Your route to profits from people on the move Tapping the UK’s appetite for food and drink on the move

As our lives get busier and busier, our appetite for Food 2 Go gets ever stronger. The dream category for marketers, retailers and wholesalers, it’s a rapidly expanding sector taking in both food and drink, driven by younger consumers wanting ever greater variety and convenience but appealing to all ages. Best of all, Food 2 Go consumers shop the category 24/7, are happy to spend money and there’s always room for new products that satisfy the appetite instantly.

Savoury snacks are classic Food 2 Go staples, enjoyed by millions of us every day. Even though we’re increasingly concerned about healthy living, we still love our savoury snacks. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks says KP and the crisps, snacks and nuts category as a whole are still seeing significant growth, driven by “Better for You” snacking. Flavour is still the number one purchase driver and is integral to KP’s NPD programme.

Backed by a £4m campaign, KP Snacks’ latest launch, McCoy’s Muchos is the company’s biggest ever NPD launch and taps into the growing popularity of Mexican food, now the UK’s fourth largest takeaway cuisine. Muchos also provides a much-needed dose of innovation into the tortilla market.

As part of KP’s ‘Taste for Good’ programme, they have reduced the salt content of various core products including Wheat Crunchies, Discos and McCoy’s Flavours by up to 55% since 2005, and done so, Matt says, without compromising on taste. On top of this, KP don’t use hydrogenated vegetable oil, and all their fried snacks are cooked in sunflower oil. Along with cutting salt content, they have also reduced their saturated fat by 80% across the core brands since 2005. You can read more from Matt Collins in our Supplier Spotlight interview in this issue, Another snacking favourite, Pringles is launching its biggest innovation in four years, with a new rice-based chip carrying eastern-inspired flavours.

Pringles Rice Fusion is the first innovation for the brand since Pringles Tortilla, which became the biggest launch in the chip category in 2015. In the first 12 weeks, Pringles Tortilla generated £8.4m in value sales and 6.3m unit sales.

Based on the insight that 53% of savoury snack buyers are prompted to buy more when they see new flavours and Pringles shoppers buy the most varieties of snacks, the Pringles Rice Fusion range brings three new flavours to the category: Malaysian Red Curry, Indian Tandoori Chicken Masala and Peking Duck with Hoisin Sauce.

The range is priced at £1.99 per 160g can, heroing the new flavours with stand-out colours and the iconic ‘Mr P’ logo. Rice Fusion chips have a lighter texture, with less saturated fat and less salt than traditional Pringles. The range is supported by a £3m investment in exclusive in-store POS, ecommerce, digital, TV and out of home advertising. Staying with snacks, Peter Felix is Commercial Director at natural ingredients specialists RM Curtis, who produce a range of natural snacking options under their Snacking Essentials brand and have a range of ‘shot packs’ designed to deliver a singleportion ‘shot’ of natural energy. These packs are CQUIN compliant, reflecting the trend for on-the-go eating in healthier portion sizes, and the recently updated packaging encourages impulse purchase, with bright colours making product segmentation easy.

RM Curtis are also launching a range of three, high-impact flavour snacking trays under their Snacking Essentials brand, designed to sit by the till-point, offering a healthy alternative impulsepurchase option. The launch is supported with advertising, merchandising, PR support and social media. RM Curtis Commercial Director Peter Felix says: ”Consumers are making many more snacking choices for health reason these days, but they are looking for more than just the protein and fibre benefits that our snacking trays offer. They’re also looking for something to make their taste buds tingle. The three snacking tray options we’re launching are based on the key flavour trends that have made the most impact in the past year. Barbecue flavours continue to perform strongly across snacking, as do Thaibased flavours such as Chilli and Kaffir Lime, so we’ve included both of these in the range’.

Food to go is a proven footfall driver for independent stores wanting to innovate and differentiate their offer to compete with the multiples, says Hannah Morter, Marketing Manager, Customer Insight & Category Management at Country Choice, the Instore Bakery & Foodservice specialists:

“Because it’s harder for consumers to make like for like price comparisons, food to go has the potential to provide a much higher margin compared to traditional grocery, where it’s difficult for independent retailers to justify a premium given the prices in the multiples.”

