SLR June 2022 Edition

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Spar boss talks local sourcing

JUNE 2022 | ISSUE 230



Premier retailer shows the way


Ex-Dundee Utd Chairman Stephen Thompson returns to local retailing.

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Event review

GREEN SHOOTS Sustainability stars

HIGH ENERGY Energy still flying

Scouting for Girls and Sophie Ellis-Bextor to light up Checkout Scotland! p22



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June 2022


Contents ISSUE 230


Deposit Return Scheme Scheme administrator Circularity Scotland secures £18m to fund DRS start-up costs. p5 Legislation A ban on displays of vapes in Scotland’s shops would be irrational, SGF argues. p6 Acquisitions Morrisons steps in to buy the doomed McColl’s chain of 1,100 stores. p8 Food-to-go Independent convenience stores aren’t getting their share of the growing food-to-go market, says TWC. p9 Legislation The UK government takes action to protect access to cash. p10 News Extra SGF Mini Summit Reformulation of the retail sector post-Covid is under the spotlight. p18 Product News A new report from Britvic uncovers a polarisation of the soft drinks market. p20 Off-Trade News The Famous Grouse unveils a new expression and Accolade launches a carbon-neutral wine.







INSIDE BUSINESS p22 Store Profile Singh’s Sheffield A year after relaunching, Premier’s flagship store is absolutely flying. p25 Checkout Festival Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Scouting For Girls and The Feeling are due to perform at GroceryAid Scotland’s first-ever live music event. p26 Research How can convenience stores meet customer demand for more environmentally friendly produce and practices? p28 Hotlines The latest new products and media campaigns. p62 Under The Counter A new mushroom-based drink takes UTC on a trip back to his misspent youth. FEATURES p30 Sustainability The local retailing sector seems strikingly quiet on sustainability. So, is it time to grab the green thistle? p36 Summer Drinks The soft drinks category has some new hurdles to jump this summer. p44 Barbecue The UK BBQ market has never been so strong and convenience retailers look set to reap the rewards. p46 Mints & Gums The UK’s gum and mint category is as robust as ever despite the turbulence of the last few years. p48 Nicotine & Reduced Risk Adult smokers and vapers are demanding more from their nicotine portfolios. p50 Biscuits Cake and biscuits sales continue to look sweet, despite the current squeeze on incomes. p54 Sports & Energy The energy drinks category is evolving in line with new shopper needs. p60 Food & Drinks To Go With on-the-go occasions once again on the rise, local retailers have a tasty opportunity to make more of food- and drinks-to-go.

ON THE COVER p14 Morning, Noon & Night veteran Stephen Thompson returns to local retailing with the launch of the first of a new chain of stores after a decade as Chairman of Dundee Utd FC.

JUNE 2022 | SLR


News DEPOSIT RETURN SCHEME Funding will cover scheme administrator’s start-up costs

ACS gives sales tax evidence ACS has submitted evidence to the government’s consultation on the development of an online sales tax, calling for a reduction in business rates for retail properties. In its submission, says click-and-collect orders should be exempt from the tax, it should be based on revenues rather than a flat fee, and smaller online businesses (who generate less than £1m of online sales revenue) should be exempt.

Higher wage demands Retailers should pay a minimum wage of at least £12 per hour, as recent increases offer little respite against soaring inflation, Usdaw urges. Delegates at the trade union’s annual conference voted unanimously to increase its previous demand of £10 an hour. General Secretary, Paddy Lillis, said: “Now, with inflation soaring, the cost of everyday

Circularity Scotland secures £9m DRS investment The Scottish National Investment Bank has committed £9m to fund the development of Circularity Scotland, which will administer the deposit return scheme (DRS). The Bank’s investment was key to securing an additional £9m capital from Bank of Scotland. Together the investments will fund the startup costs of the DRS, which will go live in August 2023. Mark Munro, Executive Director, Sustainable Investment at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “We are pleased to be able to support the roll-out of the deposit return scheme in Scotland by investing in Circularity Scotland. Increasing recycling rates is a vital component in Scotland’s transition to net zero, one of the bank’s key missions.”

