Here comes summer… BBQ’s and summer food and drinks make money, rain or shine

As the weather gets warmer, now’s the time for UK wholesalers to look at the sales opportunity presented by BBQs and summer food and drinks, both in retail and out of home.

When the sun’s out, we want to be outside enjoying it. And on the BBQ front, whether we’re in the city, the suburbs or the countryside, the smell of charcoal smoke is enough to set us drooling. We were seriously spoilt last summer, reported to be the UK’s joint hottest on record, with gardens and parks across England seeing a surge in family and friends spontaneously gathering for outdoor barbecue occasions. So this year we have high expectations.

Easter falls late this year, with Good Friday on April 19, followed by the Early May Bank Holiday on Monday May 6 and the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday May 27. So, if the sun comes out on schedule, people are likely to start barbecuing promptly and carry on right through to September. Here’s our taste of what the leading suppliers have to say about how to “sell the sizzle” this summer and beyond.

SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS

“Summer is an important season for table sauces, dressings and condiments category, because of BBQs and summer parties,” says Matthew Trembath, Channel Category Manager at Unilever. “The eating enhancers category is outperforming the total market in the convenience channel. Ketchup and mayonnaise are the key products, accounting for over half of the category, and have year-round appeal.”

Growth areas also include flavoured mayonnaise, squeezy formats, salad dressings and other thick sauces, such as BBQ and hot sauces. Taste is still the number 1 driver, which has led to a huge increase in non-traditional sauces such as hot and spicy and speciality dressings.

“As a nation we’re travelling more than ever,” says Andre Burger, Vice President for Foods, Unilever UKI, “and exposed to a huge variety of different flavours, which is driving innovation in BBQ sauces. We’re not just trying exotic foods in restaurants or takeaways, we’re experimenting with different cuisines at home, with more than a fifth of us eating up to seven types of global cuisines within a three-month period..

“Last year we launched the ultimate spicy mayonnaise with Hellmann’s Chilli Mayonnaise Fired by TABASCO, in response to people wanting to spice up their meals. This combines the great taste credentials of both Hellmann’s and TABASCO, in a spicy mayo that surpasses all others. Likewise, Hellmann’s Hot Dog Sauce, with a hit of mustard and red chilli, provides a touch of heat to brighten up bangers of all kinds, meaty and meat-free.”

The growing desire to follow plantbased diets is based on key factors such as improving health and helping the environment. Andre Burger says 34% of UK meat eaters reduced their meat consumption last year – and this is set to rise, offering a huge opportunity for food brands:

“The plant-based trend is also giving salads a boost, with more salads being chosen for main meals rather than as side dishes. As a result, consumers are looking for easy ways to recreate the salads they eat when they’re out.” In response to grain-based salads’ growing popularity, Hellmann’s has developed a range of premium vinaigrettes to complement on-trend salads like quinoa, lentils and couscous. New Hellmann’s Mango Vinaigrette, Red Pepper Vinaigrette and Tomato & Beetroot Vinaigrette contain real fruit and vegetable pulp to add a unique dimension to main meal salads and are vegan-friendly.

BURGER BUNS AND BREAD

The UK burger market is worth a supersized £3.3bn and continues to grow, with burgers consumed on 9.1% of all eating out occasions, says Kate Sykes,

Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake.

This makes burgers a must-have for all out of home BBQ menus. But with the number of outlets offering gourmet burgers growing daily, it’s crucial that wholesalers provide a burger offering that help customers meet consumers’ expectations. The trend to premiumisation over the last three years means more quality options are expected wherever customers are eating or drinking out, and this also applies to BBQ menus.

“It’s essential when considering which BBQ items to stock to think about the carriers,” says Kate. On average, 69% of a burger is the bun, making it an integral part of the eating experience. With the proportion being so high, it’s no surprise 84% of consumers agree that a high-quality bun is a key characteristic of a gourmet burger.

Trading up from a standard seeded bun to Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana Brioche Bun or Americana Grill Marked Burger Bun costs very little, but can have a huge impact on how a burger offer is received. It’s also a profitable opportunity for both wholesalers and outlets, as consumers are happy to pay over a pound extra for their burger to come in a gourmet bun.

Premium burger buns provide the potential to grow sales and margin and are playing an integral part in the rise of gourmet burgers. As consumers continue to focus on great quality ingredients and the visual presentation of the meal, it’s crucial wholesalers stock on-trend and premium ingredients, high quality burger fillings and gourmet burgers buns. With 71% of pubs and restaurants already serving gourmet buns, it’s vital that wholesalers are in a position to supply demand.

Finally, for many burger outlets the secret to taking a gourmet burger to the next level is grilling the bun. Lantmännen Unibake has tapped into this emerging trend with their Americana Grill Marked Burger Bun – a pre-sliced, glazed, burger bun with grill marks applied to the top to give an ontrend, authentic ‘just-grilled’ look.

“BBQs used to be so simple,” says Jon Turonnet, Foodservice Sales Manager, Brioche Pasquier. “A basic salad, a few beers and lots of meat. But times have changed, and even though meat is still an important element, there are plenty of other tastes and diets to take into account.”

A very easy, quick way to give barbecued hot dogs an on-trend gourmet twist is to offer brioche rolls such as Brioche Pasquier’s Pains au Lait, the perfect partner for sausages. The light sweetness and soft texture of the brioche complements barbecue flavours perfectly and they are conveniently sized to hold the sausage whether meat or vegetarian.

Brioche Pasquier have introduced special packaging for their French-style Pains au Lait, showing how it can be used in a BBQ context. Retail customers can display these packages with rolls and bread, and also alongside BBQ or seasonal displays.

