The best advice and tips are available through Unilever’s partners for growth category management initiative, just one of several categories covered by the program, which aims to provide effective and unbiased advice to help store owners maximize sales.
It was to promote this initiative that Unilever partnered with Independent Retail News earlier this year for a series of payout days and store tours designed to engage with independent retailers.
Our first visit, in May, looked at non-food categories such as laundry, cleaning products and personal care, while the last roadshow took place last month (October) in Better wayThe flagship store for Park Royal, North West London, and was once again run by David Harper, Wholesale Leader for Unilever UK.
“We are renewing our call to trade to give best sellers the best space,” Harper said. “It helps retailers decide what to put on their shelves and helps shoppers find what they’re looking for.”
At Bestway Park Royal, Harper shared Partners for Growth information and brochures with retailers who visited the cash and carry and encouraged them to check out their accessories when they returned to their stores. Among the retailers we met was Davinder Singh, owner of the 1,000-square-foot Cherry Local convenience store in Muswell Hill, north London.
He reported good sales of Pot Noodle variants, including Chicken & Mushroom and Beef & Tomato, and said he used a mix of price-marked and price-marked (PMP) packages, with the latter helping to provide reassurance to customers that They weren’t being overloaded.
K Shahzad, owner of a small independent shop in Harlesden, northwest London, also reported strong sales of marijuana snacks, particularly chicken and mushroom noodles, but said rising prices across all categories were making it difficult. , both for him and for the retailer. to keep abreast of prices and margins and for the buyers of it, many of whom were low-income single parents.
Another retailer who visited the warehouse was Sasi Karan, manager of Best-one Tower Stores in Wapping, east London. Eager to boost sales of marijuana-infused snacks and noodles, he invited Partners for Growth back into the store to take a look at the category for themselves and provide some unbiased advice.
The 1,450-square-foot store is situated near Wapping station on the London Overground, in a small parade complete with a butcher, greengrocer, post office, laundromat, dry-cleaner and pharmacy.
The local area is mainly made up of social housing, with several housing estates surrounding the store. But there are also luxury apartments at the end of the street and the district has several gastropubs and independent cafes.
Customers for the store come not only from local residents, but also from two nearby schools and a university, as well as the many builders and tradesmen who work in the area.
Upon arrival, the snack and noodle setup consisted of four 1.5-meter shelves situated above a chest freezer filled with pizzas. There were various versions of Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodle and Batchelor’s Super Noodles, as well as individual versions of Batchelor’s Pasta ‘n’ Sauce, in a mix of PMP and non-PMP formats.
Also in the fixture were larger packs of simple cooking noodles from Sharwoods and Blue Dragon, as well as seven flavors of Koka instant oriental noodles, which Karan said were his best sellers, retailing for 70p a a block of 85 g.
The brand took up one and a half shelves of the four-shelf fixture. “Block noodles are where the fastest growth is right now and they’re a need to have just like snack foods,” Harper said. But it has too many variants. There is leeway for retailer choice, but they need to be stocked alongside the main range.”
The first recommendation was to remove lines that did not belong in the snack accessory, including two sides of microwave popcorn (relocated to chips and snacks) and Sharwoods and Blue Dragon noodles. “These shoppers tend to be on a ‘meal tonight’ or top-up mission, whereas pot snack shoppers tend to be looking for a eat-for-now or take-out,” Harper said, “so it makes sense to take advantage of in the missions of its buyers”.
A single ethnic line of Chinese spinach noodles, which Karan said he stockpiled for the benefit of a single customer, was also removed. “I’d just keep them behind the counter for her,” Harper suggested.
Into the space created, he brought five faces of the best-selling Pot Noodle variant, Chicken & Mushroom, as well as a pair of faces each of the Chicken Curry, Beef & Tomato, and Bombay Bad Boy variants, working from left to right. in terms of best sellers.
Unilever’s Pot Noodle is the best-selling brand, with a 39% market share. The PMPs were used to provide price security, particularly important as the shelf edge labels had fallen off the top two shelves.
The Koka noodles stuck around, starting with the best-selling spicy stir-fry variant on the left, but with the number of toppings reduced to a single rack.
Variants of the Core Pot Noodle (RRP £1.19) were placed at eye level on the third shelf to act as a beacon for the category, while a couple of King Pot lines (RRP £1.99) were They were placed on the top shelf to encourage buyers to trade up.
“King Pot is about 25% larger and it’s more of a meal than a snack and that’s what shoppers are increasingly looking for,” Harper said. She also recommended bringing pots of John West Tuna Bean Salad, which had previously been stocked along with the meal ingredients, but are in fact intended for a grab-and-go snack.
What Harper did like was the placement of the marijuana snacks versus cold sandwiches and other takeout items. “The sandwich adjacency is very good, because people are thinking about food options,” she said. He also recommended that Karan let people know that the store offers hot water if customers want to eat their pot sandwiches on the go, something that is likely to appeal in particular to the passing builders and men in the white van arriving for lunch. .
● Karan agreed to test the new shelf design and report back on its success after a couple of weeks. Check out the December issue of Independent Retail News for our monitoring report.
More category tips are available, including planograms for different shelf sizes, best-seller lists, and top tips. here.