al fresco living

Barbecues are very dependent on weather, something that can never be safely relied on in the UK, making barbecues and all their accompaniments impulse purchases. Being ahead of the game and stocked up with what’s needed is key.

Matthew Showering, managing director of Brothers, says: “Cash and carry and wholesale is a key focus for Brothers and recent figures in this sector demonstrate that wholesale is outperforming overall brand performance with 60% growth year on year, making it an integral channel for Brothers going forward. To reflect this, we have a fully resourced team to focus on the wholesale sector in 2012 to maintain this momentum.”

Last year Brothers extended its range with two new pack formats over the summer, multipacks Strawberry 8x440ml and Festival Pear 12x440ml. Brothers plans to extend the distribution of cans into the wholesale channel over this summer.

Strawberry, Tutti Frutti and Toffee Apple cans will be launched into wholesale as 4x440ml multipacks.

Showering adds: “These packs will be price-marked to the end consumer offering increased visibility and a great price point. These packs are ideal for many summer and party drinking occasions, with its size working very well on store shelves. Furthermore wholesale will be the only channel currently offering Tutti Frutti in cans providing a point of difference from other channels. Perfect for all drinking occasions, we are anticipating a great deal of demand for these packs.

“Brothers is the fastest growing major cider brand within the market and this needs to be reflected in depot. Wholesalers need to ensure that Brothers are given the right share of fixture space to capitalise on this and support their retailers by ensuring that depots are fully stocked and Brothers is visible.”

Doug Walker, head of off-trade customer marketing at Heineken, says: “To make the most of the barbecue occasion, wholesalers should stock a wide range of beer and cider brands and ensure they have enough of the big names available, such as Foster’s, Heineken, Bulmers and Strongbow.

“Popular mainstream bottled lagers, such as Foster’s Gold, are of vital importance to the convenience trade in order to capitalise on the relaxed environment of an outdoor drinking occasion. Foster’s Gold was created to hit the spot with Foster’s primary target market of 18-34 year-old males who are happy to pay more for a drink they feel comfortable enjoying in mixed groups when a can is not appropriate, such as formal events and parties.”

He adds: “Cider is always a popular choice in the summer and retailers will seek to capitalise on consumers looking for it to enjoy at barbecues. Heineken’s newest limited edition cider, Bulmers Vintage Reserve, has been launched in time for spring and builds on the success of Bulmers Summer Blend, Bulmers Crisp Blend and Bulmers Red Apple as the fourth limited edition variant from the brand to continue to drive growth in the cider category.

“As the UK’s leading mainstream cider, Strongbow is also a must-stock. This year will be an incredibly exciting time for our leading cider brand with a wealth of exciting activity planned, affirming Strongbow’s status as the country’s cider of choice. Wholesalers should keep an eye out for this activity and seek to take advantage of the increased interest that will be generated among consumers.”

Last year Heinz introduced a re-design across the HP Sauce range on its barbecue range.

Sally Burtonwood, brand manager at Heinz, says: “Summer is synonymous with barbecues and barbecue sauce is at the heart of the British barbecue experience.”

Heinz has introduced a new range of barbecue sauces, Heinz Classic Barbecue and Heinz Sticky Barbecue.

According to Heinz, barbecue sauce penetration is only 19% of UK households, so there is huge potential for growth in this category. The sauces have been designed to be light enough to marinade chicken but thick enough to be used as a dip for chips.

Heinz has launched a new flavour variety to Heinz Salad Cream with Onion amp; Chives.

Nicola Leenman, brand manager of Heinz Salad Cream, says: “The new variant retains the ‘zingy’ Heinz Salad Cream flavour that the nation knows and loves, with a twist. By launching a new variety, we believe that it will reinvigorate the ambient dressings category and encourage additional purchase, as it will appeal to both new and existing customers. It will also open up new usage occasions for Heinz Salad Cream, particularly for sandwiches, which will drive growth and sales across the entire category.

“This is the third flavour variant Heinz Salad Cream has launched, as we continue to listen to consumer demands for exciting, new products. The two previous flavour innovations: Heinz Salad Cream with Lemon amp; Black Pepper and Heinz Salad Cream with Cucumber amp; Dill, have brought users back to the salad cream category, as well as helping to make the category be seen as more modern and versatile.”

Enco Products’ Giuseppe Vullo, brand manager of Encona Sauces, says: “Retailers recognise that their shoppers are actively seeking hot sauces to spice up the barbecue and are increasing shelf space accordingly. The versatility of the Encona Sauces range means they can be used to flavour food before it’s cooked, as a pour over the barbecue, or simply as a dressing or a dip

“This broad variety of uses around the barbecue occasion highlights the profit potential that spicy sauces such as Encona provide for wholesalers.”