SIDES

When it comes to barbeques, side options such as fries or other potato products are key to complement the meat and meat free ‘mains’ and increase sales, says Shah Khan, Marketing Manager, Aviko UK & Ireland: “Summer is a time for al fresco dining and social gatherings, especially when the sun is shining. So it’s vital for both wholesalers and retailers to be well stocked when it comes to barbecue food and drink, and make the most of this profitable opportunity.”

The rise in foodservice of indulgent products like extra crunchy, triple fried chips is driving consumers to recreate these dishes at home, but they don’t necessarily have the time or experience. Aviko’s Thick Cut Super Crunch Oven Chips enable retailers to meet the growing demand for premium frozen fries – the perfect pairing for barbecued meat or vegetables – with the chips featuring an innovative coating for a crispier, crunchy texture.

Other Aviko chef’s standard products that are ideal for barbeques include Rib Cut Sweet Potato Fries, Golden Hash Browns, Bite Sized Hash Browns and Herb Diced Potatoes.

WORLD FOODS

The BBQ tradition has grown beyond bangers, burgers and buns to include finger-licking tastes from around the world. Wanis Marketing Manager, Julz Davis quotes Mintel’s World Cuisine Report, which says Brits are seeking out more adventurous flavours inspired by tropical holidays, as well as interest in recreating restaurant recipes at home, trendy cooking programs, the growth of street food and social media like Instagram.

“As a result of all these trends,” says Julz, “we saw impressive growth last year in demand for world foods, particularly our Caribbean and Mediterranean ranges.”

Wanis represents a comprehensive range of world food brands from the Caribbean and the Mediterranean to Asia and Africa, including the Tropical Sun range. Wanis’s World Food Barbecue selection includes the ‘Proud to Be Made in Jamaica’ range, with a wet Jerk Seasoning and Scotch Bonnet Sauce. The ‘Proud to…” range also includes mild and traditional Jerk Barbecue sauces, dry Jerk Seasoning, and award-winning Coconut Oils and Coconut Treacle, featured on Master Chefs. Wanis’s Tropical Sun products can be used as marinades or seasoning for meat, fish or vegetable dishes.

Wanis are also experts in Mediterranean cuisine. Last year they relaunched the Bevelini range, a leading Mediterranean foods supplier they distribute here. The line up includes premium quality olives, olive oils, pickled peppers, lemon dressing, lemon juice and a selection of new spices including Mediterranean hot seasoning, oregano and thyme.

BBQ SNACKS

The barbecue and what goes on it is the main event of these occasions, but we all love snacking on nibbles while waiting for the hot food to cook. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks says crisps snacks and nuts should also be seen as an important part of the barbeque opportunity:

“Last-minute shopping is an important driver in barbecuing and with the UK weather being so unpredictable, consumers often only have hours to prepare. Retailers looking to maximise on the opportunity should learn from the grocery channel and consider dual-siting and dedicated displays, space dependent, to make shopping as simple as possible and boost impulse sales. And the wholesalers should encourage them, as well.”

KP Snacks has a popular range of products that are perfect for the summer season, from the best-selling KP Nuts, perfect when paired with a cold beer, to the new McCoy’s Muchos, ideal for dipping, and POM-BEAR to keep the kids happy. popchips’ flavourpacked core range includes BBQ, the most popular variant. Under 100 calories per serving and a third less fat than the market leader, popchips provide a permissible snack option without compromising on flavour. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks says retailers can encourage snack sales for BBQs by ensuring key SKUs are visible, with dedicated BBQ fixtures and promotions to make shopping easy and boosting crosscategory buying by positioning nuts and crisps in the Beers, Wines & Spirits aisle.

No barbecue is complete without a good soft drinks selection, says Trystan Farnworth, Commercial Director for Convenience and Impulse at Britvic. Ready in time for summer, Britvic’s latest addition to its Pepsi MAX range is a raspberry flavour to help retailers capitalise on the consumer trend for the flavour, with raspberry flavoured soft drink launches growing +31%.

Pepsi MAX is a driving force in no sugar cola, worth £365m and growing 25.2% in value year-on-year. The MAX flavours are a key part of the Pepsi portfolio, with cherry and ginger having already amassed £80.5m RSV since launch. Pepsi MAX Cherry is the number one flavoured cola, and the new Raspberry variant will help retailers continue to drive growth in the category.

Pepsi MAX is a continued success story in soft drinks, after 61% of the nation chose the taste of Pepsi MAX over the best-selling cola following the brand’s Taste Challenge last summer.

Soft drinks are always high on the shopping list for consumers, as people look for refreshments while outside in the sun, says Amy Burgess, Senior Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP.)

“Providing a range of soft drinks in larger, sharing formats, like 330ml can multipacks of Sprite or Fanta gives consumers a variety of pack sizes to choose from. With many people likely to hold impromptu barbecues, retailers should make space in the chiller for instant consumption formats, such as 330ml cans of Coca-Cola zero sugar in Peach and the new Raspberry variant, appealing to shoppers looking for new flavours.”

Amy Burgess says the growing trends for premiumisation and health and wellness are likely to impact on barbecue occasions this summer. The adult soft drink sector continues to grow, thanks in part to the growing teetotal trend. Those looking to reduce their alcohol intake often turn to adult soft drinks as an alternative, so retailers should have a wide offering of premium drinks such as Appletiser to cater to this growing market.

Staying with summer drinking, Amy says the demand for premium spirits is also increasing the popularity of premium mixers: “Consumers are drinking less but drinking better and are prepared to pay more for indulgent beverages. This is helping to grow adult soft drinks, as shoppers look to stock up their drinks cabinet with products of higher quality. The health and wellness trend has also exploded in recent years, with consumers becoming more in tune with their wellbeing and this is affecting the way they shop.”

Creating show-stopping displays can help increase sales ahead of the barbecue season, especially impulse buys:

“These displays could see best-selling soft drink brands like Coca-Cola, Schweppes and glacéau smartwater stocked alongside products like burgers and buns, condiments and even disposable barbecues, so consumers can stock up on everything they need in one place and providing value for money. Highlighting displays prominently in store can play a role in encouraging consumers to plan spontaneous barbecues when they’re shopping for dinner items, leading to incremental growth for retailers.”

