Visual merchandising in supermarkets
for food, beverages & groceries


In hypermarkets and supermarkets, and in convenience stores, food and beverage brands want to sell their offer in the best conditions possible. They can use various merchandise techniques to present articles, sets or assortments, and to seduce visitors. The potential is great, but how to succeed food and beverage merchandising in mass distribution? Demonstration, tips and tricks with examples.

1 000 words
5 minutes



Maison ALBERT MÉNÈS has been making fine groceries. This boutique style shelving enhances its exquisite assortment in hyper and supermarkets ©Pilotes

Merchandising materials are often the first point of contact between shoppers and product. They are a must-have for any brand that sell trough physical retail. The manufacturers typically supply them to their retail clients because the latter are often limited by time.

The merchandising initiatives are a win-win for both brands and retail. They make sales spaces dynamic, less predictable. And they generate additional profit, among others through stimulating impulse buying and changing buying behavior towards margin generating products. At the same time, brands are given the opportunities to make their offer stand out. And then the miracle happens: seeing is buying and mass is cash.

Free-standing (or autonomous) merchandising materials can be 100% custom-made. The solutions are divers, as well as the techniques and materials used. At Pilotes, we adapt them to aesthetic constraints of brand and products, as well as to context and marketing objectives.


This extendable activation frame for MICHEL & AUGUSTIN is fixed with magnets under the shelves. Equipped with two shelf-stoppers for better visibility of the brand in the dairy department ©Pilotes

For many years, various players in the food and beverage category have entrusted us with the design and realization of their merchandising and POP solutions. With this valuable experience, we are delighted to be able to share some tips and lessons learned. Before moving on to some examples, let's first look at the marketing objectives that merchandising tactics can drive.

Before you move on

For 25 years, we have been combining imagination and industrial know-how to help brands and retail present products and communications in-store. Always on the lookout for the latest trends in the field of retail marketing, we offer unique, multi-material POP displays in a combination of wood, metal, plastic, etc. We study the retail context and the challenges of the brand, and consider technical, aesthetic, and budgetary conditions for 100% made-to-measure solutions.

1. The sesame to mass distribution


Rethinking the shelf from where you sell is a great way to enrich the buying experience, help buyers making decisions and encourage trial. Here’s an example for chocolatier GALLER, a riot of colour and taste. This on-shelf display creates disruption on the busy shelves of supermarkets ©Pilotes

To get a spot on the shelves, a real innovation in term merchandising is a possible strategy. And developing a winning or original merchandising solution starts with a good conversation with retail buyers. By supporting their merchandising priorities and programmes, brands get more chances to lure more customers to their offer.

2. Stop the shopper

To make shoppers stop for a different brand than they are used to, merchandising specialists use noteworthy displays. Since the shopper's eyes are always on the products, displays set the scene. With shapes, material options and colours, they create a unique visual experience instore.

The display should be large enough to attract attention, but never at the expense of other products. The magical balance between product, branding, materials and graphics is a stiff challenge.

3. Make an offer shoppable

Ensure that the customer can grab the products with confidence. And if the display is in a high-volume store, display makers make sure it will look OK from Monday till Saturday without being constantly replenished.

Related article --> The retail shelf management solutions explained.

4. Attracts prospects


A hypermarket sells on average 100,000 references, a supermarket 50,000. Introducing a new set is not easy. It is a challenge to stand out from the start. This case is the ideal solution for the introduction of BIOTONA's premium range of Japanese green tea: a long-lasting dedicated space, a wooden frame breaks the monotony, a bright color palette for maximum impact ©Pilotes

When it comes to getting penetration or gaining new shoppers to buy a product, getting the product into displays, such as floorstands, outside of its normal department is key. Second placement outside the home shelf where a product is normally merchandised helps to attract prospects who have never seen it.

5. Sell more to visitors

To be effective merchandising better meets a number of constraints. Through effective layout customers can be induced to buy more, for example:

  • make it easier for shop visitors to find what they are looking for
  • improve the readability of the shelves
  • highlight nnovelties and products with higher margins
  • encourage impulse buying
  • guide confidence and choice in a self-service context
  • when dealing with dynamic consumer taste, rather than altering products, sometimes brands just can get creative in their display tactics

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there is one common principle: merchandising is directly linked to profitability. The direct and indirect potential of merchandising is important. It presents the offer in the best possible conditions and increases the stopping power of products.

This practical on-shelf case for CASSEGRAIN comes with the promise to increase sales for its new range of exquisite spreads. It creates a dedicated space for the brand, remarkable product visibility and maximum impact.

Shop-in-shops are the most prominent merchandising materials. They add value to assortments, energise shelves, facilitate organisation and merchandising layouts in supermarkets.

A shelf stopper is the ultimate tool for extra visibility on shelves. It attracts the attention of passers-by, communicates a novelty or an activation, segments the offer and contributes to the attractiveness on the shop shelf.

These modular and dynamic shelf-on-shelves frame MICHEL & AUGUSTIN’s products in the fresh and grocery department of supermarkets.

To ensure the success of a merchandising effort, it must meet a few criteria. First, it must be adapted to context and the location in stores. Then, the solution must correspond to the products on display. Not all solutions are suitable for all types of stores, category or product. Choosing the right location for a display is essential, together with the right technique according to the products and the margins they generate.

June 2022

Do you wish to develop merchandising and sales for your food or beverage brand in grocery stores? Reach out today to set up a free consultation. We'll find the best solution for your brand.

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