Mike Simmons, Grenade

Company CV

Company Grenade

Head of category Mike Simons

If retailers haven’t jumped on board the protein trend as of 2019, is it too late?

We firmly believe that the trend towards protein is still very new, fast moving and is an opportunity that all retailers can benefit from. The category is still in high levels of growth (up 22% in the latest 52 weeks[1]), as more shoppers seek healthier alternatives to traditional confectionery snacks.

How is the protein trend changing? What can retailers expect from protein brands like Grenade in the future?

Shoppers are becoming increasingly informed when it comes to making healthier snacking choices. This move can be seen across all demographics and eating occasions, presenting retailers with great opportunities across multiple categories. 

One of the key reasons that shoppers purchase Grenade is it’s simply a healthier alternative to traditional chocolate confectionery. Sugar is still high on the shopper agenda, with 48% of shoppers stating that they are actively reducing the amount of sugar they consume[2], so health is a critical driver of choice.

Proof of this change can be seen by comparing our performance to leading confectionery brands. Grenade Carb Killa is driving more actual sales growth than any other single chocolate bar brand in the UK[3]. 

As a result in this shift in shopper behaviour, retailers are beginning to stock Carb Killa alongside standard chocolate bars at front of store or at till.

Who buys protein products? Is spend incremental to categories such as cereal bars?

A short answer – everyone! We have a very wide consumer base, encompassing all ages and life stages. For example, although core consumers tend to be younger, 45% of our consumers are above the age of 35. When it comes to snacking, shoppers have a wide purchase repertoire and there is a role for ‘treat’ products as well as healthier options. Within this, shoppers are still buying cereal bars (especially where they are balanced, natural and free-from credentials) but also buy bars such as Grenade incrementally.

What are the trendy flavours that retailers need to make sure they are stocking?

Flavour innovation is fundamental in keeping retail ranges fresh and engaging to shoppers. Two examples of recent launches are our Carb Killa White Chocolate Salted Peanut and Carb Killa Dark Chocolate Raspberry. These have already become two of our fastest selling lines, and in some cases are outperforming leading chocolate bars. However, while it is important to offer shoppers something new and exciting, retailers need to ensure they are offering a core of the best sellers. At a market level, these would be Carb Killa White Chocolate Cookie, Peanut Nutter, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Birthday Cake.

Can any retailer in any location sell protein products or is it an urban trend?

We have seen high, double-digit growth in all channels, in all locations, so the answer is yes, absolutely. From sports nutrition, to food-to-go and confectionery, the underlying health and taste trend is the same, and is one all retailers can benefit from.

What can retailers do in their stores to drive sales of protein products? How can retailers get the most profit out of the category?

The majority of Grenade Carb Killa products are impulse products, intended for immediate consumption. Therefore, we recommend that these products should be sold at the front of store, with shakes being sold from the soft drinks chiller. Bars are often merchandised as part of a wider “Healthier Snacking” category, but the big opportunity is to place Grenade alongside standard chocolate bars. Sixty-five per cent of our consumers also purchase chocolate confectionery on a regular basis [4] and are buying both categories incrementally. 

[1] IRI Marketplace Total UK Protein Bars £Sales 52we 24/03/19

[2] Walnut survey 2019

[3] IRI Marketplace Total UK Protein Bars and Single Chocolate Bars Actual £Sales Growth 52we 24/03/19

[4] Retailer Loyalty Card Data, Total UK 52we April 2019