Sharing’s caring

Why is sharing confectionery on the increase and how can wholesalers profit?

1. What are the key drivers for more sharing bag sales?

Matt Collins, Trading Director, KP Snacks

“The impact of weather on consumer shopping habits is huge, especially within a channel such as convenience, which largely benefits from unplanned purchases. Whether it’s a family night in with a few films during winter or a barbecue in the sunshine with friends, there are 1.7 billion sharing occasions in the UK – and independents can tap into this sales opportunity by stocking up on all the essentials needed for last-minute get-togethers.

“Price-marked packs have proved to be a successful tool in driving impulse sales across the sharing sector too. Our £1 price-marked pack range, which falls within the sharing format, is performing incredibly well with sales up 21.8%.”

2. Are sharing opportunities exclusive to occasions between mealtimes?

Matthew Grenter, Sales Manager, Brioche Pasquier

“Snacks used to be eaten between meals, so mid-morning or mid-afternoon. However, the modern consumer has a much more flexible lifestyle meaning that meal and snack times tend to blend together. Therefore, store owners want to offer snacks that will tempt consumers throughout the day.

“The ideal sharing pack is one that offers treats that can be shared whenever it suits the consumer. As this may be across the day, or even over several days, individually wrapped products have the edge. People can share as many or as few as required for one occasion and save the rest for sharing later with no fear of the product spoiling.

“Convenience is also vitally important to consumers. They want a snack that’s easy to eat on the go, can be carried in a pocket without leaking or melting, and can be eaten without spilling down their front. And parents are looking for products that will please children, but be cleaner and leaner in terms of additives.”

3. Are there particular types of confectionery that are most popular for sharing?

Mark Roberts, Trade Marketing Manager, Perfetti Van Melle

“It’s essential to offer a range of types of sharing confectionery – from chews to jellies – so that shoppers can decide for themselves which sweet suits their needs.

“The most popular sharing bags are likely to feature a fun mixture of flavours. Exciting and adventurous flavours and textures is a current trend to note. For instance, demand for sour flavour profiles is booming; the market is currently worth £42 million with annual growth of 21%.

“Wholesalers can’t forget Better for You, even when considering their sharing offering, as shoppers are looking for alternative products nowadays, even when treating themselves to sharing confectionery. Perfetti Van Melle is leading the way in sugar free and less sugar, and is currently the number one BFY manufacturer in the UK, with sales totalling £13.3 million last year.”

4. How should wholesalers advise retailers to merchandise sharing bags?

Matt Collins, Trading Director, KP Snacks

“Ensure value options are located at the bottom of the shelf, moving sharing bags to the top of the fixture. The best-selling singles bags must be positioned prominently and should be the first thing seen by shoppers as they walk down the snacking aisle.

“Seasonal occasions and the big night in opportunity should be embraced by creating stand-out displays and making use of suppliers’ POS material.”

5. Isn’t prioritising larger pack sizes going against current health trends?

Jason Beaumont, Director, PWbrands

“Sugar is regularly billed as the enemy, but we know that premium brands made with quality ingredients are still very much in demand from consumers and despite the sheer amount of media column inches devoted to the sugar debate, we’re still seeing strong sales.

“We think this is because confectionery is benefiting from mindful consumption. That means if a shopper decides to buy confectionery, they are often not considering price, but a host of other factors – from the quality of ingredients to the convenience of the packaging, as well as the occasion they’re buying for.

“This is particularly important for EPIC snacks because these are often bought for sharing occasions when people want to indulge a little. Health is not a primary factor they think about on these occasions.

“In fact, a recent Nielsen report underlined that brands, such as EPIC, embracing sharing occasions were attracting shoppers despite the rhetoric against sugar. This is certainly our experience, as we’re seeing no drop-off in sales – in fact, quite the opposite.”

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