PMP up awareness, push up the sales Price Marked Packs help c-stores show shoppers they offer value and build supplier relationships

The ongoing resurgence of the convenience store sector in the UK, with neighborhood cstores taking the lion’s share of shoppers’ top up missions, is great news for cash & carries and delivered wholesalers

But the fact remains that there are plenty of hard-bitten consumers who need convincing that they aren’t paying through the nose for this added convenience. Hence Price Marked Packs (PMPs) are growing in importance as part of retailers’ offerings to their shoppers and wholesalers’ service to their retail customers.

Stocking PMPs across a spread of popular grocery categories is a powerful way for wholesalers to help c-stores reassure cynical shoppers that their friendly neighborhood retailer isn’t overcharging them. On their website www.cerealsuccess.co.uk, Cereal Partners UK say PMPs really work in this respect, with 50% of shoppers claiming “They make me aware of the true price of the product.” And a third of UK adults say that knowing a convenience store sold PMPs positively influenced their decision to visit that particular store.

It goes further. Cereal Partners say 82% of C-store shoppers specifically search out PMPs: “PMPs are a shopper’s number two priority when deciding to buy a product, but only just feature in the top five considerations for retailers.”

Wholesalers have a major role to play in educating retailers about the power of PMPs and should use POS to highlight PMP products and create eyecatching displays to draw the retailers’ eye.

In product sectors that have seen recent price increases, such as soft drinks, the suppliers are unanimous that PMPs have a key role in communicating value. Simon Gray is Founder and MD of Boost Drinks: “With the sugar levy now in place, PMPs are helpful as retailers and consumers are able to see that the price of our drinks has not changed.” He goes on to say the education process should start in the depot: “We’d recommend wholesalers introduce posters and pallet wraps as well as making their internal promotions clear.”

Amy Burgess, Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners agrees that PMPs are an ideal tool to help retailers grow their sales:

“Research shows 43% of shoppers would be more likely to try a new line in a PMP. Second sitings of PMP offers close to the entrance or by the checkout can help retailers increase their sales. Rich Fisher, Category Development Manager at Red Bull UK says PMPs give C-stores wings: “Price-marked soft drinks deliver 26% more value than plain packs and drive growth by 6%. They build customer confidence in brands and help increase basket spend. PMPs continue to play a strong role in convenience outlets by delivering a greater perception of value to consumers, with 76% of shoppers saying they help a convenience store’s price image.”

Crucially, in Red Bull’s research 21% of shoppers said they wouldn’t buy a soft drink from a convenience store if it wasn’t a PMP and 22% of convenience store shoppers bought PMP’s ‘every’ or ‘most times’ they visited a store.

Dan Newell, Confections Marketing Manager at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, agrees about PMPs’ pulling power: “More than two thirds of shoppers buy PMPs in convenience stores as competitive pricing encourages impulse sales. Currently, 68% of retailers stock a selection of price marked packs as part of their confectionery offering.”

PMPs get taken for granted but they have the power to transform the way shoppers buy a brand.

Angela Daulby, UK Group Sales Director of Kepak Convenience Foods, says thanks to the introduction of the Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin, price-marked at £1.50, Rustlers now features in the key consumption occasions of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Committed to this means of promotion, Rustlers also offers its other top-selling SKUs as £2 PMPs. Keeping you posted about PMPs More new PMPs are launched every week. Here are some recent introductions:

* Britvic is driving sales of carbonated drinks in 330ml cans through a new mix and match PMP promotion. Following Britvic’s mix and match 2 for 1 on PET bottles, the new mix and match can promotion offers two cans for £1 and gives retailers 40% profit on return. The promotion runs across the Britvic and PepsiCo portfolio.

* K P Snacks has launched larger PMP cases, rising from 12 to 16 packs across its £1 PMP range to help retailers manage demand, as part of its implementation of feedback from its SnacKPartner Ambassador retailer programme.

* Halls Relief Candy have unveiled new PMPs ahead of the winter, to direct retailers to the top sellers over lower rotating SKUs and generate customer trust through clear pricing

* Yorkshire Tea is offering Yorkshire Gold 40 tea bag and Yorkshire Tea Decaf 40 PMPs at £1.99, perfect size for a top-up shop. With impulse buying running at the highest in three years, Greg Harvey, Channel Controller at Taylors of Harrogate, says wholesalers should encourage retailers to group tea bag PMPs with add-on products like biscuits, cakes and even newspapers and magazines.

* Original Ready brek is one of the healthiest cereals in the breakfast category. The rise in awareness of oats’ health benefits has increased demand for porridge, a strong seller as the weather gets colder. Ready brek Original is available in a 250g PMP, price £1.

* Mars Wrigley Confectionery is out to grow the gum category with the launch of its £2 RRP EXTRA sugarfree gum PMP 46 pellet bottle across best-selling core flavours, Peppermint and Spearmint. For retailers, the new PMP bottle will help improve rate of sale, as purchase intent in the gum category has been shown to significantly decline when priced above £2.

* Red Bull’s Core 4 product range is available in PMP formats, including Red Bull Original 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and Red Bull Sugarfree 250ml.

* Boost Drinks has launched limited edition Cosmic Glow 250ml PMP can at 49p.

* Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is launching a 2-cup pack at just 69p

* PG Tips is adding two new PMPs to The Tasty Decaf range, 35s PMP RRP £1.69 and 70s PMP, RRP £2.65