Thursday, October 23, 2008

Expo Comida Latina and All Asian Foods Expo

Shortly after returning from Miami, Duke Marketing was off to another tradeshow, The Expo Comida Latina and All Asian Foods Expo.
This tradeshow, however, was different because Linda was assigned a topic that Duke Marketing had not previously spoken on before. Therefore Linda and Laura needed to do some creative brainstorming about the topic at hand, Bringing Mainstream Customers into the Ethnic Foods Aisle. We were able to pull from our knowledge of working with ethnically diverse restaurant chains ideas that would drive traffic of mainstream buyers to the ethnic food aisle or grocery store. While some of the ideas that we had used for restaurant clients could transfer over to a grocery store, we needed to research more about ethnic foods and retail shoppers.

After a few hours of serious thinking we came up with some great and original ideas:

1. Customers don’t shop more in the ethnic foods aisle is because they don’t know how to use the ingredients and therefore cooking is intimidating. The solution to this problem was to create an end aisle, sponsored by a popular ethnic food brand complete with ingredients and recipes for creating the perfect ethnic cuisine. Not only would this attract the customer’s attention, but also it would get them to purchase more from the aisle.

2. Ethic foods are on the top of the list of the growing market trends. Communicating to the mainstream customer that ethnic foods at a party are hip and chic is a great way to get the average customer to try something new.

3. Get the local chefs from some of the ethnic foods restaurants to do a cooking demonstration. During the demonstration display cooking utensils and ingredients at the end cap aisle displays. People can tend to be intimidated by ethnic foods because the cooking equipment needed to give the food an authentic flavor are unknown or no where to be found. Not only will the demonstration draw their attention to the aisle, but if they are able experience how good the food tastes with the create cooking items, they will be much more interested in attempting to cook the unknown.

4. Ethnic holidays such as Cinco de Mayo and Chinese New Year have been growing in popularity in the United States. A great way to get people into the ethnic foods aisle is to promote these holidays using specialty ethnic foods and decorations that correspond with the holiday.

5. Re-launch an entire aisle as the international foods section instead of having all the foods spread out all over the store to visually attract the customers to one area of the store.

6. Partner with a popular ethnic food vendor to do sponsored end aisles or special promotions.

7. Educate local school children about ethnic foods. Host a fundraiser at the store that donates money for every ethnic item sold. Have the children make a traditional craft from another culture, such as day of the dead masks, to display.

8. Create an ethnic foods week for the local schools. Children can learn about a different country or region each day. They will learn to cook items from cultures around the world while simultaneously being taught important lessons about diverse cultures and traditions.

9. Create a “Grill-Friends” promotion in which different cultures in the community can use the outdoor space of your restaurant to grill traditional foods. Sell the food and promote the ingredients inside so that passerby’s can cook the cultural foods in their own homes.

10. Re-launch the ethnic food aisle to be flavors of the world. Promote different countries of the world during different days or months during the year.

Many hours of honing and developing the creative points for her PowerPoint, Linda was headed off to Los Angeles to give a well-thought out presentation to the Expo Comida Latina and All Asian Foods Expo.

Linda arrived at the tradeshow with time to spare, which she used to walk around the tradeshow floor to check out the exhibitor’s booths from all over Latin America and Asia. The exhibitor’s booths were very diverse, unique and clearly represented multi-cultural heritages. Linda saw a beautiful coconut drink display that was lit from the bottom resembling an inverted chandelier. One of the most unique items that caught Linda's attention was a set of beautiful edible flower gelatin molds. The flowers were vibrant and realistic, like nothing she had ever seen before. There were booths that displayed their cultural heritage proudly such as the Mexico booth and the Kim chi booth, which used Kim chi to create the flags of both Korea and America, demonstrating the cross-cultural heritage. Linda saw Latin spices, pickled meats and appealing appetizers presented in spoons. Linda even took a great photo with famous Chef Lala’s brand new red Ferrari.

Edible Gelatin Flowers

Kim Chi Flags from America and Korea

Beautifully displayed Latin Spices

Unique Coconut Drink Display

Latin American Pickled Meats

Latin American Appetizers

Colorful Mexico Booth

Latin American Chef

Linda with famous Chef La La's Ferrari

Linda finished touring the tradeshow just in time to give her presentation.
Linda received many compliments on the creative ideas that she thought of to get the mainstream customer into the ethnic
foods aisle in any grocery store. After a great presentation Linda sold a few books and headed back to the airport to return to the Bay Area.

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