Consumers spent a considerable amount of time at home during 2020 and we have seen a step-change in behaviour because of this, whereby many people have looked to emulate the out-of-home experience in their own homes.

We can expect this behaviour to continue through 2021 and therefore there is an opportunity for wholesalers to stock relevant products to help tap into the Big Night In trend.

One of the biggest trends is consumers buying for the last-minute ‘meal tonight’ occasion. This presents a huge opportunity, as 44% of shoppers plan to purchase from the beers, wines and spirits category as part of their store visit.

Alongside this, data suggests that, as well as beers, wines and spirits, 39% of the last minute ‘meal for tonight’ shoppers buy crisps, snacks and confectionery during their visit in-store.

“To fully cater to this trend, it is worth considering food and drinks pairings which will support retailers in providing customers with the ingredients to create the perfect night in,” suggests Hannah Dawson, Head of Category Development, Off-Trade at Diageo.

Furthermore, premium drinks are in growth, up 27.4% in value vs YA (Nielsen) in the off-trade as consumers look to create quality experiences at home.

“With this in mind, wholesalers should stock super-premium and premium spirits, such as Tanqueray London Dry Gin and Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, alongside more premium crisps and snacks as another way to drive sales whilst allowing for a more premium choice,” Dawson recommends. “Retailers, in turn, can then cross-merchandise these products in-store to drive bigger basket spend.”

Diageo also recommends responding to the increasing demand for cocktails which is playing an increasingly large part in the Big Night In occasion.

When it comes to popular spirits which form the base of cocktails, gin in particular, is driving the biggest growth in spirits with variants making up 45.8% of total value share MAT (Nielsen).

“With no signs of slowing down, retailers would benefit from maintaining a good range of gin to help drive sales,” adds Dawson.

Gordon’s SKU’s in particular currently occupy the top eight spots in the impulse channel (Nielsen).

“We also know that the RTD category has allowed retailers to tap into customers’ preference towards high-quality and convenient drinks and this is likely to continue throughout 2021,” continues Dawson.

“Therefore, we recommend stocking a good range of RTDs to tap into the convenience trend. Ensuring your range of RTDs is kept chilled, ready for immediate consumption as well as utilising eye level placements in the chiller next to fruit ciders, will also increase the visibility of these products.”

The RTD category can unlock further opportunities to drive sales beyond the convenience trend. Recent data has demonstrated that 35% of total premix growth comes from multipacks (Nielsen).

Customers have been visiting stores 22% less often than usual, but basket size has increased by 45% – to £23 from £16 per trip (Kantar).

“Therefore, maintaining a range of RTD multipacks can encourage customers to increase basket spend in-store,” says Dawson.

“Social occasions are becoming increasingly diverse to give choice to those who choose not to drink alcohol as well as those who do,” adds Dawson. “This presents an opportunity for retailers to review their selection of low and no alcohol choices to align with the ‘conscious consumer’ and increase opportunity for profitability.”

The total low and no alcohol category is worth £150m RSV in GB off-trade (Nielsen) – therefore there is a huge opportunity to drive further growth within the low and no spirits category. For example, Gordon’s 0.0% launched in December 2020, highlighting the ongoing appeal amongst consumers for no and low alcoholic beverages.

“When it comes to merchandising, we recommend sub-blocking the no and low category together to aid instore navigation for customers,” Dawson suggests.

Lager sales have remained robust in retail, outperforming the total alcohol sector (Nielsen).

In particular, Molson Coors has seen strong performance across its core range as consumers have opted for those known and loved brands to enjoy at home – for example, Carling enjoyed 26% growth over the 26 weeks to 3 October (Nielsen).

Carling remains the number one lager brand in Great Britain (Nielsen), with its balance of sweetness and bitterness making it a staple choice that can be enjoyed by everyone across a host of different occasions. “A strong core offering remains vital for wholesalers, which is why we continue to invest in our best-loved brands to ensure they remain front of mind among consumers,” says Kevin Fawell, Off-Trade Sales Director at Molson Coors Beverage Company.

Coors Light became the sixth best-selling lager brand in the UK in 2019 and, to build on this momentum Coors Light is rebranding as ‘Coors’ this year as part of a multimillion-pound investment in the brand. This will drive further growth in the premium 4% beer category and will be supported by a new ad campaign, packaging and point-of-sale material to help wholesalers deliver sales. The launch is a platform to expand the Coors family in the UK and launch new products including Coors Original.