David Harris, Chief Executive at Circularity Scotland added: “We are delighted to be working with Scottish National Investment Bank and Bank of Scotland. Their investments alongside those already received from industry will support our work in providing Scotland with the most comprehensive and efficient DRS in the world.

The news has been welcomed trade associations, including the NFRN. The Fed’s National President, Narinder Randhawa, commented: “This investment is a show of confidence in and support for all the work being done to deliver the anticipated increase in recycling rates from August next year.”

items increasing and energy bills skyrocketing, the call of £10 per


Need for shop worker protection legislation is revealed by new data

hour needs to be refreshed.”

Consumer confidence reaches new low Consumer confidence decreased two points to -40 in May, the lowest score since records began in 1974. GfK’s longrunning Consumer Confidence Index, which was conducted among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16 years and over, found four measures of confidence were down in comparison to the 22 April announcement, while one measure was up.

SWA joins new Zero Emission Truck Taskforce


The Scottish Wholesale Association has been invited to join Scotland’s new Zero Emission Truck Taskforce. The taskforce will involve industry leaders from the road haulage, logistics, manufacturing, energy, and finance sectors who will work in partnership to identify and co-design creative and practical solutions to maximising opportunities.


SLR | JUNE 2022

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners and Costa Coffee have launched a new ready-to-drink (RTD) Frappé range, to drive incremental sales within the RTD coffee segment, featuring two popular flavours, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caramel Swirl. Available in 250ml, 100% recyclable bottles and made with 100% recycled plastic (excluding caps & labels), the range is HFSS compliant and available now, so get stocked up!

More than 1,600 cases of shop worker abuse were reported to Police Scotland in the first six months after the Protection of Workers (Retail and Age Restricted Goods and Services) Act came into effect in August 2021. Figures released by the Scottish Retail Consortium and compiled by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre show that six serious assaults were reported, 675 common assaults, and 984 cases of threat and abuse. These figures also show that cases of abuse rose consistently up to December, before falling back slightly in the first two months of the year, coinciding with peak trading for the industry, as well as the introduction of stricter Covid regulations. Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Scottish Retail Consortium Head of Policy, said: “Whilst it is distressing to see the prevalence of these crimes, this new law provides a new mechanism to hold to account and punish the transgressors whilst making it much more straightforward to measure this problem. “As the months move forwards this data will help to assess if Police Scotland have the right resources in place to ensure they are able to deal with this unacceptable blight upon our communities.”

News LEGISLATION Display ban slammed as irrational

Proposed vaping regs would hit disadvantaged hardest, says SGF

A proposed ban on displays of vapes in Scotland’s shops would be irrational and hit disadvantaged communities hardest, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) says. The convenience store trade organisation has highlighted its objections in an official response to a consultation launched by the Scottish Government on the advertising and promotion of vaping products.

Measures proposed to tighten rules include a move that would outlaw in-store promotional displays of vapes and associated products. SGF argues that the potential new policy would not just hit its members’ businesses hard but hamper the drive to make Scotland smoke-free by 2034. In its response, SGF Head of Public Affairs Dr John Lee, said: “This consultation has been launched against a backdrop of concerns from a wide variety of stakeholders that Scotland – as with the rest of the UK – will not meet the aspiration of a tobaccofree generation by 2034. “Indeed, Cancer Research UK has warned that this target could be missed by as much as 16 years if current trends continue, with

the gap being wider in more disadvantaged communities.” Lee added: “Within this context it is simply not rational for the Scottish Government to consider restricting what is essentially a consumer-driven market for vaping products.” Throughout the consultation period, SGF highlighted its concerns that to essentially remove vaping products from public view would effectively hide a less harmful alternative to smoking and proven way of helping people quit cigarettes. Setting out the importance of the promotion of vapes in supporting the drive to make Scotland tobacco-free, SGF said: “Advertising and promotion of vaping products can be seen as anti-smoking advertising.”

ACS guide helps retailers welcome all The Association of Convenience Stores has launched a guide for retailers on how to provide excellent customer service for all customers, including the millions of customers with disabilities and different needs. The Everyone Welcome Guide offers easy, practical, and cost-effective steps that all store owners can take to welcome disabled customers.

