As we have seen with confectionery, consumers are looking at sharing products for their nights in at home. But they also want impulse, single serve options for their on the go lunches.

Nick Stuart, commercial manager at UBUK, says: “Popular brands like McCoy’s and Hula Hoops fit in perfectly with the big night in trend, which has seen consumers become more likely to stock up on bagged snacks and have friends or family over to stay in. Sharing formats are flying off the shelf and are worth pound;87m in impulse. It’s interesting to note that they are growing even faster, at 13%, in impulse than grocery, which is up 8%. This shows that consumers are picking up their sharing snacks regularly from their local convenience store for in home social occasions. With this in mind, wholesalers that don’t stock up on sharing bagged snacks will be missing out. UB urges wholesalers to make the most of this year’s big events so their customers can too.”

This month UBUK has launched its Jacob’s Oddities a crispy, baked snack biscuit that come in a range of shapes. The range is available in Cheese and Smokey Bacon.

As well as this, UBUK’s McCoys brand is the title sponsor of the McCoy’s Premier League Darts.

PepsiCo has introduced 49p price-marked packs to its five core flavours: Salt amp; Vinegar; Ready Salted; Cheese amp; Onion; Prawn Cocktail; and Smoky Bacon. The packs will feature an on-pack price tag communicating value to consumers while giving wholesalers the opportunity to grow core crisps, snacks and nuts (CSN) sales.

Kieran South, wholesale director at PepsiCo UK amp; Ireland, says: “Price-marked packs can help achieve positive price perceptions in-store with an impressive 44% of consumers more likely to purchase an item on impulse when price marked. This impact is even greater within crisps, snacks and nuts as purchases in this category are just as impulsive as confectionary, so the price marked cases are set to be a big draw for retailers in depot.

“As a market leader, Walkers is already renowned for taste and quality, now by communicating value to consumers on pack, retailers can fulfil all three key reasons for a CSN purchase, growing the core of their business to see a bigger, long term impact on sales. We have made a substantial investment in this activity and encourage wholesalers to maximise this incremental sales opportunity, by stocking up on the new Walkers 49p price-marked packs.”

PepsiCo also introduced a new flavour campaign earlier this year for its Walkers brand. Walkers ‘What’s That Flavour’ put the nation’s taste buds to the test with consumers being given the chance to win three pound;50,000 prizes if they correctly identify the mystery flavours. Miranda Sambles, marketing director for Walkers, says: “By stimulating people’s natural curiosity around flavour, the campaign is set to get the whole nation taking and ultimately drive sales

“We are investing significantly in the impulse channel, working in partnership with our customers to help them maximise this promotion. Over 17,000 independent retailers received mystery flavour teaser bags to drive awarness and excitement for the campaign. We have also created smaller 32-case stackers and ‘ready to sell’ clip stripes in mixes cases of 24 to offer value and allow retailers with limited space to stock alongside the core range.”

Mystery Flavour A, Mystery Flavour B and Flavour C will have the flavours announced this month.

Procter amp; Gamble has introduced what it is calling ‘best-ever chips’ to Pringles, designed to give consumers a more intense taste. A ‘bursting with more flavour’ message is flashed on pack.

Fiachra Moloney, Pringles marketing manager UK and Ireland, says: “Our extensive consumer research has revealed that taste is one of the most important factors in purchase decisions within snacks. We’re confident the new, improved product will not only be a success with existing consumers through increased media awareness, but we hope to drive penetration with new consumers.”

Kellogg’s has recently announced it is to buy Procter amp; Gamble’s snack brand Pringles this summer.

With regards to its cereals Lee Doherty, head of specialist accounts, Kellogg’s UK, says: “We have done some fantastic consumer insight research into the cash and carry and convenience store worlds and have really got to grips with what our consumers want.

“We gave ourselves a challenge five years ago to grow this part of the business and brought in extra heads and expertise to help us do this. I think we have made some good steps but there is plenty to do. It’s a great time for us we have a strong team of experienced account managers who have a much better understanding of how the channel operates and are making sure we are giving shoppers what they want.”

