Albertsons leverages scent marketing to drive sales

Grocery giant Albertsons is expanding advertising opportunities for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands to include new sensory experiences.

Grocery stores in the Chicago and New Jersey areas will spread the smell of freshly baked cheesecake near designated coolers selling Philadelphia cream cheese, according to a recent Kraft Heinz announcement. The limited-time initiative runs through the Easter season with the aim of boosting sales to home bakers.

For the grocer, the move suggests the company is expanding the marketing opportunities it has to offer brands. It comes at a time when soaring food prices are pushing grocers to find ways to expand their margins, often by increasing their advertising capabilities for brands. For example, in late March, Kroger announced it was expanding advertiser access through its retail media business, Kroger Precision Marketing, enabling greater e-commerce ad placement capabilities.

Read more: Kroger boosts its digital advertising business

Grocers have noticed the potential of fragrance-based marketing for quite some time. A 2011 CBS report noted that a Brooklyn supermarket saw product sales increase 7% when the retailer added a grapefruit scent to that section of the store. According to a 2016 blog post by scent services company Prolitec, a study found that the smell of baking bread in the supermarket tripled bakery sales.

Additionally, branding expert Martin Lindstrom, author of “Brand Sense: How to Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight and Soundfound in one study that brand impact is increased by 30% when more than one sense is engaged and by 70% when three or more senses are engaged.

See more : Right scent, right time?

“Emotion draws our attention through our senses, which then influence our decision-making processes,” he writes in “Meaning of the mark.” “Brands that create an emotional connection with consumers are much stronger than those that don’t – it’s as simple (and complicated) as that.”

Scent marketing is far from a new strategy. In the 1970s, casinos began using aroma diffusers to combat the pervasive smell of cigarette smoke, and hotels, seeing the success of this strategy, soon followed suit, according to Air Esscentials. A study published in January 2021 in “International Journal of Contemporary Hotel Management » said for this type of marketing, it is not enough for a perfume to simply smell good. It must also be in line with the brand image.

Sensory cues can not only encourage pre-purchase consumption habits, but also reinforce those habits at checkout. In 2019, Visa announced it was bringing its suite of sensory branded products to more than two dozen countries, providing audio, animation, and haptic cues to consumers and merchants when a transaction is complete.

Read more: Visa’s sensory brand goes global

“As consumers continue to change where and how they pay around the world, the entire customer experience must also evolve in a way that embeds trust from the start,” said Lynne Biggar, then director of marketing and communications. communications at Visa. in a statement at the time.

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