UK’s biggest biscuit supplier aims to open up more opportunities for wholesale and convenience channels

McVitie’s owner, pladis, the UK’s leading manufacturer of biscuits and cakes, has unveiled the next phase of its Convenience & Impulse (C&I) strategy, including two new channel exclusive launches and in-store merchandising support.

The activity follows a £multi-million investment in 2014 when a new field sales team and convenience specific category advice programme – Better Biscuits, Better Business – was introduced.

Its extension, the Better Biscuits, Best Sellers (BBBS) initiative rolled out in March this year and includes remerchandising fixtures in line with BBBS advice, ranging the best-selling SKUs and improving visibility and availability. This initiative has already resulted in up to a 28% sales uplift in trials across ambassador and field sales visited stores. With a potential £88m growth opportunity for Biscuits in convenience, these strategy developments are part of the company’s commitment to further support and grow the C&I category in 2016 and beyond, says pladis.

A range of new initiatives and roll outs are being introduced this month, focusing on better value for the shopper. These include a new McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive range £1.50 PMP and a new 89p McVitie’s Biscuit Barrel range.

Qccording to a pladis spokesperson, the McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives PMP range offers “a more competitive headline price in line with multiple c-stores and will drive base sales of the bestsellers” The packs allow retailers to make “a significant margin” on the best-selling biscuits in the category through a new case size containing three free packs (15 packs for the price of 12).

The new 89p McVitie’s Biscuit Barrel range brings together some of the UK’s best loved biscuits including Custard Creams, Bourbons and Shorties under the nation’s favourite biscuit brand. These 300g packs have evolved from the current 150g Crawford’s range.

A McVitie’s display stand will also roll out across stores. In trials, says pladis, the unit – which is not much wider than a packet of biscuits – delivered a 4.8% category uplift, equivalent to an annual increase of over £700 in sales per store.

McVitie's-Display-Stand

The field sales team will increase support with a focus on new products including McVitie’s Nibbles and Jacob’s Cracker Crisps, PMPs and a further 1,000 Better Biscuits fixture relays. Since the 2014 launch of the field sales programme, the team has delivered a 20% sales uplift through core range in Independents and Retail Clubs. During this period the field sales team carried out visits every four to eight weeks, calling on over 9,000 convenience stores across the country offering category and merchandising advice and equipment solutions and provided 3,200 fixture relays.

Trade communications controller for pladis in the UK, Hena Chandarana comments: “The past two years have seen our new field sales team successfully increase distribution and strengthen relationships with customers by offering relevant category advice and effective equipment solutions as evidenced by our sales success. The focus on NPD and PMPs are set to extend this success even further.

“As the category leader with 50% of the best sellers in Symbols and Independents, including six of the Top 10, we’re committed to supporting our retail partners to grow their business and to develop targeted C&I initiatives that drive the category.”

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