UK supermarkets have done a good job in recent times at protecting shoppers from the brunt of rising costs, says Ian Mansley, Nielsen’s head of grocery analytics, but anxiety about rising grocery prices is fuelling our urge to have big nights in and cut down on going out. Despite rising prices, shoppers still want to treat themselves with good quality and healthier food and indulge and enjoy themselves by drinking and dining more at home.

The fastest-growing product of last year according to Mintel was traditional Big Night In favourite Budweiser. Shoppers splashed out an extra £49.2 million on it, ahead of energy drink Monster, up £31.3 million and posh veg treats avocados, up £29.8 million.

Chilled ready meals are the fifth fastest-growing sector in Mintel’s chart, off the back of the rise in premium private label offerings.

Mintel also point to the growth of challenger brands such as Fever Tree tonic and ginger ale and Brewdog craft beers, products of choice on nights out but also Big Night In when people are watching the pennies.

Jen Draper, Head of Marketing at Global Brands, confirms that the last 12 months have seen strong sales for the drinks sector, especially in the ready-to-drink market, an important part of Big Nights In, which saw year on year growth of 4.6% in the off-trade, outgrowing wine, spirits, cider and beer.

Some like it soft, says Amy Burgess at Coca-Cola European Partners. With 21% of adults choosing not to consume alcohol at all, soft drinks provide a major opportunity for retailers to increase sales when catering for those enjoying nights at home. from ‘date nights’ for couples to dinner party with friends, or simply relaxing in front of the TV on a Saturday night.

The impact of the British weather on consumer shopping habits is huge, says Matt Collins at KP Snacks. With the colder months calling for more nights in, retailers can tap into the sales opportunity for snacks by stocking up on all the essentials needed for last-minute social gatherings. Stocking the right range is crucial to making the most of the Big Night In occasion, but it’s equally important to have the right promotions and displays in place to entice the shopper.

Retailers can help encourage crosscategory purchases by grouping products such as snack foods, bottles of wine and beer, as well as sharing bags of crisps and nuts.


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