The ready-to-drink category grew by 15% in value to £340m in 2019 and has continued to perform well, with more consumers looking for exciting new flavours and more premium choices they can grab and enjoy at home.

Molson Coors has teamed up with Miami Cocktail Company to roll out its range of hand-crafted organic cocktails in the UK, adding even more choice to an already varied and vibrant RTD category. The range – which includes Margarita Spritz, Paloma Spritz, Mimosa Spritz, Sangria Spritz and Bellini Spritz – is crafted with only premium organic ingredients, and each 250ml can contains only 110 calories, with no added sugar, factors that are increasingly becoming key drivers for many consumers in purchasing decisions.

“Hard seltzers are another great way to tap into the growing desire among consumers for a premium and convenient option to enjoy at home,” adds Fawell. “While it’s still early days in Europe, we’re expecting the hard seltzer category to follow a similar pattern to the US, where retail sales reached $2.7billion in the 12 months to June last year.”

Molson Coors recently announced the launch of Three Fold, a new hard seltzer brand which taps into the growing hard seltzer opportunity in the UK and will be available in the off-trade in Spring 2021.

Named after its Three Fold characteristics – refreshment, flavour and low-calorie – Three Fold comes in three fruity variants that are clean, crisp and light in taste with broad appeal; Red Berries, Tropical and Citrus, all with 4% ABV. The range is naturally vegan and gluten free, containing 93 calories per 330ml can.

Last year, Molson Coors secured an exclusive distribution partnership with hard seltzer brand Bodega Bay and rolled out its range to the UK off-trade. The California-inspired brand has a premium feel, is made with natural ingredients, contains just 72 calories and is available in three flavour variants – Elderflower, Lemon & Mint and Apple, Ginger & Acai Berry, which offer a real point of difference for those consumers looking for more sophisticated and diverse options.

“People are spending all of their time at home so they’re looking for ways to make their ‘big nights in’ a bit more special,” comments Fawell. “Nearly half (46%) of shoppers are more inclined to trade-up to premium food and drink options when dining at home and, as a result, premium brands are gaining more and more traction in the retail sector, ahead of the overall category.”

This includes the Aspall Cyder range, which is steeped in heritage and grew by 27% in the 12 weeks to October last year (Nielsen). It has been produced at the original Aspall Cyder House for almost three hundred years – a point of difference which really resonates with consumers. The packaging is sleek and sophisticated, giving it a more premium feel that appeals to those looking for something a bit different and special to enjoy at home.

There’s also a growing market for more premium world lagers, which is worth more than £1.2bn in the off-trade (Nielsen). Continental-style pilsners are becoming increasingly popular, providing a more crisp and hoppy flavour than traditional lagers. Brands like Staropramen bring new options to wholesalers’ lager range to give people a chance to experiment and explore new tastes.”

Low- and no-alcohol options remain a small part of the overall beer and cider category, but one that’s in huge growth thanks to growing consumer trends such as health and wellness.

“There has been a huge increase in variety and flavour options in the category, so it appeals to a much broader set of consumers than it has in the past,” says Fawell. “Choice has never been so abundant causing more and more consumers to take notice.”

Molson Coors recently expanded its low and no alcohol portfolio with the launch of Doom Bar Zero, the UK’s first widely available 0.0% ABV amber ale. The brewing team at Sharp’s worked on the recipe for more than two years and have developed a pioneering brewing method that ensures Doom Bar Zero retains a similar flavour profile and stays true to the style of the successful Doom Bar brand while achieving 0.0% alcohol – significantly more difficult to brew than 0.5%.

With the launch of Doom Bar Zero, Molson Coors now offers drinkers alcohol-free options in lager, cider and ale, catering to a host of different tastes and occasions at home.

Demand has increased for larger pack sizes across core brands in line with the general trend towards shoppers visiting stores less frequently and buying more per trip. Sales of Carling multipacks have been growing ahead of smaller packs and single cans, increasing in value by 24.3% since the beginning of 2020 across the UK (Nielsen).

Norbert Jozsa, Head of Category and Insight – Europe, at Accolade Wines, comments: “The total UK off-trade sector is worth £6bn, £2.3bn of which is from the convenience sector (Nielsen). Hardys and Echo Falls from Accolade Wines continue to be the top two convenience wine brands in terms of brand sales share, with Hardys seeing a 7.6% growth surge in the convenience sector in the last year (Nielsen).”

