An opening of a Cincinnati office space exemplifies the new strategy the Dairy Foods sales team is utilizing.
A harsh dairy economy makes these kinds of efforts even more necessary and important.
The new strategy consists of a re-organization of resources to match the right people with the right customers. Instead of segmenting by volume or region, Dairy Foods realized they needed to ramp up resources for their largest and most growth-oriented customers.
To put this new approach into action, Land O’Lakes developed a new team of employees based in Cincinnati.
The team works to strengthen relationships with customers by focusing on research, innovation and end-to-end business management.
Research provides a different way of engaging with our customers. Using data, we can decide how and where we meet our customers. For instance, Kroger owns 84.51°: an agency that gathers data from customer shopper cards (like a credit card for a grocery store) and tracks actual purchase behavior of each individual shopper. It gives retailers information on what their customers are buying and when.
Stick butter sales exemplify the benefits of leveraging data from Kroger’s platform. We discovered that nearly a fourth of our butter customers are loyal to half stick butter. This allows us to defend the stocking of half stick butter in grocery stores and present this information to retailers if they were to ever consider discontinuing the product.
Innovation allows Land O’Lakes to test products and learn from the results. With a dedicated team, 84.51° data and proximity to the customer, we can utilize Kroger as a true partner for product innovation, testing and scaling.
This summer, Land O’Lakes launched a project comparing Kozy Shack’s Creamy Oats introduction in the Pacific Northwest with the Goya Rice Pudding introduction in Kroger’s Houston and Dallas divisions. This provides a great test-and-learn opportunity. With 84.51° shopper card data, we will be able to determine the purchaser’s ethnicity and language preferences to help our team understand if the Goya shopper is a different consumer not currently being reached with our Kozy Shack products.
Having an end-to-end business management capability is important because it allows Land O’Lakes to become a one-stop-shop for retailers by eliminating the middle man. It occurs when we manage the sale, order tracking and delivery of a product.
This approach has provided a great opportunity to collaborate more closely when it comes to transportation efficiencies, private label opportunities, line extensions and partnerships beyond retail.
Since the transition began, the Cincinnati-based sales team has driven more direct alignment with customers to identify all possibilities of growth for our businesses and theirs, all while supporting and expanding market access for our member-owners.