Friday, April 18, 2014

Trader Joe’s Great Brand Positioning Drives Sales

When the United States Census Bureau first released numbers that showed in the United States, that of citizens that are 18 years old or older a full 50% are single, no one at Trader Joe’s was surprised. Trader Joe’s does it homework, understands consumers and what they want.  Trader Joe’s had researched consumer and did not want to sell 14 chicken breasts or 14 pork chops to a single person.  They knew single consumers of which 50% are they did not want 14 chicken breast!

Trader Joe’s was first considered a quirky unique store with personality but not much of a threat to legacy food retailers by industry insiders and grocery trade magazines. Trader Joe’s today has turned into a juggernaut. Food industry researcher Package Facts say’s that Trader Joe’s sales per square foot are $1,723  Whole Foods comes in at $973 per square foot compared to and industry average of $521. 

Leading the industry in sales per square foot at $ 1,723 is remarkable considering that they have only around 400 units and are not-quite a national chain yet either. Trader Joe’s success comes from solid brand positioning and is done without loyalty cards or TV Advertising.  Regular readers of this blog know we think loyalty cards are nothing more than a crutch for poor brand positioning.

When Foodservice Solutions® team conducted a recent survey they found that in-store shoppers were evenly divided between single and married shoppers at Trader Joe’s.  Additionally we found that the in-store shoppers were equally divided by age those over 50 and under 50 years of age. The one universal commonality no one was looking for 14 Pork Chops.

Trader Joe’s like it sister company Aldi stocks the store mostly with private label (Trader Joe’s) branded product.  Only about 5% of the products in-store are branded products from other companies. One trend that is clear is consumer like Trader Joe’s small packed servings size of both Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food.

Consumers when questioned think that Trader Joe’s labeled products are Branded Products. Consumers do not consider them private label products. With sales over two times the industry average per store clearly as a brand Trader Joe’s is a success clue.

Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: or visit Johnson, or

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