March 2008 – Here Comes The Easter Bunny

02-front.jpgAs the mornings get lighter and spring is on the way, there’s a distinct lift in the national mood. The cold weather might not have gone completely, but people are positively perkier. Even the M25 looks more attractive. The morning this column was written, on the stretch near Heathrow Airport sheep were running in a line in the fields, as though copying the cars on the carriageway: they’re definitely in the mood for spring. It’s been a bleak couple of months since New Year at the point of sale. Across Britain retailers great and small are hoping the Easter weekend, which kicks off on Thursday March 20th, will see a return to consumers spending freely again. The big wish is for the sunny mood to bring out the shoppers – and critically their wallets and purses – starting in the supermarkets.

So, welcome to the Grocery Trader’s March issue. We’re matching the mood and going with the flow with three features to raise your spirits. In our Organic feature, you can catch up on the latest news in this important area of the food and drink market. In Baby & Kids, the message is ‘Little people, large opportunity’: think food, drinks, medicines, feeding equipment, bath time and beyond. In our biggest feature in this issue, our Warehouse & Logistics Focus, you can update yourself on what’s new in the back of the store in supermarkets and distribution centres – warehouse equipment including pallets, warehouse trucks and materials handling; warehouse IT, including barcode and RFID technology; supply chain technology; vehicle safety and security. Definitely worth a read!

Going back to Easter, serious churchgoers still like to bend the knee all through, but in marketing terms they’re a niche market: for the vast majority of Brits the Easter weekend means four glorious days of freedom to see friends and family, be with your favourite people and do your favourite things, which for skinnies and fatties alike includes plenty of eating and drinking.
With Indian food firmly established as one of Britain’s favourite cuisines, the chances are pretty high of people having a curry either out or at home some time over the Easter break. Geeta’s Foods’ prosperity is testimony to founder Geeta Samtani’s passion and continuing enthusiasm for helping UK consumers experience the real taste of India. In our interview Anita Samtani, Geeta’s daughter and a director of Geeta’s Foods, speaks to The Grocery Trader about the tasty profit opportunity.
Have a good month, and a happy Easter!

Charles Smith.