Hena Chandarana, Trade Communications Controller at pladis, discusses The ‘Big Night In’ phenomenon and related category trends.
Evening snacking has become hugely popular in recent years as the squeeze on household budgets remains. As a result, opting to stay in for a night has become the go-to option to keep costs down. The rise in ‘Big Night In’ is mirrored by the rise in popularity of high-quality home entertainment services as well as on-demand film and TV subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV. Many of the major charities have also started to latch on to the ‘big night in’ as a fun fundraising event.
The ‘big night in’ is an occasion that continues to be shaped by wider category trends, and retailers must ensure they reflect these in the products and price formats they stock. As the pressure on pricing remains, consumer’s savvy shopping behaviour means they will expect to see a continued focus on price cuts and multi-buys for snacking products, allowing them to manage their weekly shop and still purchase their household favourites. At pladis, we offer a large range of core everyday biscuit brands and snacks which are much loved by consumers and sought-out on shelf. Stocking best sellers such as these will help lead to better sales and profit for retailers, particularly if supported with the right range of price points.For example, we offer price marked packs (PMP) on a range of sharing snack products, helping retailers to continue to build trust with shoppers and demonstrate best value in what are still challenging economic times for many.
With time-poor consumers often skipping meals or eating at irregular times, snacking can be a necessity to keep them going between meals. Jacob’s Cream Crackers, the UK’s bestselling crackers, are often consumed as a late evening snack, so availability of everyday brands such as these ensure consumers are getting what they want. Similarly, with sharing an increasingly important part of snacking, particularly for nights at home or entertaining, consumer preference is towards larger sharing packs and new flavours to experiment on. Recent additions to our Jacob’s and McVitie’s ranges through Jacob’s Cracker Crisps and McVitie’s Digestive Nibbles have supported this trend.
Consumer demand for more natural, healthy options without sacrificing one iota of taste continues to rise; and we need to make sure that we continue to provide options to meet this trend. This is one of the factors behind the ongoing shift from consumers away from fried and towards baked snacks, which we believe will continue to be a feature of the market this year – and something the ‘big night in’ trend can capitalise upon. With these trends in mind, we believe we’re in a great place to continue to help drive retailer sales, appealing to consumers looking for healthier, tasty snacks, particularly when grazing during the evening.
Since parting company with KP Snacks at the beginning of 2013, our exclusive focus on baked, as opposed to fried, has been a fundamental priority for the business; our portfolio is now 100% baked. Alongside this we have over a century of baking expertise and our products are loved by consumers. We offer a range of flavours across our baked snacks portfolio, from Sour Cream & Chive Cracker Crisps to the even cheesier Jacob’s Mini Cheddars and the unique flavour of Twiglets Original, providing something suitable for differing consumer preferences depending on their snacking mood.
Which specific products work best in this category?
Built around staying in with friends and family, retailers should focus their ‘big night in’ range around products suitable for athome sharing. When targeting the ‘big night in’ trend, large sharing bags and multi-pack products, as well as re-sealable pots or tubs, are most popular with shoppers. We would advise spotlighting these to customers by positioning them close to point of sale and alongside complementary categories such as ambient dips and drinks. At pladis we offer customers a range of popular shareable snacks across sweet and savoury, for savoury, Jacob’s Mini Cheddars and Jacob’s Cracker Crisps continue to perform well. Our Cracker Crisps range was launched last year to target this fastgrowing evening sharing occasion.
These delicious baked “hybrids” between a cracker and a crisp used time-honoured baking excellence to deliver an unmatchable crunch with fantastic flavours and texture. The range has delivered the strongestever scores Jacob’s has seen, and as a result, the product is on track to deliver £15 million RSV in year one. It’s a ‘big night in’ must stock.
In February this year we also announced our biggest NPD for 2016 with the launch of new McVitie’s Digestive Nibbles. The product is the first innovation of its kind for the biscuit category, offering the well-loved taste of the number one McVitie’s Digestive biscuit range in a chocolate bitesize format. Targeting a new evening sharing treat occasion for biscuits, it’s perfectly placed to target shoppers looking for something new to try for their ‘big night in’. We’ve already seen fantastic consumer response to the range and has already seen impressive sales of £12m RSV