Hancocks is expanding its range of promotions and value lines to help retailers generate more sales from customers on tighter budgets.
The confectionery wholesaler’s sales and marketing director, Helen Bradshaw, told Better Retailing that, despite the cost-of-living crisis, sugar sweets have outperformed other products in the confectionery category.
She added: “Sugar confectionery has been really buoyant and remains in growth. I’ve seen the growth in several recessions because the public still want a treat.
“They might cut back on larger expenses, but want to treat themselves every now and again. We want to make sure we over value to customers to prevent retailers from struggling.”
The investment into sugar confectionery includes the expansion of multibuy offers in depots and its own-label range. Bradshaw said: “We have a multibuy offer where we sell bulk bags of confectionery to retailers, allowing them to repackage them and sell in their shops. We did it historically with own label, but we’ve extended it to include products from third-party brands, such as Haribo.
“We’re also expanding our Candy Realms own label, which is the value brand within our portfolio.”
Hancocks has also been affected by rising costs, as Bradshaw revealed the company has followed crisps and soft drinks brands by increasing the price-mark of some own-label products from £1 to £1.25.
Asked whether the margin for retailers has been maintained, she told Better Retailing: “Price-marked packs (PMPs) have always been popular and help our retailers. We’re still focused on it as there is an element of trust when customers see them in shops. Ninety per cent of sales on sugar bags have been through PMPs.
“When we re-engineer packs, we will work hard on absorbing the costs. We’ve seen so many costs ourselves, but we will always look at the end price. We don’t want to pass any prices on that retailers have to swallow.”
Hancocks has also increased conversations with suppliers to ensure retailers receive better margins. “We’re conscious retailers want a strong value range and we speak to 300-to-400 suppliers globally to ensure we can offer this,” Bradshaw said.
“We’re challenging suppliers to find alternative ranges. Retailers will also see communication which highlights where they can make the biggest margins and get more money in their stores. This extends to availability, which was horrendous last year. We’ve seen a massive improvement, as all our buyers are challenging suppliers more, and we’re increasing forecasting to avoid previous issues.”
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