Strategy’s most read of 2019: Shopper Marketing Report

The most eye-catching shopper stories from the last year.


It’s that time of year, when strategy runs down the list of stories our readers were most interested in 2019 as a way to look back at the trends that shaped the industry, and those that will shape it going forward into 2020. Today, we look at the most read retail and shopper stories from our Shopper Marketing Report


Steam Whisle Brewing pushes into an experiential space, boosts its product portfolio

Situated in a historic brick railway roundhouse in Toronto, Steam Whistle Brewing is the little engine that could and one of the largest craft players in Canada. This year, the brand expanded its product line, and revamped its packaging. The brewer is aiming to grow by connecting with more consumer segments, including having a portfolio of four to six beers, a non-alcoholic offering, as well as looking for a partner in the burgeoning cannabis space.



Tim Hortons expands its product lineup 

Canadians are used to getting their Tims fix on-the-go, but in February the iconic chain announced the introduction of several new retail products to be sold at grocery and convenience stores. This included a “Double Double Coffee bar,” a caffeine-infused chocolate bar-sized offering, as well as Instant coffee, ready-to-drink iced coffees and Iced Capps.



Toys ‘R” Us upends flyer expectatations

The print version of its toy book is in stores and arrived on the doorsteps of more than five million Canadian dwellings in December. It’s also available online via the Flipp flyer platform. But Toys “R” Us / Flipp dealings go further back than the current holiday shopping season. Instead of taking its physical flyers and simply digitizing them, the toy retailer has been adding dynamic inserts containing evergreen content into Flipp flyers. For example, the retailer created a section for its Babies “R” Us banner that was dedicated to educating expectant mothers on the differences between a wrap and a baby carrier.


Coke hopes for big things from small bottles 

The CPG giant has had a very active year. It developed mini cans for the Raptors championship run, added peel-off gift stickers for its 500ml bottles, and in March, it announced the creation of miniature 250ml bottles targeting Gen Z and millennials. The brand faced a challenge during the bottling process: for smaller size bottles, maintaining carbonation can be an issue. To address this concern, the company developed an interior barrier coating, which also boosted the product shelf life.