Drawing on over a decade of industry data, UK wholesaler, Epicurium, has identified a consumer trend pattern that is set to support retailers, food services, and forecourts when planning for the year ahead. 

On compiling details from sales data, the healthy snack wholesaler has identified four core segments per year that is thought will help to explain customer buying habits for those who are forecasting in the food sector.

Epicurium has found that a typical customer will move from ‘a healthy start’ in January, to a ‘spring clean’ from March and then into an ‘active summer focus’ before rounding off the year with the ‘big night in.’ Each phase comes with a set of identifiable characteristics which explain purchasing behaviours at any given time and offer insights into which products to invest in for the upcoming months. This awareness will help to provide focus for stockists and create clarity when making decisions about forecasting for the season ahead.

The data suggests that, from January, consumers look to set healthier habits as part of New Year’s resolutions, which Epicurium has found typically translates at an industry level as an increased interest in fitness-fuel snacks and clean energy drinks. As the year progresses, stockists may look to provide customers with products that tap into a renewed health promise ahead of the summer months, with this period also seeing a strong quarter for drink sales. As forecasters look to round off the year, the insights suggest that ‘nights-in’ rise in prominence, with ‘Chocolate and Confectionery’ the strongest category during this quarter, alongside an increase in sales from ‘Crisps and Popcorn’.

The findings also account for yearly anomalies, which in 2024 sees unique circumstances surrounding the summer of sport. This has seen an increase in the sales of share-size packs, as well as seeing the ‘World Flavours’ category performing well, with crisps now making up 13% of total cases sold in the category. Healthier alternatives, such as lentil chips and plantain options, have also seen a 30% increase, all of which provide forecasters with insights to help guide any last-minute stock arrangements.

Of the findings, Ben Mckechnie; Managing Director at Epicurium Ltd, said: “Our passion for snacks has meant that, over the years, we have been able to gather information on which categories and trends are performing well and use this to inform our own forecasting. This year, we have reviewed the insights that we have gathered throughout the business in order to help support our customers when looking to plan for the month or year ahead, utilising our expert industry knowledge as we seek to banish boring snacks.”

Epicurium provides innovative and on-trend wholesale snacking options to over 2,500 independent retailers, cafes, forecourts, offices, and other vendors across the UK from a product range which includes over 900 products from over 130 brands.

More information on Epicurium’s trends and insights can be found here.

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