For convenience stores the evening accounts for only 15% of food to go sales, so it’s important to concentrate on other occasions, says Hannah. Although breakfast starts very early – 6am for many stores – and continues into mid-morning, she points out that the lunchtime trade now starts at around eleven and retailers must be sure their offer reflects this, to capitalise on the early lunchtime trade. About 40% of sandwiches are bought outside the traditional 12-2pm period, so mid-morning to mid-afternoon availability is key to maximise sales, says Hannah Morter. “The other growth area is the mid-morning and midafternoon snack. Coffee, and to some extent tea, are key to this occasion. However, to really maximise this occasion it’s vital to offer link deals involving cakes and pastries. “

It’s all good news for suppliers like Jeremy Gilboy, Managing Director at Carrs Foods, who has been watching these developments with interest. Last July, Carrs launched the St Pierre’s On the Go range, consisting of nine individually wrapped any time snack products, available from wholesale and retail outlets nationwide with RSPs ranging from 69p to £1.

The range includes Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Brioche Swirl, Brioche Chocolate Chip Roll, Caramel Waffle, Caramel Cake Bar and Chocolate Cake Bar. Each product is individually wrapped for convenience, so they can be eaten with one hand and cause minimal mess, important factors in food to go.

Global flavour fusions, healthier alternatives, convenience, vegetarianism and flexitarianism are the biggest consumer demands in the savoury pastry market, says Mike Smith,Marketing Director at Ginsters of Cornwall, the UK’s number one savoury pastry brand:

“Our recent NPD responds to these needs. The flavour action centres on balancing traditional heartland flavours, which remain popular with 45 pluses, with enticing international cuisines appealing to 18-25s. Tex-Mex, Modern Asian and North African spices continue to gain momentum with younger people, tapping into growing demand for ingredients with vibrant colours and flavours.

The convenience of taking a product from in-home grazing to on-the-go snacking appeals to the demands of a younger, pre-family and family audience. Ginsters recently launched a Bitesize range of its most-loved products: the Cornish Pasty and Sausage Roll, with new flavours in the pipeline for spring 2019.

The Pot Snacks category offers a quick, value-for-money, hot meal solution as part of Food To Go, says Matthew Trembath, Channel Category Manager at Unilever, makers of the Pot Noodle range. Customers often choose it as a convenient, low-cost lunchtime option. More than 50% of Pot Snacks are consumed at lunchtime and 70% eaten on the go, along with a soft drink, crisps or confectionery, making Pot Snacks an important and valuable category for retailers with high lunchtime trade.

Rice Pots are a recent introduction and are performing well but wholesalers must make sure they don’t make space for these at the cost of Pot Noodles, as this will limit growth: “Impulse sales are high because Pot Snacks are quick and convenient and require no pre-planning, preparation or chilling, unlike a homemade sandwich or salad, and can be consumed either out-of-home or in the workplace.

“With the typical customer pushed for time and not wanting to spend ages looking for what they want, retailers should make sure Pot Snacks are highly visible, in high traffic areas. 82% of Pot Snacks are bought on impulse so if customers can’t see them, you won’t be maximising sales.”

Kate Sykes, Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK agrees that snacking is the biggest occasion contributing to the food-to-go market, with consumers on average purchasing snacks on the go 5.8 times per month.

The company’s popular snack options include their on-trend Schulstad Bakery Solutions Portuguese Custard Tart, produced just outside Lisbon to a traditional Portuguese recipe. Classic French and Danish pastries are also a popular snack, especially mid-morning with consumers looking for a pre-lunch pick me up.

Lantmännen Unibake also provide a range of innovative solutions for wholesalers looking for a simple way to meet the huge demand for freshly baked savoury lunch options. Their Tomato & Cheese Swirly is a new spin on pizza, while the Schulstad Bakery Solutions Cheese Twist features all butter pastry with a dash of Dijon mustard.

Richard Cooper, Senior Brand Manager at Dr. Oetker Professional (UK) says Chicago Town, the UK’s number one frozen pizza brand, is also helping convenience retailers bag a slice of the booming £6bn grab and go market with Pizza To Go, its hot and fresh takeaway pizza concept.

Retailers who buy the hot ‘Pizza to Go’ cabinet for just £550+VATwill be reimbursed in FREE stock. With the addition of free installation, free training and free POS, it is an affordable, quick and simple hot food to go solution for retailers who want to prepare and sell delicious 12 inch stuffed crust Chicago Town ‘Pizza to Go’ straight from a hot cabinet sited in store. Available in the two most popular Chicago Town Pizza flavours, Loaded Cheese and Loaded Pepperoni, they can be sold in quarter slice, half pizza or a whole pizza.

