The importance of togetherness has increased during the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns, so cuisines which encourage people to connect over the dinner table and elevate the standard mid-week meal grew in popularity.

This has continued post-lockdown as consumers look to socialise and connect with friends and family away from restaurants and pubs.

Economic uncertainty post-lockdown will continue this shift, as people search for ways to save money, with 44% more shoppers now eating both main meals at home (Kantar).

This means that the at-home meal occasion will be even more crucial for connecting.

“Old El Paso is fun, tasty, informal, and designed for sharing – ideal for connection – and we know that, as a brand, we remain strongly associated with triggers related to shared moments with friends and family,” comments Aditi Hilgers, Marketing Manager, Old El Paso.

Mexican is 32% more likely to feature in “together time” evening meals’ (Kantar); it sparks conversation as people pass dishes and can be customised to everyone’s individual taste – so it’s a great experience for everyone! In fact, sitting down to eat Mexican triggers more laughter (+5 pts versus regular dinners) and encourages families to turn off the TV (+6 pt. versus other dinners). It’s the perfect opportunity to get round the table for true quality time.

Old El Paso is encouraging the ritualisation of Mexican with its campaign Fajita Friday. After weekdays and weekends started to merge due to various lockdowns, Fajita Friday was designed to help families, households and friends reclaim that Friday feeling. The campaign kicked off last year across radio, influencers & social, and encouraged consumers to take part in their own end-of-week fiesta with fajitas, family, and fun.

“Across convenience and even within wholesale, aligning to and amplifying the ‘Meal for tonight’ Mission is key,” adds Hilgers.

Old El Paso’s in-store activations are normally centred around key times of the year, such as Veganuary or the Back-to-School period. These will align with the brand’s promotional periods and consumer hot spots. “Cross merchandising across a category like World Foods works well with shoppers,” says Hilgers. “We’ve seen great success when retailers pair complementary categories in bundle deals, for example a fresh chicken and an Old El Paso Fajita Kit bundle has previously delivered +400% uplift vs base sales (IRI).”

Over the last year, independent stores’ sales of Old El Paso have grown +39.6% (Nielsen), mainly via the wholesale channel.

“Many World Food purchases are impulsive, so high visibility for Mexican, like POS activations and promotions, can drive increased sales in store,” Hilgers continues. “POS like a flat pack free standing display unit is a great solution to help drive visibility whilst being mindful of the limited space available in most stores.”

The brand extended its category leading Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets range with a new Smoky BBQ variant. The SKU combines the brand’s first-to-market, sealed bottom wraps with best-selling smoky BBQ flavour profile and was designed to build on the success of the Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets range.

Old El Paso Tortilla Pockets are truly anchored in resolving a consumer pain point around ‘mess’ in Mexican and make the meal experience easier than ever.

The platform has been a huge success, hitting £8.8M RSV sales in its first 18 months (Nielsen). Tortilla Pockets Mild Kit and Tortilla Pockets Carriers are two of the top four sellers in all World Foods NPD (Nielsen).

“We’re seeing that consumers are using Pockets for more than just a Mexican meal, and it’s this versatility of usage that is one of the key reasons why they’re 60% incremental to the category (Nielsen),” says Hilgers.

Mark Wingfield Digby, Off-Trade Sales Director, Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG), comments: “Premiumisation is our big bet for 2022. The category has seen huge growth in recent years as shoppers look to treat themselves at home.”

In the Off-Trade specifically, the premium and super-premium category now equates to 61.7% of total beer value (Kantar) and we expect this growth to continue.

In fact, BBG is forecasting that 70% of total beer consumption will be in the premium or super-premium category by 2025. BBG has seen this demand across its own brands, for example, Budweiser has driven 23% of total premium lager growth (Nielsen).

Another trend that is continuing to gain momentum is the no-and-low alcohol category, now worth £102m in the Off-Trade (Nielsen).

“Whilst the category still makes up a small section of overall beer sales, it is important that stores offer a variety of alcohol-free options, especially when looking to build brand loyalty,” adds Wingfield Digby. “Alcohol-free beers are no longer just consumed by teetotallers, but rather shoppers looking to moderate their alcohol consumption.”

