IRI has announced the launch of IRI Integrated Fresh, a new solution that tracks sales of random-weight as well as traditional UPC items that can be shared across the industry with retailers and manufacturers to give a more holistic view of the store.

Integrated Fresh is the first fact-based data definition of departments, such as dairy, deli, bakery, meat, seafood and produce, and is based on extensive research on which products and attributes the majority of retailers and suppliers consider to be among items found in these departments. Previous definitions varied because they were based on opinion, not a majority-rules, data-driven approach. 

The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) also recognized the need for standardized definitions in its categories and was eager to deliver a solution for its members and the industry. IRI leveraged its network of retailers and suppliers as well as IDDBA’s extensive industry expertise to develop a syndicated data structure to measure all items in the store regardless of code type. 

“We collaborated with IRI to develop a solution that solves a significant issue in our industry,” said Jeremy Johnson, vice president of education, IDDBA. “Before Integrated Fresh, definitively measuring the total size of the deli or bakery departments was difficult and varied greatly depending on data source and retailer. Integrating both fixed- and random-weight items together properly was also a challenge. We are excited to be able to offer our members special access to this valuable new resource.”

The Integrated Fresh view is already proving critical in looking at this year’s pandemic-impacted retail sales. For example, it has long been thought that fresh foods were favored over center store; however, a balance of both is necessary to meet shoppers’ needs since the COVID-19 outbreak. For the 26 weeks ending Dec. 4, 2020, the meat department added $7 billion more in sales compared to the same period in 2019. Additionally, the frozen department captured an additional $6.5 billion in sales based on the new Integrated Fresh view.

IRI forecasts that fresh sales data for the recent Thanksgiving holiday will be a predictor for December holiday sales. Key insights from Integrated Fresh for the upcoming holidays include:

  • A significant majority of shoppers will purchase holiday meal items at least seven days before the event.
  • Pounds of meat sold will be flat to slightly down, but dollar and unit sales will be up in some categories as shoppers turn to smaller birds and portioned meat cuts.
  • Holiday-related products, such as spices/seasonings, pie crusts, refrigerated dough and fresh vegetables like potatoes, salads and beans will post large dollar and unit sales increases as more families prepare holiday meals at home.

“Our new Integrated Fresh solution uncovers what consumers are seeing when they step into the store,” said Jeanne Livelsberger, executive vice president of Market and Shopper Insights for IRI. “It is the most reflective view of the size and trend of the average grocery store department, which has historically been a challenge across code types and packaging methods. Ultimately, we are providing access to the most granular insights surrounding the who, what and where of fresh foods, and a singular integrated view of the entire food and beverages business with more attributes than ever before. This will help CPG manufacturers and retailers better understand consumer and shopper behavior, so they can drive growth across the entire store.”

Integrated Fresh is currently available for point-of-sale data across IRI solutions, and the data definition will also be available in IRI’s multiple consumer and shopper assets, including frequent shopper cards and household panels in 2021. The data is updated weekly to capture the most accurate results as we head into the unknown territory of celebrating holidays during COVID-19. For more information about the Integrated Fresh solution, please contact IRI’s Jonna Parker.