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Unpredictable weather means you always have to be ready for barbecues and summer nights in. Uldduz Sohrabi Larki finds out how to get the best out of the season
Sharing snacks Warm weather calls for people to spend more time socialising and much of that socialising happens at home.
“Seventy-six per cent of people now spend most of their leisure time at home and buy into the sharing segment,” says Matt Collins, sales director for convenience, wholesale, discounters & foodservice at KP Snacks.
The sharing segment has increased by 10.7% year on year, which is an incentive for retailers to stock up on these products.
Collins says that understanding the importance of summer sales is crucial for driving additional spend.
“Placing crisps, nuts and snacks on promotion has become a great driver to this, with 31% of shoppers purchasing items on deal as opposed to just 18% when they’re not on offer,” he adds.
If you want to make the most of the summer nights in and barbecue season, you must take advantage of dedicated fixtures and promotional offers that advertise barbecues.
This will make shopping easy for your customers and is a good way to drive impulse purchases.
Soft drinks The warmer season will encourage customers to buy drinks on impulse. According to Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, periods of warmer weather can drive growth, whether people are looking to cool down while on the go, or stocking up for an outdoor occasion like a barbecue.
To maximise sales during this time, retailers are advised to keep chilled soft drinks stocks high and take into account the different pack formats to appeal to every consumer taste.
“Retailers should also back any new or special edition products, as well as those being promoted by advertising, helping to maximise incremental growth,” Burgess adds.
It is also advised that retailers stock up on adult soft drinks, as customers continue to look for for more premium drinks.
With 58% of shoppers saying that a sunny weather forecast has influenced them to organise a barbecue, retailers have to be ready with the right products throughout the season.
“Being quick to respond to weather changes and can help drive sales,” says Trystan Farnworth, commercial director for convenience & impulse at Britvic.
Alcohol is hugely important for summer socialising, so retailers must stock up and be prepared to respond to the weather.
Customers will look for last-minute grab and go options to enjoy with their barbecue.
“Fifty-five per cent of alcohol is consumed within two hours of purchase, so take advantage of impulse purchases by keeping top sellers in the fridge,” says Jen Draper, head of marketing at Global Brands.
Eighty-two per cent of consumers have alcohol in their homes, and cross promotions are a huge part of encouraging upselling.
David Mallory, channel director at E&J Gallo, says that while traditional 750ml formats are still popular for barbecues and parties, 187ml bottles are a great option for consumers at this time of year. This helps customers with portion control, as well as appealing to shoppers who want to try different drinks.
Meat, bread and sauces Barbecue deals that feature all the different products customers need will help drive basket spend and remind shoppers what they should be purchasing, says Shah Khan, marketing manager of Aviko.
“Communicating meal deals using posters and other PoS materials is essential, particularly when you consider most people eat with their eyes,” Khan adds.
Retailers should raise awareness of side options, such as fries or other potato products, to complement meat and increase sales.
Sauces, too, are good accompaniments to bread and meat. Jon Walbancke, brand building director at Unilever, says barbecues are triggered by heat, bank holidays and special occasions. These are prime times to ensure shelves are stocked up with sauces.
With awareness of health trends however, you must consider that consumers are increasingly looking for more natural offerings when it comes to food.
Similarly with flavour, new flavours like honey barbecue and coconut & lime dressings are becoming increasingly popular.
You should make sure your barbecue displays are in a high footfall area. Put the products where people can see them and they will promote themselves when the sun comes out and shoppers want to stock up.
Your display should include all the products that shoppers will be looking for, such as snacks, bread, meat and sauces and be promoted on your social media during warmer weather.
Adam Dipoti, Todmorden News Centre, West Yorkshire
“We don’t bring in new food products other than those that we already have, but we stock up more on some products. We really try to take advantage of the barbecue season.
“One of the main things that we make sure we bring in is instant barbecue trays. We also bring in barbecue fluids. It’s so important to stock these products early on.
“We have them early for two reasons. Firstly, the weather is so unpredictable that we just want to be ready when the weather allows for it. Secondly, it’s good to have them early so customers know we have these products in store.”
1. Stock up on 2l bottles of soft drinks as they sell faster in the summer
2. Expand your bread range with hotdog rolls and burger buns
3. Create a seasonal display with everything for a barbecue in one place
4. Make sure your barbecue products are clearly visible in store
5. Stock up on additional products for barbecues like napkins and paper plates to drive extra sales
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