16 Merchandising and Marketing Ideas

16 ways retailers are getting creative with merchandising and marketing

Flavor Watch: The Menu Gets Weird

The quick-paced quest for the next big thing has driven foodservice operators to reach weirder and weirder depths, rolling out bizarre mashups and in-your-face flavors in the hopes of creating the next Cronut or Doritos Locos Tacos.

The trick is making something that connects with consumers, and Chicago-based Datassential aims to quantify the potential success of these products. Its recent report pulled out all menu items from the past year that consumers rated the most unique, as well as their purchase intent.

Even a few c-store items made the report:

11. The General, from Giant Eagle’s GetGo, was deemed the most unique sandwich.

It features General Tso’s-style chicken fingers topped with egg rolls on a sesame-seed bun. It scored in the 100th percentile for uniqueness and 24th for purchase intent.

12. QuikTrip’s Bac’n QuikShake also made it into the 100th percentile for uniqueness and the second percentile for purchase intent.

The second percentile—even 24th—may seem low, but there are reasons for menuing outlandish items beyond sales. Often, they’ll drive press and social media attention and help give the brand an air of innovation and edge.