CCEP’s latest innovations for summer 2019 include Fanta Grape Zero a new grape-flavoured addition to the Fanta Zero range, which is now worth £52.8m and appeals to the one-third of young adults between 16-19 in Great Britain who drink Fanta. In February CCEP expanded their Capri-Sun portfolio, the number one juice brand, with a new cherry variant. Cherry is the fastest-growing flavour in the soft drinks category and increasing in value by £17m in 2018.

Also new from CCEP are two new light cola flavours, Diet Coke Twisted Strawberry and Coca-Cola zero sugar, reaching out to the 7.4 million households who buy flavoured colas and building on the success of Coca- Cola zero sugar Peach, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Diet Coke Exotic Mango. As alcohol-free goes premium, the market for zero-alcohol drinks with adult appeal is on the move, and bringing authentic, traditional flavours to the table is the name of the game. Heartsease Farm, a brand from Radnor Hills, has moved fast to position its classic drinks for a discerning audience.

“We wanted to tap into the growing audience for non-alcoholic premium drinks that taste just as good and look just as appealing as an alcoholic beverage,” says Radnor Hills Managing Director William Watkins, who founded the company in 1996. “We wanted to create something delicious and different, and Heartsease Farm truly reflects this.”

The brand’s seven premium sparking presses are made with all-natural ingredients including real fruit juices, and are lightly pasteurised to preserve quality. Heartsease is the name of the family farm in Powys, mid Wales, where Radnor Hills drinks have been produced for over 25 years. It’s also the source of the drinks’ spring water, collected from 12 boreholes on the farm’s land, which has been in the Watkins family since 1903. State-of-theart technology is used to extract the water, which is rich in trace minerals, from below the ground and all products are bottled at source on the farm.

The range of pressés includes Apple & Rhubarb, Elderflower, Traditional Lemonade, Fiery Ginger Beer, Strawberry & Mint, Raspberry Lemonade and Blackcurrant Crush. “Our Heartsease Farm range of drinks reflect the heritage of the farm and our passion for great flavours,” says William. “We use only the best available ingredients from the countryside, blended with our own spring water, to traditional British recipes.”

Heartsease Farm pressés make the perfect addition to any summer BBQ, making delicious family friendly mocktails and virgin cocktails served over ice on those sizzling hot days! Available in three fully recyclable sizes: in 330ml and 750ml glass bottles as well as a plastic 425ml PET bottle.

To go with their world foods range, Wanis Marketing Manager Julz Davis and colleagues offer an array of thirstquenching soft and alcoholic drinks for a range of palates. Wanis’s 100% Natural Coconut Water can be drunk neat, used as a cocktail mixer or as a cooking ingredient to flavour BBQ charcoal. Other refreshing drink options include Tropical Vibes, an exotic fruit juice-based drink for which Wanis are exclusive distributors. An ideal summer-time drink or cocktail mixer, flavours include Mango & Carrot, Fruit Punch, Sorrel & Ginger and Pineapple & Ginger. The range has now been extended to include Guava & Lychee, Pineapple and Coconut and Exotic Fruits, now available together in limited edition mixed-packs.

Jacqui Chapman, Shopper Marketing Manager at Twinings Foodservice, confirms that despite the unpredictable British weather, BBQ dining has seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years when it comes to eating out, but adult soft drinks aren’t keeping pace.

“Alcoholic beverages for the grownups and soft drinks for the kids are the obvious choice with BBQ food, but the ONS figures show an 18% decline in alcohol consumption in the past decade and now one in five British adults are teetotal.”

Twinings’ research indicates 68% of adult consumers would choose a healthier alternative to a soft drink in foodservice outlets if the option was available, while 73% would like more sugar-free options. Twinings new Cold In’fuse range is the perfect opportunity for foodservice operators to offer customers something a little different, available in three fruity flavours, Watermelon, Mint & Strawberry, Passionfruit, Mango & Blood Orange and ‘Blueberry, Apple & Blackcurrant. Also in time for this summer, the award-winning and fast-growing Rejuvenation Water brand is introducing a new range of plant-based protein/amino acid and electrolytes enriched sparkling waters. Containing botanical extracts, there are three ontrend flavours in the new hydration+ range: Cherry & Cranberry; Tropical; Lime & Lemon, all in fully recyclable 250ml slimline cans. The drinks are all natural, low calorie (50 kcal or less), low sugar and vegan, at RRP £1.39.

The Rejuvenation Water hydration+ sparkling waters not only provide extra hydration from the electrolytes, but functional benefits from the protein/amino acids which help to fuel the immune system, aid protein absorption and promote healthy cognitive function.

Kris Ingham, founder of Rejuvenation Water says: “With protein water and functional drinks set to be one of the major trends this year, the Rejuvenation Water hydration+ drinks range is set to be in high demand from consumers who want a great tasting adult soft drink with added health benefits on the go.”

Consumed on its own as a delicious alternative to sugary soft drinks, used as a healthier alternative mixer with spirits or combined in a delicious cocktail or mocktail, the possibilities are limitless. In-fact with dehydration, lowered blood sugar levels and inhibition of amino acids being the main side effects of alcohol consumption, Rejuvenation Water hydration+ range really is the perfect adult soft drink to have on the go, on a night out or for a big night in.”

Launching in March, retailers can buy the Rejuvenation Water hydration+ range from Suma Wholefoods, JD’s Foods and Costco. Other wholesalers are expected to follow soon.

