We love the term “shape management”- and several of our buying team are very keen to cash in on this.

Datamonitor’s recent report highlights own label growth hastening brand erosion. Our own brand performance falls miserably short of the stated overall market figure of 35%. Ours is less than 10% in packaged groceries and only slightly more in booze. The recent emergence of strong independent retail groups like Premier, Lifestyle, Best-One and Day-Today provides a lifeline for own brand in the cash and carry sector. Quality issues are being addressed, ranges dovetailed to market needs, and sales promotion matched to typical everyday multiple offerings, including extra fill and multi-buys. Independents remain strongly brand loyal. More’s the pity brand owners don’t recognise this when fixing cost prices for our sector.

The Easter confectionery displays are up but are attracting little attention at the moment. We think boxed selections will perform better this year. The Kinder Surprise TV advertising tie-up with Disney’s Chicken Little will ensure the brand keeps its number one chocolate novelty spot. Meanwhile, Cadbury’s domination of the Creme Eggs market appears unstoppable.

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