Feature: Snacks vending
To snack or not to snack...
If the UK has become a nation of snackers, then why is snack vending not booming? AV investigates the snack vending sector.
Snacks are typically vended through a glass fronted merchandiser, GFM, and according to the latest AVA Census, the sector is in decline - 76,864 installed machines recorded in 2008, a fi gure that shows steady decline since its peak in 2005. There are many possible reasons for this, and certainly the removal of these machines from many education sites pending the availability of products that are approved for sale in schools is a signifi cant one. The AVA’s fi gures also show a move away from the bagged snack to confectionery products, so it is not necessarily a decline due to the consumer’s desire to eat more healthily. Although we consume crisps and other traditional bagged snacks, such as peanuts, by
their thousands and no-one would suggest that operators should stop stocking these products, there is also an argument for widening the choice of products offered to the consumer to meet current consumer taste preferences and take advantage of seasonal fl avour variations and special offers. Within a GFM there is obviously limited
space available and only a proportion of that space can be allocated to snacks. Within that space operators are always urged to stock the best sellers in order to maximise sales and profi ts. But how about striking a balance between the best sellers and offering consumers some variety, something a little different to keep their interest and have them
coming back for more? For instance, the World Cup is approaching
and several crisp manufacturers have introduced themed fl avours - it’s a gimmick, but they will sell, probably like hot cakes (in England anyway), for the build-up and duration of the competition. The snacking market is not just about savoury
bagged snacks, it also encompasses morning products, such as cereal bars as the consumer who skipped breakfast snacks on a suitable substitute, biscuits to accompany the coffee break, individually portioned cakes and fl apjacks as an afternoon treat to boost the fl agging energy levels and even energy bars, again as an energy boost or a meal replacement.
Follow the leader, says Walkers Stock the right range
According to data from AC Nielsen, the market for
crisps, snacks and nuts is experiencing signifi cant growth, with sales increasing at 4.5 per cent. Nielsen fi gures also reveal that Walkers continues to outperform the market and is driving massive growth through innovation, consumer promotions and effective display solutions. Walkers
observing four key principles to capitalise on the opportunity for sales of crisps, snacks and nuts and although these are retail principles, they can also be applied to vending.
As a brand leader, Walkers urges operators to stock the best selling lines. Its products account for 56 per cent of impulse sales (Nielsen 52 wk data 26.12.09 Excl Co-op & Woolworths) and seven out of the top 10 selling crisps and snack lines (Nielsen MAT 52 WE 28.11.2009). These top sellers include Walkers standard Cheese & Onion, Ready Salted, Salt & Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail crisps, Quavers, Mega Monster Munch Roast Beef, Walkers Cheese & Onion Grab Bag and McCoy’s in Flame Grilled Steak, Cheddar & Onion and Salt & Malt Vinegar fl avours.
Keep up with consumer trends Walkers research has identifi ed a number of key trends. Value has become increasingly important to consumers, with almost 60 per cent actively looking to buy products on promotion (HIM Spring 2009) as they seek to make their money go further. Vending operators should ensure they are offering value for money and
For something really different, try the original fl avour selections available from Seabrook Crisps. Founded in 1945 by Mr C Brook, Seabrook Crisps remains a family-owned business and offers a large range of MSG-free crinkle cut crisps, all cooked in pure sunfl ower
20 June 2010
oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Expect to see traditional favourites in the
range, such as Sea Salted, Sea Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion, in addition to some more exotic options. If you dare, Seabrook Crisps invites you to try the Hot & Spicy range, which
consider what promotions they could offer. Occasions are also driving purchase decisions. The sharing occasion is one that is not so relevant to vending, but the consumer trend to stay in has driven growth in sharing products, such as Sensations and Doritos from Walkers. Other occasions include events, such as the previously mentioned World Cup. Health remains a key driver in the market,
particularly in the lead up to summer, so ‘better-for-you’ products should be offered where space allows. Walkers’ portfolio includes Baked, SunBites and Lights.
Make it easy to shop The vending equivalent of this principle is the planogram, which applies marketing techniques to the layout of products within the machines.
Tantalising fl avours from Seabrook
comprises 2 Chilli (Jalapeno and Habanero), Mustard (Hot English), Oriental (Peking Ribs) and Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish). When offered in Seabrook Crisps’ Yorkshire
heartland, it is reported that Seabrook outsells Walkers.
Register free to visit Vendex at www.vend-ex.co.uk
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