Matt Collins (pictured), trading controller – convenience at KP Snacks, suggests how wholesalers can make the most of the crisps, snacks & nuts category in 2016.
What are the key principles to consider when merchandising the category?
Different cash & carries have their own way of segmenting the crisps, snacks & nuts fixture. Some will block by brands or manufacturer, while others will block by formats, such as singles, multipacks or share bags, or even by price-marked packs and standard packs. There is no right or wrong answer, and those wholesalers should know what works best for them. The biggest challenge comes from ensuring that enough space is allocated to the best-sellers and making sure that they are displayed visibly and prominently. Grouping products together is important but stock availability should always be the main point of focus, particularly for those lines that are proven sellers.
How can wholesalers encourage trial and entice new customers to the category?
We have been working hard to create theatre in depot with some very engaging displays. In August and September, we backed our McCoy’s ‘Win Your Club’ promotion by construct-ing a number of football coach-themed displays in Bestway and Dhamecha stores. This worked really well for us, but any kind of extra display is a great way to stop retailers in their tracks and tempt them to deviate from their shopping list.
In 2015, more than 150 convenience stores revamped their crisps, snacks & nuts fixture as part of the SnacKPartners initiative, delivering an average sales uplift of 40%. Do you provide similar category management tools for cash & carries as well?
We are actually looking to implement our concept of the ‘perfect depot’ by reviewing EPoS and ‘sales out’ data, and by sharing the best merchandising advice with our wholesale customers. We have recently been working with Blakemore [Wholesale] on a project to help retailers and caterers find the products they should stock and to understand why. We plan to re-lay a number of depots this year and create some case studies to be able to highlight the results.
Do you have strong links with delivered wholesalers too?
We work closely with a number of small-to-medium-sized operators and larger companies as well. Last year, we partnered with Bidvest Foodservice and ran a series of ‘Ra Ra’ campaigns and depot days to promote brands such as McCoy’s, KP Nuts and O’Donnell’s. This not only adds a bit of excitement, but also gives the individuals working in telesales an added incentive to inspire and educate customers. We will definitely be organising similar events throughout 2016.
Where do wholesalers fall short in terms of meeting customer demand?
Wholesalers need to be aware that retailers really value disruptive displays that can be recreated back in their store. We are currently partnering with Molson Coors to identify ways in which we can bring complementary categories together in depot. Cross-promotional displays offer huge incremental sales oppor-tunities, but we know that they are very difficult to implement in depots.
Can you share any news relating to product/promotional launches in 2016?
Our wholesale partners have been very clear on working capital challenges and a lack of space on shelves. Rather than adding more proliferation to the category, most of our activity in 2016 will be based on promoting our power brands, like Hula Hoops, McCoy’s and Pom-Bear, on TV. We will be kick-starting the year with our best-ever McCoy’s campaign in February. McCoy’s is our hero brand and we are putting a lot of investment behind it, with a new product coming to the market as well. We are also doing some reformulations to the brand’s quality to hopefully broaden the appeal.
Are you making any other investments that will benefit the trade over the coming months?
We have added more resources to increase our contact with our wholesale partners and to bring more of our initiatives to life in depot. We now have a team of 33 people, plus two third-party partners, who visit depots and retailers on a regional basis. We are working closely with Avansa to help share information with depot managers relating to point of sale, promotions, rack ends and display tips.
Tel: KP Snacks (0845) 601 7583Published Date: January 8, 2016