenge:

  1. Move the freezer to a prime spot
  2. Secondary placement of the product – empty tubs on the shelf
  3. Messages around the store to lead customers to the freezer
  4. Cross category messaging with milk, confectionary etc.

Do these seem viable to you? And are they likely to ease the shopping process which is the price challenge?

There comes OmniSpace retail, the agency I ran for close to 5 years with a very passionate team and the best of clients. The best shopper work that came out between 2006 and 2011 had to be from us.

The solution was there, right there and that’s when we often miss it. The challenge was to execute it right. Shopper Marketing strategy was to ‘make it easier for the customer to browse through the tubs’. One rarely holds out a tub, opens the lid to see the ice cream inside. Its the picture on the pack that helps selection. Solution was bring the tub out without the ice cream.
Challenge no 2. was that the beautifully shot ice cream visuals are always on the top lid. One option was to place the tubs at an angle and yet another one was to add whats inside ice cream print on the display boxes.

Freezer is the dispensing and Ice creams not have a display option.

product display standselection tubs2


selection hanger










Credits to the OmniSpace team – Rahul Kulkarni, Hetvi Mehta, Reshma Marcedo and Priya Mashru

The brand saw an immediate uplift of a phenomenal 400%.


2 comments on “ice cream is NOT impulse in supermarkets

  1. Rahul Kulkarni
    June 10, 2013

    Proud to be associated with such stories. Very well put buying story (and thankfully not a case study) Aaradhee! Thank you!

  2. Darshak Lakdawala
    June 11, 2013

    Good one Aaradhee Mehta, a complete new understanding on this segment.. Hope see come across more such stories.

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This entry was posted on June 10, 2013 by in insights, our work, Research, Shopper Marketing and tagged , .

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