Many top-selling in-home snacks and treats are also perfect for on the go Marketing Director at Ginsters of Cornwall, the UK’s number one savoury pastry brand:

“Our recent NPD responds to these needs. The flavour action centres on balancing traditional heartland flavours, which remain popular with 45 pluses, with enticing international cuisines appealing to 18-25s. Tex-Mex, Modern Asian and North African spices continue to gain momentum with younger people, tapping into growing demand for ingredients with vibrant colours and flavours.

The convenience of taking a product from in-home grazing to on-the-go snacking appeals to the demands of a younger, pre-family and family audience. Ginsters recently launched a Bitesize range of its most-loved products: the Cornish Pasty and Sausage Roll, with new flavours in the pipeline for spring 2019.

The Pot Snacks category offers a quick, value-for-money, hot meal solution as part of Food To Go, says Matthew Trembath, Channel Category Manager at Unilever, makers of the Pot Noodle range. Customers often choose it as a convenient, low-cost lunchtime option. More than 50% of Pot Snacks are consumed at lunchtime and 70% eaten on the go, along with a soft drink, crisps or confectionery, making Pot Snacks an important and valuable category for retailers with high lunchtime trade.

Rice Pots are a recent introduction and are performing well but wholesalers must make sure they don’t make space for these at the cost of Pot Noodles, as this will limit growth: “Impulse sales are high because Pot Snacks are quick and convenient and require no pre-planning, preparation or chilling, unlike a homemade sandwich or salad, and can be consumed either out-of-home or in the workplace.

“With the typical customer pushed for time and not wanting to spend ages looking for what they want, retailers should make sure Pot Snacks are highly visible, in high traffic areas. 82% of Pot Snacks are bought on impulse so if customers can’t see them, you won’t be maximising sales.”

Kate Sykes, Marketing Manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK agrees that snacking is the biggest occasion contributing to the food-to-go market, with consumers on average purchasing snacks on the go 5.8 times per month.

The company’s popular snack options include their on-trend Schulstad Bakery Solutions Portuguese Custard Tart, produced just outside Lisbon to a traditional Portuguese recipe. Classic French and Danish pastries are also a popular snack, especially mid-morning with consumers looking for a pre-lunch pick me up.

Lantmännen Unibake also provide a range of innovative solutions for wholesalers looking for a simple way to meet the huge demand for freshly baked savoury lunch options. Their Tomato & Cheese Swirly is a new spin on pizza, while the Schulstad Bakery Solutions Cheese Twist features all butter pastry with a dash of Dijon mustard.

Richard Cooper, Senior Brand Manager at Dr. Oetker Professional (UK) says Chicago Town, the UK’s number one frozen pizza brand, is also helping convenience retailers bag a slice of the booming £6bn grab and go market with Pizza To Go, its hot and fresh takeaway pizza concept.

Retailers who buy the hot ‘Pizza to Go’ cabinet for just £550+VATwill be reimbursed in FREE stock. With the addition of free installation, free training and free POS, it is an affordable, quick and simple hot food to go solution for retailers who want to prepare and sell delicious 12 inch stuffed crust Chicago Town ‘Pizza to Go’ straight from a hot cabinet sited in store. Available in the two most popular Chicago Town Pizza flavours, Loaded Cheese and Loaded Pepperoni, they can be sold in quarter slice, half pizza or a whole pizza.

Many top-selling in-home snacks and treats are also perfect for on the go lunch and dinner, with a major presence in Food 2 Go, but also in meal for tonight and top up.

RUSTLERS IN ACTION

The power of effective merchandising has been proven in a project involving Rustlers, the UK’s No. 1 micro-snacking brand, and Bestway’s Team Valley depot in Gateshead.

The project involved the depot team working closely with Rustlers in remerchandising the chilled provisions room.

Prior to the project, Rustlers was merchandised on two shelves with chilled sandwiches. The remerchandising led to Rustlers being displayed on four full shelves, adjacent to chilled sandwiches, with POS on all shelves in the provisions room, stands outside and in the depot reception.

Steps were also taken to ensure the full Rustlers range was listed and replenishment stock levels were correct.

