Historical sales data is only useful if the purchasing trends remain steady. If not, using this data to make inventory decisions is liable to cause inflated SKU (stock keeping units) count, inaccurate forecasts and can mess with accurate inventory by leading to over stocks or under stocks.

Everyone has talked about the influence of Millennial and Generation Z consumers on the snack market (a topic we have covered many times). These consumers account for over 25% of the American population and have turned their back on sugary, insulin-spike inducing snacks for healthier options made with organic ingredients. If you relied solely on historical data you would miss this trend and along with it your cut of the ever-increasing healthy snack market. Snack manufacturers are aware of how suddenly these trends can change and understand that they must rely on measuring more metrics than they previously had if they want to be able to predict these changes to market more quickly and accurately.

Collecting customer data isn’t solely to sell more snacks to millennials. Many companies are also interested in improving the quality of the shopping experience for their consumers. How do companies do this? As this article by CSNews explains, “ …retailers can determine if energy drinks and sodas should be grouped to match shopper preferences on price, brand or flavor, which may be completely different from how they organize candy or salty snacks. What’s more, these product assortment and layout strategies can be localized to ensure that the right balance of products are present for each store.”

Knowing more about your customers also makes it so that your store is properly stocked with consumables that will account for all of the demographics which frequent your store. With the popularity of this new snacking trend, it is easy to cater solely to Millennial and Generation Z consumers but by doing so, you may alienate other loyal customers.

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