The importance of convenience stores to shoppers has grown over the last year and with Covid-19 still in circulation it’s likely that the attraction of shopping more locally will continue for some time to come.

Going forward stores would be wise to pay attention to retaining the new customers that have been drawn to stores over this period and choice, product availability and value will be vital here.

With increasingly tightened household budgets value for money will become more important to shoppers and this is where price mark packs can be highly beneficial.

Cash conscious shoppers like to know that they are not paying over the odds for something they want and the reassurance they get from seeing clear pricing on pack will remain with them once life returns to nearer normal.

For retailers, PMP are a way to demonstrate value for money and to bring attention to your offer.

“Everyday black teas and decaf are the mainstay of any good tea offering,” says Parminder Walia, Category Development Manager for Tetley. “For regular stocks, stocking a top up staple of top sellers like Tetley 40s at £1.49 PMP are ideal for a smaller store, or Tetley 80s at £2.65 PMP for larger buys; a great companion to everyday black teas is Decaf, very much a must stock.”

The understandable focus on health has seen sales of everyday black decaf surge, with volume sales of decaf up 40.4% yoy in impulse (Nielsen).

Again, a smaller pack of Tetley Decaf 40s PMP £1.75 are a good basic stock ideal for infrequent buyers and to tempt first time trial. A larger pack as part of a healthy sales drive, like Tetley 80s PMP £2.85 would work well here too.

“I think the big message to is to think of price marks as a tactical marketing tool that will benefit sales,” adds Walia.

“Although it’s tempting for retailers to stick with the normal everyday value offer that they always stock, it’s important not to miss out on special promotions that come your way.

“Pass special promotions on to your customers and use any point of sale available to bring attention to your offer,” says Walia, “This is particularly important in the current environment when shoppers are spending less time browsing. Although a quick shop might be preferred, shoppers like deals and are used to looking out for latest offers, so compliance with promotions is a win win for you and your customers.

“Make the most of any added value offers, particularly presenting them as part of a tea occasion. Siting promotional teas with companion items like cakes, biscuits or crumpets it can work effectively as an on-shelf driver of sales.”

Value for money does not necessarily mean cheap and price marks aren’t suited to everything. They are most important in high volume segments like everyday teas and decaf where they work well to boost volume sales, with people drinking more tea as they spend more time at home this will appeal greatly to shoppers.

It comes down to getting the balance right between offering the right price mark to encourage higher volume sales of essential everyday products, whilst leaving space for higher value products like fruit and herbals and green, which don’t necessarily need to be sold as a price mark and can deliver higher margin sales.

To secure long term loyalty as a shopper destination, it’s important to offer a mix of teas to cater to difference tastes. Being able to offer products which shoppers may have previously gone to a larger store to buy is a big plus.

To complement the big sellers of everyday black and decaf, a carefully selected range of green and fruit and herbal teas makes sense.

Tea drinkers like known brands, so it makes sense to keep abreast of the top sellers and offer a mix of pack sizes to cater to different shopper missions. Tetley is the number one brand in impulse with 33% volume share, so shoppers will expect to find their favourite brands on shelf.

Matt Goddard, Wholesale Trading Director at PepsiCo, comments: “As we begin 2021, it is important for retailers to be aware of the latest shopping habits to stock the right products. Value for money is a key purchasing consideration for many shoppers, especially given the current recessionary period, meaning PMPs are a must-stock for wholesalers.”

Sharing PMPs are the most important pack format, making up the largest segment in the convenience channel (50% share of the market according to Nielsen) and growing +17% in independents and symbols (Nielsen).

This growth is expected to continue throughout 2021, and thus it is vital that the stock that wholesalers offer reflects this.

Last year, take-home missions increased from 55% to 65% during March to June, as people looked for multipack and sharing options. This supported the performance of multipacks, growing +16% YTD in independents and symbols (Nielsen) and with continued lockdown restrictions in place, we expect the growth of multipacks to continue with more shoppers shopping locally.