One in 10 beer drinkers now regularly opt for an alcohol-free alternative, a figure which has grown by 16% year-on-year (Kantar).

“Retailers that do not stock no-and-low alternatives are missing out on an increasingly important market segment,” says Wingfield Digby.

Budweiser Zero and Stella Artois Alcohol-Free both build on the success of their parent brands and offer shoppers an alcohol-free alternative of their favourite beers. Both beers have proven to be a hit with consumers, growing in both volume of sales and value last year (Nielsen).

Stella Artois is a standout in the beer category, as the brand continues to cement its position as the biggest brand in the Off-Trade for both value and volume (Nielsen). In the last 12 months, Stella Artois gained +0.6ppt market share as shoppers opted for brands they already know and trust to deliver high quality and taste (Nielsen).

In February, BBG launched Stella Artois Unfiltered. The unfiltered lager category, highly popular across Europe, is currently an untapped segment in the UK market and brings a differentiated, flavoursome addition to the world lager category.

The power of the Stella Artois brand, combined with the distinctive unfiltered taste offers something new that 84% of super premium beer drinkers want to try (Nielsen). Additionally, the launch of Stella Artois Unfiltered brings an innovative addition to the world lager category, which is currently seeing huge growth, gaining +1.8pp value share compared to 2019.

BBG will be supporting the launch of Stella Artois Unfiltered through a huge launch plan, driving trial through three key pillars.

A media campaign, Beer Au Naturel went live in late May 2022 and was supported by the brand’s biggest spend since 2017. The campaign aims to reach 99% of UK 18+ adults, 20 times across the 26-week campaign.

There will also be a bespoke trade support package per channel and a comprehensive sampling plan.

Early this year BBG also launched Corona Cero – an alcohol-free Corona made of 100% natural ingredients. To amplify this new launch, Corona Cero is advertising on national TV and digital media, as part of the 100% Natural campaign. Furthermore, wide-reaching sampling activations are going live this summer.

Jose Alves, Marketing Manager, Ice Cream at General Mills, comments: “Häagen-Dazs is working to de-seasonalise and drive reputation as a year-round growth driver by focusing on flavour, variety, and format needs of consumers. We are continuously innovating across our portfolio to make sure that we are providing our consumers with a range of choices for any occasion – whether that’s at home or on-the-go, winter or summer.”

The brand’s tub formats are great for sharing and Big Night In occasions. Gelato Caramel Swirl launched in pint format, following strong sales of its portion-controlled mini cups launch in 2019 (Nielsen). The new flavour is a guilt-free treat to share with amongst friends and will challenge the category on low calorie alternatives without compromise on quality, taste, or experience.

“The extension of our NPD into mini cups is an important shift we made as a brand,” adds Alves. “By introducing the new DUO mini cup collection, we are tapping into the mindful indulgence trend by using high quality, premium ingredients in portion-controlled sizes. We are empowering consumers to make their own choices and helping them overcome barriers to indulgence without compromising on taste.”

Häagen-Dazs mini cups currently outperform the category, growing by 67% and up +38% MAT in convenience vs. two YA (Nielsen).

“We believe that the true potential and point of difference of the Gelato range is its expert ability to answer the desire for indulgence and to outperform on taste,” says Alves. “Growth from low-calorie and healthier options is driven by increased visibility and NPD, however, indulgence will remain the heartland. We are investing in strong campaign activity to support and establish the Häagen-Dazs brand as gold standard within the Wellness category.”

The Häagen-Dazs Gelato range has one of highest repeat purchase rates in the sub-sector at an impressive 29% vs competitors (Nielsen).

Vanilla Hazelnut & Caramel Crunch pint and the DUO Mini Cup Collection has an RRP of £4.99.

Johnny Dennys, Head of Brand and Trade Marketing, Mast-Jägermeister UK, comments: “At-home cocktails has seen a surge in popularity, becoming a trend that is here to stay, and a key occasion retailers should target to drive sales.”

Whilst Jägermeister is best served as an ice cold shot, served at -18C straight from the freezer, it can also be used to make simple and great-tasting cocktails at home.

The Jägermeister Mule is a twist on a classic cocktail, which can be made easily with just three ingredients, 50ml Jägermeister, 25ml fresh lime, topped with ginger beer.

