Welcome to the June issue of The Grocery Trader. We may be unsure how to vote in this month’s EU referendum, but British consumers’ minds are quite clear when it comes to making healthy choices about what they eat and drink. On our front page Omega Pharma, the healthcare company, is expanding its award winning weight management portfolio with the launch of Yokebe, a highly nutritious range of natural weight loss shakes, just 273 calories and packed with all the vitamins and minerals the body requires. Gluten and GMO free and with a natural taste, Yokebe contains twice as much protein as other meal replacement brands.
In another healthy development the UK soft drinks industry is about to see some major innovation coming through following the imposition in March of the sugar levy. This month sees AG Barr’s Rubicon brand bringing out what it calls its biggest piece of NPD yet.
Backed by a £2m plus marketing budget Rubicon Spring is a 3-4% juice range with no added sugar and a base of sparkling spring water, containing vitamins and green tea extract, containing 10- 15 calories per 500 ml bottle and priced in line with premium mainstream Coke. Adrian Troy, AG Barr’s Head of Marketing, points to an 18% rise in shoppers buying both carbonates and bottled water in the last four years: “There hasn’t been a collapse of strong categories and brands by any means but consumers are beginning to make healthier purchases across the board.“ See our Drinks section for the full story.
We also have features on The Body Beautiful, aka Personal Care, Pet Care and Breakfast. Life may be getting busier for many of us, but as Mintel remind us, breakfast offers precious “me-time” before tackling the business of the day and is worth savouring. It’s also a massive opportunity for multiple grocers and the food and drink manufacturers who supply them.
Personal care purchases are rising steadily in large supermarkets, stealing sales from the high street pharmacies and drug stores traditionally strong in these items. But the rise of convenience format supermarkets operated by the major chains in urban locations presents new opportunities to grow personal care sales, especially to older consumers and single males.
Pet care has been a stable, established and profitable sector for multiple grocers for decades. At the moment UK purchases of pet care products are going through a period of transition, in line with the channels that sell them in our omnichannel era. It’s a situation that offers larger supermarkets in particular, and convenience format stores too, the chance to grow their share of pet foods and accessories. Have a successful month.