£88 million growth opportunity for biscuits in convenience – pladis

Matt Blake (pictured), head of wholesale at pladis, explains the importance of wholesalers and their customers meeting consumers’ various need states.

What proportion of your business goes through the wholesale trade?

A total of 38% of our impulse business is wholesale. This has been a focus channel for us over the past three years since the launch of our ‘Better Biscuits Better Business’ initiative, which has already resulted in up to a 39% sales uplift in retail stores. With a potential £88 million growth opportunity for biscuits in convenience, we are committed to further supporting the convenience and impulse category in 2017 and beyond.

How are you looking to develop your business through the wholesale trade?

Our activity in the wholesale channel has been focused on three areas:

•    We launched our biggest innovation, McVitie’s Nibbles, into the wholesale channel with a £1 price-marked pack. A fourth variant, HobNobs Nibbles, has recently joined the range. Overall, the Nibbles launch has been a great success, adding £15 million to the category – making it the biggest innovation in the biscuit market in over five years. In the last three months, McVitie’s Nibbles have ranked within the Top 15 biscuit brands (IRI), and symbols and wholesale have been part of this success.
•    In September, we had an exclusive launch for the convenience channel – an 89p price-marked everyday biscuit selection. The McVitie’s Biscuit Barrel range, which features some of the UK’s best loved biscuits including Custard Creams, Bourbons and Shorties, has received fantastic feedback as the products offer great value, with an improved cash and percentage margin opportunity for both wholesaler and retailer. The margin pressures for retailers and wholesalers are immense and we take our responsibility in driving category growth seriously. We recently relaunched our top selling McVitie’s chocolate biscuit range in a revised PMP, reducing the price-mark from £1.75 to £1.50. This initiative offers a 1 percentage point improvement in margin to the wholesaler and a competitive headline price to the retailer, driving better base sales. It is a win-win solution for all.
•    We introduced an exclusive wholesaler case containing three free packs (15 packs for the price of 12). We also recently announced the launch of McVitie’s Nibbles handy packs, which marks our commitment to capitalise on the on-the-go trend. A total of 54% of biscuits eaten on the go are in take-home packs and only 7% of biscuits are currently available in an on-the-go format, making Nibbles handy packs an exciting proposition to drive growth in the channel. Pladis is perfectly placed to deliver against this trend through our research into consumer key need states, such as treat, hunger-fill and health. We will continue to leverage our brands to make sure we’re offering the right solution to meet the on-the-go demand and growth opportunity.

How can cash & carries and delivered wholesalers improve their biscuit sales?

The top sellers drive the vast majority of sales so providing the right range is vital. Biscuits cover a wide variety of need states from treat through to health; therefore, cash & carries and delivered wholesalers need to provide a balanced range with products to cater for every need. Having multiple versions of the same product type does not add up to additional sales so reducing duplication is also important.

Setting up the aisle for success can be done through the following:
•    Creating dedicated bays for ‘Better Biscuits Best Sellers’ Top 50 products.
•    Highlighting the best sellers range with PoS and disruptive signage.
•    Using manufacturer blocks across the remainder of fixtures.
Our ‘Better Biscuits’ platform (www.betterbiscuits.com) can help cash & carries, wholesalers and retailers make the right decisions on which biscuit brands to stock. Our five simple steps are easy to follow. Retailers in depot rank having category advice and best-sellers as 8.3/10 in importance. Making prices easy to see in depot is another crucial step – retailers want to see the POR, case price and promotion detail all clearly displayed.

In 2016 we worked with Parfetts to trial our category advice. We created a Top 50 biscuit fixture and supported the re-merchandising in two depots. As a result, the Top 50 biscuit sales grew by an average of 3% in these depots.

Is there anything else our readers should know about pladis UK’s strategy?

We have identified the vital role that price-marked packs can play in demonstrating to customers the value on offer. A total of 90% of our brands sold into wholesale are PMPs and they will remain an important part of our growth strategy in convenience.

Tel: pladis 020-8234 5000

Published Date: April 21, 2017
Category: Meet the Manufacturer