The battery category is a constantly evolving category driven by device innovation. Covid has resulted in significant growth in the battery category with growth up to 9% full year.
This is primarily driven by an increased use of devices at home such as game controllers (+16%), remotes (+22%), and wireless mouses (+14%).
Duracell has regularly surveyed a panel of 3,000 UK consumers to better understand their buying and consumption behaviours.
“Quite soon it became clear that consumers loyalty towards their favourite premium brands have grown during Covid,” comments Siem Los, Marketing Manager, Duracell. “Secondly, we see that consumers shopped less frequent, but bought significantly more, impacting the sales of bigger and higher value packs. Even though consumers shopped bigger packs, this still resulted in immediate use rather than potential stock-up. 2020 was a record year for Duracell.”
Christmas is the make-or-break period in the year. With 35% of the volume being sold in the last 2 months of the year Duracell expects an especially strong market this year with increased device penetration.
“It is one of our key objectives to support our customers in the best possible way to drive growth by investing into the category and enable them to have the right assortment,” adds Los.
Duracell offers a wide portfolio with a strong focus on innovation in alkaline and specialty.
Through wholesale the company focuses on Duracell Plus, the UK’s best-selling battery. Duracell Plus has recently been relaunched with premium performance through a new and improved formula.
“The core of our assortment is and for the upcoming years will be alkaline, but we see strong year on year growth in the Specialty segment as well,” says Los. “Driven by the Internet of Things trend we see a significant rise of smaller interconnected smart devices that drive 2032 and 2025 sales continuously.”
Duracell has recently launched a sales portal where wholesale customers can access everything needed to get the best out of sales such as optimized e-content and innovation updates.
Duracell is investing significantly in innovation around Specialty Batteries.
Apart from product performance upgrades Child Safety is a top priority for the brand. Duracell is the market leader in product innovations that prevent toddlers to ingest lithium coin batteries with tamper proof packaging and Bittrex coating on the cell.
The Duracell brand is the firm’s most valuable asset that it supports all year round.
The brand is supported through TV advertising and digital media to drive awareness and equity.
“As market leader we see our role to invest as much into the category as possible,” Los continues. “Driving sustainable growth is only possible with the right level of media support.”
Vicky Raman, Brand Marketing Manager, Panasonic Energy Europe, comments: “The covid pandemic has significantly increased in-home battery use which has led to a booming demand for larger pack sizes.
Another trend is environmental awareness which has increased the demand for plastic-free packaging. A third trend is a higher interest for specialty batteries.”
In wholesale Panasonic’s best-selling products are the Zinc Carbon Range. Alkaline value-for-money – Alkaline Power and Everyday Power are also performing well in the market.
Panasonic has developed new, more sustainable packaging and 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 Europe-wide campaign, including Special Edition Power Rangers Battery Packs.
“In terms of how other brands can have a positive impact within the category, take into consideration that we have seen private label batteries increase their sales during the crisis +12% in value sales in the last 26 weeks according to IRI,” Raman says. “All grocers experienced uplifts to varying degrees. We have also seen changes across battery type growth. Over the last few years, the strongest growth has come from Lithium Coins as devices get smaller and more powerful. However, during the pandemic, traditional Alkaline batteries have had the strongest growth as they are the most used in our households. Devices that are consuming AA and AAA batteries had the highest consumption. This is not surprising given that on-the-go is a thing of the past and consumers have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of staying in more.”
Panasonic has just launched a partnership with Hasbro’s Power Rangers that will generate quite a bit of marketing support and exposure, including Special Edition Power Rangers Battery Packs and an online competition. The competition is supported with a dedicated website and in-store displays. In addition to the Power Rangers partnership, Panasonic will present the stores with new displays and seasonally themed clip strips to maximize visibility.
“To stay ahead of sales, make sure your entire battery range is fully available at any time. Stock up on the best sellers. Maximise visibility. Be rigorous with merchandising. Get your offer right at key moments in the year, like the holiday season,” advises Raman.
“There are 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.”
Panasonic have again teamed up with Hasbro’s Power Rangers in a Europewide campaign, to offer Special Edition Power Rangers Battery Packs. The exclusive promotion which is featured on pack, is designed to engage with core battery users of families with kids and in order to maximise the sales pulling power for wholesalers the packs are also available with an extra free batteries promotion.
Until the end of December each month offers participants a new chance to win special Power Rangers prizes as well as Panasonic batteries. The main prize is an exclusive trip to the Power Rangers studio and recording set.
During lockdown, people spent a lot of time in their homes and increasingly engaged in activities that required battery usage. This helped to stimulate battery sales and increased consumption contributed to the category delivering bumper growth in 2020. As the nation emerges from lockdown the category faces a tough year of comparatives, although batteries will still remain a highly important and profitable category for retailers.