Snack packs right on time

NPD taps into current consumer trends

Cakes and biscuits fit well with fast-paced lifestyles according to producers

TIME has always been a precious resource, but in the age of one-click next day delivery and video-on-demand, seconds and minutes have never been more valuable to consumers.

For retailers that poses a challenge with customers demanding service as quickly as possible, but it can also be advantageous for a number of categories including biscuits and cakes.

Ken Cameron, account controller at Nairn’s points to the continuing growth in on-the-go occasions as a trend ripe for exploiting in favour of biscuit and cakes.

“In a time poor society, snacking on-the-go is a trend that is continuing to grow,” said Cameron.

To excel in this area, Cameron suggests retailers keep an eye on NPD, ensuring their biscuit and cake range incorporates brands and variants that tap into current trends.

“New flavours and new formats for healthy snacking continue to be popular, as does the rise of healthier free-from snacks – the free from category is booming and shows no sign of slowing. 

“To illustrate this, five years ago the free from category was worth just £173m and now it is valued at £355m with more than half the population buying free from products,” he said. 

Bert Croll, sales director for Lees of Scotland agreed that   the increasingly busy lifestyles  lead by Scottish consumers can benefit the biscuit and cake category. Croll reckons convenience is high on the consumer agenda, opening up the door to improved sales of individually wrapped products.

We consumer 2.3 billion cups of coffee per year out of home, that’s around 45 cups per adult year.

“With consumers constantly on the go and leading busy lifestyles, convenience is an important factor in buyer behaviour, and this is where things like pack size come into play. Lees’ individually wrapped Snowballs and Teacakes are perfect grab packs and can be consumed on the go,” said Croll.

To take full advantage of this trend, Croll recommends retailers position their individually wrapped cakes on some prime store real estate.

“Snacks should be promoted as affordable treats – something that consumers can pick up without much thought and without feeling guilty.

“Having individual grab and go packs at till points benefits from impulse purchases,” he said.

For those who really want to drive revenues, Croll reckons biscuits and cakes sit well in cross category promotions with hot drinks and he suggested retailers pair their products accordingly.

“With 2017 seeing a spike in values driven by mega-deals, 2018 looks to be no different. Cross category promotions are a great way to encourage sales and are very simple to implement.

“Retailers can pair up snacking packs like 10 or 14 packs of Lees Teacakes or Snowballs with hot drinks packs like teas, coffees and hot chocolates to see a quick return in pick up and purchase,” he said.

Samantha Winsor, assistant brand manager at Lantmännen Unibake UK agreed that pairing coffee with cake can be a real money maker for convenience retailers, highlighting the sheer volume of coffee British consumers now drink on a yearly basis.

“We consume 2.3 billion cups of coffee per year out of home, that’s around 45 cups per adult per year.

“Cross-promoting sweet bakery items with drinks such as coffee on menus, presents outlets with a huge opportunity to increase the spend of existing customers,” she said.

It’s not just morning commuters with a craving for coffee and a cake or biscuit, Winsor also highlighted the other occasions where cosying up to hot beverages would be good for both categories.

“Opportunities for hot drinks around social occasions are broadening far beyond just a coffee and a catch up.

“Lantmännen Unibake UK recommend offering miniature pastries alongside premium teas as an afternoon tea with a modern twist,” she said.