Britain’s increasingly price conscious shoppers love a good Price Marked Pack. PMPs provide a tried and tested way for wholesalers and their retailer customers to offer consumers confidence that they are getting value for money when they’re shopping in the impulse channel, and are an important part of many suppliers’ core offering.

In today’s cautious consumer environment, it’s important for wholesalers to offer PMPs on a range of products in different sizes and flavours to suit every need. From on the go commuters to teenagers looking for a top up ahead of dinner, wholesalers can’t afford to miss these opportunities. Wholesale Manager spoke to some of the leading suppliers who have incorporated PMPs in their promotional strategy.

“Price-marked packs have always been a great way for convenience retailers to offer their shoppers value,” says Trystan Farnworth, Britvic’s Commercial Director for convenience and impulse. “With the channel facing increasing competition from multiples, discounters, out of home outlets and delivery services, PMPs should be viewed as a must-stock item across a range of categories. Looking at soft drinks, price marked versions of both on-the-go and take home formats have an important role to play in helping retailers build trust and loyalty among their shoppers, encouraging them to return for competitive prices in the future.

“Another consideration in our category is that the Soft Drinks Industry Levy’s introduction last year has meant we’ve seen more people switching from sugary drinks into low and no added sugar alternatives, and the PMPs range in-store needs to reflect this.”

To support retailers, Britvic have introduced a price-marked 330ml can for 59p or 2 for £1 multi-buy deal across their brand portfolio, which includes diet Pepsi, Pepsi MAX and 7Up Free. This rolled out last autumn, following the success of Britvic’s ‘£1 or 2 for £1.70’ PMP on 500ml PET bottles. Britvic also recently rolled out a Robinsons Fruit Creations £1.99 PMP exclusively for the convenience channel. Worth over £20m, Robinsons Fruit Creations was the UK’s biggest soft drinks launch of 2018, and was awarded Product of the Year in the Consumer Survey of Product Innovation.

Wayne Thompson, Customer Marketing Manager at YAZOO UK, says Price Marked Packs are an essential part of the YAZOO range and the PMP formats available are some of the brand’s best-selling products: “In the current economic climate, consumers want to ensure their purchases are good value, and to know they are receiving the best product for their money.” Wayne says a third of shoppers believe Price Marked Packs are cheaper, and 59% of wholesalers say PMP’s sell faster than non-PMPs:

“It’s important to drive brand loyalty. If shoppers know they can buy their favourite milk drink at the same price every time, it increases their confidence in the wholesaler and leads to an increase in basket spend.”

Flavoured milk is a £297m category, well-established and continuing to grow. YAZOO brand owner FrieslandCampina’s £1 400ml PMP bottles were joined last year by a 1litre PMP bottle. Both PMP formats are permanently available in the most popular flavours of Chocolate, Strawberry and Banana. Replacing the successful YAZOO Choc Mint Yazoo’s new limited edition flavour Choc Caramel is available in 400ml £1 price mark packs and standard 400ml format, RSP £1.15.

Matt Gouldsmith – Channel Director, Wholesale at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, agrees that Price-marked packs are “incredibly important” when it comes to demonstrating value to shoppers:

“Wholesalers should ensure retailers can stock up on price-marked formats of the most popular brands, like Lucozade Energy and Ribena, to drive sales in this profitable category. We know that price-marked soft drinks are growing more quickly than plain packs, so by stocking up on price-marked packs throughout their range, wholesalers and retailers can capitalise on this opportunity.

To help retailers make the most of these advantages, PMPs are available across Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s full range of leading soft drinks.

Rich Fisher, Category Development Manager at Red Bull UK, has the stats on PMPs at his fingertips. He says pricemarked soft drinks are delivering 26% more value than plain packs and driving growth by 6%, so are vital for retailers to drive sales. PMPs provide customer confidence in brands and help to increase basket spend, with 68% of shoppers likely to compare prices very carefully and 44% more likely to buy a product if PMPs are visible.

Price-marked packs continue to play a strong role in convenience outlets by delivering a greater perception of value, with 76% of shoppers saying PMPs help a convenience store’s price image and 38% agreeing that PMPs reassure them that they are not being overcharged. Similarly, in Red Bull’s research 21% of shoppers said they wouldn’t buy a soft drink from a convenience store if it wasn’t a PMP and 22% of convenience store shoppers buy PMPs ‘every’ or ‘most times’ they visit a store.

The Red Bull Original and Sugarfree range to stock is available in both PMP and non-PMP formats, and includes Red Bull Original 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and Red Bull Sugarfree 250ml. Swizzels’ £1 PMPs are driving the growth of their hanging bag range, which is up +21% year on year. Mark Walker is Sales Director at Swizzels, the UK’s fastest growing sugar confectionery manufacturer and one of the few remaining British sugar confectionery manufacturers. Swizzels’ latest addition to its PMP range and the soft chew hanging bag category is Choos, available in two variants with a choice of five flavours per pack.