Wanis also exclusively distribute Carib, the No1 lager brand for the Caribbean, a full-bodied, clear and refreshing lager with 5.2% ABV, and the Shandy Carib range. The Ginger and Sorrel variants combine a light and refreshing lager with classically tropical tastes uniquely associated with the sunshine islands. Shandy Carib has a 1.2% ABV, a delicious addition to the growing global popularity of lowalcohol drinks. Research suggests that although low-alcohol drinks are performing well globally, among Europeans the rise is being driven by growing demand from women, improved attitudes to health and responsible drinking, and the rising cost of stronger alcoholic drinks.

The wine market has been premiumising in recent years and as part of this shoppers are trading up for the barbecue occasion, says Toni Ingram, Head of Marketing for Pernod Ricard UK.

“People entertaining at home are looking to impress guests, and want reassurance that their purchase is good quality and will be well received. Trading up in well-known brands is ideal as consumers have confidence in wine brands they know and love, with the opportunity to offer something a bit more special from their regular choice.

Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rosé and Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel are fantastic quality wines at affordable prices and a key focus for us this year. Brancott Estate Terroir Series is growing at 45.5% and out-performing the category.”

David White, Marketing Director at Accolade Wines, has some very big summer drinking news for the 2019 season. There are new special occasion labels for Accolade’s second largest brand, Echo Falls, a new rosé wine and gin fusion under the Echo Falls brand and a new Alcohol Free Chardonnay under its best-selling Hardy’s brand.

The UK’s number one wine company, Accolade Wines, has introduced an exciting new packaging format to its Echo Falls range, rolling out 30 limitededition occasion labels across its top four still wine variants, Chardonnay, Merlot, White Zinfandel and Pinot Grigio. The new labels feature moments to share such as ‘It’s your birthday!’, ‘Fri-Yay’, ‘I love you’ and ‘Movie Night’, promote special occasions, sharing and celebrating the everyday.

David White says “Echo Falls is a fun, spontaneous brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Our target group, 30 plus female consumers, identify with its fun and positive brand messaging, which is all about enjoyment. The new occasion-driven labels show its relaxed, spontaneous spirit.”

Also new this summer, Echo Falls Rosé Wine & Spirit Fusion joins Accolade’s best-selling portfolio and is a blend of wine, fruit fusions and vodka in response to gin’s booming popularity, which is growing at 47.6%. Echo Falls spirit fusion is made by blending the brand’s highly popular rosé wine with a gin infusion and summer fruit flavours, with an ABV of 9%.Completing the line-up, Accolade has also launched a new Alcohol Free Chardonnay under its best-selling Hardy’s brand. With the low and no category in 19.9% year-on-year growth, Hardy’s has listened to the market and created a product that delivers on taste and quality and can be enjoyed by a broad range of consumers across multiple occasions.

David White says: “Alcohol-free wine represents a growing £17m profit opportunity for the trade, and Hardy’s Alcohol Free is perfect to help capitalise on this trend. The UK’s favourite wine and the number one wine brand, Hardy’s is a trusted choice for consumers to try no alcohol wine.”

Thomas Bennett, Trade Marketing Controller at Global Brands says the BBQ season provides a huge opportunity for independent retailers to stock up on popular brands, summer drinks and make the most of merchandising to generate more sales, cater to existing customers and reach new ones:

“The best way to make the most of the season is to stock appropriate drinks to cater to the consumer demand. Our cocktail-in-a-can brand, Flare, is a perfect choice. Exclusive to the independent sector, affordable, and available in three delicious flavours, Mojito, On the Beach and Cosmo, Flare provides independent retailers and wholesalers with a brand consumers can’t buy elsewhere, price-marked at £1, and growing 47% in volume and value.. Crooked Beverage Co. is a new-world RTD, Vegan Society-registered alcoholic soda with less than 5g of sugar per 100ml, available in three light flavours, ‘Mother Moon’ (Peach & Pomegranate), ‘Midnight Stage’ (Blood Orange & Passion Fruit) and ‘Dayglo Skies’ (Raspberry & Lime.)

Global Brands’ VK mixed pack, containing 10x275ml bottles and growing 12% in impulse is ideal for BBQs and summer drinking. VK’s newest flavour, Watermelon, released in February, is available in 70cl format, price-marked at £2.49. VK Watermelon was chosen after a crowd-sourcing campaign last year calling on the public to submit flavour suggestions. The best performing traditional RTD in the offtrade, VK is growing +22% in value and +21% in volume.

Finally, Hooch is a must-stock for summer months, available in fruity lemon, and tropical Hoola Hooch. Over half of Hooch consumers prefer drinking at home to going out, so it’s also fitting for big summer nights at home. Each can is Price Marked at £1, and packaged in a 250ml can. Global Brands’ line-up also includes All Shook Up, Franklin & Sons premium soft drinks and tonics, Hoopers and Amigos Tequila Beer.

Summer is a peak time for cider, for the BBQ season and also for music festivals, a huge opportunity for independent retailers near festival sites. Rob Salvesen, Head of Marketing at Kopparberg says the Swedish cider brand known for unlocking good times outside with friends is returning to the award winning We Are FSTVL this summer for the third year running, this time as headline partner. To highlight the partnership, the two brands have teamed up to give three competition winners and their mates the chance to experience the best of the festival. “

The three winners will each have a preloaded wristband with a £200 drink allowance and access to official after party tickets plus special festival merchandise and cases of Kopparberg flavours. The competition is live across We Are FSTVL’s social channels. Kopparberg Black on draught is the brand’s first foray into dark fruit flavours, giving revellers the chance to taste the premium apple cider with blackberry and blackcurrant, and debuting at the award-winning festival for the first time. Kopparberg Black will be available on draught across all bar venues.

Music fans and cider lovers also have a choice of Kopparberg festival favourites; Strawberry & Lime, Pear and Mixed Fruit, and the Strawberry & Lime alcohol-free version. Rob Salvesen says: “The freedom people feel at a festival whilst enjoying a cold cider is universal.”