Nisa’s Sales Director steps down Nisa’s Sales Director, Steve Leach, has decided to leave the business to explore new opportunities. Leach, who joined Nisa in January 2014, played an important role in devising and implementing Nisa’s new partner recruitment strategy. He was also a board member of Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity. Leach said he would be taking some time out, before

FORECOURTS Move follows claims of margin hikes

Business Secretary calls on fuel retailers to pass on fuel duty cut Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has written to leading fuel retailers reminding them to pass on tax cuts to motorists as diesel prices continue to soar. The letter follows claims that some retailers increased their margins after the 5p per litre fuel duty cut introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March to help motorists amid the cost-ofliving crisis. Kwarteng said: “The British people are rightly expressing concern about the pace of the increase in prices at the forecourt, and rightly frustrated that the Chancellor’s Fuel Duty cut does not appear to have been passed through to forecourt prices in any visible or meaningful way. It is also unacceptable that different locations even within the same retail chain have widely different prices. The Chancellor and I, therefore, want to re-emphasise and communicate again our expectation that members do everything possible to ensure that drivers are getting a fair deal across the country.” Kwarteng said his department officials have spoken to the Competition and Markets Authority about the issue and the regulator has been closely monitoring the situation.


Spar Scotland starts store development programme Spar Scotland has refreshed its store at Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfriesshire, as part of its company-owned store investment programme. The new-look store features the retailer’s food-to-go offer CJ’s, backlit spirits, local craft bakery, and locally sourced ranges. In addition, the store features the retailer’s new chilled beers, wines, and spirits zone. Brian Straiton, Operations Director, said: “This is all about a fresh look and feel for the Spar offer in Scotland. Ahead of our peak summer tourist season the fresh look Spar store at Gatehouse of Fleet is the first of several more seasonal concept stores to open shortly. We have completely modernised our Gatehouse of Fleet customer offer by investing in the latest energy-saving refrigeration to expand and highlight the best of the Spar Scotland chilled and produce offer.”

seeking a senior role.

Illegal cigarettes seized in West Lothian An investigation is underway after 1.1 million suspected illicit cigarettes and 28 pallets of alcohol were seized by HMRC from a unit at an industrial park in Whitburn on 27 April. A van and a forklift were also seized, plus £5,000 cash. The alcohol seized, included vodka, whisky, and prosecco. The recovered goods are believed to be worth an estimated £631,000 in lost duty and taxes.

BP and VW team-up BP is partnering with Volkswagen to build a Europe-wide fastcharging network. The network will use VW’s Flexpole 150kW charging units, which have an integrated battery storage system, overcoming the need for high-powered grid connections. The first phase will see up to an additional 4,000 charge points in the sites in the UK and Germany over the next 24 months.

JUNE 2022 | SLR


News ACQUISITIONS Supermarket snaps up doomed convenience chain

Post Office and Western Union expand partnership Post Office and Western Union are expanding their partnership, which will see a minimum of 4,000 branches offer crossborder money transfers for the first time. The new in-branch service will drive footfall to branches, while at the same time doubling Western Union’s UK retail network. Previously, Western Union customers could only use the Post Office website for money transfer services.

Scotmid introduces locally produced frozen range Scotmid is partnering with Castleton Farm to launch a locally-produced frozen range across selected Aberdeenshire stores. The range comprises a variety of vegan, Asian-inspired and traditional meals, including a Wild Mushroom Risotto, Teriyaki Chicken, Meatballs in a Red Pepper Sauce, and a Beef

Morrisons saves McColl’s PwC, the administrator for McColl’s, has completed a sale of the business and assets of the group to Alliance Property Holdings, part of the Morrisons Group, its largest supplier. McColl’s fell into administration on 6 May after failing to secure a “financing solution”. The deal includes all 16,000 staff, 1,100 stores across the UK, and also includes Morrisons agreeing to rescue the group’s two pension schemes which have more than 2,000 members. McColl’s Retail Group operates a chain of more than 1,100 convenience retail stores and newsagents across the UK. The majority of group stores trade under the McColl’s brand, alongside 270 operating as Morrisons Daily concessions. Rob Lewis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: “The completion of this transaction provides much-needed certainty to McColl’s 16,000 staff after a period of understandable concern following the Group’s challenges over the past months. As well as saving thousands of jobs, this deal secures a platform for the trustees of the Group’s pension schemes to enter into arrangements which will protect the pensions entitlements of so many people. All in all, a really positive outcome.

