Maybe it's just my style...but my visit to La Colombe Coffee in Philadelphia blew me away. I spend a large majority of my life in cafes, coffee shops and pushing the red button on my Nespresso machine. Since my trip to Seattle, after visiting Caffe D'Arte, I've never met a proprietor or roaster as serious about the coffee experience, package design, or the importance of quality extraction. Further the look and feel of everything Colombe has a sophisticated European look and feel, that frankly, I love. From the packaging of a roasted pound, to the renovated beverage mobile, and antique dispensers I knew this was somewhere I needed to visit again. These unique props shown below really caught my attention and I'm sure create a very unique environment regularly for the many folks who were there during my visit. Further, a friendly barista named Elliot was a professional extension of the brand when he immediately jumped into action to describe the coffee brand, allowed me to take a few photos, and suggested I take a tour of the roasting facility. http://www.lacolombe.com/
I had to include this machine which dispenses a variety of water options for the guests. I thought this was very interesting and generous. It really communicated "We're serious about our beverages." from my perception.
The vintage, professional, look of this machine is custom, vibrant, and authentic. Great Job marketing your bottled coffee in a unique way!
This natural looking custom point of sale unit has a vintage, antique, while surprisingly modern feel. I'm a fan.
Need I say more...
On a recent trip to Rittenhouse Square I visited Di Bruno Brothers, where I was pleasantly welcomed. I was given permission to snap 8 photos. I found this rather generous, since we had little knowledge of one another. My only problem was deciding what 8 photos to take, because everywhere I looked there were interesting innovative merchandising ideas that I thought would be terrific examples for our blog. Here are a few of my favorites, but I would recommend visiting the store in-person. In addition to displays, the terrific service and attentive staff really fill out the whole picture of what great food retailing looks like. One of the strongest skill sets embodied by the crew is making display cases compelling to the guest. Their expert eye and hands-on placement of their fine products demonstrated a keen eye for design and interesting presentation. There is no doubt, Di Bruno Brothers is an local establishment, but it's more than just a store, it's a culinary, visual, and sensory experience. Thanks for the chance to share a little of your story!
Visit their website at http://www.dibruno.com/
This display was a great representation of an customized fixture created by merchandising crates. The interesting shape develops a one of a kind feel rather than an out of the box mass produced fixture.
Vibrant colors were used in this tropical fruit display at a main entrance. The concept caught attention from the beginning of one's visit.
The signature ham in this case really was quite impressive in person. It was an interesting focal point that was difficult to walk past without reviewing the other options in the case.
Merchandising happens inside and outside restaurants and retail food locations. Many times something that attracts our interest happens well before the "point of sale." Who wouldn't want to eat here. Remember this concept can work for or against you. The garbage bags waiting outside your location or old coffee cups on the ground are doing just as great a job communicating something about your business. This is design is spectacular and very compelling. I have a feeling it's not a fast food joint. Check out the link to view Archtectural Digest's slideshow of great restaurant designs. http://www.architecturaldigest.com/ad/2012-05/best-new-restaurant-design-article
Mexico City’s Tori Tori restaurant by Rojkind Arquitectos and Esrawe Studios. Photo by Paúl Rivera
Three specific food merchandising strategies caught my attention at a trade show booth hosted by the Maui Coffee Growers Association. Their colorful display was a nice extension of the growers represented by the commodity trade association from Hawaii.
1. Colorful Interesting Professional Signage
Too many signs these days lack interesting appeal, professional graphics, and clear culinary images of the product companies are trying to represent. This tradeshow banner was an attractive representation of a great signage project.
2. Touchable: Visual: Interesting Views of Commodities
I've always been a big fan of merchandising and showing the raw ingredient at commodity level of any food offering...well most any. I'm not sure a bloody slab of meat is the right way to communicate freshness in every circumstance. These trays of coffee beans, educated the guest and removed the typical packaged barrier between people and great food.
3. Legendary Maps Sell Ideas & Food
This colorful illustration is a great example of how informational signage and educate the guest and help generate sales and ideas in the customer's mind. This map highlighted the growing area and each farm in the cooperative marketing association. It brings customers to better understand who you are and where you are coming from in ways that a package on a shelf cannot attain.
In summary, the Maui Coffee Association is a group of professional ambassadors for their branded coffee products. For a small organization they packed a big display and effectively communicated their mission and offerings. Great Job!
Event Managers, banquet professionals, hospitality innovators everywhere could benefit from the exotic thematic floral ideas at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Signature designers, floral companies, and culinary suppliers and publishers blew my mind with one of the most dramatic events I've ever visited. You'll notice the Horticultural Society's wall of lettuce, and the interesting gardening cold frames that I feel could accent any farm-to-table restaurant seeking to visually convey freshness and farm fresh in tasteful manner.
Cold Frames and a vertical wall of lettuce varieties wowed guests at the Philadelphia Flower Show early this Spring.
World class floral presentations embodied the Hawaiian theme of this year's event. Larger than life floral accents featured the shape of fresh pineapple, the international symbol for hospitality.
What to do with your old beverage service? Turn it into an enormous wall art focal point! Great idea Philadelphia Convention Center! Our tip for future visits to the Floral Show: Buy a membership to the Horticultural Society which includes show tickets, plus you'll be in tune with their events throughout the year and receive further information in the mail.
Food Merchandising Blog: Ideas & Tips to Help you Grow Your Food Market