THE rekindled interest in eating and entertaining at home in recent times has meant many types of frozen food have become ‘hot stuff’ reckons Amy Mumby, national account manager for frozen desserts supplier Coppenrath & Wiese UK. And that’s something, she suggests, that c-store operators can cash in on.
Coppenrath and Wiese is a brand leader in convenience and independent outlets market, where, the firm says, it takes a 44.2% share of frozen desserts which is up 9.6% year on year. And, says Mumby, it realises its responsibility to the category and is determined to develop attractive new products, offer strong promotions and provide quality as well as value for money. And there are good reasons for retailers to push the category too, she argues.
“As more celebrity chefs highlight the benefits of frozen food and use it more often in their TV programmes and cookery books, it has never been more important for convenience retailers to highlight their frozen dessert ranges,” she said.
“Retailers need to give frozen desserts the appropriate shelf space and ensure consumers have ample choice.
“Family and sharing are prominent trends in the cakes and desserts category. With HIM research showing nearly 27% of people choosing to entertain at home, we’ve recognised the importance of offering a wide selection of products to cater for this vast market, and for every occasion.
“The key trend in frozen desserts remains value for money. However, consumers are looking for higher quality products to spend their hard-earned money on. Our cheesecakes are made with soft cheese, which is made in a traditional fashion, using 4kg milk to make 1kg of soft cheese, which produces a grainier, firmer, better quality cheese than conventional equivalents.
“Retailers can help promote their frozen desserts by keeping up to date with the latest calendar events such as Mother’s Day and Easter. By focusing ranges around these key family occasions and keeping abreast of the offers and promotions that are available to them, retailers can really make the most of increasing their sales opportunities. It’s also important to keep staff updated with promotions and offers in-store too – so they can guide customers and drive sales.
“A key driver for successful promotions is clear pricing – which can sometimes be problematic in freezers. Retailers need to keep shelves fully stocked and pricing as clear as possible to drive sales when on promotion. Signage around the store can also help. By targeting complementary products such as single cream or custard, retailers can highlight offers and satisfy the customer’s urge for a ‘deal’.
“If frozen feature ends are available, retailers should move products to this higher footfall spot, which will in turn help increase awareness and exposure of frozen products.”
“Cheesecakes and gateaux dominate the category and make up 36.4% of all desserts sold in the UK, which is also echoed by our market data on the preferences of Scottish families. Figures from Kantar also show the surge in popularity of the gateaux category in Scotland, it has grown 8.9% in the last year.”
“We would urge Scottish retailers to stock a range of desserts, including cheesecakes and gateaux as staple freezer favourites. Chocolate fudge cake is now our number one selling product in the UK.
“I would also recommend convenience retailers to stock something ‘a little different’ in order to satisfy consumer demand and avoid shopper ‘freezer fatigue’. For example, desserts such as our Lemon Meringue Pie and Apple Walnut Cake would be a great product to select, as both immediately tap into the ‘retro’ trend that we’ve seen become more and more popular with consumers. Neither are particularly seasonal and so can be enjoyed all year round.”