New ARTD guide launched for independents retailers

The Federation of Wholesale Distributor’s Take Home Blueprint scheme has launched its latest educational guidance covering the ARTD market for the independent retail sector.

This is the third edition of the advice for the category since it was added to the Blueprint’s portfolio three years ago, and offers independent retailers advice on what range of ARTDs to stock and how to merchandise their fixtures.

Following the successful merging of the Ales, Lagers and Ciders Blueprints into one document, the latest ARTD planograms for England and Scotland are combined in an eight-page document which also offers useful advice and case studies on the category.

The planogram advice includes adequate space allocation for individual retailer choice – local favourites, own brands, or more big brands if that is what the retailer elects to choose.

Alan Toft, chairman of The Take Home Blueprint scheme, says: “This is a constantly changing category and this latest Blueprint for ARTDs provides advice on offering a standard range while also allowing for the new products that are constantly being introduced to the market.

“It’s easy for retailers to become overwhelmed at the choices available – not just in volume of products but sizes also – and the Blueprint helps retailers tailor their range to balance branded products with wholesaler exclusives so that they can confidently meet their local customers’ needs.”

The new Blueprint also touches on the dynamic and fast-moving nature of the category and includes a page of new products that are not currently featured on the plans but are being introduced into the market.

This is unusual for the Blueprint but the move reflects the pattern of a market which sees a high level of suppliers NPD investment in new ideas, new brands and brand extensions.

“It is a rapidly changing category where recent history and trading, together with consumer demand trends, can be monitored to provide good evidence of new products making their mark. It is a unique characteristic and part and parcel of ARTDs,” says Toft.

As well as including new varieties from key brands such as WKD, and Red Square ‘Juiced’, there are also new brands to the sector.

For example, Quinn’s 100% fruit juice, Slate 20 and the Classic Mix, a range of pre-mixed drinks such as Smirnoff and Cola and Gordon’s and Schweppes tonic. All are products that are being launched supported by huge advertising campaigns.

The plans emphasise the importance of chilling these products, as research proves that two thirds of occasions when ARTDs are purchased are for immediate consumption. Therefore the Blueprint recommends that if the entire fixture cannot be chilled, then retailers should at least have a range of the leading brands in the fridge in order to maximise sales.

Blueprint Retailer of the Year, Sunder Sandher from Londis, Leamington Spa, explains: “ARTDs are an important part of my overall alcohol offering. Over the years I’ve learned how to make the most of my ARTD sales. The Blueprint points up the big brands and the pack varieties so I can stock the right range.

“It’s also important to chill. I’ve invested heavily in chillers – starting from small individual units to dairy decks. It is a cost, but it will increase sales and profitability in both the short and long term.”

The Take Home Blueprint for Ales, Lagers and Ciders will have a new edition which will be published in September to enable independents to review their ranges in good time for the Christmas trading peak.

The new Take Home Blueprint for ARTDs is available for all wholesalers and their retailers. For more information contact the Blueprint team on 0161 440 2770 or email blueprint@ima-group.co.uk

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