Shoppers love a Big Night In at any time of year, with family, friends or just their favourite person and the Big Night In continues to be a major traffic builder and business booster in neighbourhood convenience stores. Which is great news for cash ’n’ carries and delivered wholesalers who serve these outlets.

The Big Night In usual suspects, as in the popular products for these occasions, are many and varied but typically we are looking at treats for sharing, including food, drink, snacks, sweets, chocolate and other goodies. Big Night In first became a ‘thing’ in retail in the video era, with video rental outlets offering a host of treats to drum up secondary spend in store. It’s still with us today in the Netflix age.

In the words of Hena Chandarana, Trade Communications Controller at Pladis, whose Big Night In credentials include a host of much loved biscuit and confectionery brands, opting to stay in for a night has become the go-to option to keep costs down. It’s a trend that looks set to continue, as indicated by recent Nielsen data which shows that evening snacking, a major strand of the ‘BNI,’ is now worth over £5.2bn and growing by +2.8%.

Although the ‘big night in’ isn’t a seasonal phenomenon – people enjoy nights at home all year round – it is an occasion that continues to be shaped by wider category trends, and wholesalers must encourage their retailers to reflect these in the products and price formats they stock. Wholesalers should consider creating a dedicated ‘big night in’ section in the depot, highlighting the most desirable products and pack formats for this occasion. For your independent retailer customers, the message is clear.

Well-merchandised ‘big night in’ displays with paired products and cross-category promotions will always encourage incremental purchases and help drive up profits. Locating these in high footfall areas in store will help draw shoppers’ attention to the fixture, increasing impulse sales.

Enthusing these retailers and getting them to buy stock and make ‘big night in’ features which are attractive and easy to spot will have a positive impact not only on the sales of the products included, but potentially on other categories, as shoppers are shown to spend more time in-store as a result.

The major suppliers’ advice on how cash ‘n carries can ‘big up’ Big Night In sales includes these mustdo tips: Think big: Flag up the big brands and include sharing formats like large bags, 1.75L PET bottles and multipack cans. Go soft: Soft drinks and waters offer a welcome alternative to alcohol. They play an even greater role for nights in during midweek, as many adults who would otherwise enjoy a drink, choose not to consume alcohol when they have work the following day.

Keep it light: With growing numbers of Brits cutting down or watching their intake, ‘low’, ‘no’ and light versions of popular treats are growing in popularity. Plan ahead: Look ahead and see what big occasions, sport events and TV moments are coming up, and put together impactful displays themed around these events.

Put on a show: Work with manufacturers’ field sales teams to run regular promotions in your depot, creating theatre around ‘Big Night In’ product categories.

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