Year-on-year, coffee is a flavour that continues to grow in popularity with consumers.

With more than 24 million households in the UK buying coffee (Kantar), the popularity of the flavour has contributed to the growth of coffee-flavoured spirits in the UK. Jägermeister’s latest innovation, Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee, combines the distinctive taste of Jägermeister with rich coffee and chocolate notes. Whether this be as an ice cold shot or in a cocktail, this flavour profile appeals to multiple age groups so widens the consumer base for Jägermeister. Stocking Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee drives sales by fulfilling the demand for coffee-flavoured products from a trusted brand.

As 61% of consumers are drinking at home (Kantar) there is significant potential for retailers to boost their spirits sales. Shots are a key part of consumer’s best nights, even when at home, and Jägermeister is one of the top six spirits brands most often consumed at home (Kantar). Studies show that 27% of consumers are drinking the brand whilst watching sports on the TV and 30% when celebrating an occasion such as a birthday or important event (Kantar). The brand is performing well in the category and retailers should consider Jägermeister and Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee as must-stock spirits for their Big Night In offering.

Tom Smith, Marketing Director – Europe, at Accolade Wines, comments: “The ‘Big Night In’ has understandably become the norm during the last few months and we’re likely to see this behaviour continue in the months ahead. Here at Accolade Wines, we are looking to continue to leverage strength in in-home occasions, whilst looking for ways to adapt to new socially distant outdoor occasions.”

Convenience saw a huge surge in sales throughout the festive period and alcohol purchases for in-home consumption have been boosted as a result of the pandemic.

“From a wine perspective, we are focussed on getting wine into the shopper journey, formats, and chillers. We have seen people pick-up wine more often and buy more of it and the convenience channel has been vital in increasing these impulse sales,” adds Smith.

Last year Echo Falls ran a ‘Luxury Pamper Night In’ summer promotion to support sales growth both in-store and online. This was aimed at customers looking to treat themselves whilst at home and the brand has more plans tapping into the big night in occasion in the year ahead.

“Premiumisation within the wine category will continue as consumers became more engaged and explored during lockdown with their night in tipples – expect the traditional premium origins to grow but also New World premium to take centre stage as Brexit and supply issues impact France in particular,” says Smith.

“New consumers who entered the wine category last year tend to be younger and less affluent, so it’s important to continue to appeal to this demographic – fruit flavours and sparkling options appeal to this group, especially at celebratory and social occasions.”

There is a continuing trend for mindful drinking, both from a health perspective with an increase in demand for low/no offerings, as well with sustainability, with consumers looking for products which have less of an impact on our planet. All of Accolade’s core branded portfolio has been certified carbon neutral.

“We expect to see a growth in wine on tap (bag in box) options in 2022, driven by the combination of increased at-home demand,” continues Smith. Accolade debuted its latest wine on tap brand, Vino Società in December with two SKUs, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosato, and will be followed by a Malbec in 2022. With Vino Società Accolade is focused on transforming consumer perceptions around the quality of Wine On Tap wines and is introducing new shoppers to category – and it’s the perfect format for a night in.

Under 35s currently under index on boxed wine spend (Nielsen), but as a demographic who value stylish products, which are less damaging to the environment, Vino Società addresses these needs and is the perfect opportunity to premiumise the category.

Adrian Hipkiss, Marketing and International Business Director at Boost Drinks, comments: “The past two years of restrictions has seen a shift in energy drink shopping habits. As the nation travelled less and stayed home more, on-the-go consumption became ever so prominent, resulting in a growing consumer demand for 1litre and multi-pack take home formats.”

Despite restrictions now easing and footfall rising, take home products continue to be a huge growth opportunity for retailers as shoppers continuously seek ready-to-drink, on-the-go energy quality options at everyday value prices.

Boost is the only brand operating in four functional drink categories – Energy Stimulation, Sports Drinks, RTD Iced Coffee and Protein Shakes and within the energy stimulation category, it’s the third largest brand (IRI), something the brand is incredibly proud of. Boost Original is available in 1litre, 500ml and Boost’s leading SKU, the 250ml Original Energy.

