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I first came across people who called crisps, crips in Dublin when I was working in a pub some 30 years ago. Seeing it as a brand name at a show last week prompted me to ask one question, why didn’t someone think of this before.
However, Crips are not crisps but cleverly baked snacks launched three years ago by Karl Traae and his buddy using a patented recipe. They are building distribution by attending trade shows and persuading small multiples, the big grocers and independent food stores to stock the brand.
Newsagents and convenience stores are, however, less likely to try the product than shops that specialise in food, says Mr Traae. Why is this? Perhaps because they are not used to explaining the make up of products that they sell.
“It someone walks into your shop and they have never seen Crips before and see that they are 70p and ask you what this product is about, are you going to be able to explain how it is made and why it is better for you?” he asks.
Which is a good question. Does your shop have to rely on the major suppliers using television to generate consumer demand? Or are you actively working to turn shoppers on to the products that you have selected for them?
Last month, when I saw the new Warburtons pitta snack products and its representative told me that distribution was focussed on the independent channel, I told a local retailer about them and encouraged him to get some in stock. I talk to this shopkeeper all the time and he is still to take me up on the idea.
New products may or may not be a hit with your shoppers. But surely a commitment to try new stuff all the time is an essential part of the joy of retailing?
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