NEW YORK — There's a reason they say a picture is worth a thousand words. It's because about 70% of human sensory receptors are in the eyes and images are easier to process than words, Pinterest's head of CPG strategy, Arthur Sevilla, said at a panel during the National Retail Federation's Big Show in New York City.
That's just one of the reasons Albertsons has partnered with Pinterest and Vestcom to officially roll out its Pinterest-enabled shelf-edge media platform in 2020. Matthew Chew, group sales director at Vestcom, told Grocery Dive the retailer has done a pilot, alpha and beta testing rounds and is actively working through exactly what the launch details will look like.
The program combines in-store and mobile discovery. A shopper sees a tag next to the price of a product with a photo of the final recipe creation directly from Pinterest. The customer then goes to Pinterest on their phone, snaps a picture of the tag and is redirected to Albertsons' Pinterest page, where the recipe can be found featuring the signature product as well as others available at Albertsons.
According to Sevilla, shoppers are seeking inspiration and want to take action off of their intent, and this platform allows them to do so. They see an enticing dish, but instead of pinning it for later or making a mental note, the feature allows shoppers to easily find a recipe where all the products can be found in one store, he said.
Pinterest's research finds that 55% of its weekly users actively use the app while grocery shopping.
"Everything you do on the platform is to get you off the platform," Sevilla said. "There is plenty of tech in the universe that is keeping you glued to your phone. We want you to be inspired and go off the platform to take action, go buy that thing, go take that trip, go make that meal."
Giving private label a boost
Many, but not all, of the products showcased in the recipes direct shoppers to Albertsons private label products, ranging from Signature Select to Open Nature and O Organics.
"Seventy-five percent of all shopping decisions are made at the shelf edge," said Mike Sciortino, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Vestcom. "Maybe a brand you've never tried before offers a tremendous value if you gave them a chance, maybe there was a new item where the package caught your attention and you wanted to try it."
Albertsons recently reported its third quarter earnings for 2019 in which private label saw significant growth and now makes up more than a quarter of its total sales.
During the holidays, Albertsons utilized a new tool called Pinterest Trends that shows what foods and recipes U.S. consumers are interested in finding, giving the grocer the ability to curate its recipe selections to the most searched-for recipes. During beta testing from October to the end of 2019, the program mostly featured holiday-inspired recipes.
Food and beverage is Pinterest's largest category, and the company is seeking ways to monetize that interest. According to Sevilla, 72 million monthly active users in the U.S. engage in food and beverage search inquiries on Pinterest, representing 76% of all primary grocery shoppers.
Pinterest, which counts more than 300 million actively monthly users — 80% of which are mobile users — sells ads to CPG companies that feature buy tools and recipe pages. Some of the ads also provide links to retailers like Walmart and Target.