As the weather gets warmer, now’s the time for UK wholesalers to look at the sales opportunity presented by BBQs and summer food and drinks, both in retail and out of home.

When the sun’s out, we want to be outside enjoying it. And on the BBQ front, whether we’re in the city, the suburbs or the countryside, the smell of charcoal smoke is enough to set us drooling. We were seriously spoilt last summer, reported to be the UK’s joint hottest on record, with gardens and parks across England seeing a surge in family and friends spontaneously gathering for outdoor barbecue occasions. So this year we have high expectations.

Easter falls late this year, with Good Friday on April 19, followed by the Early May Bank Holiday on Monday May 6 and the Spring Bank Holiday on Monday May 27. So, if the sun comes out on schedule, people are likely to start barbecuing promptly and carry on right through to September. Here’s our taste of what the leading suppliers have to say about how to “sell the sizzle” this summer and beyond.

SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS

“Summer is an important season for table sauces, dressings and condiments category, because of BBQs and summer parties,” says Matthew Trembath, Channel Category Manager at Unilever. “The eating enhancers category is outperforming the total market in the convenience channel. Ketchup and mayonnaise are the key products, accounting for over half of the category, and have year-round appeal.”

Growth areas also include flavoured mayonnaise, squeezy formats, salad dressings and other thick sauces, such as BBQ and hot sauces. Taste is still the number 1 driver, which has led to a huge increase in non-traditional sauces such as hot and spicy and speciality dressings.

“As a nation we’re travelling more than ever,” says Andre Burger, Vice President for Foods, Unilever UKI, “and exposed to a huge variety of different flavours, which is driving innovation in BBQ sauces. We’re not just trying exotic foods in restaurants or takeaways, we’re experimenting with different cuisines at home, with more than a fifth of us eating up to seven types of global cuisines within a three-month period..

“Last year we launched the ultimate spicy mayonnaise with Hellmann’s Chilli Mayonnaise Fired by TABASCO, in response to people wanting to spice up their meals. This combines the great taste credentials of both Hellmann’s and TABASCO, in a spicy mayo that surpasses all others. Likewise, Hellmann’s Hot Dog Sauce, with a hit of mustard and red chilli, provides a touch of heat to brighten up bangers of all kinds, meaty and meat-free.”

The growing desire to follow plantbased diets is based on key factors such as improving health and helping the environment. Andre Burger says 34% of UK meat eaters reduced their meat consumption last year – and this is set to rise, offering a huge opportunity for food brands:

“The plant-based trend is also giving salads a boost, with more salads being chosen for main meals rather than as side dishes. As a result, consumers are looking for easy ways to recreate the salads they eat when they’re out.” In response to grain-based salads’ growing popularity, Hellmann’s has developed a range of premium vinaigrettes to complement on-trend salads like quinoa, lentils and couscous. New Hellmann’s Mango Vinaigrette, Red Pepper Vinaigrette and Tomato & Beetroot Vinaigrette contain real fruit and vegetable pulp to add a unique dimension to main meal salads and are vegan-friendly.

BURGER BUNS AND BREAD

The UK burger market is worth a supersized £3.3bn and continues to grow, with burgers consumed on 9.1% of all eating out occasions, says Kate Sykes,

Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake.

This makes burgers a must-have for all out of home BBQ menus. But with the number of outlets offering gourmet burgers growing daily, it’s crucial that wholesalers provide a burger offering that help customers meet consumers’ expectations. The trend to premiumisation over the last three years means more quality options are expected wherever customers are eating or drinking out, and this also applies to BBQ menus.

“It’s essential when considering which BBQ items to stock to think about the carriers,” says Kate. On average, 69% of a burger is the bun, making it an integral part of the eating experience. With the proportion being so high, it’s no surprise 84% of consumers agree that a high-quality bun is a key characteristic of a gourmet burger.

Trading up from a standard seeded bun to Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana Brioche Bun or Americana Grill Marked Burger Bun costs very little, but can have a huge impact on how a burger offer is received. It’s also a profitable opportunity for both wholesalers and outlets, as consumers are happy to pay over a pound extra for their burger to come in a gourmet bun.

Premium burger buns provide the potential to grow sales and margin and are playing an integral part in the rise of gourmet burgers. As consumers continue to focus on great quality ingredients and the visual presentation of the meal, it’s crucial wholesalers stock on-trend and premium ingredients, high quality burger fillings and gourmet burgers buns. With 71% of pubs and restaurants already serving gourmet buns, it’s vital that wholesalers are in a position to supply demand.

Finally, for many burger outlets the secret to taking a gourmet burger to the next level is grilling the bun. Lantmännen Unibake has tapped into this emerging trend with their Americana Grill Marked Burger Bun – a pre-sliced, glazed, burger bun with grill marks applied to the top to give an ontrend, authentic ‘just-grilled’ look.

“BBQs used to be so simple,” says Jon Turonnet, Foodservice Sales Manager, Brioche Pasquier. “A basic salad, a few beers and lots of meat. But times have changed, and even though meat is still an important element, there are plenty of other tastes and diets to take into account.”

A very easy, quick way to give barbecued hot dogs an on-trend gourmet twist is to offer brioche rolls such as Brioche Pasquier’s Pains au Lait, the perfect partner for sausages. The light sweetness and soft texture of the brioche complements barbecue flavours perfectly and they are conveniently sized to hold the sausage whether meat or vegetarian.

Brioche Pasquier have introduced special packaging for their French-style Pains au Lait, showing how it can be used in a BBQ context. Retail customers can display these packages with rolls and bread, and also alongside BBQ or seasonal displays.

SIDES

When it comes to barbeques, side options such as fries or other potato products are key to complement the meat and meat free ‘mains’ and increase sales, says Shah Khan, Marketing Manager, Aviko UK & Ireland: “Summer is a time for al fresco dining and social gatherings, especially when the sun is shining. So it’s vital for both wholesalers and retailers to be well stocked when it comes to barbecue food and drink, and make the most of this profitable opportunity.”