To boost this growth even further, flavours in energy now account for 38% of Stimulation sales and are in 29% YoY growth (IRI), showing us that there’s a significant thirst for a range of flavour variants to suit all tastes.

Boost Red Berry is the largest selling 250ml Stimulation Flavour SKU (IRI), however considering the fact that 39% of Stimulation shoppers actually make their purchase based on flavour alone, it’s important to stock a variety of flavours rather than relying on one or two.

“Overall, to maximise on profits retailers should prioritise stocking Boost as a leading brand within the soft drink growth category, especially as a brand that provides a diverse range of pack formats, flavours and take-home offerings, ensuring retailers can meet the needs of their core consumer groups,” adds Hipkiss.

Over the past two years, the various lockdowns and restrictions have also significantly impacted the Sports Drinks sector. As a result of people staying home more and partaking in less sports, the category was hit hard, and sales for Sports Drinks experienced a sharp decline.

However more recently, there has been an optimistic turn for the Sports Drinks category. With the easing of restrictions, increase of footfall and the return of a pre-pandemic sense of normality, it is safe to say that not only are Sports Drinks sales recovering, but they’re also rising at a rapid rate. Over the last 52 weeks, Sports Drinks have become the fastest growing category within soft drinks, with a +36% value growth YOY (IRI).

Boost Sport takes pride in its strong position in the Sports Drinks category. Sitting at the forefront of the category’s growth pattern with its +49% value growth YOY (IRI), Boost Sport is currently the #2 Sports Drink brand in value and volume, selling more unit sales than the 3rd, 4th and 5th brands combined (IRI).

“As consumers are increasingly turning to high-quality Sports Drinks, it is important for retailers to take into consideration consumer behavior and the main drivers behind purchase for Sports Drinks,” says Hipkiss. “We know that ‘Taste’ and ‘Value’ are the two main drivers of choice for Sports Drink consumers. Therefore, it is essential that retailers stock an offering that combines both ‘taste’ and ‘value’ to effectively maximise sales to impulse shoppers – whilst also meeting their different budgets and tastes.”

65% of Energy and Sports Drinks sales are made up of consumers whose choice is driven by exciting flavours (37% share of volume) and habit (28% share of volume).

“Taking these drivers into account when considering which brands and SKUs to stock provides a great opportunity for retailers to access their key audiences on a personalised level and ensure successful sales rates,” continues Hipkiss.

Sandra Brunet, Marketing Director, Campari Group UK, comments: “The Big Night In will continue to play an important role this year as consumers look to socialise with friends in the home in larger numbers – a freedom unafforded to us over the last two years. Consumer behaviours adopted during the pandemic, such as at-home consumption for nights in, have become commonplace. Hence, there is an opportunity for retailers and their customers in leveraging this key selling occasion.”

The duty slash on sparkling wines announced in the last budget will have a significant impact on the category. For example, it gives retailers the power to position fizz at a more appealing consumer price point, helping to increase the popularity of prosecco-based serves. This creates a huge opportunity for retailers stocking sparkling wines to encourage their customers to capitalise on the momentum behind these products.

The Aperol Spritz is the best-selling branded cocktail in the UK (CGA) meaning retailers stocking its core ingredients can leverage the brand’s success when selling them to their retail customers. The cocktail also saw a 70% increase in online searches for the first eight weeks of last year compared to the same period in 2020, highlighting its growing consumer popularity and awareness. An easy, build-in-the-glass cocktail, the Aperol Spritz is the ideal serve for a Big Night In, whether enjoyed for a low-key evening in or as part of a bigger social occasion.

Premiumisation continues to drive the alcohol sector, including the Aperitivo category.

“Therefore, retailers should use the Big Night In as a moment to encourage retailers to be bold with the premium spirits they carry,” adds Brunet. “For example, by stocking Campari, gin, and vermouth, retailers can inspire their shoppers to purchase the ingredients for the Negroni, now the bestselling classic cocktail in the world. At home mixology was a big trend for the Big Night In last year, and we would expect to see its popularity continue in 2022, with an added focus on premium cocktails.”

There is an increased tendency towards branded products – amongst both delivery and in store shoppers (Lumina) – underlining the opportunity for premium branded products around those all-important nights in.