Sales of Rustlers increased dramatically. The products with the biggest sales uplift were the Rustlers Quarter Pounder and the Rustlers Chicken Sandwich, with an average sales uplift of more than 200%. Sales increases across other Rustlers products was also strong, leading to an average sales uplift of 40% across 8 SKUs.

Rob Reid, General Manager at Bestway Team Valley, was delighted with the results:

“Chilled and food to go is a growing market and we’re committed to bringing in the right range at the right time, to reflect market trends.”

He also highlighted POS’ role in delivering the major sales increase:

“You can have the best product and the best display but if you don’t communicate directly to the customer, it’s a wasted opportunity.”

Rob also highlighted the role marketleading brands such as Rustlers can play in attracting customers to the chilled area:

“Cash and carries need to encourage customers to visit chilled departments. By siting a brand like Rustlers in a prime location, and retailers knowing that the brand is in stock, you will drive sales of other chilled lines. Now that we’ve increased sales, it should be easy to maintain as we’re now ordering to customer demands rather than having lower stock levels and trying to guesstimate what may or may not sell. It’s a win, win situation.”

All our suppliers so far have majored on taste and flavour gratification being at the heart of the Food 2 Go occasion. However, healthy eating is the most important factor for the final two suppliers in this section. Polly Davies, Category Controller at Florette UK, the salad maker, says the healthy eating trend is “positively driving performance” in the produce category and predicts this to spill over into Food 2 Go:

“The feedback from consumers is that they are no longer satisfied by the category heartland of sandwiches, pasties and carb-heavy pasta salads, and would like a greater choice of lighter options. On-the-go customers are looking for tasty options that are fresh, convenient and nutritious, and easy to use straight from the pack.”

With 80% of UK households buying into prepared salads and over 1,167 packs sold every minute, Florette’s new lunch bowls offer consumers a filling and healthy lunch option in three delicious flavour combinations – BBQ Chicken and Bacon Crispy Salad, a Chicken and Sweetcorn Crunchy Salad and a Feta and Tomato Crispy Salad.

“Food to go accounts for a third of missions in C- stores and with six in ten shoppers requesting increased food-togo ranges in these outlets, it is important that wholesalers cater for this. Shoppers are demanding more healthy solutions to meet their everevolving lifestyles and wholesalers who address these needs will reap the rewards.”

The other supplier talking about healthy eating is Wayne Greensmith, Head of Category Marketing at Adelie Foods. He says, in addition to the new flavours that enter the food to go market, the one movement that has taken over above all is veganism. With the total value of the UK plantbased market at £443m, says Wayne, demand for meat-free food increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018. Adelie Foods’ URBAN eat range helps to reach this audience by providing exciting flavours and great tastes, inspired by flavours from around the world.

“There has also been an increased demand for more hot food options for consumers on the move and 45% of food to go shoppers would like a larger range of hot food-to-go products. The URBAN eat range includes a wide selection of snack pots and boxes to cater for the high demand from consumers for healthy options to eat while on the move. Our URBAN eat range contains delicious and fresh sandwiches and wraps in a variety of classic and modern world-inspired flavours, as well as pasta salads, hot eats and sushi. Our packaging has a distinctive cityscape print and bold colours making our products distinctive and easily recognisable on shelf.

Before we turn to drinks, let’s take a look at smoothies are a liquid snack category that performs well in Food 2 Go environments, in part because they bridge solid food and liquid snacking. Paul Gurnell is CEO of Savsé, the UK’s No.1 cold pressed juices and smoothie brand, which has experienced rapid brand growth with annual sales rising to £12m and has a loyal fan-base with strong repeat purchase amongst shoppers right across the UK. Savsé is sold in supermarkets, high street retailers, convenience stores and in foodservice outlets.

Paul Gurnell says: “Whilst smoothies are a viable choice throughout the day, there are some key periods which add incremental sales to stores. With more people than ever eating breakfast outside their home, coffee shops and foodservice outlets have seen sharp rises in demand for healthy smoothies, particularly green varieties, at the start of the day, with the lunchtime occasion seeing increased demands in high street and convenience stores. However, one of the biggest growth drivers over the last twelve months has been the increased volumes coming through forecourts, as ranges have changed to reflect demands of shoppers in this rapidly evolving channel.”