There are hundreds of SKUs within the savoury snacks category – 775 £1 PMP SKUs alone – however, just 80% of sales came from just 59 of these products in independents and symbols (Nielsen). This can make it challenging for retailers to determine the right mix of SKUs to stock.

“To address this uncertainty, we recommend wholesalers focus on stocking a core range of bestsellers first and foremost, to help retailers unlock sales,” says Goddard.

The Walkers Hero20 range, a list of 20 must-stock Walkers products, includes some of the bestselling brands in the savoury snacks category and have proven to drive sales and profits for retailers. The Hero20 line-up alone accounts for 20% of all crisps, snacks and nuts sales in independents and symbols (Nielsen).

With many consumers working from home and having more time to spend on their breakfast, shoppers are turning to the traditional oats segment, with this growing by +12.2% since lockdown was first enforced (Kantar).

Quaker offers a range of PMPs across its pots, sachets and traditional oats.

The total Quaker PMP range has grown +16.78% YTD; traditional oats PMP seeing the greatest growth of +26.9% in independents and symbols (Nielsen).

Recently, PepsiCo has relaunched its 1kg traditional oats proposition with a new price marked pack, available for £1.99 RRP.

“Traditional oats have grown hugely during the pandemic, so it’s important retailers are able to offer larger pack sizes at great value,” adds Goddard. “The new price marked pack is a great way to provide consumers with a better value proposition.”

Jo Harwood, Sales Director at Burton’s Biscuit Company, comments: “The market for price-marked packs remains hugely important in driving the impulse sector. Burton’s Biscuit Company recognises the important role that PMPs play in offering shoppers reassurance when it comes to value, and we will continue to support the sector with bestselling products.”

In 2020, Burton’s rolled out the new £1 200g PMP range, replacing 99p 136g PMP’s, offering shoppers even better value for money and driving impulse sales in stores.

The company also expanded its range of price-marked Maryland Cookies, the nation’s favourite cookie (Nielsen), with the launch of Maryland Choc Chip and Coconut – available exclusively to the convenience channel.

Victoria Gell, Fruity Confections Portfolio Director, Mars Wrigley, comments: “As well as offering good value, PMPs help retailers build a sense of confidence and trust with shoppers, with many saying PMPs reassure them that they are not being overcharged.”

Mars PMP singles are growing +7.9% YTD (Nielsen).

Launched in March 2020, Skittles Giants are available in a 125g PMP bag, retailing at £1.

Softer on the inside and bigger on the outside, Skittles Giants are three times the size of a standard Skittle, delivering more mouth-watering fruity flavour in one sweet.

Mars Wrigley looked to continue to grow the gum category with the launch of its £2 RRP Extra sugarfree gum price mark pack 46 pellet bottle across its best-selling core flavours, Peppermint and Spearmint.

An exclusive format for the retail channel, the bottle format continues to tap into the growing demand for keeping teeth clean and breath fresh after snacking on the go.

Marta Gil, Brand Director Extra Gum, Mars Wrigley, comments: “As we have seen, consumer habits evolve, and format can play a key role in these changes. Whilst individual packs remain essential lines for stores of all sizes, the larger bottle format is set to be one of the bestselling formats of the year.”

Perfect for sharing, keeping in the car or at your desk, the growth of bottle sales reflects the importance of convenient on-the-go enjoyment to fit in with consumers’ busy lifestyles.

Gum bottle will be driving the growth in 2021 with +1.7% projected growth so Mars Wrigley recommends it is stocked alongside core single packs for maximum sales success.

Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International, comments: “Research shows that PMPs offer a number of advantages for shoppers, retailers and wholesalers alike, and therefore are an important part of a depot’s offering. For shoppers, PMPs offer reassurance they are not being overcharged, while contributing to an overall positive price perception. For wholesalers and their retail customers, the perception of improved value, convenience and trust from their shoppers make stocking PMPs a good option.”

