Asahi International and MetrixLab
to remerchandise beer in French supermarkets
With a full portfolio of brands available, France is a key growth market for Asahi International. However, the specialty beer shelf (la cave à bière) in France was a barrier for growth, as its layout encouraged purchasing of single bottles from a huge variety of brands. It was difficult for the Asahi Super Dry brand to break through, and difficult for shoppers to make informed decisions.
Asahi International hypothesized that: a) adding fridge packs would drive up purchase; (b) segmenting the shelf by type of beer would ease the shopper journey; and (c) ensuring the specialty beer shelf was close to the aisle entrance would drive incremental sales. They also proposed that adding fridge packs to the snacking aisle (alongside cold cuts, ready meals etc.) would drive incremental sales. As a small player with a desire to demonstrate category captaincy with key retailers such as Monoprix, Carrefour and Système U, Asahi International needed quantified evidence of the merits of their proposed changes to the planogram for the snacking shelf and specialty beer section.
In order to get Asahi International the evidence they needed, we used a two-stage research design approach.
First, MetrixLab performed an in-depth shopper understanding study including detailed behavioral and attitudinal questions to probe shopper purchasing habits and preferences. MetrixLab also employed a complex decision-tree model to fully grasp the shopper hierarchy of decision-making when purchasing lager from supermarkets and convenience stores. Using this data, we could propose new store planograms for snacking and beer aisles to test in stage 2.
Stage 2 utilized MetrixLab’s cutting-edge shelf simulation to test the new planograms for both the beer aisle and the snacking aisle versus the current aisles. This assessed a number of passive and survey-based metrics relating to commercial impact (basket size), customer experience (satisfaction) and product findability (ease of finding) in order to demonstrate the overall financial and attitudinal benefits of changing the planogram layout.
Study results showed significant uplifts in consumer behavior and attitudes resulting from the planogram changes. These improvements demonstrated a 9% sales increase for the specialty and international beer segment (la cave à bière) and a 31% sales increase for super premium lager (including the Asahi Super Dry brand). Asahi International leveraged these findings to successfully demonstrate that if retailers implemented some of the suggested planogram changes, they could increase rate of sale and ultimately margin of sale by selling more premium products.
Retailers were convinced by the quality of the insights – the vast majority have already implemented the changes, both in terms of remerchandising and in adding multi-packs. Asahi International is positioned for success as they build their 2021 plans, with their biggest ever year forecasted thanks to these developments.
What Asahi told us
“The quality research led by MetrixLab allowed us to have a commercially compelling argument, based on true shopper insight, to take to our retailers, and has allowed us to have a much more credible voice with our customers,” says Bénédicte Oudin, Marketing Manager for Asahi France.