Pladis targets biscuit growth with online hub, as 80% of product sales gained from 5% of ranges

The pladis snacking group has moved to relaunch it Better Biscuits online platform as it seeks to help the sector drive a further £21 million in sales through maximising the segment’s potential, writes Neill Barston.

As the company, which is behind major brands including McVities, noted, its popular hub service providing key merchandising advice has been revamped amid the ongoing pandemic in a bid to boost retail performance.

Its initiative comes amid research revealing the fact that 80% of biscuit sales in convenience stores come from just 5% of products, proving that a focus on core ranges remains critical.

“While biscuits are purchased by nearly all UK households, they aren’t included in as many shopping baskets as some other snacking categories,” says Laura Molyneux, Category Controller: Channels at pladis UK&I. “This means the average independent retailer could be selling over £450 worth of extra biscuits annually – which would add £21 million to the channel.

“This is exactly why we have decided to relaunch our Better Biscuits platform and use it to highlight our Five Steps to Better Biscuits. We know retailers up and down the country look to our Better Biscuits platform to help them make the best possible ranging decisions for their stores.

But, as the past year and a half has proved, it’s crucial that store owners continue to take time to understand the needs of their customers and adapt ranges accordingly – which is something they’ve done particularly well during the pandemic. This has contributed towards 10.2% more shoppers now choosing to buy from convenience stores.

“Our updated Better Biscuits platform will make implementing our biscuits category management advice as simple as possible for independent retailers, enabling them to benefit from increased biscuit sales.”

pladis’ Five Steps to Better Biscuits is just the start. The new platform also allows convenience retailers to access the category bestsellers, recommended planograms, the latest news and competitions. To access the new Better Biscuits platform, visit:

pladis’ Five Steps to Better Biscuits

1. Stock the Bestsellers

Molyneux says: “First and foremost, the most important thing for independent retailers to do is stock the bestselling biscuit products, such as McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes and McVitie’s Hobnobs.

“This is because 80% of biscuit sales in convenience stores come from just 5% of products. If you’re missing any of these key lines, you’re likely missing out on sales.”

2. Make Biscuits Easy to Shop

“A great looking biscuit fixture is almost as important as the biscuits themselves – and retailers can ensure they’re making their fixtures easy to shop through mindful raging and merchandising. Consider placing branded products at eye-level and incorporating clear signage to direct shopper to the biscuit aisle,” explains Molyneux.

“This is really important because generally, shoppers find it harder to find the products they’re looking for in convenience stores compared with supermarkets. And when convenience shoppers can’t find what they’re after – almost half (47%) will walk away.”

3. Drive Excitement Through New News

“Convenience shoppers are particularly fond of new products, so while bestsellers are important, stocking-up on innovative NPD will help to drive excitement – and sales growth. Products such as McVitie’s V.I.Bs and McVitie’s Jaffa Jonuts are excellent choices.”

Molyneux adds: “In fact, in the convenience channel, new products drive a bigger proportion of biscuit sales growth than they do in supermarkets6 – meaning these new products are especially important to convenience shoppers. What’s more, convenience shoppers are 26% more likely to have tried something new7.”

4. Make Biscuits Impossible to Miss

Molyneux says: “This step is all about making your biscuit fixture stand-out. This can be done via eye-catching POS, or even secondary sightings and displays in-store. For example, placing a display of biscuits beside the hot drinks machine. Over half (55%) of convenience shoppers purchase on impulse8, so making biscuits impossible to miss will help to drive more biscuit purchases.

“What’s more, independent retailers should also consider the changing profile of the typical convenience shopper. In the past year, more and more 24–35-year-olds have visited convenience stores. To cater to these shoppers and their behaviours, we’d recommend creating a dedicated area for on-the-go snacking products, plus a Big Night In display which brings together snacking products from different categories – including products like Flipz, our chocolate-covered pretzels – to help drive extra sales.”

5. Cater to New Events and Occasions

“Acknowledging seasonal events in store – such as Mother’s Day, Halloween and Christmas – really helps to drive incremental sales because most shoppers (92%) celebrate seasonal occasions10. Through ranging and merchandising, independent retailers can demonstrate just how easy it is to celebrate with biscuits – which will encourage even more shoppers to buy suitable biscuit products. This is particularly true this year, as consumers will be going even bigger after months of restrictions due to the pandemic.

“Including products like McVitie’s Victoria and Jacob’s Biscuits for Cheese within your biscuits range will help to cater to these occasions,” Molyneux concludes.



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