For CPG Brand Annie's Homegrown, Ecommerce Is 'Mission Critical' - eMarketer
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For CPG Brand Annie's Homegrown, Ecommerce Is 'Mission Critical'

September 28, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce


Dan Stangler
Marketing Director
Annie's Homegrown

Ecommerce represents only a small percentage of overall consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales, but it’s gaining traction. Dan Stangler, marketing director at Annie’s Homegrown, a producer of organic pastas, meals and treats, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about why ecommerce is becoming a key focus area for the brand.

eMarketer: eMarketer estimates that ecommerce’s share of total CPG sales will be 2.5% through 2020. What is your take on this forecast?

Dan Stangler: We see a strong potential for CPG growth, and we’re confident it will more than double that projection by 2020.

eMarketer: For a CPG company, what is the priority right now in ecommerce?

Stangler: We see ecommerce as mission critical right now, especially for brands like Annie’s that dramatically overindex online. There are two types of online shopping behaviors that we focus on: spearfishing and full basket.

“We see ecommerce as mission critical right now, especially for brands like Annie’s that dramatically overindex online.”

For the former, people are searching for a very specific product, which gives us the opportunity to introduce them to Annie’s and our extensive portfolio. As more consumers become familiar with Annie’s, however, the full basket model will deliver the majority of sales.

eMarketer: What is the value of buying Annie’s products online vs. in a store?

Stangler: Annie’s offers variety and value whether shoppers are spearfishing or buying a full basket of goods. For spearfishing, the benefit is shopper access to the majority of our portfolio, which may otherwise be difficult to find in-store. For the full basket model, the consumer benefit is the convenience of shopping all Annie’s products in one place online, vs. in-store where our portfolio extends across multiple aisles and varies in availability.

eMarketer: How are you using content to market in ecommerce channels?

Stangler: Content is extremely important because it allows for storytelling. It allows us to share our mission and brand values, and connect with shoppers across our entire portfolio in a way that we might not be able to do as easily in-store.

eMarketer: Do products that sell well in brick-and-mortar locations do well in ecommerce?

“Products that do well in-store are leading products online. ... Online, there is also more opportunity to play for a small, emerging brand like Annie’s.”

Stangler: Products that do well in-store are leading products online, but we also see—especially in spearfishing—that the longer tail does much better for smaller offerings. Online, there is also more opportunity to play for a small, emerging brand like Annie’s.

eMarketer: Do the acquisitions of Jet.com [by Wal-Mart] and Dollar Shave Club [by Unilever] increase the urgency for your brand to figure out ecommerce?

Stangler: We have seen many of our brick-and-mortar customers adopt ecommerce as mission critical. Both the CPG sector and its customers are very like-minded in the opinion that ecommerce is the future because, aside from a long list of other benefits, it’s simply too convenient for shoppers to ignore.

eMarketer: What do you think will generate the most ecommerce growth?

Stangler: We expect ecommerce growth to come from across the spectrum. The early growth was led by pure-play retailers, but we expect a significant portion of growth will be attributed to traditional retailers as they continue to get more into the game.

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