Shelf Optimization Turned Me Into A Yogurt Fanatic

Until last week I was not a yogurt fanatic.

Then my local Dominick’s optimized their yogurt selection.

During this process I’m sure they looked at sales, product attributes, profitability and synergies. Unfortunately my milkshake-like kifer drink didn’t make the mix. The matrix they developed seems to cover every possible known and unknown yogurt need…regular, low fat, no fat, sugary, sugar free, kid flavors, cartoon characters, real fruit, mashed fruit, desert flavor, medicinal, snack….

My product didn’t make the cut. It was expensive, in a large bottle, and I’m sure low volume.

And now I am a yogurt fanatic. I am making a special trip to find my old favorite, strawberry-banana Lifeway Kifer. I was so used to grabbing the familiar milk bottle shaped package, that I didn’t even know the brand name until I looked it up on the internet.

What does this mean? Well for Dominick’s, I’m sure their sales in the yogurt display will increase significantly. But for a few of us, there is a lost synergy that may not be noticed. I’ll be trading a trip to Dominick’s for a trip to a store that has my yogurt. Just one trip a month (the beauty of long shelf life). Probably just a quick trip. But as you can probably guess, no trip into a store ends with just one item being purchased.

This is the danger of a shelf optimization program that does not truly comprehend variety. To me, the display looks like it has less variety than ever creating one lost trip a month. Yes, there are 8 varieties of Peach. But no, there is no Lifeway Kifer. The value of that to Dominick’s is much more than the price of my Kifer.

On the other hand. It may be worth the trade off. Maybe there are so few yogurt fanatics out there like me that my decreased shopping will never be noticed.

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