Category Closeup: Convenience Across Channels

PepsiCo’s Kate Garner explains how the company uses data to better help shoppers.
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Shoppers no longer confine their quick trips exclusively to convenience stores. Instead, they are utilizing all channels for this shopping occasion, says Kate Garner, senior vice president of marketing at PepsiCo’s Demand Accelerator.

In this Q&A, Garner shares how shopping behavior has evolved and what her organization is doing to meet the moment.

P2PI: What are PepsiCo’s data and insights resources saying about the current state of the shopper?

Garner: Everything we do at PepsiCo is rooted in consumer trends. Through Pepviz, our proprietary data practice, we bring together real-time data and analytics coupled with industry expertise to assess the holistic shopping behavior of retail consumers across channels. We then share these insights with our retail partners, so they can make data-driven decisions. With such increased competition, it’s crucial that retailers understand the needs and motivations of their consumers and cater to those effectively.

We currently see shoppers falling into six categories: engaged enthusiasts, health-focused shoppers, price-sensitive shoppers, habitual shoppers, infrequent indulgers and last-resort shoppers. Each shopper possesses a unique set of needs. Given these insights, we are laser-focused on innovating around these consumer needs and working with our retail partners to optimize their business to meet consumers without sacrificing choice.

P2PI: What role does artificial intelligence (AI) play when you assess your brand elasticity?

Garner: We take a consumer-centric approach, leveraging AI and various other data collection methods to assess opportunities for growth and innovation across our brands. Since this gives us a complete view of consumer behavior, we are able to understand the wants and needs of our consumers. We use that information to make strategic decisions for our brands when it comes to partnerships and expansions.

P2PI: What are some recent innovative product offerings from PepsiCo?

Garner: We strategically innovate in accordance with consumer needs. This has led us to invest in and create various new food and beverage offerings this year to add to PepsiCo’s already vast portfolio.

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Recently, we announced Fast Twitch, which is the first-ever caffeinated energy drink from the makers of Gatorade. It features 200 milligrams of caffeine, electrolytes and B vitamins to help athletes prepare for physical activity and ignite performance.

"Hot & Spicy" continues to be the largest and fastest-growing segment across PepsiCo’s salty portfolio. We’re continuing to launch new innovations in that category that we expect to strongly resonate with Gen Z’s diverse palate.

Finally, we plan to make Doritos Sweet Tangy BBQ a full-time offering in 2023.

P2PI: How can retail media networks enhance CPG/retailer partnerships?

Garner: Retail media networks can play a role in fostering and growing CPG/retailer partnerships by giving brands and retailers a platform to connect with consumers and optimize their relationships with them. Through our Pepviz insights, we found that 61% of consumers’ media time was spent in digital channels last year. Due to digital media’s accessibility, consumers expect a more personalized experience, with 87% of them saying it’s important to buy from brands or retailers that understand them. At PepsiCo, we partner with retailer media networks to enhance their media and data capabilities by identifying opportunities and scaling audiences, ultimately driving ROI.

P2PI: How are you using data to satisfy consumer preferences in the convenience retail channel?

Garner: We can identify consumer behavior and shopping preferences through Pepviz. Then we empower our retailers with that information to effectively cater to different shopper segments, optimize e-commerce options and drive customer growth.

Currently, we see a transformation in the quick-trip segment as consumers diversify their shopping channels, seeking anything that can offer them a fast, simple and frictionless experience. We’ve taken a close look at the different types of quick-trip shoppers and their corresponding motivations and preferences for factors such as daypart, checkout experience, e-commerce and more.

We are equipping retailers with the actionable insights and tools needed to turn data into growth solutions.