Influenced by Covid-19 and the impacts of lockdown, there were seven million more in-home alcohol occasions in March (Nielsen).

Wine saw an increase in the number of overall occasions, as well as new shoppers entering the category.

“The Big Night In has understandably become the norm during the last few months and we’re likely to see this behaviour continue in the months ahead,” adds Jozsa. ”Here at Accolade Wines, we are looking to continue to leverage strength in in-home occasions, whilst looking for ways to adapt to new socially distant outdoor occasions.”

Convenience saw a huge surge in sales throughout April and alcohol over-performed with +70.1% driven by increase in shoppers. While this has slowed slightly, shopper growth continues and alcohol purchases for in-home consumption have been boosted as a result of the pandemic.

“From a wine perspective, we are focussed on getting wine into the shopper journey, formats, and chillers,” says Jozsa. “We have seen people pick-up wine more often and buy more of it and the convenience channel has been vital in increasing these impulse sales.”

“We know the average time spent in a convenience store is just 4.12 minutes so your wine category has to be clear and easy to navigate for consumers – stock key brands and origins that will catch the eye of consumers and bring them into the category,” suggests Jozsa. “Products should be tiered by price from the bottom up, with entry level on the bottom and then those priced £6-£9.99 at eye level. Space should be made in the chiller section for key whites and rosé.”

There is also the opportunity to inspire shoppers with mission and occasion-based POS. The average basket spend for a wine shopper is £12.44 so there is a big opportunity to increase spend with a well-functioning wine category.

Echo Falls unveiled a redesign across its entire portfolio in June 2020. The £135m (Nielsen) brand from Accolade Wines has given its collection a fresh look, with a modern and sophisticated design incorporating a new ‘waterfall’ asset. Created to stand-out on shelves, the designs will complement Echo Falls’ new brand ethos throughout upcoming marketing and innovation campaigns.

Part of a wider £1m marketing spend for the year ahead, the redesign reflects the accessible and approachable proposition of the brand’s drinks. The new positioning as ‘your friend in wine’ aims to attract younger shoppers (35 and under) to the category, as well as to reassure consumers on their wine journey as they navigate through the portfolio.

Amy Burgess, Senior External Communications Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners GB, comments: “Soft drinks are a big part of nights in – either to be enjoyed as they are, or for mixing with alcohol. And it’s big brands that provide reassurance, quality and affordable, uplifting moments in the home during these uncertain times.”

Coca-Cola includes the no. 1 cola brand in GB and accounts for 60% of value sales in the colas segment in convenience (Nielsen).

Fanta is the no. 1 flavoured carbonate brand in GB, Schweppes is the no.1 branded lemonade and the fastest-growing major mixer brand in GB, and Monster continues to be the number one driving force in the energy segment, having delivered more than half of the segment’s £135.4million growth over the last two years (Nielsen).

Within adult soft drinks specifically, Appletiser offers a sophisticated alternative to alcohol, for the growing number of teetotal consumers to enjoy while others may be having beer, wine or cocktails. Made with pure fruit juice and with no added sugar, Appletiser appeals to health-conscious consumers, and is in growth (Nielsen).

“Consumer behaviour has changed significantly during the last few months and with people spending more time in the home, there are a number of new consumer occasions that retailers need to be aware of and cater for,” adds Burgess.

Lockdown measures have seen many consumers looking to recreate the pub, bar or restaurant experience at home – in-person with members of their household, or virtually with other family and friends. This has led to an increase in sales of alcohol and soft drinks like mixers; 1.6 million new consumers are now shopping the alcohol category, 20% of whom are buying spirits (Kantar).

“To tap into this, retailers should consider stocking popular mixer brands, such as Schweppes,” suggests Burgess.

With stadiums closed to fans or operating at reduced capacity, watching sport in the home is another important consumer occasion that retailers can cater for.

As part of a three-year partnership with the Premier League, CCEP ran marketing activity and promotions to align the Coca-Cola brand with watching sport in the home in 2020.

Virtual gaming nights have also surged in popularity since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, which is driving demand for energy drinks in particular. Monster has a longstanding relationship with the gaming industry and is the fastest-growing energy brand in GB, worth £287m and adding almost £45m to its retail value over the last year (Nielsen).

Meal deals offer a convenient, cost-effective alternative to takeaways for big nights in, and can help to increase basket spend.

