Strauss moves to upgrade direct relations with consumers


A new coupon feature on the food company's Strauss+ app opens data-gathering possibilities no competitor possesses.

Food company Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS) wants to turn your shopping into coupons at the supermarket. Sources inform "Globes" that Strauss, Israel's second largest food company, is expanding its "Strauss+" app and taking it a step further. This is an innovative move that Strauss's competitors will find much harder to implement than copying just another sales campaign.

A new feature on the app lets consumers photograph their receipts at the end of a shopping trip to the supermarket, and, assuming that they have bought Strauss products, to accumulate points, and translate them into coupons for purchases at the supermarket chains. This is a significant leap from being able to convert points to gifts, which is what the company has offered up to now.

It comes at a time when the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak is weighing on more and more people in Israel and making them have to be careful about their spending.

The new app feature enables consumers to obtain coupons worth NIS 20, NIS 30, or NIS 50, each one designated for purchase at a certain retail chain. At present, the chains at which the coupons can be used are Victory and the Yeinot Bitan-Mega group. Other chains are expected to join later, among them Israel's largest supermarket chain, Shufersal Ltd. (TASE:SAE).

This is not an ad-hoc bargain offer, but a significant step up for the company. This channel opens up for Strauss a host of possibilities for its relations with consumers: special coupons for Strauss products, which will be added shortly; inviting consumers to try new products; and even bargains and discounts for which the retailer is unnecessary - the items can be delivered to the consumer directly.

Strauss+ started seven years ago as a means of creating an unmediated connection with consumers, and it has been accelerated in the past couple of years. 350,000 households are currently registered, in a substantial proportion of which more than one person updates the app.

Strauss's connection with consumers gives it a direct channel that no other food manufacturer in Israel currently possesses, a kind of customer club through which the company can learn consumers' buying habits, obtain feedback, and carry out surveys that give it the kind of data that otherwise only retail chains with large and sophisticated customer clubs have access to.

Up to now, no food company in Israel has managed to build such a database, although recently, with the coronavirus crisis as a spur, many have set up websites for direct sales to consumers, among them Tnuva, the Central Bottling Company (Coca-Cola Israel); Kimberly Clark Israel, Schestowitz, Tempo, and others. Strauss's initiative could arouse interest from its international partners, such as global food giants PepsiCo and Danone.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on June 2, 2020

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