Price-marked packs continue to play a strong role in retail outlets by delivering a value to consumers, with 1 in 3 shoppers stating they are likely to purchase PMP soft drinks (Lumina).
Furthermore, within convenience stores, 1 in 10 shoppers indicate that PMPs are most likely to influence what they buy instore (Lumina).
PMPs are considered by many retailers as a promotional mechanism, therefore stocking PMPs ultimately drives profit and adds growth to the overall soft drink category, with 1 in 5 consumers driven to purchase a soft drink on impulse, if it is on promotion (Lumina).
“Stocking PMPs helps to deliver choice to shoppers,” says a Red Bull spokesperson. “Additionally, Red Bull recommends stocking price-marked packs across best-sellers at all times, to demonstrate range and offer customers choice, whilst driving profit.”
With the reduction of organic on-the-go sales during 2020 and early 2021, multipacks and larger formats have been crucial in bolstering the category.
Average sales price per unit shifts have been driven by increased shopper demand for multipacks due to a change in purchase behaviour over the last year, along with more demand for different sizes in the Red Bull portfolio, therefore Red Bull recommends stocking both single and multiple can formats, to appeal to a broader range of shopper behaviours.
“The Red Bull Core range is also an essential product range to stock, available in both PMP and non-PMP formats, and includes Red Bull Original 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and Red Bull Sugarfree 250ml,” adds the spokesperson. “Red Bull’s Editions range also consists of both PMP and non-PMP cans with flavours including Tropical, Coconut & Berry, Red Edition and the latest Summer Edition in a Cactus Fruit taste all available.”
Red Bull has always been committed to bringing great taste and value to consumers and 2021 has been no different. In March, this year Red Bull launched its latest refreshing Summer Edition – Cactus Fruit. The latest fruit sensation delivers all of the functional benefits of Red Bull Energy Drink, along with an invigorating burst of berry that blooms into an exotic fruit and violet flower taste. Red Bull Editions are growing +83.7% in value last year (Nielsen).
Following this success, the new Summer Edition Cactus Fruit will continue to drive category growth across Sports & Energy whilst satisfying energy drink consumers who would try a tropical fruit flavour. Shoppers are buying Red Bull Editions more frequently with average frequency +72% vs 6 months ago (Kantar).
Bringing a reformulated Red Bull Zero back to the market last year has also driven brand growth and driven engagement with new shoppers. Red Bull Zero is one of the biggest NPD contributors of growth to the overall Sports & Energy category, adding almost £2.5m of value as part of Red Bull’s £47.3m MAT growth vs YA (Nielsen). Due to strong rate of sale, trade and shopper demand for this pack, a Red Bull Zero 250ml four-pack has launched to meet these emerging needs for bigger packs for sharing, storing and enjoying.
Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, comments: “£1 PMPs have seen significant growth in the last few years and this format will stay increasingly relevant during and post the pandemic.
As restrictions continue to lift, we can definitely assume that shopping behaviour will shift back to ‘little and often’ as recessionary conditions prevail, as seen from 2008. As this happens, promotional mechanics and appropriate merchandising will play a key role in offering value to shoppers, serving both insulated and constrained spenders.”
The role of the largest brands and category leaders will become even more important, as they recruit more shoppers turning to brands that they trust, recognise and recall – as will the role of PMPs in convenience as shoppers’ budgets are squeezed.
“Retailers and manufacturers should use PMPs, especially £1 PMPs which are highly versatile, and promotional offers to create value and customers trust, utilising brand strength to heighten appeal and awareness,” says Collins. “This will also help them to retain the shopper loyalty that they have gained throughout the pandemic. Snacking occasions will continue to grow and respond well to promotional activity driving incremental and impulse purchasing.”
Across the market, £1 PMP ranges are growing in value at +9% versus non-PMP formats at +7.6% respectively (Nielsen). PMPs are popular with retailers too, with 83% saying that PMPs sell faster than non-PMPs and 82% stocking them to stay competitive (Mintel).
33% of shoppers believe that PMPs are cheaper than non-PMP products, and 57% want to see PMPs on crisps, nuts and snacks (HIM). Almost half of shoppers also like PMPs as it means they don’t have to ask the price in store (HIM).
“At KP Snacks we want to help retailers increase CSN sales by ensuring we offer the right product range in the right case formats, boosted with the right promotions and in-store merchandising,” adds Collins. “Our PMP portfolio is currently worth £60.5m RSV and is out-performing market PMP growth. We offer retailers 21 PMPs across the KP family and continuously look to add value to retailers with both variety and promotion.”