Mondelez now offers its widest ever range of PMPs across all categories, which includes a number of bestsellers, to allow wholesalers to help stand-out on shelf with the convenience of clear on-pack pricing.

Alongside its Cadbury PMP singles bars and tablets, £1 price-marked 95g chocolate bags are now available across Mondelez’s bestsellers in the segment which include Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons, Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Nibbles, Cadbury Twirl Bites and Cadbury Bitsa Wispa.

Wholesalers can also take advantage of PMPs on smaller packs through the PMP singles available for Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo, Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons, Cadbury Chomp and Cadbury Fudge.

Cadbury Curly Wurly Squirlies unveiled a new PMP format. The £1 PMP sharing bags have been developed to offer consumers this popular treat in a new size and help retailers capture shoppers’ attention in store. The nation’s favourite chocolate, Cadbury, and the world’s number one biscuit (Euromonitor), Oreo, aim to help wholesalers drive sales with Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich. This product is now available in a £1 price-marked pack. The Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich has had great success since its launch in February 2018 – and the newer PMP format is building on this.

Cadbury Darkmilk is offering wholesalers the option of a 55p PMP format too. The new bar offers the same creamy, cocoa-rich taste for those looking for a treat when on-the-go or during the afternoon snack occasion.

In sugar confectionery, Trebor Softmints and Trebor Extra Strong roll packs are available as a 50p PMP, and sugar-free Trebor Cool Drops are available in a 50p PMP box for independent retailers to help drive stand-out on shelf and encourage trial.

Mondelez offers a varied biscuit range to meet shopper needs throughout the day, and it offers a wide range of PMPs to help wholesalers and retailers drive their sales.

As the UK’s number one healthier biscuit brand (Nielsen), belVita is perfectly placed to support the growth of sales of PMP sales for shoppers on a breakfast mission. For the morning and snacking occasion, belVita Duo Crunch is available in a PMP pack, while belVita Soft Bakes is also available in a PMP pack.

For afternoon snacking, Cadbury Roundie 30g single pack and Cadbury Freddo Biscuits are both available in PMP format.

Finally, for sharing, Cadbury Fingers and Oreo roll packs are also available in PMPs.

As well as this, Oreo has launched a new collaboration with global superstar Lady Gaga. The classic blue Oreo Original pack has had a Gaga make-over, morphing into a vibrant pink colour in a Chromatica-inspired design, with a digital experience waiting to be discovered and music prizes to be won. The limited-edition packaging is available on both Oreo vanilla single 154g pack, Oreo Vanilla 308g twin pack and PMP versions.

“Wholesalers should carry a range of price-marked formats within biscuits to help retailers show shoppers they are getting good value for money and therefore encourage trade-up and impulse purchases,” suggests Nash.

Mu?ller is targeting growth in the wholesale and convenience channels with the introduction of price marked packs on Mu?ller Corner, the number one brand in the category (Nielsen).

The dairy company has optimised Mu?ller Corner for the convenience and wholesale sector, with stacked packs which take up less room on shelves and reduce in store complexity.

It enables the nation’s favourite dairy brand (Kantar) to continue tapping into increased demand for Mu?ller Corner yogurts, building on a strong performance in 2020 which saw more sold during the first lockdown than in any period in the last three years (Nielsen).

The £1 price marked pack range, which is available from 1 April, consists of two packs of Mu?ller Corner Strawberry and two packs of Mu?ller Corner Vanilla Chocolate Balls.

The company’s FRijj brand, which is made using milk from British farms and now comes in a fully recyclable bottle and a long lasting ambient recipe, is also available in £1 price marked packs.

The move is in line with Mu?ller’s strategy to add further inspiration to its core range of branded products, while targeting new and growing channels.

Jon Piper, Commercial Director at Mu?ller Yogurt & Desserts, says: “We think there’s a big opportunity for the number one brand in the yogurt category to thrive within the convenience and wholesale sector.

“As we continue to grow and add further inspiration to the category, we need to create products that not only add taste to life and meet the needs of shoppers, but also multiple channels.