Richard Fine, Kettle Foods wholesale channel manager, says: “Kettle is the must-stock premium crisp brand for wholesalers in both sharing and single serve formats. Kettle chips is a top three brand within the sharing category in impulse, along with Pringles and Doritos, and Kettle Chips 40g is delivering growth of 7.1% year-on-year in a flat single serve impulse market, whereas more mainstream brands are in decline over the same period.

“The sharing sector has become increasingly important thanks to the popularity of occasions such as the ‘big night in’. Due to the recession, people are eating in more and this is particularly evident among upmarket consumers. On such occasions people still want to treat themselves and Kettle Chips remains a little luxury that they can afford.

“Research shows that almost 70% of sharing bags of crisps and snacks sold through independents weigh less than 130g and that price-marked packs are one of the top promotional mechanics favoured by retailers. Consumers also like price marking as it provides reassurance and can prompt trial and impulse purchase.

“The wholesale channel is very important to Kettle as developing our position within the wholesale and cash and carry channel has helped drive sales with independents. Kettle has focused on working with wholesalers to develop the premium crisps and snacks fixture, both in depot and on fixture. Sales can be improved by changing the layout in depot to be category specific, for example by developing a premium fixture and introducing branded bays.

“We would also encourage wholesalers to use our point of sale to signpost Kettle in store and make the buying experience easier for shoppers.”

Mike Turner, senior national account manager at Tangerine Confectionery, says: “Through working with wholesalers Tangerine has been able to review snacking pack size formats and key price points in order to meet the needs of retailers, which has increased appeal for the products. As a result Butterkist has seen a 10% growth year-on-year and is now valued at pound;29m retaining its number one popcorn brand position in the UK market.

“The Butterkist range carries a strong collection of products with mass appeal, which wholesalers are good at selling.

“However, we are keen to work with the channel more closely on ways to maximise future promotions, for example with the use of rack end support and additional bay allocations, in order to drive the customer to the shelves.

“In 2011 we ran a successful activity with the cash and carry channel, where we offered a 100% free Butterkist Toffee pack. Due to the success of these packs we plan to run similar activity in 2012. We have also increasingly gone down the route of price marking ranges our pound;1 price-marked bags of Butterkist Toffee popcorn have sold particularly well in the cash and carry channel.

“Savoury popcorn is an area of growing demand with our Butterkist Salted product securing new listing in the grocery and impulse channels. Since launch it’s received a great response from consumers and wholesalers alike and is going from strength to strength as distribution increases. The product is available in 80g sharing bags of ready to eat and the Microwave popcorn range, and is ideal for everyday snacking occasions.

“The popcorn market is currently valued at pound;49m. Butterkist is the nation’s favourite popcorn brand, with sales of pound;29m and a 60% share of the market which is continuing to grow 10% year-on-year.”

Ed Culf, marketing director at General Mills UK, says: “Nature Valley has announced its sponsorship as the official cereal bar supplier to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

“This unique sponsorship forms the biggest ever investment for Nature Valley in the UK and with the official London 2012 Supplier logo set to appear on-pack in the coming months, the brand will further boost consumer awareness and deliver increased demand for the brand in-store.

“The sponsorship will mean that our great tasting, wholesome and convenient cereal snack bars will be present for sale at concessions during the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, which provides a huge opportunity for driving awareness and penetration of Nature Valley nationwide. The official London 2012 Supplier logo will also appear on packs in the coming months, ensuring consumers are fully aware of the brand’s association with the London 2012 Games.

“The Nature Valley Crunchy amp; More range is already performing extremely well, with 70% of sales incremental to the category and delivering an impressive pound;765k value since its launch.

“Healthier biscuit bars containing chocolate contribute nearly a third (29.8%) of value sales share and it is an important flavour for performance of established brands in the category.

“Therefore, the delicious new SKU with its wholegrain oats and chocolate pieces is expected to deliver even further sales growth and really drive consumer interest for the brand.”

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