Drumstick Choos provide five double flavour combinations including Peaches & Cream and Strawberry & Banana: Refreshers Choos offer five fizzy flavours with the unique sherbet centre, including Pineapple and Apple. Also part of the portfolio, Swizzels’ Squashies is the UK’s third bestselling and the fastest growing sugar confectionery brand, with one bag sold every second. Drumstick Squashies Original £1 PMP is the UK’s sixth bestselling confectionery SKU.

Ideal for self-treats, Swizzels has expanded its 10p Drumstick Chew Bar range with a brand-new Bubblegum flavour. This follows the huge success of the Drumstick Original Chew Bar, growing 18% annually. The new chew bar is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, with a clear flash on pack. The retail display case comes marked with a clear 10p flash, ot catch the attention of younger shoppers seeking a pocket money treat.

Swizzels is supporting its PMP range with the Fun in the Sun promotion between June and September. Wholesalers have the opportunity to entice retailers with POS materials such as pallet surrounds, featuring details of a prize draw giving retailers the opportunity to ‘text to win’ a holiday. Fun in the Sun will also be backed by a Swizzels consumer and social media campaign throughout the summer. Matt Collins, Trading Director at KP Snacks, is a major advocate of PMPs: “Price marked packs encourage impulse purchases, as they give consumers confidence in the value message.”

In KP’s research 82% of retailers wanted PMPs, says Matt, “so it makes sense to continually grow our PMP formats for convenience and impulse and add to the range with our most popular brands, to drive sales for retailers and maintain value for consumers.”

42% of shoppers buy crisps and snacks on impulse and PMPs are a huge driving force behind this, says Matt Collins, with £1 PMP ranges growing ahead of the market at +15.3% versus non-PMP formats at -2.9%. KP Snacks’ £1 PMP range is out-performing the category at +40.9%.

The Big Night In occasion accounts for the significant growth in total impulse sales over the last year, with PMPs, now worth £155.4m in the sharing segment, leading the way. McCoy’s Muchos, KP’s biggest brand launch to date, taps into the growing trend for sharing with others, which now generates 1.7bn occasions per year.

Launched in January and backed by a £4m media investment, McCoy’s Muchos will continue to drive the growth of the KP Snacks PMP range with two £1 PMPs, Nacho Cheese and Smoky Chilli Chicken.

McCoy’s Muchos PMP’s are joined by the new £1 Wheat Crunchies PMP. Worth £9.9m Wheat Crunchies has been popular with consumers for over forty years. Capitalising on the healthier snacking trend, another KP Snacks brand POM-BEAR is extending KP Snacks’ ‘2 for £1’ offer, which has proved extremely popular with the company’s other family-favourite brand, Hula Hoops. Both brands appeal to young family shoppers, who account for 25% of on-the-go shoppers.

Sarah Beck, Channel Manager at Kettle Foods, confirms the importance of PMPs in the snacking sector: “We’re seeing continued double-digit growth in sharing products. They are the main driver of snacking growth in convenience over the last two years, making them a must-stock for wholesalers.”

Sarah says Price Marked Packs continue to drive impulsive purchase opportunities for wholesale customers and make up over two-thirds of sharing packs in symbols and independents. Interestingly, over eighty percent of those are sold at a £1 price point. Against this background, she adds, it’s not surprising that the £1 KETTLEChips price marked packs have shown recent 12 week growth of 17%, ahead of the market at +10%.

Rustlers, the UK’s No.1 microsnacking brand from Kepak Consumer Foods, is enabling the convenience channel to meet the needs of priceconscious consumers by offering their top-selling products as PMP’s, providing increased sales opportunities as demand for price-marked packs continues to rise.

Monisha Singh, Shopper Marketing Manager at Kepak Consumer Foods, is clear about PMPs’ role: “Price-sensitive shoppers are looking for value for money and are reassured when they see market-leading brands in price-marked packs. More than one in five shoppers are more likely to buy a product if it is price marked.”

Rustlers offers each of its top-selling SKUs as £2 PMPs, including the Rustlers Quarter Pounder, the UK’s bestselling micro-snack with annual sales of over £5m in the convenience channel and growing 6.3%. Monisha explains:

“The price sensitivity shown by shoppers is set to continue and cash and carries and retailers will continue to benefit by offering price-marked packs. Price marked products like Rustlers that are backed by sustained, heavyweight marketing support will have even stronger appeal. Thanks to the introduction of the Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin, price-marked at £1.50, Rustlers now features in the key consumption occasions of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a major presence in three of the key shopper missions, food to go, meal for tonight and top up.”

Price Marked Packs are also important in the alcoholic drinks category in convenience outlets, and therefore in wholesale as well, says Thomas Bennett, Trade Marketing Controller at Global Brands: “Almost three quarters of UK shoppers state that convenience is more important now than five years ago, underlining PMPs’ significance.”

Global Brands offer a wide range of price-marked products, including number one student RTD, VK. The 70cl bottle of VK is price-marked at £2.49, and is currently growing at 11%. Global Brands’ ready to serve cocktails, Flare Cocktail cans are exclusive to independent retailers, enbling them to offer a point of difference compared to multiple grocers. Price-marked at £1 and available in three flavours, Cosmo, Mojito and On the Beach, Flare Cocktails are helping to drive the increasing popularity of RTD cocktail cans, growing 47% annually in both volume and value.

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