The rise in foodservice of indulgent products like extra crunchy, triple fried chips is driving consumers to recreate these dishes at home, but they don’t necessarily have the time or experience. Aviko’s Thick Cut Super Crunch Oven Chips enable retailers to meet the growing demand for premium frozen fries – the perfect pairing for barbecued meat or vegetables – with the chips featuring an innovative coating for a crispier, crunchy texture.

Other Aviko chef’s standard products that are ideal for barbeques include Rib Cut Sweet Potato Fries, Golden Hash Browns, Bite Sized Hash Browns and Herb Diced Potatoes.

WORLD FOODS

The BBQ tradition has grown beyond bangers, burgers and buns to include finger-licking tastes from around the world. Wanis Marketing Manager, Julz Davis quotes Mintel’s World Cuisine Report, which says Brits are seeking out more adventurous flavours inspired by tropical holidays, as well as interest in recreating restaurant recipes at home, trendy cooking programs, the growth of street food and social media like Instagram.

“As a result of all these trends,” says Julz, “we saw impressive growth last year in demand for world foods, particularly our Caribbean and Mediterranean ranges.”

Wanis represents a comprehensive range of world food brands from the Caribbean and the Mediterranean to Asia and Africa, including the Tropical Sun range. Wanis’s World Food Barbecue selection includes the ‘Proud to Be Made in Jamaica’ range, with a wet Jerk Seasoning and Scotch Bonnet Sauce. The ‘Proud to…” range also includes mild and traditional Jerk Barbecue sauces, dry Jerk Seasoning, and award-winning Coconut Oils and Coconut Treacle, featured on Master Chefs. Wanis’s Tropical Sun products can be used as marinades or seasoning for meat, fish or vegetable dishes.

Wanis are also experts in Mediterranean cuisine. Last year they relaunched the Bevelini range, a leading Mediterranean foods supplier they distribute here. The line up includes premium quality olives, olive oils, pickled peppers, lemon dressing, lemon juice and a selection of new spices including Mediterranean hot seasoning, oregano and thyme.

BBQ SNACKS

The barbecue and what goes on it is the main event of these occasions, but we all love snacking on nibbles while waiting for the hot food to cook. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks says crisps snacks and nuts should also be seen as an important part of the barbeque opportunity:

“Last-minute shopping is an important driver in barbecuing and with the UK weather being so unpredictable, consumers often only have hours to prepare. Retailers looking to maximise on the opportunity should learn from the grocery channel and consider dual-siting and dedicated displays, space dependent, to make shopping as simple as possible and boost impulse sales. And the wholesalers should encourage them, as well.”

KP Snacks has a popular range of products that are perfect for the summer season, from the best-selling KP Nuts, perfect when paired with a cold beer, to the new McCoy’s Muchos, ideal for dipping, and POM-BEAR to keep the kids happy. popchips’ flavourpacked core range includes BBQ, the most popular variant. Under 100 calories per serving and a third less fat than the market leader, popchips provide a permissible snack option without compromising on flavour. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks says retailers can encourage snack sales for BBQs by ensuring key SKUs are visible, with dedicated BBQ fixtures and promotions to make shopping easy and boosting crosscategory buying by positioning nuts and crisps in the Beers, Wines & Spirits aisle.

No barbecue is complete without a good soft drinks selection, says Trystan Farnworth, Commercial Director for Convenience and Impulse at Britvic. Ready in time for summer, Britvic’s latest addition to its Pepsi MAX range is a raspberry flavour to help retailers capitalise on the consumer trend for the flavour, with raspberry flavoured soft drink launches growing +31%.

Pepsi MAX is a driving force in no sugar cola, worth £365m and growing 25.2% in value year-on-year. The MAX flavours are a key part of the Pepsi portfolio, with cherry and ginger having already amassed £80.5m RSV since launch. Pepsi MAX Cherry is the number one flavoured cola, and the new Raspberry variant will help retailers continue to drive growth in the category.

Pepsi MAX is a continued success story in soft drinks, after 61% of the nation chose the taste of Pepsi MAX over the best-selling cola following the brand’s Taste Challenge last summer.

Soft drinks are always high on the shopping list for consumers, as people look for refreshments while outside in the sun, says Amy Burgess, Senior Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP.)

“Providing a range of soft drinks in larger, sharing formats, like 330ml can multipacks of Sprite or Fanta gives consumers a variety of pack sizes to choose from. With many people likely to hold impromptu barbecues, retailers should make space in the chiller for instant consumption formats, such as 330ml cans of Coca-Cola zero sugar in Peach and the new Raspberry variant, appealing to shoppers looking for new flavours.”

Amy Burgess says the growing trends for premiumisation and health and wellness are likely to impact on barbecue occasions this summer. The adult soft drink sector continues to grow, thanks in part to the growing teetotal trend. Those looking to reduce their alcohol intake often turn to adult soft drinks as an alternative, so retailers should have a wide offering of premium drinks such as Appletiser to cater to this growing market.

Staying with summer drinking, Amy says the demand for premium spirits is also increasing the popularity of premium mixers: “Consumers are drinking less but drinking better and are prepared to pay more for indulgent beverages. This is helping to grow adult soft drinks, as shoppers look to stock up their drinks cabinet with products of higher quality. The health and wellness trend has also exploded in recent years, with consumers becoming more in tune with their wellbeing and this is affecting the way they shop.”

Creating show-stopping displays can help increase sales ahead of the barbecue season, especially impulse buys:

“These displays could see best-selling soft drink brands like Coca-Cola, Schweppes and glacéau smartwater stocked alongside products like burgers and buns, condiments and even disposable barbecues, so consumers can stock up on everything they need in one place and providing value for money. Highlighting displays prominently in store can play a role in encouraging consumers to plan spontaneous barbecues when they’re shopping for dinner items, leading to incremental growth for retailers.”