Lauren Priestley – Head of Category Development Off Trade at Diageo, comments: “Brands play an important role for consumers when they are choosing which alcohol to buy for the Big Night In occasion, as they typically stick to ones they know and trust (Kantar), relying on them for great quality and taste.”

87% of spirits growth has come from new flavour innovations (IWSR) over the past few years, which is testament to the popularity and success of flavoured spirits across various different categories and makes them a must-stock this year.

Within this category, flavoured vodka is experiencing the fastest growth of +51.9% (Nielsen).

“Innovations from well-known brands such as Smirnoff, the world’s number one vodka brand (CGA), cater perfectly to this trend,” adds Priestley. “For example, Smirnoff Raspberry Crush and Smirnoff Mango & Passionfruit Twist offer people the option to create simple but effective twists on classic serves. In fact, Smirnoff Raspberry Crush was the best-selling flavoured vodka of the last 6 months in the off-trade (Nielsen), which is testament to its quality as well as the demand for great-tasting vodka options.”

Gin has been a popular choice amongst consumers for some time and is not a category to be overlooked.

In fact, the category is worth £132m in the off-trade channel (Nielsen). Diageo recommends keeping gin brands such as Gordon’s and its variants front of mind, such as Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin – which was the most successful new spirits product development in Great Britain in the last decade (Nielsen) – and the recently launched Gordon’s Tropical Passionfruit Distilled Gin (37.5% ABV).

“When it comes to spirits, it’s important to cater to a range of different price points,” says Priestley. “Retailers can benefit from stocking premium and super-premium vodka options such as those within the Cîroc portfolio – the no.1 super-premium vodka and growing (Nielsen). “The Cîroc portfolio has a diverse range of flavours and bottles that stand-out on shelf which can help to drive sales, including Summer Citrus which recently became a permanent fixture within the range.”

The whiskey category, and whiskey-based spirits drinks, remain incredibly dynamic due to consistent innovation and brand evolution. In recent years whiskey has become increasingly appealing to a wider consumer audience who enjoy exploring new ways to experience the liquids. Whiskey is now considered a versatile liquid which is an accessible drinks option for consumers all year round in the form of highball cocktails.

Haig Club’s latest innovation Haig Club Mediterranean Orange is an expertly crafted spirit drink, delivering a distinctive blend of fresh-tasting and juicy marmalade orange flavours, infused with orange blossom extract and the signature scotch whisky notes of Haig Club Clubman. The newest spirit drink innovation from Haig Club is an accessible option for novice whisky drinkers as well as connoisseurs and can be used in easy-to-create highball and spritz serves at-home.

Funkin Cocktails Marketing Director, Ben Anderson, comments: “When merchandising Funkin Cocktails it’s important to take seasonality into account and the options that will resonate best with consumers at certain times of the year. Promoting major sporting events and creating points of sale that encourage shoppers to get involved with these, such as making the link between Wimbledon and Funkin Cocktail’s Strawberry Daiquiri SKU, will prove beneficial. Further to this, as shoppers often look to buy drinks to enjoy with friends during key sporting moments, they’ll be looking for the right pack size to suit this.”

With £1 in every £4 spent in RTDs now being spent on cocktails and 89% of cocktail sales coming from Grocery Mults (Nielsen), it’s undeniable that larger pack sizes are sure to sell well around these times when shoppers are looking for a convenient way to stock up for hosting opportunities and parties in one trip.

With the cocktail market now worth £10m MAT, +27% (Nielsen) in impulse, 2022 will provide a wide range of occasions for consumers to enjoy these in an RTD format, such as outdoor drinking and eating events in Spring and Summer.

Creating cross merchandising opportunities in Impulse channels will allow consumers to make the natural link between the food and drink categories and treat themselves to both for occasions that combine cocktail drinking and snacking.

“Our Pina Colada’s are perfect for sipping on alongside Caribbean food at a BBQ in the summer, our Passion Fruit Martini is great paired with desserts like ice cream and sorbet for a night in with friends, and our Strawberry Daquiri can be enjoyed with salads and snacks at a picnic in the sun,” adds Anderson.