“A recent survey shows 86% of people would like a drink included with their supermarket evening meal deal (One Pulse), and as convenience stores make a play for bigger shops – instead of the top-up missions of old – they should apply these insights to the way they merchandise products, too,” adds Burgess. “Of those choosing a soft drink as part of a meal deal, 80% would prefer to buy it chilled. Including soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Fanta in a meal deal bundle and displaying them in the chiller with the food will help to drive sales.”

Ian Patefield, GB Wholesale and Independent Outlets Director at Britvic, comments: “The Big Night In has been directly impacted by the varying degrees of lockdown and tier systems that the UK has experienced. Consumers now value time together as a precious commodity.”

The economic hardship that has occurred as a ripple effect from the pandemic, has also caused considerable changes in the way consumers are behaving and valuing products. This has changed traditional shopping missions, purchases and overall basket spend, with many people now more mindful about their spending.

“Shoppers have had to adapt to a new way of socialising and it’s likely to stay for quite some time,” adds Patefield. “The Big Night In occasion has continued to be a key one for consumers throughout the pandemic, giving retailers and wholesalers an opportunity to adapt their ranges and drive sales of larger formats and multipacks.”

Socialising in the house with family or house mates has increased, with 2.1 billion at home social soft drinks occasions for adults, up +14.7% (Kantar). Shoppers want to make their at home social experiences as exciting as possible, but with two-thirds of people concerned about the economic outlook and making efforts to tighten their finances (Kantar), this will still play a key part in what they choose to buy as a treat.

“Recessionary behaviour will accelerate an already expected strong performance of carbonates, and wholesalers are well placed to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Patefield. “Well-loved brands that offer versatility are incredibly important.”

The rise of low/no sugar is a key trend within the soft drinks category that shows no sign of slowing down.

“We have seen a +9.4% increase in the value of low-calorie soft drinks (IRI), so it’s vital to cater to those looking for low and no sugar alternatives of the core range, with products such as Tango Sugar Free and Pepsi MAX,” continues Patefield. “We do however need to ensure we are offering consumers choice, so wholesalers should stock a variety of low/no sugar products as well as regular products like Pepsi and 7UP, to cater for those looking for an energy boost or treat.”

Cola is the second most consumed mixer with spirits and this is growing at a faster rate than overall cola consumption (Kantar). Pepsi Max Raspberry, which launched in 2019, has already become a £20m+ flavour extension (Nielsen). Pepsi MAX Cherry is also going from strength to strength, delivering +23.9% YOY growth (Nielsen). Pepsi MAX flavours (Ginger, Cherry and Raspberry) now make up 53% of the total flavoured cola segment (Nielsen) and are all available in a range of formats that suit the Big Night In occasion, such as multipack cans or 2l bottles.

Matt Gouldsmith – Channel Director, Wholesale at Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, comments: “Due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, this year has seen shopper missions in the convenience channel shift from impulse to top-up as the number of ‘Big Night In’ occasions increased.”

This translated to an increase in drink-later formats, which are growing by 8.3% (IRI).

Lucozade Energy’s drink-later portfolio, including 1L bottles and multipacks, has grown 13.2% (IRI).

Suntory increased the availability of its drink-later and multipack formats in depots as a response, advising retailers to review their sales data regularly and stock up on bestsellers from the core range.

“These are uncertain times, and navigating the food to go opportunity will rely on a retailer’s core skillset more than ever,” adds Gouldsmith. “Keeping an eye on changes in shopper buying habits and staying up to speed with local and national coronavirus lockdown restrictions will ensure forecourts can appropriately judge when it’s time to ramp up their food to go offer.”

“We know shoppers want excitement when looking for a soft drink,” Gouldsmith continues. “This is especially important for retailers to consider when planning their range, as including new and exciting flavoured drinks from leading, much loved brands will help draw customers in.”

Suntory is investing in innovations across its portfolio of leading brands to help drive sales for retailers this year.

Ribena has brought its taste and vitamin C to the flavoured carbonates category with the launch of new Ribena Sparkling, in two flavours. Ribena Sparkling Blackcurrant comes in 500ml, 2L and 6x330ml multipack cans, while Ribena Sparkling Raspberry is available in 500ml and 2L formats.

Designed to sit alongside flavoured carbonates range in depots – separately from Ribena’s core juice drinks – Ribena Sparkling is aimed at shoppers looking for exciting new flavoured fizzy drink options.

Ribena has also brought a brand new juice drink to chillers this year – Ribena Raspberry Rays.

