Full Tilt Marketing's Melinda Goodman Talks Valentine's Day Merchandising Ideas

Full Tilt Marketing's Melinda Goodman Talks Valentine's Day Merchandising Ideas

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UNITED STATES - Who hasn’t been told that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach? Valentine’s Day is a prime example of a food-forward holiday, although not every consumer might recognize this. It’s up to us to market produce in such a way that folks getting ready for V-Day turn to fresh.

I spoke with Melinda Goodman of Full Tilt Marketing to learn more about how to achieve this.

Melinda Goodman, President, Full Tilt Marketing“The National Retail Federation has been tracking Valentine’s Day spending since 2004, and they report that 52 percent of consumers plan to celebrate and the average spend is about $192.80,” the Full Tilt President shares with me. “No doubt flowers and chocolate are some big winners, but don’t count out food. Data tech company Numerator expects that 30 percent of consumers plan to cook at home, 23 percent of consumers will be getting takeout or delivery and 10 percent of those consumers will be hosting friends and family. So, if you’re keeping track and doing the math, there’s a fair amount of consumers that are looking to put a little love on their table.”

One of the ways in which retailers can position food as a Valentine’s Day gift is through the concept of “experience gifting.” Melinda explained that, according to data, 32 percent of gift givers now prefer to give an experiential gift versus a traditional gift.

Full Tilt Marketing’s Melinda Goodman cites data from Numerator that many consumers will be giving experiential gifts for Valentine’s Day—such as this vegetable pickling kit

Some examples that include fresh produce would be gifting a vegetable pickling kit along with the ingredients, or a recipe how-to kit that complements someone’s tastes. Melinda’s example of burrata and fresh citrus on toast is something I can’t imagine anyone turning away.

Social media is a treasure trove of food inspiration and research shows that 71 percent of consumers get their meal and recipe inspiration from their social channels. Brands, suppliers, and even retailers should be utilizing the early days of February to populate their social channels with creative ideas and menu plans to help shoppers prepare for the special occasion,” she adds.

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate loved ones and share something special, and inspiration across social media can take the form of full meals, special drinks, appetizers, or even experiential dining.

Social media trends and food inspirations can help retailers pad fresh produce aisles for easy-to-make and healthy opportunities

Melinda recommends leaning into themes of love and red and pink color palettes.

Think outside of the box of how you can bring those ideas to life in unique forms, such as Sangria mocktails, heart-shaped charcuterie boards, avocado brownies with a raspberry purée drizzle, cut into X and O shapes, and we can’t forget the chocolate-dipped strawberries!” she notes.

Every fruit and vegetable is special when it’s treated with love. As an anonymous writer once said, “Cooking is love made visible,” so how we display food and ready it for the cooking experience is our act of love for shoppers.

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At FullTilt, we embody the idea of love what you do. Food is a universal connection that everyone can understand—each…