Introducing The Alberta Box – Stronger Together
While our world can seem so big these days, it’s been exciting to watch a growing trend in grocery (and all of retail, to varying degrees): the emergence of consumer desire for local products. In fact, a whopping 97% of them have decided to buy local to support their local communities!* You don’t have to be great at math to know that’s pretty much everyone.
You also don’t have to be good at math to know that COVID-19 has surely changed a great deal about retail and the grocery industry. We were all there for the Great Toilet Paper Rush™ of March, 2020 – and some of us probably still even have some set aside in our basements! All jokes aside, grocery sales were up 19% YOY* in April, and that growth has remained constant since (with or without toilet paper included).
On top of that, we’ve seen a further movement to buy local and support Canadian-made goods to help the pandemic recovery. That 97% is likely going to become pretty close to a full 100%.
With all this in mind, we saw an opportunity. It’s hard not to, right? Fortunately, this opportunity was directly in our sweet spot: grocery, relationships with local suppliers, consumer insight and the ability to bring them all together.
So, we set to work with our partner Sobeys, and we couldn’t be more excited about the outcome: The Alberta Box. Sobeys curated 22 exciting local products to be put together into an exciting package that’s perfect for gifting this holiday season. We worked directly with Sobeys to assemble and distribute the box, getting it in front of the largest number of customers possible and with a wide variety of suppliers to ensure those same customers were introduced to and treated by what they found inside.
Getting the Alberta Box right in every regard was paramount to its success. For example, local shoppers aren’t as likely to appreciate a deal as they are good design – both in terms of the packaging and the thought behind the products we included. With this in mind, we worked with Sobeys to create a perfect balance of larger, well-known local products, up-and-coming brands and put them all together in an instantly recognizable and disruptively branded package.
The Alberta Box Includes:
- Alberta Steak Spice
- All Clean Natural
- Bean to Bites
- Beary Berry Honey
- Bin Breeze
- The Cotton Candy Shoppe
- Crowsnest Craft Soda
- Dwarf Stars
- George’s Cream
- Going Nuts
- Gramma Bee’s Honey
- The Grizzly Paw Soda Company
- Master Chocolat
- North Water
- Souptacular Soup Company
- Stoked Oats
- Twigz Pretzels
- Via Foods
- Village Brewery
From a brand’s perspective, the opportunity is really exciting. By coming together with other suppliers, every company is able to leverage each other’s strengths, reach and customer desire to get on the tables of more families. “This is a fantastic opportunity to get local products in the hands of Albertans” said Sandra Thiessen of Beary Berry Honey Inc.
Stephen Anderchek, Business Manager with Village Brewer is equally as enthusiastic. “Village Brewery is proud to work with Sobeys and other local Alberta vendors on showcasing our products in the Alberta Box. Sobeys has been a fantastic partner to work with and their support is greatly appreciated. With this Alberta Box, we hope that people see the awesome and innovative businesses that are in our province and continue to support local!”.
Working on the Alberta Box project from the very first brainstorm to the first sale was an exciting experience for Curve. “We are proud that Sobeys turned to us to fulfill this innovative idea and trusted us to put all of our expertise to work in bringing everything together and getting them out in such a short time,” David Ashkin, Key Account Manager at Curve said.
Gary Hughes, Local Development Manager, Alberta, Merchandising at Sobeys expressed his gratitude towards Curve’s efforts, “it has been great working with Curve on this project as they have been a valuable resource to coordinate the packing and distribution of these boxes all across the province of Alberta to our Sobeys/Safeway/IGA stores”.
As we move into the holiday season, we’re excited to watch the continued success of the Alberta Box. With Albertans continuing to evolve their consumer behaviour and their focus on grocery and essentials growing, we anticipate this collection of 22 Albertan products will be a hit on the shelves and under the tree this December.
As always, we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions, comments or even just great Christmas gift ideas. At this point, everyone is getting an Alberta Box and maybe the teenagers in our lives might appreciate something different? Anyways, feel free to pick up the phone or shoot us an email – we’d love to chat.