Why Is It Time To Redesign The Grocery Shelf Tag? 

In a world that truly appreciates design (Airbnb, 99 Percent Invisible, Core77) isn’t it about time retail grocers redesigned the iconic shelf tag? Winco and Down To Earth think so!

Consumers expect information—fast, transparent information. The item’s price and their savings is not enough anymore. They want to know what’s in the product. How much sodium? How many carbs? Any hormones or parabens? They want to know where the items they’re buying are sourced. And they don’t really want to stand and stare at the tiny print on the box for a full minute to find out.

What’s the Pertinent Information?

So what information do the shoppers really want to see? That depends on your shopper. Some want to focus solely on price/price per oz and discount type and others want to know if it’s “healthy” and the location it is sourced. A good starting point is to survey your shopper and come up with a high-level idea of what information they want. The next step is figuring out how to convey that information in a shopper-centric model.

Down to Earth Sustainability” Price Tags
Winco Shelf Tag RW3





Concepts of Design to Incorporate    

  • Colors: We use colors every day. From yellow yield signs to red discounted items. Is there a color key you could use to display relevant information? (Type of Discount, Country of Origin, GMOs?)
  • Icons: Regardless of language everyone can understand graphics. From locating the restrooms to finding a food court. Are there certain icons you could use to display relevant information?
  • Calligraphy: Great typeface usually goes unnoticed because it just fits. Using basic formatting concepts such as bolding, italicizing and underlining could have a dramatic effect getting across a wealth of information.

More Info Then Space?

This is where using a QR code and your in-store app can help out significantly to convey the information. And you don’t just have to rely on the manufacturer, there are third party data sources that can help as well.

Working With Information Readily Available

With organizations like foodbabe.com and foodintegrity.org, or industry initiatives like smart label consumers can now discover all kinds of things about the food and the companies they buy from. Take this knowledge and incorporate it into your marketing communications strategy.

Keep it Simple & Clean

Lastly, when displaying information it’s important to keep it organized and consistent. Remember that whatever strategy you incorporate, consumers want simplistic product transparency and if a retailer can incorporate that into a user-friendly shelf tag everyone wins.


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Seth Nagle, Senior Marketing Manager at RW3 Technologies understands the power of innovation but also its limitations. Attending Salve Regina in New England, starting his career in Silicon Valley, and now living in Austin, Texas; Seth provides a unique tech perspective to a complex CPG and Retail Grocery Industry that is in constant disruption.

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