Lifestyle and eating habits have changed immensely in the past few decades. One phenomenon resulting from this shift is the rising popularity of snacks. The snack industry is big business, and food manufacturers and retailers are constantly innovating new concepts to attract consumers’ attention.
One way that world-leading food company General Mills wanted to respond to consumers’ increased inclination for snacking was to present their premium ice brand, Häagen-Dazs, in a more compact and easier-to-eat version: stick bars.
Studies show that ice cream is #27 on the list of most impulsive food purchases. So General Mills recognized that it wasn’t just about making a great product, but they needed great merchandising to grab consumer attention.
General Mills adopted Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform and Perfect Shelf Industry Solution Experience based on the solutions’ ability to bring a new and innovative approach to category management that helps to present products in the most attractive way possible. Perfect Shelf allowed General Mills to quickly mock up realistic store environments in 3D – including aisles, shelves, products and even virtual shoppers. Not only did this avoid the need for a physical test store, but it also saved money by allowing category options to be evaluated much faster. In addition, it enabled General Mills to collaborate with retailers more easily and with a high level of customization: they could create a 3D representation specific to the look and layout of each store, then tailor the merchandising strategy for the best possible exposure of the new Häagen-Dazs line.
This approach has proved successful. Nielsen, a New York-based global measurement company, revealed that General Mills’ Häagen-Dazs stick bars came in second position on the French market in the food category. That is why General Mills plans to extend the Dassault Systèmes solutions to other product categories, such as their World Food category. The team is also eager to use Perfect Shelf for packaging design to visualize new concepts and innovations in terms of shape, color and branding.
General Mills chose Perfect Shelf on the cloud because it was faster to deploy, offers greater flexibility and because all support is included in the price of the offering. General Mills could then focus on their core activities while Dassault Systèmes managed all IT-related tasks.
“Our total cost of ownership is, hence, lower because we don’t need to invest in computing and data storage equipment nor in the human resources required to manage them,” noted Stanislas de Maleissye, senior category and trade marketing manager, General Mills France.