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Reinventing Promotional Displays

Start small with a big effect. Grocery stores already have a good idea started: Push merchandise through recipe suggestions. Popular, repeated suggestions I have seen– Tuna salad (mayo, canned tuna), pasta and jarred sauce, taco night. No recipes have jumped out as especially healthy. Grocery stores also currently offer healthy, pre-cut fresh fruit; saving time but not necessarily any money. I never purchase prepared fruit because it is so expensive; and I have no children or major financial commitments. Grocery store promotional displays have not changed nearly fast enough for the budget and now, health conscious families. It is an easy to implement, low cost solution that has the potential to grow into a bigger, community driven program.

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The average, budget conscious family, with little time to cook full meals. Parents who would like to prepare healthier meals, but always seem to end up serving basic pasta or buying frozen meals. They would opt for healthier options, such as salad or vegetable soup, but the cost of fresh vegetables in combination with the time it takes to prepare a vegetable rich meal repeatedly steers them to the frozen foods aisle. 

The demographic could also include 20-something independents who would like to learn to cook, but have no idea where to start.


Current, recipe-themed, promotional displays always seem to rotate between five basic, outdated recipes. Tacos, pasta, tuna noodle casserole or canned tuna and mayo. In an image search, tuna/mayo displays from 1965 look the same as present day promotions. The promotions are rarely centered around fresh food and do not include recipe cards. When developing updated promotions, the low cost and meal simplicity should be maintained.


Fresh cut fruit is a time-saving, healthy option, but almost always is marked up in price for the additional preparation service; which most families do not have the luxury of paying for. The quality of frozen or prepared meals have come a long way since 1950, but are still typically high in sodium and preservatives. Organic frozen meals are a good option, but not for the average budget conscious family.  


A popular complaint for farmers and supermarket managers is the consumer's habit of over looking oddly shaped or slightly bruised produce. Utilizing hard to move, and already existing wholesale produce could allow markets to sell pre-cut vegetables with significantly lowered prices. Keeping the time saving positives of the fresh-cut fruit and offering prepared, raw vegetables, ready to cook.

Suggested recipes would still need to maintain a certain, simplicity (5 to 7 steps) and a fixed price ($10 to $20 for a family of 4). Recipe cards would be on display with the promoted items. (ex. A vegetable soup recipe would be merchandised with low-sodium vegetable broth and various fresh-cut vegetables.)  


Allow weekly displays to be rotating simultaneously in key locations to catch parents on their way to the frozen food section or snack aisle.

For grocery stores with the resources, on-site demonstrations, cooking classes and collaborations with local magazine or restaurants for additional promotional support would allow an eating-healthy network within the local community to grow.    


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I wrote up a very similar concept centering around branding, and partnerships with grocery stores and local farms: I love the direction you've gone with yours, much more focused on marketing convenience and smart budgeting. Something that's on everyone's mind!

Photo of Lauren Dellaquila

Hello Amanda, thank you for your feedback! You're right about the commonalities of our concepts. I LOVE that you want to highlight in season produce/food. I personally am always attempting to stay within those parameters as seasons change, but find myself constantly going back to google to look it up. I would be insanely helpful to have a direct message/display in-store telling me what was in season. Also, that vintage photo from the 1950/60s is great. Amazing colors.

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Hi Lauren and Amanda! Great concepts!! I also try to base my diet on seasonal products, and I once read that the products you eat must be according to the primary color of the season you're at. So let`s say it`s november, then the normal thing would be to eat lots of orange and ocres.. like pumpkin, zuchini, potato, apples, oranges... and they'll give you the nutritional value you need for that specific season: fiber and natural fats to prepare for the winter cold. You could maybe incorporate some of this seasonal colors in the marketing displays of the products.

Photo of Lauren Dellaquila

ha, Maricarmen— I read your response and went to your page because I thought you had submitted a concept involving color-coding.... didn't realize it was a suggestion within the comment. Thank you! That is a practical/logical idea that could easily be applied to even subconsciously communicate the feeling of the seasons for consumers. Half the time when I'm at the grocery store, I glaze over and just see shapes and colors I'm so out of it...

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