Unitas supports retailers with ‘back to school’ top tips

To help retailers make the most of the ‘back to school’ opportunity, Unitas Wholesale is offering top tips within its new Plan for Profit Focus On guide

The guide, which is available online and from selected Unitas Wholesale member depots, launched on 7 August with exclusive insight on snacking and confectionery from category experts at Swizzels, Haribo, PepsiCo and KP Snacks as well as retailer Asiyah Javed. It also contains must-stock confectionery lines, snacking SKUs, food to go, healthier choices and advice on merchandising.

The top tips are:

1. Create back-to-school goody bags
“The back-to-school period is very busy for us,” said Asiyah Javed of Day-Today Alloa Road, Stenhousemuir, Falkirk. “We’ll hand out free goody bags to children in the first week back. The bags will contain a bottle of flavoured water, fruit, and snacks. They don’t cost us very much to make, but the loyalty it fosters makes it invaluable.”

2. Cater for pocket-money budgets
“During the back-to-school period, we find retailers have more success when stocking sugar singles such as Chew Bars, to cater for those consumers who have a smaller amount to spend,” said Ben Cooper, national account controller at Swizzels. “Keeping price points at less than £1 ensures that products are still affordable for those who are working with a pocket-money budget.”

3. Cash in on the growth in sweet bags
The driving force behind this growth is medium-size sharing bags, which are not only the biggest segment in terms of sales but delivering the most growth too – £33m in the past year [1]. Stocking the £1.25 price-marked format drives sales by clearly communicating the price to customers and reassuring them of value for money, said Adam Williams, national accounts manager at Haribo.

4. Offer healthier choices
Health remains a significant purchase driver for customers, and this becomes even more important in the back-to-school period, as parents and guardians seek to embed healthy habits. “At KP Snacks, we offer a broad portfolio of tasty and permissible snacks, including more than 100 non-HFSS SKUs, the equivalent of a quarter of our portfolio,” says Andy Staley, business account manager at KP Snacks.

5. Target the lunchbox opportunity
PepsiCo points to the 100 million lunchboxes in September that do not contain snacks, describing it is a “great opportunity” for convenience retailers to drive sales in 2023 [2].


Sources: [1] IRI EXT2 Symbols & Independents MAT To 23/04/23; [2] Source: BOLT, Zappi Walkers Snacks 100 Cal Campaign, Omnibus Study, conducted Oct 2022 

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