Snacks evolution

Matt Goddard Wholesale trading controller, PepsiCo
Matt Goddard
Wholesale trading controller, PepsiCo
What trends and changes in sales has PepsiCo noticed since lockdown?

Matt Goddard, wholesale trading director, PepsiCo: While there’s been an overall drop in sales frequency, trip spend is up across the market to unprecedented levels.

We’re seeing a shift towards more top-up shops within convenience and, therefore, the product mix that we’re having to manufacture has changed.

For example, shoppers are now looking for more multipacks and sharing bags from smaller stores. We’re seeing more than 60% growth across those formats compared to a pre-lockdown level.

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We’ve seen similar trends in cereal and juice as well. In independent stores, we have exclusive 850ml take-home Tropicana packs, which have been in double-digit growth since lockdown.

One of the greatest opportunities for independents is in porridge oats, where shoppers are buying from convenience stores more than ever before.

The grains category is up more than 40% in the past six weeks and a lot of that growth is from the traditional pack formats, and the price-marked sachets, which are up more than 50%.


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Are these trends here to stay?

Lockdown might be starting to ease, but a lot of the regulation around social distancing isn’t. The shopper move into local shops will keep going. Within crisps and snacks, 60% of the growth has come from new shoppers rediscovering their local independent store.

The opportunity for retailers to capitalise on that is there for the taking, and the rise of multipacks and sharing is not a short-term trend

As a global business, what has PepsiCo learned from markets around the world?

Demand for savoury snacks has been strong around the world. New guidelines will play a role in how people move around shops, so we’re spending a lot of time thinking about what the path through the retail outlet is.


How important will value become in the coming months?

What are those spaces where shoppers stop and think, which are the moments of opportunity?

Till points and queuing systems, which have always been important, will become more so. We’ve seen the global rise in relevance of digital, in buying and in communicating with customers, for example, letting customers know changes to opening times and ranges.

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How has PepsiCo been supporting retailers during this time?

One of the most important actions we’ve taken is to make sure that our reps are available in wholesale. That way we’ve been able to maintain face-to-face dialogue in a socially distanced environment and ensure high availability for retailers.

In the absence of reps being able to visit store owners, we’ve been keeping up a regular phone dialogue while keeping in mind the time pressure that retailers are under.

We also reduced our product range to make sure we could maintain availability. We prioritised independent stores, so focused on our core range and £1 price-marked packs, and that’s helped.


Here, Matt gives his three top tips for independent convenience retailers

How is PepsiCo supporting independent retailers with their online presence?

The biggest opportunity is around home delivery. We’ve partnered with Uber Eats in the past few weeks to give retailers access to a well-established delivery service. Retailers who sign up through us will not have to pay the £500 sign-up fee. We’ve already had a really strong take up.

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We’ve seen product launches and marketing activity slow in general in recent weeks – will this be picking up again?

We’re going to be launching the ‘Yay-cation’ summer campaign in the next few weeks. The campaign will be focused around our sharing formats, but more will follow in the next couple of weeks.

We’re also launching two new lines for independent retailers. Walkers Baked Ready Salted and Cheese & Onion flavours will be available in £1 price-marked packs from July.

THREE TOP TIPS

Embrace the change. Stock larger sharing packs across categories to capitalise on evolving needs.

Ramp up communication. Use social media platforms and PoS to remind shoppers of the range you offer.

Connect emotionally. Support your local community and focus on strengthening those bonds.