Bags of choice for every taste

Bagged confectionery has become an important part of the store for many retailers and appeals to a broad range of shoppers from children looking for a quick treat to adults planning a night in front of the TV. We spoke to some prominent Scottish retailers to get a picture of what is happening in the category.

Adeil Hussain, Chris Cobb, Harry Singh
[Left] Adeil says consumers are happy to pay the price for bigger bags [Middle] Chris says his customers buy bags for a big night out [Right] Harry says customers seeking value are increasingly picking up big bags.
ADEIL Hussain who operates two stores in Motherwell, a Family Shopper and a One Stop store, has different approaches to selling bagged sweets in each store.

He explained: “In the Family Shopper everything is price-marked but we don’t have any marked packs in the One Stop.”

He continued: “A typical RRP for the bags in the One Stop is £2, double the price of the bags in the other store, but the shoppers quickly realise that they are much bigger bags, sometimes with more than twice the weight of sweets inside.”

Chocolate lines are still the most popular in Adeil’s stores with Mars pouches and bags of Cadbury Buttons the biggest sellers.

With more bags and pouches being designed to stand on shelves, we asked Adeil what he thought of that innovation.

He said: “Shelf space is always at a premium, in every store in the country. I wouldn’t want to give any away, especially when people are used to shopping for hanging bags.

• Bagged confectionery is so important to Chris Cobb at Cults Stores in Aberdeen, that he reckons he sells more bags than any other countline.

Chris has around 100 bags in his store, including a large range of Buchanan’s £1 bags, and rotates the selection every couple of months to keep the fixture vibrant.

But the Cults Stores customers buck the national trend by buying more candy bags than chocolate.

And unlike other parts of the country where people are buying bags for a big night in, Chris’s customers often drop by the store on their way to a big night out. He said: “We find that at the weekend customers going to the cinema will buy bags of M&Ms or Maltesers to take with them.”

• Harry Singh at Londis, Carstairs Junction says that people’s budgets have changed the culture for bagged sweets.

He said: “It used to be that people would buy a big bag for a night in but now they are going to them more often.

“Look at what they can get for £1 compared to the price of individual items. For an extra 35p the can have a bag.”

Harry currently has 27 different bags on display, predominantly price-marked at £1.”

And he says Drumstick Squashies are flying out the door.

Harry puts any Londis promotions bags, like  a recent Haribo two for £1.50, on an end bay.

While bags with promotional prices always sell in his store, Harry thinks the big brands could look at their non-promotion pricing.

He explained: “Take the Cadbury bags, when they are on promotion we sell them at £1 but as soon as the promotion ends the price zooms up to £2.19.

“I mean, who is going to pay £2.19 for something this week when they got it for £1 last week?

“I don’t even take them when they are not on promotion.”