Happy New Year blowing away the cobwebs

Happy New Year, and welcome to the January Grocery Trader. After December’s festivities, there’s no escape – January is grim, enough to drive shoppers to beat the winter blues with a Big Night In or several. Hence our ‘Big Night In’ feature makes the point that retailers need to make sure all food, drink and other fixtures with a link to home entertaining stay well stocked during the dark months.

chazBritain is becoming a ‘mosaic of peoples and cultures,’ says Noor Ali, Morrison’s World Food Manager. At the same time our TV chefs and celebrity cooks are including more exotic ingredients in their recipes, leading more mainstream shoppers down the World Foods aisles. With the multiples’ World Foods sections becoming ‘must-visit’ destinations for more and more shoppers our Ethnic Food and Drink feature looks at this fast growing category.

Even in the ongoing tough climate, Baby & Kids has remained one of the strongest parts of the supermarkets’ offering, as our feature explains. The experts predict the current baby boom will continue, with the child population up 9% on 2011 by 2016. With parents’ average age and available income rising, ‘Baby and kids’ will continue to grow in value, all good news for retailers.

The New Year is a cue to blow away the cobwebs and take a fresh look at life. Our front cover lead story looks at giving the indoors of Britain’s homes a breath of fresh air from the great outdoors. Airwick from RB, the number one brand in air fresheners, has announced a new initiative for 2014 with the launch of its National Parks Fragrance Collection, backed by a £2.5m marketing campaign. Inspired by the UK’s majestic National Parks these evocative fragrances capture the freshness of Britain’s ‘breathing spaces’ and bring the countryside…inside.

Reflecting the changing seasons and the diversity of the British outdoors across the National Parks’ beautiful landscapes, the Airwick Spring/Summer collection launches in January with fragrances evoking the landscapes of four iconic National Parks, The Yorkshire Dales, Exmoor, The Peak District and The Brecon Beacons. The exciting new partnership is also an outstanding opportunity for AirWick to raise greater awareness of the National Parks among the brand’s millions of consumers and help generate funds for vital conservation projects.

Electronic cigarettes are another growing product sector freshening up consumers’ homes. In our other front cover story Gamucci, the UK’s fastest growing electronic cigarette brand, has announced a deal with Tesco that sees its premium electronic cigarettes on sale in 2,000 Tesco Express Stores and Tesco Filling Stations nationwide. This follows similar tie-ups with Waitrose, WHSmith, and other leading retailers in the UK and overseas.

Have a successful month.