CCEP’s latest innovations for summer 2019 include Fanta Grape Zero a new grape-flavoured addition to the Fanta Zero range, which is now worth £52.8m and appeals to the one-third of young adults between 16-19 in Great Britain who drink Fanta. In February CCEP expanded their Capri-Sun portfolio, the number one juice brand, with a new cherry variant. Cherry is the fastest-growing flavour in the soft drinks category and increasing in value by £17m in 2018.

Also new from CCEP are two new light cola flavours, Diet Coke Twisted Strawberry and Coca-Cola zero sugar, reaching out to the 7.4 million households who buy flavoured colas and building on the success of Coca- Cola zero sugar Peach, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Diet Coke Exotic Mango. As alcohol-free goes premium, the market for zero-alcohol drinks with adult appeal is on the move, and bringing authentic, traditional flavours to the table is the name of the game. Heartsease Farm, a brand from Radnor Hills, has moved fast to position its classic drinks for a discerning audience.

“We wanted to tap into the growing audience for non-alcoholic premium drinks that taste just as good and look just as appealing as an alcoholic beverage,” says Radnor Hills Managing Director William Watkins, who founded the company in 1996. “We wanted to create something delicious and different, and Heartsease Farm truly reflects this.”

The brand’s seven premium sparking presses are made with all-natural ingredients including real fruit juices, and are lightly pasteurised to preserve quality. Heartsease is the name of the family farm in Powys, mid Wales, where Radnor Hills drinks have been produced for over 25 years. It’s also the source of the drinks’ spring water, collected from 12 boreholes on the farm’s land, which has been in the Watkins family since 1903. State-of-theart technology is used to extract the water, which is rich in trace minerals, from below the ground and all products are bottled at source on the farm.

The range of pressés includes Apple & Rhubarb, Elderflower, Traditional Lemonade, Fiery Ginger Beer, Strawberry & Mint, Raspberry Lemonade and Blackcurrant Crush. “Our Heartsease Farm range of drinks reflect the heritage of the farm and our passion for great flavours,” says William. “We use only the best available ingredients from the countryside, blended with our own spring water, to traditional British recipes.”

Heartsease Farm pressés make the perfect addition to any summer BBQ, making delicious family friendly mocktails and virgin cocktails served over ice on those sizzling hot days! Available in three fully recyclable sizes: in 330ml and 750ml glass bottles as well as a plastic 425ml PET bottle.

To go with their world foods range, Wanis Marketing Manager Julz Davis and colleagues offer an array of thirstquenching soft and alcoholic drinks for a range of palates. Wanis’s 100% Natural Coconut Water can be drunk neat, used as a cocktail mixer or as a cooking ingredient to flavour BBQ charcoal. Other refreshing drink options include Tropical Vibes, an exotic fruit juice-based drink for which Wanis are exclusive distributors. An ideal summer-time drink or cocktail mixer, flavours include Mango & Carrot, Fruit Punch, Sorrel & Ginger and Pineapple & Ginger. The range has now been extended to include Guava & Lychee, Pineapple and Coconut and Exotic Fruits, now available together in limited edition mixed-packs.

Jacqui Chapman, Shopper Marketing Manager at Twinings Foodservice, confirms that despite the unpredictable British weather, BBQ dining has seen a significant increase in popularity in recent years when it comes to eating out, but adult soft drinks aren’t keeping pace.

“Alcoholic beverages for the grownups and soft drinks for the kids are the obvious choice with BBQ food, but the ONS figures show an 18% decline in alcohol consumption in the past decade and now one in five British adults are teetotal.”

Twinings’ research indicates 68% of adult consumers would choose a healthier alternative to a soft drink in foodservice outlets if the option was available, while 73% would like more sugar-free options. Twinings new Cold In’fuse range is the perfect opportunity for foodservice operators to offer customers something a little different, available in three fruity flavours, Watermelon, Mint & Strawberry, Passionfruit, Mango & Blood Orange and ‘Blueberry, Apple & Blackcurrant. Also in time for this summer, the award-winning and fast-growing Rejuvenation Water brand is introducing a new range of plant-based protein/amino acid and electrolytes enriched sparkling waters. Containing botanical extracts, there are three ontrend flavours in the new hydration+ range: Cherry & Cranberry; Tropical; Lime & Lemon, all in fully recyclable 250ml slimline cans. The drinks are all natural, low calorie (50 kcal or less), low sugar and vegan, at RRP £1.39.

The Rejuvenation Water hydration+ sparkling waters not only provide extra hydration from the electrolytes, but functional benefits from the protein/amino acids which help to fuel the immune system, aid protein absorption and promote healthy cognitive function.

Kris Ingham, founder of Rejuvenation Water says: “With protein water and functional drinks set to be one of the major trends this year, the Rejuvenation Water hydration+ drinks range is set to be in high demand from consumers who want a great tasting adult soft drink with added health benefits on the go.”

Consumed on its own as a delicious alternative to sugary soft drinks, used as a healthier alternative mixer with spirits or combined in a delicious cocktail or mocktail, the possibilities are limitless. In-fact with dehydration, lowered blood sugar levels and inhibition of amino acids being the main side effects of alcohol consumption, Rejuvenation Water hydration+ range really is the perfect adult soft drink to have on the go, on a night out or for a big night in.”

Launching in March, retailers can buy the Rejuvenation Water hydration+ range from Suma Wholefoods, JD’s Foods and Costco. Other wholesalers are expected to follow soon.

