In-depot activations: Make some noise!

When it comes to driving sales and capturing attention, there’s nothing better than getting creative with your approach. Cue in-depot activations…

With time-poor retailers focused on getting into depot and checking out in the shortest time possible, it can be hard to cut through the noise of new products and promotions. So, if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to drive sales and engagement in depot, then look no further.

Whether it’s a food van outside with tasters and giveaways, or a disruptive indoor display that grabs attention with powerful promotions, brand activations in depot are a commercial game changer as they influence your retailers at point of purchase.

“In-depot activations are a win-win,” says Lioncroft Wholesale CEO, Dr Jason Wouhra.

“Supplier events or any kind of in-depot theatre are a great way to place your products firmly on your customers’ radar. Retailers love them, suppliers love them, and we love them as they generate great sales uplift and create a real buzz.”


Mike Chapman, Head of Wholesale, PepsiCo, agrees: “In-depot activations are a great way for wholesalers to drive awareness of new products and wider promotional activity.

By working with suppliers, wholesalers can create unmissable in-depot theatre which not only creates excitement among retailers, but also encourages trial. Ensuring that activations are disruptive and eye catching will really help to make them stand out.

“Collaborating closely with our wholesale customers is very important to us,” he continues. “We are currently working with wholesalers to help them to maximise our newest launch, the Extra Flamin’ Hot range, which is available across our Doritos, Walkers Max and Wotsits Crunchy SKUs. By merchandising these bold packs into a purple block, wholesalers can grab retailers’ attention as they journey around the depot.”


There are countless other ways to engage in depot, such as product sampling events, free giveaways, in-person insight and education or competitions.

“Last year saw us work closely with Bestway to bring our Walkers Win a Van competition to life for the sixth year in a row,” says Mike. “This saw a full-scale activation in depot which was greatly received by wholesalers and retailers alike, featuring a van produced out of qualifying cases to create an eye-catching display.”

Kenton Burchall, Bestway Trading Director, agrees that activations, such as the Walkers Win a Van competition, are compelling for retailers and wholesalers alike. He said: “The products featured within the Win a Van campaign were some of the bestselling products in the category, so it was really easy for retailers to buy these products and enter a fantastic competition at the same time.

“The Walkers Win a Van campaign has been a huge success when it comes to engaging with retailers. Last year, we received almost 60,000 entries so it truly raises the profile of the PepsiCo portfolio.”


For Kellanova, activations are key for retailer communication. Hannah Fearnley, Head of Wholesale, explains: “Depot activations are our opportunity to show off our shop window and really shout about what we’re proud of and what we want retailers to communicate to consumers.

“This can be in the form of NPD, such as Chocos PMP, or communicating our consumer activations, such as the Euros or our cereals EFL Partnership. They also offer the channel a real point of difference compared to what we can activate and execute in the multiples.

“We know retailers are time poor and they are faced with products and promotions every time they step into a depot. Activations enable them to quickly assess what will work best for their customers, plus they strengthen the confidence and trust between the brand and retailers which is so crucial.”


It’s clear that wholesale offers huge opportunities for Kellanova: “We recognise the importance of the wholesale channel more than ever,” says Hannah. “In-depot activations are such a brilliant way to drive incremental sales and profits for all, and they form a central pillar of our 2024 plans.”

“There are so many fantastic depots out there to partner with and for our Pringles HOT activation earlier this year we were able to utilise so many great assets for maximum impact, from digital screens to impactful displays. To get these executed to this level shows real teamwork across our team, the central wholesale team and depot colleagues – there is such pride when it all comes together and we see real commercial benefit off the back of it.

“Kellanova has so many fantastic things to shout about right now, from huge NPD launches to maximising key events such as the Euros and Christmas. We will be launching our exciting partnership with the English Football League with a roadshow and consumer incentives on cereals.”

It’s not just brands that benefit from in-depot activities.

“In the past year Lioncroft has hosted lots of in-depot events including Jameson’s mock distillery, the Kellogg’s School Bus with its back-to-school giveaways, KP Snacks and countless other displays,” says Jason Wouhra. “These are always supported by powerful promotions and every time we see significant sales uplift of between 35% and 65%.

“Our week-long BBQ depot activities achieve record-breaking sales year on year. We have displays, competitions, tastings and giveaways, and last year we even had a penalty shoot-out, virtual cricket, a DJ and the Red Bull F1 championship winning car.”

Last year, Wholesale News joined forces with Perfetti Van Melle at Dhamecha’s Hayes depot to raise awareness of Chupa Chups products, where retailers could grab a display stand to drive incremental sales.

“Activations like this are a great tool for encouraging increased basket spend in depot,” agrees Vinod Ramgi, depot manager. “Retailers are always happy to snap up a bargain in depot and they’re always interested in promotions – it’s all about better margins.”

To find out how Wholesale News can create some noise for your campaigns with print, digital and video coverage of your latest activations, contact

activation Bestway Dhamecha Hannah Fearnley Jason Wouhra Kellanova Kenton Burchall Lioncroft Wholesale marketing Mike Chapman PepsiCo Perfetti Van Melle Vinod Ramgi