chazWelcome to the June Grocery Trader. The Election’s been and gone – now it’s time for the serious business of the World Cup! When we went to press this column’s local supermarkets in Southern England were all set for the kick off, as presumably was the rest of the country. England supporters cover all ages, backgrounds and ethnic groups – in other words, a broad audience with money to spend. So keep them happy!

This month’s features include Barbeques and Breakfast. From Easter to September, Brits love a good Barbie. And if the sun’s shining, we could see people going bonkers for barbies on match evenings and weekends. So 2010 should be a really superb BBQ season. Barbeques now involve a wider range of food products, reflecting consumer interest in new foods and flavours. Consumers trading up with their favourite products has added value: a number of specific segments such as sauces and marinades have seen major growth, both in value and volume, and in the number of products available.

Breakfast plays a vital part in consumers’ daily lives. According to market research experts Mintel just under two thirds of consumers eat breakfast as an important part of their daily routine. The resulting time pressures, together with our growing snacking culture, are contributing to more people breakfasting with convenience foods that are quick to prepare at home, and snack foods eaten on the go.

Wherever you are in the UK, if you’re planning to rethink your retail IT as we come out of the recession, you’ll want a trusted partner with an intimate knowledge of the retail environment, from back-end operations to front-end point of sale, and a knowledge of cash handling.

Profiled in this issue, Wincor Nixdorf’s Retail Consulting practice helps many leading UK retailers optimise their supply chains, business processes and the shopping experience through a mixture of best of breed hardware, software and service. Wincor Nixdorf has provided retail clients with hardware and implementation for many years, but in 2009 they felt the missing piece was consultancy, hence they set up the retail consultancy practice. As Richard Pascoe, WN’s Head of Retail Consulting explains, they are able to be ‘agnostic’ in identifying the right vendors and products for a given solution. Indeed, Richard and colleagues see customer relationships as more important than selling something with their name on, and there have been occasions where their software wasn’t appropriate and they recommended another supplier.

Have a good month.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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