Breaking into the mindset of the many groups making up modern consumers—from social-media-savvy millennials to yoga-centric females and construction-working Bubbas—can be a daunting task. Take millennials, for instance: By time a retailer can gather data on the latest Gen-Y food trend, most of that group has moved on to the next hot-ticket item. Yet with deep pockets and a willingness to embrace the c-store channel, millennials are hardly a group that can be ignored. What’s a retailer to do?
The revolution did not start in the c-store channel. It started out quietly, from your home, where you, the customer, browsed the Internet and found vendors from the Asian continent and Western countries selling something different, something revolutionary, something not found in your local c-store or drug store: electronic cigarettes.
Just weeks into his new position as the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) director of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Mitch Zeller faced a firing squad of questions from tobacco retailers and suppliers attending the 2013 NATO Show in April. Not surprisingly, those questions centered around long-awaited decisions on hot-button issues such as menthol.