The Lucozade Energy flavours range has already contributed a significant £66M (IRI) worth of sales to the energy category. Most recently, Lucozade Energy introduced a cool new addition to its category-leading range – Lucozade Energy Citrus Chill. The new lemon & lime flavour is available in 380ml PMP and standard packs.

Kat Jones, Marketing Manager at Häagen-Dazs UK, said: “Luxury ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs is shaking up the ice cream category by launching a 2-in-1 ice-cream; a multi-texture creation in three flavours: Belgian Chocolate & Vanilla Crunch, Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Crunch and Belgian Chocolate & Strawberry. The completely unique proposition is set to drive category value by answering a consumer need for new and exciting consumption experiences.”

The hybrid format brings together two contrasting yet complimentary flavours to create one decadent tub and responds directly to research that shows innovation is what 53% of luxury ice shoppers are calling out for (Nielsen). Retailers can expect to see the product deliver a sales uplift as 62% of consumers claim they would buy the flavour, driving incremental sales by upwards of 19%.

The innovative concept features redesigned breakthrough packaging for more impact on shelf, along with an accessible and simplified price point aligned to the brand’s core range. The new launch will be supported by a £3m high impact ATL media campaign and an extensive shopper marketing plan to introduce the product in convenience, wholesale, and grocery.

Jones added: “This new format sees two worlds collide and we’re confidently predicting consumers will absolutely love it! Product quality and distinctiveness are most important to buyers seeking a luxury experience and our DUO range responds to that demand and provides an ideal offering. This launch is one of our most sophisticated, it really taps into the opportunity to fulfil shoppers’ increased desire for chocolate indulgence, of which 77% of consumers assuage with ice cream.”

Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, comments: “Together Time is the largest category opportunity due to the size of the sharing occasion.”

The sharing segment is strong and growing.

Worth over £1.5bn, the largest within CSN, it is currently experiencing growth of +14.1% (Nielsen).

“While consumers are spending significantly more time at home at the moment, there is an increased desire to make at-home occasions feel more special and snacks are an affordable in-home treat,” adds Collins. 51% of CSN eaters see them as a good low-cost way to boost their mood and celebrate small achievements (Mintel).

Family distractions are becoming ever more important whether it be for a movie night, drinks evening or a board game party. Independent stores help families by stocking everyday treats to add fun and excitement to these occasions.

Taste is a critical element of ‘Together Time’, with 51% of shoppers saying ‘flavour’ is the No.1 purchase driver when buying crisps or snacks (Mintel). 91% say spending family time together is very important, and a great way to do that can be with a film or Netflix box set at home. 48% of consumers eat crisps, snacks and nuts when watching a film at home and 48% say snacks are a must have for an evening in with family (Mintel).

“Stocking family snacking favourites will help capitalise on sharing segment growth,” says Collins.

Jo Sinisgalli, Senior Brand Manager for Gifting, Mars Wrigley, comments: “Creating a clear display that communicates the Big Night In occasion draws shoppers into the fixture and cross category promotions will certainly encourage incremental purchases.”

Positioning products alongside salty snacks, soft drinks and other complementary items will also raise awareness.”

“Remember to focus the display on products that are ideal for sharing such as Starburst ‘Tear and Share’ Pouches, which are individually wrapped and offer a variety of flavours for everyone to enjoy,” suggests Sinisgalli. “In order to drive impulse sales through maximised availability, core lines should always be updated and constantly well-stocked as well as showcasing NPD.”

Availability is everything. As consumer behaviour evolves it brings new shoppers and new purchase occasions to every category. With 38% of occasions happening at home, particularly whilst relaxing or after a meal, and almost half of all gum purchases unplanned, it is crucial for retailers to make gum available and visible for every shopper, every trip.

Earlier in 2020, Mars Wrigley launched the brand-new Skittles Giants. The sweet, available in four pack sizes ranging from 45g to 170g and perfect for all occasions, is three times the size of a standard Skittle and will offer a more mouth-watering fruity flavour in one sweet.

There is a long-time association between M&M’s and entertainment, and this connection to a ‘Big Night In’ has helped the brand grow by 6.6% (Nielsen). Mars Wrigley UK is once again leveraging the popularity of the brand by supporting M&M’s with a £1.1m Watch with M campaign across digital and social media.

