WHAT IS BRITISH FOOD FORTNIGHT? Running from 18th September to 3rd October and now in its ninth year, British Food Fortnight is the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious range of food that Britain produces. This year’s event is the most competitive yet with huge interest from the supermarkets, all five of which are expected to run British promotions during the Fortnight. They join over a thousand independents and 200 medium-sized retailers that regularly take part. In 2012 the dates of British Food Fortnight will change, for one year only, to run at the same time as the London Olympics.
WHAT ARE THE OLYMPIC PLANS? In 2012 British Food Fortnight will take place in the last week of July and the first week of August. Retailers are encouraged to start planning their promotions now, to put British food at the centre of these promotions and to capitalise on the huge commercial opportunity that the Olympics provide. This year’s British Food Fortnight, and next year’s, are the perfect time to trial run patriotic promotions.
WHY IS THIS SO EXCITING? Organiser of the event, Alexia Robinson, says: “The Olympics present a huge commercial opportunity for everyone involved in retail. However, the rules governing the use of the Games for marketing gain are the most stringent ever in order to protect the official sponsors. This presents a huge challenge for retailers planning patriotic promotions. It is for this reason that we have decided to run British Food Fortnight in 2012 at the same time as the London Olympics.
“Food and sport go hand in hand and we want retailers to be able to benefit from the potentially huge income stream that the wave of Olympic patriotism will bring. This year’s British Food Fortnight is a rallying cry to start planning these promotions now. Let’s use 2012 to put not just Britain but British food in the best possible light and ensure that every retailer gets a piece of the Olympic commercial cake.”
WHY SHOULD RETAILERS TAKE PART? Retail promotions during previous British Food Fortnights have proved that the event has a serious impact on sales:
•Retailers taking part increase sales by up to 34% per store as a direct result of the event – an increase that has been sustained three years running.
•25% increase in footfall in participating outlets during the event.
•Sales of British food increase by up to £2,000 per store during the Fortnight.
Commenting on the sales increases he enjoyed last year, Les Rutherford, Store Manager, Budgens Keyworth in Nottinghamshire, says: “Sales of the lines we featured during British Food Fortnight went up by hundreds of per cent.” The supermarkets report similar success.Paul Dover, Customer Planning Manager for Asda, says: “British Food Fortnight was a phenomenal success with Asda’s customers, particularly our meat, chilled and seasonal produce offers.” And a spokesperson for Morrisons comments: “British Food Fortnight is an important date in Morrison’s calendar. We found the event to be extremely successful in helping communicate our values.”
HOW CAN RETAILERS TAKE PART? Retailers are invited to run British food promotions during the event, to offer tastings and promotions to highlight new products, to encourage producers to come into stores to meet customers and to decorate stores with bunting and British Food Fortnight point of sale material.
In addition to the commercial aspects of the promotion, retailers are also invited to work with their local schools during the Fortnight to help teach children about the pleasures and health benefits of eating fresh, seasonal British food. In the build-up to the event, over 30,000 schools in the UK are being given information on incorporating food and cookery activities into their curriculum teaching and they are being advised to seek help from local retailers to achieve this. Retailers wanting to participate can, for example, host a class visit in their shop, offer to give a talk at assembly on how to make healthy snacks, help set up a fresh food tuck shop in their local school, run a competition for children in-store or donate ingredients for school cookery lessons.
WHERE CAN RETAILERS GET MORE INFORMATION? All the resources retailers need to take part are on the event’s website www.lovebritishfood.co.uk, a one-stop-shop of advice not just for the Fortnight but on everything retailers need to make British food a commercial success in their stores: advice on sourcing, supplier contacts, sales promotion case studies, advice on promoting your business in the media including regional media contacts and press release templates and what’s in season when charts. All editions of the event’s publications for retailers are downloadable from the site: ‘Hot Tips for Maximising Sales’; ‘Retail & Catering Case Studies’; and ‘British Food – The Basics’. Plus: ‘Love British Food – it’s British Food Fortnight!’ point of sale material: downloadable shelf barkers and stickers; and ideas for working with schools, inspiring examples of retailers already doing so and recipe cards for children.
A guide to taking part in this year’s event is available with an A3 ‘Love British Food!’ poster to display in your shop. To order your copy email email@example.com, Tel: 020 7840 9292 or download from www.lovebritishfood.co.uk.
WHO IS BEHIND IT? British Food Fortnight is sponsored by Budgens, ARAMARK and the Department of Health’s 5 A DAY Just Eat More (fruit & veg) programme. It is supported by over 70 organisations led by 3663, Brakes, National Farmers’ Union, National Trust, Oxford Hotels and Inns, Compass Group, Tenant Farmers Association, Young’s pubs and Youth Hostel Association.
WHERE CAN WE FIND OUT MORE? For information on British Food Fortnight and to order resources, contact the Event Office on: T: 020 7840 9292. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.lovebritishfood.co.uk.
For information on British Food Fortnight, contact the Event Office on: T: 020 7840 9292. E: email@example.com