Price takes priority   

Although the UK’s inflation rate unexpectedly slowed to 2.6% in June, it’s still rising faster than wages, prompting many consumers to tighten their purse strings even further.

But we’re all guilty of buying confectionery on a weekly, if not daily basis, which is adding to our monthly outgoings. And according to new research by research company Shopper Intelligence, price is a key decider when choosing sugar confectionery, but visibility and convenience are the most important factors to turn a browser into a buyer.

I can certainly relate to this as a consumer. If a confectionery manufacturer’s product is placed at the end of an aisle and is on offer, then I’m more than likely to buy it. And this all presents opportunities for manufacturers to introduce on the go products in appealing packaging.

The 2016 Shopper Intelligence grocery shopper measurement programme, which monitored shopping habits and tastes of shoppers across all the major supermarkets, found that confectionery ranked highly (62%) as a grab and go purchase and low as a browse purchase (20%), indicating that retailers have a small window to drive purchase.

Out of this 62%, the main facilitators of a quick purchase were product standout, (43%), ease of shop (43%) and prominent promotional display (23%).

Some 40% of shoppers also said the confectionery items were purchased just for them, but as expected a much higher than average proportion of shoppers were buying for their children (11% versus a 4% average). In addition, high levels of consumption occur on the day of purchase (24%) or are brought to keep at home for a later date (35%).

However, sugar confectionery is amongst the top 10 categories (ranked seventh) across the store where planned consumption is later ‘out of the home’.

This suggests that for supermarkets, sugar confectionery ranges should include smaller, easy to carry packs and presents an opportunity to prompt out of home occasions such as part of a picnic pack or lunch boxes for example.

Some 53% of surveyed shoppers said they planned to buy confectionery prior visiting the store, placing it amongst the least planned category in store. Some 18% of the 53% of shoppers planned to purchase a specific brand, and what’s more 15% bought the intended brand, indicating a conversion rate of 85% and a high level of brand loyalty.

Nearly half of confectionery buyers (46%) who bought hadn’t planned to buy prior to visiting the store making confectionery the fifth most impulsive category in store. Nearly a third of the purchases (32%) were prompted by a promotional trigger, with display accounting for 23% and price and special offers 14%.

As a category with a low dwell time, the onus is on the retailers to engage with the shoppers through in-store promotions and secondary displays.

The gap in diversity of ranges, space for favourites, pack sizes and innovation are all highlighted by confectionery shoppers as showing scope for improvement, with the range gap ranking as ninth in importance out of 149 categories, indicating that shoppers place a high importance on having a wide range of confectionery from which to choose.

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