At PBFA, we believe one of the critical avenues for promoting the accessibility and availability of plant-based foods is through developing relationships with retailers to help them better understand the plant-based foods industry and target consumers.
One relationship we are particularly proud of is the one we’ve built with Hannaford, a leading grocery retailer with more than 180 locations throughout New England and New York.
Hannaford has long offered a small variety of plant-based foods, including a few brands of plant-based alternatives to dairy and a small selection of shelf-stable foods.
I first met Bill Puza, Hannaford’s category manager for meat, at the Plant Based World Conference and Expo in 2019. That is when Hannaford’s true journey into the world of plant-based foods, and our partnership, began.
Over the past year, because of our work together, Hannaford’s plant-based meat assortment has grown from two items to 30 items. Hannaford has expanded in other categories as well, including plant-based dairy – milk, yogurt, ice cream, creamer, cheese – and shelf-stable options.
As Bill put it:
“The Plant Based Foods Association is an ambassador and promoter for plant-based foods. With PBFA, we collaborate on strategies that have been successful across the country with respect to product placement and promotion. Our partnership with PBFA has provided high-level Hannaford brand exposure across the country.”
Expansion of plant-based offerings at Hannaford has been storewide, including in frozen.
How did we help Hannaford accomplish this tremendous plant-based food growth?
First, we worked to support Hannaford’s enthusiasm to bring more plant-based food options to retail customers by enabling connections between the retailer and suppliers. Additionally, we educated Hannaford staff through lunch-and-learn events, which has helped turn the Hannaford team in plant-based food retail experts.
With the new information in hand, Hannaford worked with PBFA to include plant-based items throughout the store, add additional signage to make it easier for shoppers to locate plant-based foods, and incorporate marketing efforts to promote plant-based foods. These tactics included price discounts, a front-page ad for plant-based meats, and digital offers for shoppers.
Lastly, we encouraged the placement of plant-based meat within the fresh meat case at their 184 stores throughout New England and New York.
Hannaford’s integration of plant-based meat into meat section included well-placed signage to guide the consumer.
Discussion of PBFA/Hannaford partnership on a panel focused on growing plant-based food at the 2020 Fancy Food Show.
Our work with Hannaford continues, and we are taking our efforts to the next level: educating the entire retail food industry on the benefits of collaboration. To share our success with the entire industry, PBFA and Hannaford came together at the 2020 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco for a panel focused on growing plant-based food offerings. The panel was a great success, with all the speakers sharing key insights and best practices on the main stage.
Thanks to this successful partnership, the Hannaford team has become true thought leaders in successfully integrating and capitalizing on plant-based foods at retail. On behalf of all of us as at PBFA, we look forward to continuing to work and grow with Hannaford for many years to come, and to lift up our work together to educate the entire food industry.
Senior Director of Retail Partnerships