Specialty grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts offer unique, hard-to-find products, often from regionally based specialty-brands. For the brands, this builds an initial consumer base through customer trial and “trust” within the specialty grocer channel. However, this successful formula often makes it difficult for specialty brands to move into mainstream grocery to continue their growth trajectory.

To make the leap to the conventional retail channel, specialty brands need to first establish momentum with solid product sales and “brand buzz” in the specialty channel. From there, in this Executive Insights, L.E.K. Consulting lays out a strategy to ensure a successful transition, including:

  • Crossing over at the right time
  • Finding key partners
  • Anticipating conventional price/margin differences
  • Sustaining brand appeal and differentiation
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