Savsé has also launched the world’s first range of Cold Pressed Protein Smoothies, giving consumers a natural protein boost at levels accessible to all, not just those interested in building muscle. They contain 10-12g of protein versus traditional protein products, which can contain as much as 25-30g.

DRINKS TO GO

Most of the food manufacturers covered in this feature see health and wellness as less of a priority than taste, when it comes to consumer decisions about Food 2 Go purchases. It’s a different story in soft drinks to accompany Food 2 Go items, where the health trend has been strongly in evidence in recent years, with 90% of consumers saying they’re influenced by health when shopping.

Gary Black, Convenience and Wholesale Director at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) says as the Food 2 Go market grows, wholesalers should ensure they offer a wide variety of drinks products in on-the-go formats to make the most of this opportunity.

Gary Black continues: “As more consumers look to make positive changes in their lifestyles to be healthier, sugar content has become a major factor in their drink choices and they’re continuously on the lookout for more low-sugar options, such as Diet Coke, the UK’s number one sugar free cola, and Coca-Cola zero sugar, the fastest growing light cola brand.”

You can’t get healthier than bottled water, still one of the fastest growing soft drinks sectors for CCEP, with sales immediate consumption formats on the rise. Flavoured waters are also growing in popularity, offering an alternative to traditional carbonated soft drinks by combining lower and zero sugar credentials, fruity, refreshing flavours and the hydration of water. CCEP’s new glacéau smartwater is made using British spring water which is vapour distilled before electrolytes are added to give its crisp, clean taste.

CCEP also introduced a new flavoured water range, Oasis Aquashock, to its Oasis portfolio last year, in two flavours, ‘hot’ Oasis Aquashock Spicy Raspberry variant with fiery chilli, and a Chilled Cherry variant containing cooling, tangy lime. Soft drinks tax exempt Oasis Aquashock is available in 500ml PET bottles, perfect for on-the-go.

To support growing demand for low and zero sugar soft drinks, CCEP also launched new flavoured variants in their ‘lights’ portfolio, Diet Coke Exotic Mango and Coca-Cola zero sugar Peach. Some 4. million households buy flavoured colas and the category brings 340,000 new shoppers into the cola segment every year.

CCEP have also continued to invest in Capri-Sun and expanded their No Added Sugar and lower sugar offerings. Last year they launched Capri-Sun No Added Sugar Orange-Lemon 330ml, a low-calorie lunchbox option for healthconscious consumers, with 75% of consumption in this format being adults aged 18-34.

CCEP’s other major launch last year, Fuze Tea is a premium, low-calorie blend of fruits, botanicals and tea. Soft Drink Tax-exempt Fuze Tea comes in two variants, Green Tea & Mango Chamomile and Black Tea, Peach & Hibiscus, in 400ml PET on-the-go bottles.

Matt Gouldsmith, Channel Director, Wholesale at Lucozade Ribena Suntory agrees that soft drinks linked to Food2Go present “an amazing opportunity” for wholesalers and their retail customers to take advantage of the almost one billion out-of-home eating opportunities that happen each year. He says stocking a wide range of interesting and complementary flavours will encourage consumers to choose a soft drink with their meals and snacks and could open up an opportunity worth £215M annually.

Finally Drink Me Chai, the UK’s favourite Chai Latte brand, has experienced 20% year on year growth since 2005, in line with Chai’s rising popularity on beverage menus and as a bakery ingredient, with Chai tea sales as a whole growing 43.8% in value between 2016-2017.

Amanda Hamilton, Founder & CEO, Drink Me Chai says Chai and Matcha are often seen as recent introductions into foodservice, but they are also contributing to out of home tea sales, with earthy flavours like Chai topping the list for consumers searching for new beverages.

Drink Me Chai offers an array of flavours in various formats, including its convenient in-cup solution, a perfect on-the-go or travel proposition in a 12oz foil-sealed takeaway cup. Drink me Chai’s ‘Artisan Blend’ is non-dairy, suitable for vegans and gluten free.

Available in a 1kg oxo-biodegradable bag, it’s also great for operators as it is easy to serve – simply add hot milk or milk alternative the powder. As well as the core Spiced Chai Latte – available in a 250g tub and 1kg drum – the brand offers a Vanilla sku and the Drink me Chai Superblends range, which is free from caffeine, naturally vibrant in colour and 100% vegan, available in four flavours, Turmeric, Raw Cacao, Beetroot and Naked Chai.