Like most who hit the convention and conference circuit, I sit through a lot of sessions about Generation X and Y and Millenials and teens and tweens and in between.

Texting while driving the grocery cart

Pamela Riemenschneider
Aisle Wandering

Sitting through these seminars about appealing to “younger” generations makes me realize that I’m technically not one of those “younger” generations they’re talking about.

I know how to cook. We cook almost everything from scratch in my house, and I don’t need a lot of help when I go through the produce department.

So why would I need a quick response code on my clamshell of berries? Why would I want to text for information about what to do with artichokes while I’m standing in the store?

I’m not a big texter — my plan has 200 a month and I don’t even come close — so I never understood the value of text marketing.

Why would I want to text someone for information? How much information can you get through a text message, anyway?

Well, I guess I’m wrong. It happens. I told all my friends that Trader Joe’s wouldn’t be coming to Austin any time soon, and I just read in the Dallas Morning News they’re scouting locations for new stores to open in the next year.

There goes my specialty cookie budget.

I see a lot of produce companies starting to add text marketing and QR codes to their products, but I really think retailers need to get on this.

Consumers — especially this generation graduating from college and, hopefully establishing their own households and their own grocery lists — need some help.

I think an easy way for those of us in produce to nudge them away from the box mac ’n’ cheese is through mobile information.

I’m not talking just about marketing. I’m talking about things that may seem obvious to us produce insiders like how to easy it is to cook kale or butternut squash.

I get that merchandising space is limited. I know for some retailers — larger chains, especially — it can be hard to deviate from store sets.

How hard is it, though, to stick a sign in a pile of potatoes that says “Try this easy recipe, text 12345”?

I’ve been swayed more than once by a simple sign in a produce department. H.E. Butt’s Central Market got me to try an Opal apple with a sign stuck in a display that said, “Best Tasting Apple.”

Of course I’m going to try it when they say it like that.

What retailers have you seen using mobile marketing effectively in their produce departments?


What value do you think QR codes and mobile marketing have in the produce department? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.