The in crowd

With the smoking ban taking effect and the credit crunch causing people to count pennies, having a night in is fast becoming the new going out.

== Eat ==

According to Northen Foods, the frozen pizza category has a market growth rate of 6.1% year on year, proving that it’s an area wholesalers should pay attention to over the next five years. Within the convenience channel, the Goodfella’s brand leads the market with a 44% market share.

Kevan Mallinder, head of UK marketing for Goodfella’s, says: “Big nights in are a great opportunity for wholesalers and retailers alike, especially in the current economic climate. We recommend wholesalers stock the UK’s number one deep pan pizza brand, Goodfella’s Deeply Delicious, which holds a 46.4% share of the sector.

“With consumers increasingly choosing to stay in and entertain friends and family as opposed to spending money in bars and restaurants, there is ample opportunity for retailers to encourage consumer trade up on food that is both convenient, good value and of a high quality. This is a great opportunity for wholesalers who can take advantage of this increase in demand within the impulse channel.”

PepsiCo says that according to a report from him!, the heightened consumer concern that Britain will enter a recession or slowdown, means that staying in is definitely the new going out.

PepsiCo says a significant percentage of Walkers’ shoppers already buy into sharing, through the existing Doritos and Sensations brands. It has also launched Walkers Baked and Sunbites in 95g sharing bags.

According to PepsiCo, of the pound;1.99bn the UK spends every year on the CSN category, pound;533.2m is spent in impulse stores.

PepsiCo has recently brought back its original Monster Munch snacks specifically for the impulse channel.

Iain Paton, marketing controller at Trigon Snacks, says: “Despite the current economic setbacks consumers are buying snacks from the luxury end of the market as they see this as an affordable alternative to dining out. This echoes an 8% decline in pub alcohol sales. As a result the consumer spend in ambient products through wholesale is growing.

“The rise in demand for a healthier variety of snacks coincides with the government’s drive for a healthier food and the reduction of saturated fats in all products. This is the main issue currently affecting NPD in the snacks market and should be considered by shop keepers and wholesalers alike when selecting products. Added value and premium products such as cashews, almonds and pistachios are now being produced without salt as another option to allow retailers to maximise their appeal.”

According to Cadbury, the sharing sector is currently worth pound;420m in the UK.

Kate Harding, trade communication manager of Cadbury, says: “Large block chocolate is perfect for a night in. Large block within impulse is worth pound;75.4m and Cadbury has a massive 54% share of these sales. Sugar bags are currently worth just under pound;438.5m and are a great sharing offering for a big night in. Cadbury is the leading branded manufacturer of sugar confectionery with sales of pound;93.8m and a 21% value share. This is mainly driven by strong performances from Bassett’s and Maynards.”

Graham Walker, UK trade communication manager of Nestl eacute;, says: “Confectionery to dip into and share is ideal for a more informal big night it. Sharing bags are perfect for meeting this need, and represent a growing area of the confectionery category. Sharing bags are worth pound;618m in the UK and account for 14% of all confectionery sales and are the second biggest confectionery opportunity after impulse confectionery, and stocking a range of brands which cater for both adults and children will ensure maximum sales.”

Nestl eacute; has the Rowntree’s Pick Mix bag, a selection of Rowntree’s Sweets including Fruit Pastilles, Fruit Gums and Tooty Frooties, and the Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Rowntree’s Fruit Gums in the sharing bag format. It also has the Aero Bubbles Milk variant in its chocolate sharing bags.

== Drink ==

Amanda Grabham, communications controller for Shloer, says: “Big nights in are extremely popular among Shloer’s female target audience. Shloer’s core range is the number two adult soft drink in the take-home market making the wholesale channel imperative to Shloer’s success. Sholer is an ideal choice for the wholesalers as consumers are looking for a sophisticated sparkling soft drink to help their big night in go with a bang.”

Shloer suggests positioning products on aisle end and island displays, as well as positioning pallets near reception and tills to increase pick up.

Grabham adds, “Such positioning is particularly important in the run up to Christmas, when Shloer sees take home sales rise to around 600% average weekly sales.”

Andrew Richards, sales director of Britvic, says: “Research shows that people find a social night in more relaxing and less hassle than going out as well as being cheaper. According to research, 39% of adults have a Big Night In at least once a fortnight, enjoying social nights at home. Our research shows that the night usually consists of mixed groups of three or four and is particularly prevalent among the 18-34 year old age group. It is a proven sales opportunity, with families and young people in particular buying large take home packs of soft drinks to enjoy at home together in the evening.”

== Be merry ==

Simon Harrison, commercial director of wholesale at InBev UK, says: “There is an increase in stay at home occasions as people spend more leisure time at home.

“Beck’s Vier has proved a huge hit with shoppers over the past two years. It brings a new dimension to lager standing out in a category which has very little differentiation. It has the same colour and flavour profile as Beck’s but the lower ABV makes it more refreshing and easier to drink and is therefore an ideal beer for the big night in occasions where people often want a more refreshing, lower ABV drink.”

Karen Salters, marketing director for Beverage Brands, says: “Our 70cl bottles are suited to sharing and at-home occasions, equally, WKD multipacks come into their own for big nights in. We know from consumer research that for WKD, 58% of all four-pack purchase occasions and 45% of 70cl ones are directly attributable to purchases by a host for use when entertaining their friends, and this demonstrates the importance of offering the right choice of pack formats. All three WKD 70cl bottle flavours are performing particularly well and all are experiencing double-digit volume growth in the impulse arena.”

Beverage Brands suggests focusing on three key areas, pack range, visibility and entertainment.

David Mallory, UK impulse channel controller for E J Gallo Winery, says: “Branded wines offer the consumer consistency and value for money and Gallo Family Vineyards is one of the most popular New World brands. With a 6.4% share of the impulse sector, 39 bottles of Gallo Family Vineyards wine are sold every minute

“E J Gallo continues to perform well in the wholesale sector, with new and established brands all recording strong sales. Our growth in the wholesale sector reflects the investment and support that we continue to give key brands and the benefits of working closely with our customers.

“The E J Gallo team works closely with wholesalers to develop effective promotional plans for all or our key brands. For example, to help wholesalers benefit from the hugely successful Ros eacute; wine trend we developed Ros eacute; on the Rocks kits for people to enjoy at home as an extension of our successful on-trade promotion.”

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