The big question about Big Nights In is how should retailers capitalise on it?

Here’s the view from Sarah Brown, Senior Brand manager at Tangerine Confectionery

The Grocery Trader – What’s driving consumer purchases for Big Nights In?

Family and friends’ gatherings are increasingly popular – mainly as a result of the recession.

People are opting to stay in rather than go out to overpriced restaurants and bars and spend a fortune on transport. So having an exciting range that offers everything from sweet treats to crisps and nibbles, is important in order to help retailers drive consumer purchase for a ‘Big Night In’

GT – What sets Tangerine apart from other confectionery suppliers?

The trends for sharing formats for ‘Big Nights In’ is well documented and this has been a key area for Tangerine with rising sales for hanging bags and sharing formats such as Barratt I Love Sweets bag of bags. This is one of the fastest growing segments in the market, currently valued at around £31 million.

In an already competitive market place consumers are looking for something new in a sharing format and while chocolate has been there for some time, many of the pick and mix confectionery are now coming into this space. Also, traditional favourites are introducing new flavours. Tangerine has recently launched a Lion Tropical Fruit Gums bag to compliment its range of unique hard gums Fruit Pastilles, Sports Mix and Midget Gems.”

GT – Which of your products address the Big Night In opportunity?

We’ve seen increased distribution for all of our Butterkist varieties across the market, including convenience outlets and grocers, by offering something for everyone. For example, our Butterkist Chocolate Coated Toffee Popcorn has seen significant uplift as demand for premium popcorn varieties increases. Savoury popcorn is also an area of growing demand and our Salted variety is seeing increased distribution in the market as a result. The range also caters for those who are looking for a healthier choice after over indulging at Christmas, with its Butterkist Toffee Light option – offering the same great quality and taste that Butterkist is known for, with less fat. Classic products in the range such as the Cinema Sweet and Toffee varieties are ideal for allowing consumers to recreate the cinema experience in their own homes and continue to sell well – making it a key addition to Big Night In fixtures.”

GT – What are your latest products for 2012?

It is important for the consumer to instantly recognise well known brands, and Butterkist, Barratt and Princess are iconic in the category, allowing consumers to make a quick and easy purchase decision. The Butterkist brand is currently valued at £28.6 million and is growing at nine per cent year-on-year, with a 60 per cent share of the market (IRI data 52 week, p/e 26th Nov 2011).

We have also recently introduced Princess Chocolate Coated Mini Mallows, which are mini pink and white marshmallows covered in luxurious milk chocolate in 40g bags. These provide a premium indulgent treat which is perfect for festive snacking.

GT – How should retailers merchandise these products to make the best of the Big Night In opportunity in store?

Shoppers visiting retailers for Big Night In supplies are usually doing so as a last minute convenience shop for the same night, making it a prime occasion for independent retailers to capitalise on.

Products should be grouped together to make it easier for the consumer to shop and pick up everything in one go. Offering choice is key so whether they are in a sweet or savoury mood they have a choice – for example, Butterkist toffee popcorn or salted varieties cater for both tastes.

While these fixtures are a must, a large proportion of customers will buy snacks and confectionery before reaching it, therefore secondary displays such as our Butterkist clip strips are vital.

Pack size is an important factor when it comes to this occasion. The sharing bags category is the key success story of the moment, so large format products such as the 200g Toffee bags and sharing tubs of Butterkist can capitalise on this. In addition to popcorn, Tangerine also offers a host of confectionery products which are great for sharing during a Big Night In, including 300g bags of Henry Goode’s Soft Eating Liquorice and 390g bags of Princess Marshmallows which are selling well for the night in occasion. Multi-packs also fulfill this need – the Barratt ‘I Love Sweets’ multipack contains all the favourites from the brand, making it an ideal sharing option.

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