Wanis also exclusively distribute Carib, the No1 lager brand for the Caribbean, a full-bodied, clear and refreshing lager with 5.2% ABV, and the Shandy Carib range. The Ginger and Sorrel variants combine a light and refreshing lager with classically tropical tastes uniquely associated with the sunshine islands. Shandy Carib has a 1.2% ABV, a delicious addition to the growing global popularity of lowalcohol drinks. Research suggests that although low-alcohol drinks are performing well globally, among Europeans the rise is being driven by growing demand from women, improved attitudes to health and responsible drinking, and the rising cost of stronger alcoholic drinks.

The wine market has been premiumising in recent years and as part of this shoppers are trading up for the barbecue occasion, says Toni Ingram, Head of Marketing for Pernod Ricard UK.

“People entertaining at home are looking to impress guests, and want reassurance that their purchase is good quality and will be well received. Trading up in well-known brands is ideal as consumers have confidence in wine brands they know and love, with the opportunity to offer something a bit more special from their regular choice.

Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rosé and Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel are fantastic quality wines at affordable prices and a key focus for us this year. Brancott Estate Terroir Series is growing at 45.5% and out-performing the category.”

David White, Marketing Director at Accolade Wines, has some very big summer drinking news for the 2019 season. There are new special occasion labels for Accolade’s second largest brand, Echo Falls, a new rosé wine and gin fusion under the Echo Falls brand and a new Alcohol Free Chardonnay under its best-selling Hardy’s brand.

The UK’s number one wine company, Accolade Wines, has introduced an exciting new packaging format to its Echo Falls range, rolling out 30 limitededition occasion labels across its top four still wine variants, Chardonnay, Merlot, White Zinfandel and Pinot Grigio. The new labels feature moments to share such as ‘It’s your birthday!’, ‘Fri-Yay’, ‘I love you’ and ‘Movie Night’, promote special occasions, sharing and celebrating the everyday.

David White says “Echo Falls is a fun, spontaneous brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Our target group, 30 plus female consumers, identify with its fun and positive brand messaging, which is all about enjoyment. The new occasion-driven labels show its relaxed, spontaneous spirit.”

Also new this summer, Echo Falls Rosé Wine & Spirit Fusion joins Accolade’s best-selling portfolio and is a blend of wine, fruit fusions and vodka in response to gin’s booming popularity, which is growing at 47.6%. Echo Falls spirit fusion is made by blending the brand’s highly popular rosé wine with a gin infusion and summer fruit flavours, with an ABV of 9%.Completing the line-up, Accolade has also launched a new Alcohol Free Chardonnay under its best-selling Hardy’s brand. With the low and no category in 19.9% year-on-year growth, Hardy’s has listened to the market and created a product that delivers on taste and quality and can be enjoyed by a broad range of consumers across multiple occasions.

David White says: “Alcohol-free wine represents a growing £17m profit opportunity for the trade, and Hardy’s Alcohol Free is perfect to help capitalise on this trend. The UK’s favourite wine and the number one wine brand, Hardy’s is a trusted choice for consumers to try no alcohol wine.”

Thomas Bennett, Trade Marketing Controller at Global Brands says the BBQ season provides a huge opportunity for independent retailers to stock up on popular brands, summer drinks and make the most of merchandising to generate more sales, cater to existing customers and reach new ones:

“The best way to make the most of the season is to stock appropriate drinks to cater to the consumer demand. Our cocktail-in-a-can brand, Flare, is a perfect choice. Exclusive to the independent sector, affordable, and available in three delicious flavours, Mojito, On the Beach and Cosmo, Flare provides independent retailers and wholesalers with a brand consumers can’t buy elsewhere, price-marked at £1, and growing 47% in volume and value.. Crooked Beverage Co. is a new-world RTD, Vegan Society-registered alcoholic soda with less than 5g of sugar per 100ml, available in three light flavours, ‘Mother Moon’ (Peach & Pomegranate), ‘Midnight Stage’ (Blood Orange & Passion Fruit) and ‘Dayglo Skies’ (Raspberry & Lime.)

Global Brands’ VK mixed pack, containing 10x275ml bottles and growing 12% in impulse is ideal for BBQs and summer drinking. VK’s newest flavour, Watermelon, released in February, is available in 70cl format, price-marked at £2.49. VK Watermelon was chosen after a crowd-sourcing campaign last year calling on the public to submit flavour suggestions. The best performing traditional RTD in the offtrade, VK is growing +22% in value and +21% in volume.

Finally, Hooch is a must-stock for summer months, available in fruity lemon, and tropical Hoola Hooch. Over half of Hooch consumers prefer drinking at home to going out, so it’s also fitting for big summer nights at home. Each can is Price Marked at £1, and packaged in a 250ml can. Global Brands’ line-up also includes All Shook Up, Franklin & Sons premium soft drinks and tonics, Hoopers and Amigos Tequila Beer.

Summer is a peak time for cider, for the BBQ season and also for music festivals, a huge opportunity for independent retailers near festival sites. Rob Salvesen, Head of Marketing at Kopparberg says the Swedish cider brand known for unlocking good times outside with friends is returning to the award winning We Are FSTVL this summer for the third year running, this time as headline partner. To highlight the partnership, the two brands have teamed up to give three competition winners and their mates the chance to experience the best of the festival. “

The three winners will each have a preloaded wristband with a £200 drink allowance and access to official after party tickets plus special festival merchandise and cases of Kopparberg flavours. The competition is live across We Are FSTVL’s social channels. Kopparberg Black on draught is the brand’s first foray into dark fruit flavours, giving revellers the chance to taste the premium apple cider with blackberry and blackcurrant, and debuting at the award-winning festival for the first time. Kopparberg Black will be available on draught across all bar venues.

Music fans and cider lovers also have a choice of Kopparberg festival favourites; Strawberry & Lime, Pear and Mixed Fruit, and the Strawberry & Lime alcohol-free version. Rob Salvesen says: “The freedom people feel at a festival whilst enjoying a cold cider is universal.”