Leading Grocery Chain Grows Sales Around Key Holidays with Sampling and Differentiated Selection of Fresh Products

How High-Quality Fudge Generated Shopper Excitement And Increased Profitability

The Need

A prominent regional grocery chain operating in the Western United States, includes approximately 130 stores and has been servicing customers since the early 1900s.

They are known as a full-line food and drug store, with a wide assortment of general merchandise, including apparel and home goods. In keeping with tradition of evolving their business to accommodate the changing needs of consumers, while also dealing with fierce competition from online retailers, the grocery chain’s leadership was focused on finding ways to stay relevant and keep shoppers coming into their store.

Fresh and Unique

With the growth of internet shopping, the management team knew that competing on price wasn’t the answer. They were focused on differentiating themselves and wanted to create a pleasing atmosphere so that people would enjoy shopping in their stores. They believed their fresh product line was part of the solution, but needed a way to make it unique to them.

“In Addition To The Great Incremental Sales, What A Fun Event For Our Customers And A Great Opportunity To Engage!”

Deli/Bakery Sales Manage

The Solution

A perfect solution was presented to the leadership team by Calico Cottage.

The idea was that Calico would work with a partner to deliver special holiday events throughout the year where Calico’s famous high-quality fudge, branded for the store, was sampled.

Calico Provided

Forecasts of what volume could be expected for proper planning

• Recommendations on flavors that would sell best for each of the holidays and for the region where the stores are located

Training for the staff on proper sampling techniques to ensure that the majority of shoppers would try a taste

Packaged fudge, shipped to each store location, for shoppers to purchase and also to be used for sampling

Special signage to highlight available products


Based on the financial opportunity and the overall fit with the grocery chain’s goals, the sampling events were launched.




Calico orchestrated every detail to make this program successful, even training.

“I wanted to send a quick note to tell you again how much [we] appreciated you coming last week to film the training session for the fudge live sampling event,” said the Fresh Foods Manager. “It is so awesome! This event is going to be GREAT and we’re probably going to run out of fudge.”

The results were fantastic. Compared to the same holiday season the year prior, revenue grew 49% for the department. Profits were also high. Compared to the average profit per square foot in a grocery store, this program generated 88% higher profit per square foot.

“In addition to the great incremental sales, what a fun event for our customers and a great opportunity to engage!” stated the Deli/Bakery Sales Manager.

*Per Square Foot
**In Bakery Department

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