Enco Products is targeting its spring and summer marketing activity at the outdoor dining and barbecue occasion. It has also introduced a new flavour, its Encona West Indian Extra Hot Pepper Sauce, which it says is its hottest ever SKU.

Vullo adds: “Encona Sauces’ fans have been clamouring for some time for us to take the heat to a new level. We’ve responded with a really distinctive, spicy sauce that’s ideal for the barbecue, featuring some of the hottest peppers in the world, including Jolokia and Scotch Bonnet. It delivers the classic Encona flavour and more.”

Dan May, managing director of TCD Foods, says: “The barbecue period is a key time for us here at TCD Foods. Our range of artisan chilli sauces, spice rubs, marinades, chutneys and pickles are the perfect accompaniment for a wide range.

“Although our full range is available to wholesalers, at barbecue time there are a few lines in particular that can benefit wholesalers as they offer fantastic sales opportunities to the foodservice and retail sectors. Our range of sauces including New Recipe Sweet Chilli Table Sauce, Flaming Lips Hot Chili Table Sauce, Green Chilli Table Sauce, our spice rubs and our marinade bags are all high quality, flavour-rich products which can’t fail to light up a shop shelf or menu and most of all excite consumers.

“We have currently started to speak to various wholesalers up and down the country about our range and the opportunities the barbecue season offers and are keen to speak to more as the summer creeps nearer and the Barbecue’s are dusted down.”

Rosie Tapp, group product manager at Bel UK, says: “Sunshine and warm weather bring strong sales opportunity across the UK and one of the most important summer occasions is the barbecue. Offering consumers suitable foods to cater for this is key as the unpredictable UK climate can result in last minute barbecues, making convenience foods essential must stock items and sources of potential incremental profit.

“To cater for informal summer barbeques, Leerdammer offers a range of cheese slices which are proven consumer favourites, perfect for salads or melting on burgers. Leerdammer, the number one cheese slice, is available in Original, Mature and Lightlife versions. Leerdammer also comes in a block format in handy resealable packaging making it a great alternative to cheddar and perfect for outdoor dining.”

Guy Shepherd, category director at Allied Bakeries, says: “The barbecue season is an important period for the bakery category. Last year rolls saw an impulse sales increase of nearly ten million packs between April and May.

“Kingsmill is a key player in the barbecue market and holds the number one spot for branded wholemeal (Kingsmill Tasty Wholemeal), healthier white (Kingsmill 50/50) and branded six-pack white bread rolls (Kingsmill Soft White) in the UK, demonstrating the popularity of rolls.

“Rolls are purchased for 43% of barbecues, making them the second most popular non-meat barbeque purchase, just behind salad. While this demonstrates their popularity, it also shows the opportunity for growth within this market. This is particularly the case in 2012, with so many events occurring, from the Olympics to Euro 2012, family and friends will come together throughout this summer to break bread, and wholesalers need to make sure that they’re prepared and stocked up.

“To drive sales during the barbecue season, Allied Bakeries works closely with wholesalers and retailers to develop promotions and sales techniques to ensure that they can make the most of barbecue products, such as rolls. Off-fixture displays significantly boost sales rates, particularly during the peak barbecue times of weekends, when 59% of barbecues occur. Wholesalers should prepare for the potential rush around this time by stocking upon a variety of barbecue breads, such as Kingsmill rolls.”

Shloer is offering barbecues, cooking sets and picnic rugs among its 50,000 plus instant win prizes in its on-pack promotion.

Amanda Grabham, head of brand marketing Shloer, says: “The on-pack promotion is a first for Shloer, and the ‘Love Your Shloer Sunday’ theme sits perfectly within the Shloer’s ‘Best Served Shared’ marketing campaign which puts Shloer at the heart of social occasions.

“The timing of the promotion is also perfect as we head into, weather-permitting, the start of the barbecue season. We’ve included gas barbecues in the top tier of prizes as barbecues are popular social occasions for Shloer consumers.

“We know that Shloer is already an established part of the barbecue shop as shopper research revealed that Shloer purchasers are more likely to have items such as barbecue sauce in their basket. Last year we further reinforced the Shloer and barbecue association by creating new barbecue-specific TV and consumer press ads, and this year we are incorporating the on-pack promotion within the TV advertising for the spring campaign.”

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