“Morrisons’ Wholesale Supply Agreement will continue in place after the transaction, minimising disruption to customers and employees as all stores will continue to trade. We wish Morrisons well with integrating McColls into their business.” Morrisons saw off a rival bid from Asda’s owners – the Issa brothers – who also own EG Group. David Potts, Morrisons Chief Executive, said: “This transaction offers stability and continuity for the McColl’s business and, in particular, a better outcome for its colleagues and pensioners.” He added: “We all look forward to welcoming many new colleagues into the Morrisons business and to building on the proven strength of the Morrisons Daily format.”

Stroganoff. An initial trial is being partially funded by the SGF’s Go Local programme.

Spar Scotland’s Future Stars Cup returns The first Spar Scotland Future Stars Cup tournament since the pandemic took place on 18 May. The Sports Performance Centre, Oriam, hosted more than 250 girls aged 12-16-yearsold, who represented their respective schools. Scotland stars Lee Alexander and Lizzie Arnot helped with the prizegiving ceremony. Spar Scotland also sponsors of the Scotland Women’s National Team.

Retailers ‘still stocking’ tainted products Investigations have found a “substantial number” of businesses in Scotland still selling recalled Kinder products that have been linked to an ongoing salmonella outbreak. Food Standards Scotland is advising peoplewho have bought or spot recalled Kinder products on shelves or online to raise the

HOME DELIVERY 100 stores offering doorstep delivery, with more to follow

One Stop agrees Uber Eats partnership One Stop has formed a partnership with Uber Eats to offer home delivery across the UK. The partnership – which combines One Stop’s vast product range and the convenience of Uber Eats doorstep deliveries – has already seen more than 100 One Stop stores launch on the app over the past month, with a further 400 stores to be added by the end of the fourth quarter. Jonny McQuarrie, Managing Director at One Stop, added: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Uber Eats and as always, we are committed to making it as easy as possible for our customers to shop with us. “Customers will be able to have great quality products at their doorstep within minutes. We look forward to offering the Uber Eats service to both our existing loyal customers and new customers across the country.” Alex Troughton, Head of New Verticals and Grocery at Uber Eats UK, said: “We’re excited to have One Stop onboard the Uber Eats app, allowing us to offer our customers an even wider variety of grocery and convenience goods seven days a week.”


Tobacco track and trace system to change IT provider The UK tobacco track and system will be moving from its current IT provider De La Rue to Dentsu from 1 July. ACS says retailers registered on the existing track and trace system will have all their information automatically transferred to the new Dentsu system. This means that their Economic Operator Identifier Code (EOID) and Facility Identifier Code (FID) will remain the same. ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “It is extremely important that retailers familiarise themselves with the changes to the track and trace system and follow the instructions in the communications from Dentsu to ensure that they stay on the right side of the law.”

issue with the retailer and report the matter to their local authority.


SLR | JUNE 2022













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News FOOD-TO-GO TWC warns of threat from discounters

Illicit cigs found in Dundee A man has been charged after more than 800,000 suspected illicit cigarettes were seized by HMRC inside a container at

Independents not getting their share of food-to-go growth

an industrial park in Dundee. A further 31kg of hand-rolled tobacco was also seized, alongside the 824,620 cigarettes. The goods found in the container are believed to be worth an estimated £378,000 in lost duty and taxes. A man in his 40s from Dundee has been charged with Excise Duty fraud.