Amy Burgess, Senior Trade Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), comments: “Price-marked packs have an important role to play, delivering visible value for shoppers and giving convenience retailers a point of difference versus the supermarkets. PMPs account for more than 60% of total soft drink sales in convenience stores (Nielsen), and can reassure shoppers that they can get the products they want, at an affordable price. We know this is a focus for consumers at the moment with 35% of consumers saying their income has taken a hit as a result of the pandemic outbreak.”
CCEP expects larger packs to remain in high demand this summer as people start to socialise again, and with consumption in and around home likely to continue. Sales across the company’s take-home sharing pack formats have increased by 24.1% (Nielsen), including Coca-Cola (22.1%), Fanta (22.7%), and Monster (79%) ranges, thanks to the volume and value they offer, especially for consumers looking to stock up in a single shop.
“That’s why it’s important for retailers to find the right balance between on-the-go and at-home formats, keeping space for both as restrictions are eased,” adds Burgess.
CCEP’s best-loved brands, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper and Monster are all available in PMPs and plain packs, so retailers can choose the best option for their stores.
Victoria Gell, Fruity Confections Brand 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 is +7.9% YTD (Nielsen).”
Research has shown that fruity confectionery shoppers expect variety in flavours and textures, with Sours being the most incremental flavour after Fruit in the category. Like their counterpart, Skittles Giants Crazy Sours are three times the size of standard Skittles and have a soft chewy centre designed to strike taste buds with sourness, delivering an intense, fruity, mouth-watering flavour. Skittles Giant Crazy Sours £1 PMP treat bags (125g Skittles) fit perfectly into the single confectionery category and with the outdoor summer sharing occasion that shoppers are looking for.
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.
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.
Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International, comments: “Research shows that PMPs offer a number of advantages for wholesalers and retailers alike, and therefore are an important part of a store’s offering. For wholesalers, PMPs offer reassurance they are not being overcharged, while contributing to an overall positive price perception. For retailers, the perception of improved value, convenience and trust from their customers make stocking PMPs a good option – with a fifth of shoppers even going as far as to say they would choose a particular convenience store if they knew it stocked PMP products.”
Alongside its Cadbury PMP singles bars and tablets, £1 price-marked 95g chocolate bags are 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 Darkmilk is offering wholesalers the option of a 55p PMP format for its retailers.
In sugar confectionery, Trebor Softmints and Trebor Extra Strong roll packs are available as a PMP, and sugar-free Trebor Cool Drops are available in a PMP box for independent retailers to help drive stand-out on shelf and encourage trial.
“Wholesalers should stock new Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel PMP, as well as a wider range of price-marked formats within confectionery, to help show retailers they are getting good value for money,” adds Nash. In June, Cadbury helped wholesalers drive sales in the singles category with the launch of a new price-marked pack on-pack running across some of the brand’s bestsellers: Cadbury Twirl, Cadbury Boost, Cadbury Wispa, Cadbury Wispa Gold, Cadbury Double Decker and Cadbury Crunchie. The limited-edition PMP packs will help retailers capture shoppers’ attention in store with striking ‘2 for £1.10 or 60p RRP’ labelling.
The new PMPs will drive excitement among shoppers and encourage them to drive incremental purchases as research shows that more than a third of all bars sold in independent and symbol stores are Cadbury bars, selling at a rate of two per second (Nielsen) in the channel, putting the brand in a prime position to deliver growth for the category.
Cadbury has also recently unveiled a fresh and modern redesign across single bars of the nation’s favourite chocolate (Nielsen). The new look design – part of a wider brand revamp – features on best-selling Cadbury singles PMP lines including Cadbury Twirl, Cadbury Wispa and Cadbury Boost, as well as fan-favourites Cadbury Flake, Cadbury Starbar and Cadbury Picnic. The revamped single bars are available now in both PMP and plain packs, with a new look and feel that includes new background patterns and brand wordmarks, as well as a design incorporating a product visual on all bars to drive further standout and taste appeal on shelf.
“In the convenience channel, the biscuit category is one of the top categories for impulse purchasing, so it’s clear that there is a unique opportunity for independent retailers to encourage shoppers to spend more in-store by stocking biscuits in PMPs. As such, wholesalers should ensure these products should be readily available and easily accessible for their retail customers,” says Scott Snell, Vice President of Customer at pladis UK & Ireland.
