Manager of the month

The Nestl eacute; Rowntree Manager of the Month Award for March has been awarded to William Knight, the ambient buyer for Batley’s in Nottingham. Knight has more than 20 years experience as a buyer and has been in his current role for six years.

He has been awarded the Manager of the Month for March for his first class launch of the new Nestl eacute; Rowntree sharing bags range. Knight had already worked closely with Nestl eacute; Rowntree in the second half of 2006 in a major relay of the confectionery fixture, designed to give the biggest brands the best positions and improve their visibility to customers. This resulted in an excellent uplift in sales for Batley’s in Nottingham, so when Nestl eacute; Rowntree sales development executive David Wright presented the company’s plans for sharing bags Knight quickly recognised the scale of the opportunity.

In the past three years sales of sharing bags have increased 9.5% in value, and now account for 14% of all confectionery sales. Nestl eacute; Rowntree aims to attract even more consumers to the category by capitalising on its breadth of popular brands.

The new range of 12 sharing bags features favourite chocolate, sugar and kids’ brands. Aero Bubbles Peppermint is joined by a pure milk chocolate variety. With 70% of Quality Street bought to share, the new sharing bag provides consumers with the ideal format for everyday or regular sharing.

There are also four sharing bags from Rowntree’s with no artificial colours or flavours, plus two smaller sharing bags from kids’ brands Milkybar and Smarties and two sharing bags from Polo: Polo Original and Polo Sugar Free.

Understanding the potential of the opportunity has led Knight to stock the entire Nestl eacute; Rowntree sharing bags range, where previously only Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles and Fruit Gums were listed. With the current confectionery range performing well Knight did not want to take any space away so he has also dedicated an extra bay for the sharing bags.

The bags were also supported at launch by a front of depot display, to ensure retailers could not miss the new range, and eye-catching point of sale materials, including standees, were used to increase visibility.

The results of this activity have helped the depot’s sales of sharing bags to increase by more than 200%.

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