Turning up the heat – Summer spenders

Will we have a long-awaited hot summer? If we do it’s important to realise which product cateogories bring in most of their cash in the hot months. Mark Thomson, business unit director of Kantar Worldpanel, explains the summer shift.

Some like it hot: Jack Daniel’s has two spicy special editions.

DRINKS, healthy foods such as salad ingredients, ice cream, and cakes are just some of the products that attract summer spenders. According to Kantar Worldpanel, fruit, cider, mineral water and vitamin supplements all sell better in the warmer months.

Kantar sees flavoured alcoholic beverages as particularly big seasonal sellers in Scotland. They’re twice as likely to be purchased during the summer period compared the year as a whole.
Sunshine also seems to melt recession-hit consumers’ resolve to save money. Kantar found spending in summer is up 4.5%, compared to 4% over the entire year.
To capitalise on the trends, Kantar’s business unit director Mark Thomson advised: “Look for categories where shoppers tend to trade up, based on a higher level of spend per trip when shopping in the summer months. People will spend on average 21p more on chilled burgers, 13p more on cooked chicken and 8p more on fresh fruit.”
• To spruce up salads and cooked poultry – and add zing to grilled sausages – shoppers need sauces. Tom Hazelden of Unilever’s Partners for Growth said: “Summer is a very important season for the table sauces, dressings and condiments category because of barbecues and summer parties. With 99% of households buying these products, they are key top-up items in convenience stores.”
Hazelden also advised, if space permits, that retailers stock diet varieties. “More than 40% of consumers use these products and are not prepared to purchase standard variants as an alternative.”

GB - Index of categories which account for a greater proportion of grocery spend in the summer period as compared to the year overall

• Geraldine Marks of Baxters Food Group, which produces the Jack Daniel’s sauce range, said some like their sauce hot. “The trend for hotter and spicier world flavours continues to grow, with consumers looking for new ways to add an adventurous, warming twist to their summer favourites,” she said. There are two limited edition products for the season: Jack Daniel’s extra hot habanero sauce and its hot pepper steak sauce.
• Unilever classifies table condiments as “eating enhancers” and estimates the category to be worth more than £599m in the UK. Haseeb ur Raman, marketing director, said: “For barbecues, a lot of consumers purchase a repertoire of eating enhancers to offer a choice. Sales of our core products such as Hellman’s regular and flavoured mayos rise during this period. Sales of these, plus ketchup and salad cream, correlate strongly with the warmer seasons as consumers look for a choice for their barbecues.”
• Maple syrup is also a summer seller according to Clarks. Sales increased by 120% in June-August 2012, as customers used it as a meat glaze, in salad dressings and to sweeten barbecue marinades.

Image – Top, Some like it hot: Jack Daniel’s has two spicy special editions.