- Texas retailer H-E-B has launched a new limited edition line of rodeo-inspired dish soaps with scents including Texas Funnel Cake, Texas Snowcone and Texas Rodeo, which is supposed to smell like leather.
- The line was launched to celebrate the Houston Rodeo, the Austin Rodeo and the spirit of the state.
- The soaps come in blue, teal and yellow and are priced at $1.97 each.
By pairing its well-known Texas pride with limited edition products, H-E-B is counting on its strong community following to drum up excitement — and sales — of its unique offerings.
Limited edition products create a sense of urgency among shoppers who may be more prone to toss special items in their baskets for fear that they won't be able to try it once it's gone. In a recent Shopify study, products that were subject to an availability timer converted sales at a 9% higher rate than those without it. H-E-B may also be banking on the fact that more consumers may grab these dish soaps since the product feels more like a necessity than an impulse buy, even if they waft in smells of some of the state's signature events.
These products also offer shoppers something fresh to break up the monotony of continuously using the same products. Not only can they reinforce brand loyalty if shoppers fall in love with the item but bringing the product back once in a while can create a frenzy among the most enthusiastic shoppers.
Trader Joe's limited edition fireworks chocolate bar, a spicy chocolate candy, is still sought after despite the fact that it is no longer offered. H-E-B's Selena bags had a similar effect, and when the grocer brought them back last December, the first run sold out within a few hours at many stores. The bags sold for as much as $110 on eBay once they ran out.
Other retailers have dabbled in limited edition private label offerings, as well. Northeast convenience store chain Wawa released a private label limited edition seasonal oatmeal stout beer in December 2018, while Dollar General partnered with many national brands to include exclusive limited edition items in its stores in May 2018. Ahold Delhaize USA partnered with Italian grocer COOP Italia to offer a limited release of its Fior Fiore premium Italian products.
Splashy, limited-time offerings aren’t suited for every retailer, however. Large retailers have the footprint and selling power to get the most bang for their limited edition buck, while smaller retailers may not be able to cover the cost of developing and manufacturing the products unless it's a hit.