“Retailers should make sure they’re allocating enough space to the most popular Funkin Cocktails SKUs to ensure displays look polished and have pride of place, and to avoid having to continually re-merchandise whilst managing consumer demands. Similarly, stocking popular spirits brands will ensure that those purchasing Funkin Cocktails’ Shaker SKU will be able to pick up everything they need to create a refreshing and exciting beverage in one easy, stress-free trip.”

The booming RTD market is currently worth a staggering £508m and is continuing to grow at 14% YOY (Nielsen) as consumers make the most of beverages that combine ease and taste. RTD cocktails are massively contributing to this growth with the subcategory experiencing an equally strong 44% (Nielsen) growth in the Off Trade.

The popularity of RTDs and Cocktails in the Off Trade is largely reflective of a trend for consumers to have more premium food and drink experiences at home and it’s important to ensure these experiences are accessible at a range of price points.

Funkin Cocktails is one of the brands leading the charge when it comes to accessibility and this is reflected by the brand’s mission to make great tasting cocktails available to all. Creating beverage options that are convenient, perfect for drinking on the go, premium quality and affordable has led to an incredible growth of 134% in value sales (Nielsen) in the past year.

The past two years of restrictions has seen an undeniable shift in consumer drinking trends, and an increased interest in entertaining at home is a large part of this.

“As consumers continue to look for high-quality drinks to enjoy without leaving the house, Funkin Cocktails has continued to grow its portfolio of RTDs with a range of options that are made from quality ingredients and guarantee a premium serve for minimum cost and effort,” says Anderson. “Funkin Cocktails Price Marked Packs, including Passion Fruit Martini, Strawberry Daquiri and Pina Colada variants, have experienced rapid success since our launch in May 2021 and as a result Funkin Cocktails is now the #1 cocktail brand in the market (Nielsen).”

Paul Baker, Founder of St Pierre Groupe, comments: “Bakery is a key category for the Big Night In, as it is versatile across a multitude of mealtimes.”

Whilst sales of bakery have stabilised following the unprecedented demand during the national lockdowns, the sector remains in growth.

“It’s therefore important that retailers offer a wide range of bakery items to keep mealtimes varied and ensure their displays are dynamic and inspiring,” adds Baker. “This includes providing a premium offering, such as brioche burger buns and hot dog rolls, to give shoppers the option of ‘trading up’ and make their Big Night In more special.”

St Pierre Brioche and Seeded Brioche Burger Buns and Baker Street Hot Dog Rolls occupy three of the Top 12 Rolls rankings and are all in at least 78 per cent growth (Nielsen Value Sales – L52 Weeks Apr 9th, 2022). Baker Street Hot Dog Rolls and Burger Buns are in strong growth, up 78 per cent and 26 per cent respectively (Nielsen Value Sales – L52 Weeks Apr 9th, 2022.)

“There’s a trend towards premium brands overall and that’s particularly true in the current climate as people become more discerning with their spending and staying in becomes the new going out,” says Baker. “At St Pierre Groupe we pride ourselves on offering premium brands and consistent quality, with extended life that guarantees availability and reduces wastage for retailers. Our focus now is on investing in additional capacity to maximise sales performance, and we’re looking forward to continued growth in 2022.”

The trend for consumers looking to recreate their favourite restaurant meals at home is here to stay and that’s an opportunity for retailers looking to capitalise on the Big Night In.

During the lockdowns and since then too, people have been experimenting with new recipes and perfecting their favourite out-of-home dishes at home. This includes the rise of gourmet burgers and hot dogs, and ‘fakeaway’ meals, and this in not anticipated to slow down, especially as the cost of living rises.

“We recommend offering a variety of complementary products, that allow shoppers to ‘elevate’ their regular offering to something a little more special. Bakery products that provide long-life, multi-pack formats, like those from St Pierre and Baker Street, can also help to reduce food waste, which is key for retailers and operators alike,” continues Baker.

“Retailers should look to be strategic with their in-store merchandising when it comes to the Big Night In occasion, as this will encourage upselling. Retailers can do this by giving SKUs that are performing well more than one facing and grouping products together to inspire usage.

