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Nothing says summer better than the BBQ season. Grocery Business looks at how retailers can boost sales
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Vice President and General Manager of Conagra Brands International

We know consumers feel overwhelmed with the inundation of product options and recipes. Retailers should look to help shoppers assemble their meals, including their go-to “staple” ingredients. One way Conagra helps is through our in-store multi-brand shopper marketing campaigns. At key moments for consumers, such as the holidays, Easter, start of the summer and more, we inspire shoppers to try something new with easy meal solutions from a multitude of brands.

Create value-add solutions and seamless shopping experiences. The current state of inflation and cost of living has forced consumers to revisit practical, value-added solutions that frozen meals and overall foods provide. Additionally, creating seamless in-store “one stop” shopping experiences makes it easier for consumers to plan and purchase all in one place.

A good example of Conagra’s active participation in BBQ season are our VH sauces, which make for a great addition to grilled foods, and PAM Grilling no-stick cooking spray, which is formulated for high temperatures and makes cleanup a snap.

Consumer preferences

  • Since 2020, 30 per cent of consumers have considered outdoor spaces more important and use them more than before, indicating grilling and outdoor entertaining will continue to grow

(Mintel, Future Opportunities for Summer Food in 2023).

  • 49 per cent of consumers look to cook outdoors as an affordable way to prepare meals

Mintel, Future Opportunities for Summer Food in 2023).

  • The top meats for grilling remain the classics: steak, burgers and chicken breasts – with steak and chicken breasts as the top growing meats to be paired with sauce

(Ipsos Reid, Canada Chats 2023).


Merchandising Manager, Canada Beef

Retailers need to be in tune with their customers’ needs and wants, regardless of the category being shopped. During inflationary times, consumers often become even more price conscious. It is not uncommon for savvy consumers to leverage flyers to plan their weekly shopping in multiple stores, some even seeking retailers offering price matching. Therefore, it is critical for retailers to show customers they can still purchase Canadian beef at a price point that meets their budgetary needs. Additionally, retailers can rely on innovation by taking products that are moderately tender and adding value to them. For example, a retailer could utilize an Eye of the Round subprimal to create pinwheel-style stuffed roasts, thus providing an innovative product on-shelf while driving incremental dollars to the bank by using a value cut to do so.

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  • Create budget-friendly options that are easy to cook on the grill
  • Offer creative beef products, such as marinated Sirloin Tip satays, Brazilian-style skewered Picanha (derived from the Top Sirloin Cap subprimal), and beef kabobs prepared with any beef suitable for grilling (e.g., Top Sirloin, Tri-Tip, etc.), in the meat case
  • Get creative with ground beef, which remains a staple in Canadians’ shopping baskets due to its versatility and lower average price per kilogram. Offerings such as ground beef grill sticks, stuffed vegetables (e.g., eggplant, peppers, Portobello mushrooms), and a medley of hand-crafted burgers will inspire Canadians to keep the grill fired up all summer long


Senior Vice President, Marketing, Maple Leaf Foods

Best-in-class merchandising is so important to us. We engage the shopper at point of purchase with cart-stopping displays that tie back to impactful innovation, brand partnerships and special offers. For example, we are excited to bring this to life this summer with our Schneiders brand, our partnership with the Blue Jays – “Canada’s Team,” and new “stadium-size Smokies.”


Vice President, Brandt Meats

With the rising prices of groceries, transparency at the retail level is key. Finding a way to educate the consumer on current market trends and adjusting prices accordingly will lead to greater consumer confidence and satisfaction. Retailers and manufacturers have worked and will to continue to work together to offer the greatest value of our goods to all customers.

As prices for fresh departments are still on the rise, Canadians are turning to items like sausages and kolbassa as their main meal item. Not only do these options have high protein, but they offer different flavours and styles to satisfy expanding tastes of the Canadian consumer. For example, Brandt kolbassa is being used for kebabs on the BBQ, changing the way consumers use the product. It is not only a snack item, but eaten as the main protein for dinner.

Sausages are a great option as the grilling season approaches, offering consumers new and exciting flavours, especially for “Foodies” who are looking for something different to put on the grill. Brandt continues to innovate with flavours, including Mini Spicy Cheese sausages that are a flavour explosion, made with a combination of chillis and cheese, but traditional Bratwurst or Smoked Farmer Sausage are also great grilling options.

When retailers offer a full line of products such as natural hardwood smoked sausages, they allow the consumer to choose a variety of flavours to satisfy everyone’s taste preference.

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