In these corona days, we’re staying inside more than ever. We’re working from home, playing indoors with the kids or cooking the most delicious pancakes.

All these activities require a lot of equipment – and even more battery power.

Vicky Raman, Brand Marketing Manager, Panasonic Energy Europe, comments: “One trend is consumers are increasingly seeking value for money. In the battery category, this leads to people looking for larger pack sizes. A second trend is environmental awareness, which makes the demand for plastic-free packaging rise. And third, we see a higher interest for speciality batteries.”

In wholesale, Panasonic’s best-selling products are the Zinc Carbon range, which provide economical power for low drain devices. The Alkaline value-for-money ranges are also selling well: Alkaline Power and Everyday Power.

Panasonic is launching larger battery pack sizes, in response to consumers’ demand for even better value for money and economy packs.

New displays will also be available for stores.

Panasonic has teamed up with Hasbro’s Power Rangers in a Europewide campaign, including Special Edition Power Rangers Battery Packs and an online competition.

Each month offers a new chance to win Power Rangers prizes and Panasonic batteries.

The first prize is a trip to the one and only Power Rangers TV set.

Special edition battery packs – including the competition website will be appearing in stores.

In addition to the Power Rangers partnership, there’s new displays and clip strips themed according to activities or to key times of the year, and attractive consumer packs.

“Consumers’ habits are different depending on the country or type of store,” adds Raman. “But we do see a few tactics that work each time to keep sales on track. I’d say it’s important to: stock up on trusted brands; always assure availability of the best-selling battery ranges and products; maximise visibility; and offer value for money.”

To stimulate the rate of sales Panasonic offers attractive consumer packs, displays and more POS merchandising.

“The battery market hasn’t suffered much from the COVID-19 crisis. If anything, the pandemic stimulated battery sales,” Raman comments. “At the start of the lockdown, we saw people all around the world stockpiling essentials like toilet paper, flour and also batteries.”

During the lockdown, people spent a lot of time in their homes and therefore increasingly engaged in activities like gaming, watching TV or cooking. These all require battery use, so again we saw an increase in sales. The way people shop changed somewhat too: trips to the shop became less frequent during the lockdown, increasing the amount spent per trip. There was more local shopping too, and more online sales.

“Overall, COVID-19 created less pressure to offer promotions,” Raman continues. “Consumers are looking for reliable batteries that offer value for money. This again means Panasonic Batteries can benefit from its great quality and value.”

Luke Anderson – Duracell Marketing Manager UK & IRE, comments: “Just as with many household items, we have seen the ‘stockpiling’ trend pick up in the battery market. Given batteries is a category with wide reaching distribution and the largest grocers remained open throughout the pandemic, sales of batteries have been at record highs.”

Duracell has been researching both shopping and consumption habits throughout this time to better understand how the changes in behaviour have changed the category.

The study questions 3,000 UK panellists every two weeks since lockdown began in March. What Duracell has learned is that during lockdown devices at home that consume batteries, such as wireless game controllers, TV remotes, kitchen scales and motorized toys all experienced extremely high consumption. Conversely, those devices linked to mobility dropped, e.g. garage door controllers, camping and biking accessories.

The best-selling products for Duracell are currently the Duracell core range – Duracell Plus AA and AAA 4 pack lead followed by Duracell Plus 9V1, C2, DC and 2032.

The new Duracell Powerbank 1.5 is being released this year, charging up to two devices simultaneously at 18 watts at three times faster speed than charging at the wall.

“As consumption of AA and AAA batteries increases, wholesalers should focus on access to these,” suggests Anderson. “We also found from the Duracell research that price has not been a key factor in the category, as consumers bought more of the premium brands such as Duracell in the category than any other over the past months, and also bought into bigger packs, with 12 packs having their highest sales in any first half of the calendar year on record. Taking this into account, wholesalers should consider battery packet sizes as well as battery types.”

The benefits to selling batteries come out of independent convenience stores over-trading in customer impulse purchases. The battery category acts as an opportunity to increase basket spend whilst also driving up profit per customer sale in that the profit margin from a battery sale tends to be higher than other products.

In comparison to other convenience products batteries can be seen as high value items with high margin providing great cash profit opportunity and requiring a relatively small merchandising area, ideally at checkout to maximize sales potential.

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