“In 2019 the Mu?ller Corner range was +1.3%5 on volume and last year it was +5.6%6. That’s because we have invested heavily in Mu?ller Corner, shoppers value trusted brands, people are eating at home more and it’s a sub-sector with lots of growth potential.

“With our optimised price mark offering, we’re confident and excited in our approach, and believe this will deliver real value to our retailers within the wholesale and convenience channel.”

Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group, comments: “Consumers have changed both what they buy and where they buy it due to Coronavirus. 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.”

Recent changes in behaviour due to Covid restrictions have 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 (IRI).

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.”

Covid-19 has also accelerated a change in shopper missions that has been taking place over a number of years and which is best understood by looking at which pack types are being bought.

Smith adds: “As people are out and about less during the day, and every night has become a ‘Big Night In’, there has been a shift away from impulse packs into sharing snacks. £1 PMP Snacks are growing faster than the market (19.9% vs 6.4%) and now account for 39.1% of Snacks with family favourites such as Golden Wonder Ringos and Transform-A-Snack performing in this format.”

Value for money is increasingly important to many consumers as economic concerns appear on the horizon.

PMPs are a proven way for convenience retailers to demonstrate that they are offering great value.

This means that entry-point price-points should also not be forgotten.

Smith continues: “We have seen very strong growth in our Fun Snacks range (that includes Tangy Toms, Spicy Bikers, Awesome Oinks, Quarterbacks and Cheesy Snakes) recently due to their great value for money through a 30p/2 for 50p PMP. 30p PMPs have had a phenomenal year – growing faster than the market (82.8% vs 6.4%).”

Capturing the booming sharing snacks market means wholesalers need to be stocking a strong range of £1 PMP snacks – which are growing at 20% (IRI). A good PMP offering will boost consumer confidence that they are getting great value for money, as well as ensure strong margins for the retailer.

Smith adds: “Ringos and Transform-A-Snack continue to be our top performers in the £1 sector as they deliver Golden Wonder’s legendary ‘punch per crunch’, great consumer value, as well as strong wholesale and retailer margins. As a brand committed to delivering both great value for money and our legendary ‘more punch per crunch’ taste, we recognise the importance of entry point pricing but also the importance of driving basket spend for retailers.”

Given Tayto over-trades in wholesale with the Golden Wonder PMP snacks range, the company has a team dedicated to supporting the sector including ensuring it has a strong promotional plan through all the major wholesalers.

Smith says: “We have recognised the value of PMP in this sector for many years and have a range that hits the key price-points with on-pack multi-buy offers (30p/2 for 50p; 39p/2 for 60p) that drive increased sales by encouraging basket spend. Golden Wonder continues to deliver great-tasting products that offer superb consumer value as well as strong retailer margins. We see further potential for growth as people look to shop more locally and have high hopes for an even stronger performance for the sector, category and our brands through an upweighted promotional plan and exciting NPD in the coming year.”

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

Given the growth of sharing snacks, Tayto is expanding its £1 PMP range to include Spicy Bikers – its best-selling ‘Fun Snack’. Available now, Tayto will be supporting the launch with digital activity including opportunities to win bikes and an independent retailer focused trade campaign.

Tayto will be adding a new flavour to Golden Wonder’s Ringos and Transform-A-Snack £1 ranges 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 Cheese & Onion Transform-A-Snack available as a £1 PMP.

“PMPs are incredibly important in snacks as we know that this is a highly impulse-driven purchase – so PMP can be the ‘clincher’ when shopping in convenience,” suggests Smith. Other snacks (e.g. confectionery) tend to have fewer PMP and so, stocking a good range of PMP snacks will deliver incremental sales. Pork Scratchings are much less promotionally driven and do not require PMP – the way for retailers to drive incremental, VAT-free pork sales is through merchandising and hanging clipstrips with BWS. A retailer needs to ensure that the fixture is easy to shop, so group similar price-points and products together to help the customer’s decision-making process.”

 

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