Mars Wrigley UK has also been exploring further sharing formats for the Maltesers brand, such as the launch of Maltesers Buttons – which generated £19.26M in value sales (Nielsen). Following the nationwide success of Maltesers Buttons, Mars Wrigley UK introduced the UK’s first ever flavoured Maltesers product – Mint Maltesers Buttons.

Mint flavour products have rapidly grown +34% over the past 12 months (Kantar) and by coupling this popular flavour with the fastest growing Mars Wrigley UK brand, the new bitesize treat aims to drive new consumers to the segment.

The launch of Maltesers Buttons recruited more millennial shoppers to the brand which helped Maltesers reach its highest ever penetration of 61.9% (Nielsen). This minty fresh variant now aims to continue this trend by tapping into occasions like Big Night In and sharing at home.

Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International, comments: “With consumers continuing to spend more nights in at home, shoppers are looking for the perfect treats to share with others in their households. In particular, consumers are looking for products from trusted brands, such as Cadbury and Maynards Bassetts, which deliver on both quality and taste, in a range of formats. At Mondel?z we offer a wide portfolio to tap into the big night in occasion, with a large range of exciting products across chocolate, biscuits and sugar confectionery.”

Evening snacking is worth over £6.5BN (Kantar) and is growing. Chocolate is still the number one choice for those settling down for a night in with friends and loved ones, followed by sugar confectionery, biscuits and crisps.

There are plenty of opportunities for cross-category selling to create a premium night in offer with chocolate at the centre.

What’s more, 52% (Kantar) of all confectionery occasions take place with other people present, so having a range of sharing formats in depot is key to maximising the opportunity.

Sugar confectionery is another important part of a big night in and offers the perfect treat to share with family.

Maynards Bassetts is the second biggest branded sugar confectionery player in the UK (Nielsen), making Mondel?z a leading contributor to this £1.2BN (Nielsen) market.

“It’s important that wholesalers offer a range of sharing bags, alongside the latest innovations, to help retailers meet the needs of their shoppers and drive sales from their range,” adds Nash.

Chocolate sharing formats, like bags and tablets, are an important part of a retailer’s range. In fact, bags are the fastest growing standard chocolate segment (Nielsen. Mondel?z’ popular sharing bags are growing by 4%, driven by Cadbury and premium brand Green & Black’s (Nielsen).

Scott Snell, Vice President of Customer at pladis UK & Ireland, comments: “With Britons now spending even more time indoors, shoppers have more opportunities to enjoy hot drinks moments and we see this trend continuing throughout 2021. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, biscuits that complement these occasions have benefitted from a sales uplift. So, wholesalers would be wise to maintain availability of our core bestsellers – including McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives and McVitie’s Chocolate Hobnobs – which have grown in value by 35%.”

Moments of ‘togetherness’ have become an integral part of day-to-day life, as shoppers spend evenings indoors at home. Many people continue to remain cautious about the amount of time they spend out of the house, particularly with ongoing government restrictions, so snacks in larger formats that cater to evenings in are vital. Snell suggests stocking up on sharing formats, such as the Flipz brand and McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes Nibbles.

“Similarly, wholesalers should ensure they are capitalising on the £2.3 billion crisps & snacks category to drive Big Night In sales – another key segment of the wider snacking sector,” adds Snell.

Some of pladis’ top-performing bagged snacks products are Jacob’s Mini Cheddars, worth £71.2 million (Nielsen) and Jacob’s Twiglets, worth £12.2 million (Nielsen). Both of these products boast a loyal following, and this core range of savoury bagged snacks is what’s driving the greatest growth.

To help wholesalers and their retail customers maximise savoury snacking Big Night In sales, pladis has launched Jacob’s Mini Cheddars Smoky BBQ – a flavour which makes up 32% of sales for the brand in the convenience channel (Kantar) – in PMP format.

“Sharing formats have played an important role in bringing families and households together over the past year and, when you couple this with the fact that PMPs generate a third of the sales in the convenience channel, we’re confident we’ve launched a product which will resonate with Big Night In shoppers, whilst helping wholesalers drive sales in the category,” says Snell.

Claire James, Trade Marketing Manager, Haribo UK, comments: “Family favourite Haribo Starmix, the category’s top-seller, just got even better with the addition of fruit juice, bringing a new fruitier and tastier mix to Britain’s favourite sweet.”

The updated mix, which retains the five iconic pieces; the egg, heart, cola bottle, bear and ring, was developed to meet with the expectations of Haribo consumers who love fruity and juicy confectionery.