“Retailers should look at where the growth is – and continues to come from – and pay close attention to those sectors. Rolls’ performance versus two years ago remains impressive, with a 27 per cent increase (Nielsen Value Sales – L52 Weeks Apr 9th, 2022.) Highlighting these growth areas will set retailers apart from the competition, by providing merchandising solutions driven by insight.“

Matt Smith, Marketing Director for Tayto Group, comments: “Crisps & Snacks are an essential part of most people’s Big Night In. It doesn’t matter whether you are drinking beer, wine or even a cup of tea, savoury snacks are the perfect partner to a night in front of the TV or when you’ve got friends around. That’s why the Crisps & Snacks market is worth over £660m (IRI) and growing +10.7% YoY in the latest 12 weeks (IRI).”

Sharing snacks continue to drive the market – even post-pandemic – with £1 PMP Sharing Snacks growing almost twice as fast as the overall market, +19.0% (IRI). As Golden Wonder celebrates its 75th anniversary, the brand goes from strength to strength with its £1 PMP Snacks range growing more than twice as fast as the market, +40.6% vs +19.0% (IRI) and Transform-A-Snack being the star performer, +70% (IRI).

“As consumers increasingly worry about the cost-of-living crisis, the balance between premium and value will tend to tip towards value, with consumers looking to treat themselves for less,” adds Smith. “With its great branded value and ‘more punch per crunch’ promise, Golden Wonder is well placed to take advantage and continue its strong growth.”

Pork scratchings feature in many a Big Night In as consumers indulge in having the ultimate pub snack at home – a behaviour encouraged by pub closures in lockdown, that shows no sign of stopping. Tayto Group is the leading supplier of pork snacks with the two best-selling brands – Mr Porky (32.8% share) and Midland Snacks (20.2% share, IRI). Historically consumers turn to traditional, comfort foods at times of crisis and so, pork scratchings are likely to do well in the current climate.

“The cost-of-living crisis is of huge concern to consumers as highlighted in a recent survey by Tayto Group where 95% of consumers said they were concerned about the cost and availability of groceries with almost 40% being very or extremely concerned, says Smith. “As petrol prices spiral, consumers will look to shop locally, providing an opportunity for convenience retailers to grow sales if they can demonstrate they are offering value for money. Price-marked packs are a proven way of highlighting great value and so it’s no surprise that in a recent poll of independent retailers, 57% said that PMP snacks are even more important in the current climate.”

Sarah Beck, Valeo Snackfoods Head of Sales – Impulse, High Street and Out of Home, comments: “Throughout 2022, we have seen the trend towards increased consumer spending on treats to enjoy at home continue. What started as a pandemic phenomenon has outlasted the lockdown restrictions it was originally associated with and looks set to continue across the year. In fact, the current cost of living crisis may further enhance this trend as consumers look to substitute evenings out for more affordable big nights in.”

Televised sporting tournaments coming up in summer and autumn, such as the FIFA World Cup, may lead to many consumers staying in with friends and family with some great snacks and drinks rather than the traditional pub setting.

“Consequently, the big night in is a prime opportunity for retailers to cater to these demands. Sharing crisps and snacks are a key ingredient to a successful night in with friends or family and a big opportunity for grocery retailers, as well as premium snacks to provide an extra treat to a social occasion,” adds Beck.

“A great way to upsell customers can be merchandising complementary products together and creating themed displays, as this allows for more impulse buys. Putting KETTLE Chips and MANOMASA Tortillas next to the beers and wine section, and Metcalfe’s Popcorn alongside soft drinks, for instance, can create the idea of an experience for customers as they shop.”

The cost-of-living crisis may mean value becomes the primary concern for many shoppers and KETTLE has a good offering here. The brand’s 80g sharing bags, price-marked at £1, are very popular with consumers and are available in the five top selling seasonings of Lightly Salted; Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar; Mature Cheddar & Red Onion; Sweet Chilli & Sour Cream; and Sea Salt & Crushed Black Peppercorns, as well as the recent launch of Steakhouse Barbecue.

In addition, Valeo Snackfoods has a wide range of free POS advertising available, from clip strips to floor standing displays, which allows KETTLE, MANOMASA and Metcalfe’s to stand out and be bundled with complementary products.”

 

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