Even though the roadmap out of lockdown is well underway, a number of Brits are continuing to spend more time at home and, as such, Everyday Biscuits like McVitie’s Digestives and Everyday Treats like McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes are performing particularly strongly (up +25.6% and +4.9% respectively). Thanks to an increase in home-working, UK consumers are still enjoying many more hot drink moments (+11.8%) – and biscuits in the sub-categories which best complement this occasion have benefitted from a sales uplift.
“We see hot drink moments staying prevalent in the near future because, despite restrictions easing, there will still be a pool of shoppers who will be cautious about leaving home – so stocking up on the core bestsellers in PMP format is a must,” adds Snell. “On the flipside, there will be lots of consumers taking advantage of being able to leave the house, which will result in a resurgence for on-the-go formats. Whether people are commuting to work or meeting with friends – they’ll be looking to grab their favourite snacks to fuel their journeys. We’d advise wholesalers to maintain availability of grab bags in this format – such as Flipz Milk Chocolate PMP and our five-strong range of Jacob’s Mini Cheddars PMPs – which will be key to driving impulse sales during the summer months.”
As with most categories, Coronavirus has made its mark on savoury snacks as Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group, shares, “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.”
The pandemic has accelerated a long-term shift in Convenience with sharing snacks becoming the most popular pack type as Smith explains, “Sharing snacks have been in strong growth for a number of years but as people have been out and about less during the day, and every night has become a ‘Big Night In’, this shift from impulse to sharing snacks has increased exponentially. £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 well in this format.”
PMPs are a proven way for independent retailers to demonstrate that they are offering great value when compared to larger stores. Smith says, “Shoppers in Convenience are concerned that they will pay inflated prices for shopping locally and PMPs assure them that this isn’t the case. An additional benefit is it makes it quicker for shoppers on a ‘grab and go’ mission as they don’t have to search for a shelf ticket as the price is right there on the pack.”
The success of PMPs is borne out by their share of savoury snack sales in Symbols & Independents as Smith explains, “Over the past 3 years, savoury snack PMPs have grown from 70 to 80% of sales, showing that they are essential for the independent retailer at key price points: entry (30p), mid (39p) and sharing (£1). Entry and £1 price points have performed particularly well, growing faster than the market with 30p PMPs up 82.8% and £1 PMPs up 19.9%1. Products such as Golden Wonder’s Spicy Bikers are performing well at both price points due to offering legendary ‘punch per crunch’ and great consumer value, as well as strong margins for retailers.”
Matt Gouldsmith, Channel Director, Wholesale, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I, comments: “Price-marked packs are incredibly important for retailers when it comes to demonstrating value to their shoppers. They need to be balanced alongside shopper insight and store-specific requirements in order to meet the needs of consumers.
Price-marked soft drinks are growing more quickly than non-price-marked packs in the channel, with price-marked packs seeing 16% growth versus an increase of 6% (IRI) from non-price-marked packs. In fact, price-marked packs account for 59.7% (IRI) of total soft drinks sales in symbols and independents.
To help retailers make the right choice on what to stock in their store, SBF offers the option of price-marked or non-price-marked packs across its range of soft drinks, including leading-brands Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport and Ribena.
SBF has reduced the on-pack price of some of its most popular drink-later products, including Ribena 600ml squash and Lucozade Energy 1L format drinks. Reduced to £1.50, these drinks will tap into the continued popularity of price-marked packs, and the growth in sales of drink-later formats.
The reduced PMPs across the Ribena and Lucozade Energy drink-later range offer a lower everyday price to consumers – at a time when many retailers will be looking for increased value from their regular purchases.
Lucozade Energy is also helping wholesalers to tap into the rise in-home drinking occasions with the launch of a brand new 1.45L bottle, price-marked at £2, as well as a Lucozade Energy 12x330ml cans pack. “Retailers tell us they would buy a larger serve pack if it were available – making our 1.45L bottles perfectly placed to help retailers meet the increased shopper demand for take-home formats,” adds Gouldsmith. “Including price-marked packs of the latest innovation within their range can help wholesalers encourage impulse sales to drive incremental purchases.”
For example, Ribena has brought its unique taste and vitamin C to the flavoured carbonates category with the launch of new Ribena Sparkling, in two flavours. Ribena Sparkling Blackcurrant and Ribena Sparkling Raspberry are both available in PMP formats in 500ML and 2L bottles and – newly available – 330ML single cans. Designed to sit alongside flavoured carbonates range in the chiller – separately from Ribena’s core juice drinks – Ribena Sparkling is aimed at shoppers looking for exciting new flavoured fizzy drink options.