Spreading the word


Unilever’s Partners for Growth programme suggests how c-stores can boost spread sales

BUTTER, spreads and margarine sales in convenience stores are worth £141m according to Unilever and it says that while market value is in decline, butter and cholesterol-lowering spreads are in growth.
Nick Widdowson, Partners for Growth and Unilever UK range and merchandising controller said: “The butters and spreads category is well-established, with penetration into 99% of all UK households.”
He continued: “Over recent years, habits have changed, with more food being consumed out of home. However, concerns over family finances have prompted many to make a return to the lunchbox.
“The sandwich is the most popular lunch option, and more than a billion sandwiches are eaten a year. Clearly, this presents opportunities for category growth, as 44% of spreads and 35% of butter usage is in sandwiches.”
Saying that butter and spreads shoppers spend an average of £11.01 on 5.6 items and visit stores 3.2 times a week, Partners for Growth has developed a set of tips to help c-stores get the most out of the butters and spreads market.
It says retailers should separate products into butter, buttery spreads, health and baking segments and should then block products by brand.
It also recommends reviewing the product range and experimenting with higher-value products, such as cholesterol-lowering spreads. Another tip is to use visual reminders including PoS. And it encourages retailers to capitalise on key baking occasions such as Christmas and Easter by making sure they display baking ingredients, including butters and spreads, close together.
Widdowson said shoppers choose which spreads they buy depending on their attitudes to taste and health.
He concluded: “Sticking to a tight range of the most popular brands and formats across the four product groups, and presenting them in a logical way, will bring success.”