What do you think will be the biggest emerging trends in wholesaling in 2022?

While the government’s crackdown on products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) will undoubtedly have a long term impact on the retail sector, it is worth remembering that under the proposed rules, stores smaller than 2,000 sq ft will be exempt from the changes. The proposed rules ban retailers from running multi-buy promotions on HFSS products or placing relevant products near entrances, next to the till, or at aisle ends. The changes are planned to come into effect from October 2022.

Retailers, with stores of all sizes, should consider how they can incorporate more healthy eating options into their retail mix. If done correctly, it can create another profitable opportunity.

Steve Moore, head of retail at Parfetts.

What will be the key categories to watch out for?

Consumers are likely to feel the squeeze in 2022 due to rising inflation, interest rates and energy costs, to name but a few. In this environment, it will be essential to offer better value for money than ever before. To address this trend, Parfetts has launched a new own-label range of brands which consists of over 135 products and has another 50 in the pipeline. The range is designed with retailers in mind. It provides consumers great value and offers increased margins for retailers. Additionally, consumers will continue to look to treat themselves, so premiumisation in categories will also see another strong year with spirits certainly one key category to watch.

Do you think online shopping will increase over the next year?

The market will continue to evolve as more consumers switch into last-mile delivery, such as Snappy Shopper for top-up convenience, and new entrants such as Getir that will disrupt the market. Online shopping is here to stay, and it will continue to grow as people appreciate the convenience it provides. However, the physical store experience is still important for certain shoppers, such as the elderly, and also for certain shopper journeys.

Do consumers still love local shopping?

The shift to local shopping that occurred in lockdown has paid a longer-term dividend as consumers appreciate the convenience and have a greater appreciation of the great range and value offered by their local store. We are seeing the retailers who have invested into their stores have retained a lot of those consumers.

Will consumers stay in more, and will there consequently be more products aimed at in-home consumption?

Staying in is the new going out! Confidence is slow to return to the night-time economy, and many families are happy to stay at home and treat themselves. It will drive demand for luxury home meal solutions and boost alcohol sales. A local retailer is now likely to compete with a takeaway on Deliveroo alongside a cook-at-home meal delivery service. It calls for greater planning around pulling together attractive offers for the complete night in. Over the longer term, while people may well want to get back out and meet up, I believe during the winter months they will less likely want to mix indoors, so the family big night in will continue to grow.

Will healthy eating and wellness be even bigger trends in 2022?

A recent poll by Deliveroo found that 20% of people in the UK will be ditching meat over the Christmas holidays. It also found that the majority of people who are going vegan or vegetarian for Christmas have only recently made the switch to plant-based eating. The data speaks to a wider trend that people are becoming more conscious of the food they eat and adopting a wider range of diets. While it can be challenging to meet the shifts in demand for the retailer, it also presents an opportunity to build customer loyalty as consumers will put more effort into seeking out the products they need.

Another trend to consider is the growing awareness of climatarianism, where shoppers consider the environmental impact of the products they buy. It is driving the trend for meat-free days and demand for seasonal produce.

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