New: The Effect of the WIC Program on Consumption Patterns in the Cereal Category
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally-funded food assistance program for low income participants who are at nutritional risk. Beneficiaries receive vouchers for specific foods and brands, selected for their nutritional value. While the program is designed to improve nutrition, it may also induce changes in consumption behavior that persist beyond participation in the program. In this paper, we study how participation in WIC impacts the consumption patterns and preferences during and after the program. Our analysis focuses on the cereal category, in which the subsidized brands must meet certain nutritional guidelines. As expected, during the program households increase cereal consumption volume and shift their choices towards the WIC-approved brands. More interesting is that once households exit the program, the higher category consumption rate and elevated share of WIC brands persist. To understand the behavioral mechanism ...
REVISION: Marketing Mix Response Across Retail Formats - The Role of Shopping Trip Types
In this paper, we study the differences in the effects of marketing mix variables, such as prices, non-price promotions, and assortment, on brand shares at different retail formats. Our conceptual framework rests on the presence of fixed and variable costs of shopping and has two building blocks: (i) The trade-off between these costs has implications for the different formats visited on different types of shopping trips; and (ii) the magnitude of fixed costs, that shoppers can justify investing on different trip types, influences the marginal sensitivities of brand shares to changes in marketing mix variables on those trips. Taken together, the building blocks provide predictions on how marketing mix variables differentially impact brand shares at various retail formats. We use Nielsen Homescan and store level data from 2011-2014 and analyze the top ten spending product categories across four retail formats - convenience stores, drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers, in ...
REVISION: Point-of-Sale Marketing Mix and Brand Performance - The Moderating Role of Retail Format and Brand Type
In this paper, we study the role of point-of-sale (POS) marketing mix variables in explaining variation in brand shares (i) at different retail formats, and (ii) across national and store brands in different price tiers. Stores in different retail formats differ in their positioning, the clientele they attract, and types of shopping trips made to the store. Further, national and store brands in different price tiers differ in the quality perception, and the contracts between the retailer and the manufacturer. Together, this implies that POS variables may influence brand shares very differently in different retail formats and for different brand types, which has important implications for retailers and manufacturers. We use Nielsen store level data from 2011-2014 and analyze the top ten spending product categories spreading across four product departments - dry grocery, non-food grocery, dairy and frozen, and across four retail formats - convenience stores, drug stores, supermarkets ...
Update: Food Purchases During the Great Recession
Using the Nielsen Homescan data, we describe what happened to household purchase behavior during the Great recession (Dec 2007-June 2009). Our specific objectives in this study are to understand how the recession impacted: households’ grocery spending in a broad cross-section of 31 food categories; prices paid and quantities bought by households in these categories; the types of outlets they made purchases in; the composition of the food basket in the choice of more expensive brands and less expensive brands and private label products; product volume purchased with retailer discounts and coupons; and, whether there were differences in these behaviors across different demographic groups. We find that during the recession, households purchased more in these food categories, and substituted to cheaper outlets and items sold on deal. However, contrary to expectations, we do not find evidence that the recession was the primary driver behind the increases in store brand share and coupon ...
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Update: Brand History, Geography, and the Persistence of Brand Shares
We study persistence in the geographic variation in market shares of branded goods in consumer packaged goods industries across 50 U.S. city-markets. We match scanner data on local market shares and survey data on local quality perceptions for the largest brands in 34 consumer packaged goods industries. These data are then matched with historic information on the year and US city-market in which each brand was first launched. We find that these consumer brands have persistently higher market shares in markets closest to their respective cities-of-origin than in markets farthest from their respective cities-of-origin, where they were typically launched later. For 6 of the 34 industries, we collected more complete historic entry data with which we can determine the local order of entry among the top brands in each of the 50 U.S. city-markets. We find a persistent effect from differences in the order-of-entry of competing brands on their current relative brand shares and quality ...
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New: The Optimal Choice of Promotion Vehicles: Front-Loaded or Rear-Loaded Incentives?
We examine the key factors that influence a firm's decision whether to use front-loaded or rear-loaded incentives. When using price packs, direct mail coupons, FSI coupons or peel-off coupons, consumers obtain an immediate benefit upon purchase or a front-loaded incentive. However, when buying products with in-pack coupons or products affiliated with loyalty programs, promotion incentives are obtained on the next purchase occasion or later, i.e., a rear-loaded incentive. Our analysis shows that the innate choice process of consumers in a market (variety-seeking or inertia) is an important determinant of the relative impact of front-loaded and rear-loaded promotions. While in both variety-seeking and inertial markets, the sales impact and the sales on discount are higher for front-loaded promotions than for rear-loaded promotions, from a profitability perspective, rear-loaded promotions may be better than front-loaded promotions. We show that in markets with high variety-seeking it is ...
REVISION: Competitive Consequences of Using a Category Captain
Many retailers designate one national brand manufacturer in each product category as a “category captain” to help manage the entire category. A category captain may perform demand-enhancing services such as better shelf arrangements, shelf-space management, and design and management of in-store displays. In this paper, we examine when and why a retailer may engage one manufacturer exclusively as a category captain to provide such service and the implications. We find that demand ...
Endogenous Sunk Costs and the Geographic Distribution of Brand Shares in Consumer Package Goods Indu
This paper describes industrial market structure in consumer package goods (CPG) industries using a unique database spanning 31 industries and the 50 largest US metropolitan markets. A general set of stylized facts is documented pertaining mainly to the geographic patterns in brand shares. A connection between the patterns and a model of endogenous sunk costs in advertising is established by testing several predictions of the theory. We establish that concentration is bounded below in ...
The Role of Retail Competition, Demographics and Account Retail Strategy as Drivers of Promotional S...
We study the determinants of sensitivity to the promotional activities of temporary price reductions, displays, and feature advertisements. Both the theoretical and empirical literatures on price promotions suggest that retailer competition and the demographic composition of the shopping population should be linked to response to temporary price cuts. However, datasets that span different market areas have not been used to study the role of retail competition in determining price sensitivity.