In listening to feedback from customers and staying aware of consumer trends, Haribo has seized the opportunity to make their best even better by enhancing the flavours and colours that everyone loves in Starmix.

As sales of Haribo Starmix are consistently higher than the closest competitor bag, retaining the taste and quality was essential to supporting future sales of this much-loved product, which is integral to the category.

James adds: “Starmix has a huge following and there is a real love for the iconic shapes found in each bag. We’ve had the original recipe in place for some time, and as tastes evolve we know that it is our responsibility to ensure that we continue to deliver the best tasting, quality sweet confectionery to the category.”

Reinforcing the need for change, consumer testing has confirmed that there would be considerable increase in shoppers’ intent to purchase, meaning these subtle updates could lead to further sweet success for the brand.

The new fruitier Starmix enhances the overall taste of the product and now includes an apple flavoured green bear, a blackcurrant flavoured purple bear, and an apple and lemon flavoured ring.

Haribo Starmix, with its fruitier mix, is available in a variety of formats. It is rolling into wholesalers from February.

Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group, comments: “As with most categories, Coronavirus has made its mark on savoury snacks as consumers have changed both what they buy and where they buy it. In the Convenience sector, the core segments of crisps and snacks have struggled, with more ‘special’ products such as pork snacks and hand cooked crisps seeing good growth, as people look to treat themselves at home as a substitute to going out. Pork snacks has been the star performer – the fastest growing category (+7.6%) due, in part, to pub closures leading consumers to pick up scratchings in shops so that they can ‘take the pub taste home’.”

The enforced Big Night In has also accelerated the shift away from impulse packs into both sharing and multi-packs with 24% of consumers buying more sharing packs than a year ago (Norstat).

Smith explains: “With going out still looking a distant prospect, a night in front of the TV or a Zoom catch up with friends has become the norm and people are treating themselves with a pack of their favourite snacks such as Golden Wonder Ringos, meaning wholesalers must give choice by offering snacks across brands and pack sizes.”

Tayto refreshed its entire pork snacks portfolio in 2020, tailoring it to the latest consumer insights, with award-winning products and new formats including clipstrips and more pubcards for easy merchandising. Smith explains: “All of our brands have been updated to maintain their relevance whilst preserving the artisanal features that consumers want – traditional cooking methods and the finest ingredients and signature seasonings. The new pack designs have broader appeal and we’ve seen increased rates of sale, promising a sales boost for retailers.”

Mr Porky, the Great Taste award winning No1 Brand with 43% share (IRI) includes Original Scratchings so shoppers will continue to see a familiar face on shelf.

A new premium product has been added – Mr Porky Hand Cooked Scratchings. With a Great Taste award-winning recipe, hand cooked in small batches, this product is set to be the ultimate pork scratching! With the highest purchase intent of any pack in consumer research, it promises to become a top seller.

Mr Porky Crispy Strips are a relatively new innovation that has won a Great Taste Award. Made from thin strips of shoulder rind – instead of the shank rind of a scratching – they have a light and crispy texture akin to bacon rind when grilled. This appeals to those who may consider a scratching too heavy for, say, a daytime snack.

Midland Snacks Traditional Scratchings is another Great Taste award winning product. These artisanal hand cooked scratchings are the ultimate pub snack and Tayto’s best-selling pubcard.

For a modern twist on a scratching, The Real Pork Co. Golden Crunch and Crispy Crackling offer a lighter eat. Double cooked by hand in small batches with a seasoning and no nasties (no artificial flavours, MSG or gluten), their premium packaging reinforces the brand’s foodie credentials.

In the all-important £1 PMP snacks segment, Golden Wonder continues to develop its offer.

Given the growth of sharing snacks, Tayto is expanding its £1 PMP range to include Spicy Bikers, the best-selling ‘Fun Snack’. Mr Porky will be supported with a new trade website here and Spicy Bikers has a new trade website here.

Golden Wonder’s Ringos and Transform-A-Snack £1 ranges continue to perform well and so, Tayto will be adding a new flavour to both in April. Sour Cream & Onion Ringos will tap into this flavour’s recent +12.9% growth (IRI) and is a perfect match for the lighter bite of Ringos. Tayto will also be making its popular Cheese & Onion Transform-A-Snack available as a £1 PMP. These additions will drive further growth in the £1 sector by delivering Golden Wonder’s famous taste and value, as well as strong trade margins.



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