Confectionery supplier says product developments bring impulse benefits
FORECOURT stores will become ever more important to fuel retailers as margins on fuel itself become tighter. But forecourt shops can differ substantially from mainstream c-stores – there’s a much greater need to supply motoring and journey goods, for example. And some forecourts have other specialisms, offering large items like coal, firewood logs, driveway salt and the like.
And that can put pressure on space for important grocery and convenience categories like everyday essentials and potentially very profitable impulse-purchase goods like confectionery.
One of the country’s main confectionery suppliers, Bonds Confectionery, has long recognised the special requirements of forecourt stores for effective display, compelling products and quick and efficient supplies if they are to make the best of confectionery. And it says as forecourt stores change it has been responding to ensure its ranges and service continue to meet its forecourt customers’ needs.
Bonds managing director Philip Courtenay-Luck said that as consumers are coming to rely on their local forecourt and convenience stores for everyday needs, it is becoming even more important for retailers to invest in the right products for their store to ensure repeat custom.
So Bonds Confectionery is developing new sales streams for Scotland’s forecourt retailers and ways to order their favourite products quickly and easily.
Because not all forecourts and c-stores are the same Bonds Confectionery has a 30-strong UK sales and merchandising force to assist, he said. Each member of the team provides advice on confectionery positioning, aiming to ensure easy navigation for shoppers and to identify secondary display space to maximise impulse purchases.
And retailers are now able to order all current Bonds Confectionery lines through the sales and distribution team or on the recently re-launched and enhanced website with a turnaround of just 24 hours for most of the country or up to 48 hours in northern Scotland.
Courtenay-Luck, said: “Converting fuel buyers into shoppers is a key strategy for forecourt retailers and due to its impulse nature it is important that confectionery is not only displayed in high traffic-flow areas but that there is a secondary display near till points.
“This is equally as important for c-stores, who are cashing in on the number of customers who are taking advantage of the multi-channel retailing environment and not solely visiting supermarkets during their weekly shop.
“From our research we have found that just over 30 per cent of consumers buy their confectionery from c-stores or petrol forecourts. Sweets and chocolate are low-cost means for customers to treat themselves during a long journey or can be taken home after the daily commute.”
The company has a new line that it says is Ideal for c-stores and forecourts. Bonds Confectionery’s newest product, Pwinkies, shaped white chocolate with a strawberry and cream flavour, is the firm’s latest product to be released in sharing bags.
Pwinkies’ sales launch is this month and included in each outer there’s a headed clipstrip designed to ensure the retailer can save on space.
Other sharing bags by Bonds Confectionery include: the milk chocolate Honeycomb, an original bite sized product; the Chocolate Mix bag which includes favourites such as the caramel barrel and hazelnut whirl; and the standalone Caramel Barrel bag.
Courtenay-Luck said: “The potential for forecourt and c-stores is as individual as the stores themselves and impulse purchases have fared exceptionally well in this environment. We’re committed to developing the category even further through product development.”