Spar Torry revamps store Spar Torry, in Aberdeen, invited local young designers to give the internal front of store wall a fresh look. The Spar retailer offered the winner a £100 Spar gift voucher and for their design to hang in the store. The winning design by Leyla Paterson, aged 9, is 2640mm by 5280mm in size and incorporates the store’s passion for Scotland and brands

Wholesale experts TWC and food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak have reported that the food-togo market has grown by 9% yearon-year in value in independent c-stores in the latest 12 weeks. However, the total market across all channels has grown by 31% over the same period and total grovery

retail outlets have grown at an even more impressive 51%. This has been driven by a particularly strong performance for both discounters (+81%) and multiple convenience stores (+63%). TWC says this suggests that independent convenience stores are not getting their ‘fair share’ of food-to-go growth.

Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said: “It was understandable that many retailers opted to scale back their food-togo offer at that time as consumers weren’t commuting or getting out and about very much, rather they were preparing most of their meals at home. But what we have seen in the last few months is the rapid return of consumers eating foodto-go again. “We all know the discounters have been attracting new shoppers as well as benefiting from returning lapsed shoppers. This always happens during economically challenging times. But discounters are not renowned for selling foodto-go items, so this should be a slight warning to local convenience operators that discounters are now competing on this mission too.”

available in-store. It features the slogan ‘no matter if you’re near or far, come to your local Spar’.”

ACS adds vaping guide Association of Convenience Stores has developed guidance to help retailers with the sale and supply of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The guide covers the regulations that govern the sale and supply of e-cigarettes, retailers’ responsibilities, and advice on how to ensure that underage sales do not take place. Visit acs. to download the guide.

MADL wins new award Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally (MADL) charity has won two awards. MADL, which last year donated over £1m to UK good causes, won the National Commitment to the Community Award at the Better Society Awards and took the Corporate Foundation Award at the Business Charity Awards. MADL’s Kate Carroll said: “The awards are testament to the amazing

CONVENIENCE MULTIPLES Greens chain relaunches

Eros gearing up for growth Scottish-based convenience retail chain Eros Retail is readying for expansion starting with a company rebrand, new strategic values, and a new head of retail. After launching the ‘Greens’ fascia in 2016, Eros is relaunching the company at the end of May as Greens Retail, and introducing its new values as ‘People, Place, Product and Planet’. In addition, Greens has unveiled David Bateman as its new Head of Retail, starting with the business this month. Bateman brings a wealth of experience having spent 27 years

in the wholesale and convenience retail sector with Woolworths, Palmer & Harvey, and Bestway. He joins Greens from Nisa Retail. Greens Retail has 10 new store openings planned over the next two quarters, leading to forecast annualised retail sales of about £40m, and an expected headcount of approaching 500 colleagues. New store locations include Kirriemuir, Shettleston, and Fraserburgh, with openings starting last month. The company is looking to invest significantly in the sector, as it aims to reach £100m annualised sales within the next 24 months.


Scotland’s biggest ultrarapid charging station opens

European rapid charging company Fastned has opened Scotland’s biggest ultra-rapid charging station in the Palace Grounds Retail Park, Hamilton. The station, which is located just off the A72 and near the M74, comprises eight chargers, each of which is supplied by 100% renewable energy. The station, Fastned’s 10th in the UK, was part-funded by the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and supported through the European Regional Development Programme.

work that Nisa partners do to support their communities.”


SLR | JUNE 2022


News LEGISLATION Forthcoming Bill gives Financial Conduct Authority new powers

Government to introduce rules to protect access to cash

if in doubt ASK FOR ID It is illegal to sell National Lottery products to anyone under the age of 18

TOP TIPS TO PREVENT UNDERAGE SALES ` Always look at customers to assess their age ` If in doubt, ask for ID ` Ensure all staff are fully trained to correctly ask for ID, especially new starters The UK’s largest banks and building societies will now be subject to new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) powers to ensure the continued availability of withdrawal and deposit facilities in local communities across the UK, under new rules set out by the government. The measures will be legislated for in the upcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill. Under the new regulations, the FCA will be granted new powers over the UK’s largest banks and building societies, to ensure that cash withdrawal and deposit facilities are available in communities across the country. The FCA’s powers will allow it to address cash access issues at both a national and local level. To support the FCA, the government will set out its expectations for a reasonable distance for people to travel when depositing and withdrawing cash. The government said this will reflect the existing spread of cash withdrawal and deposit facilities in the UK. Economic Secretary, John Glen, said: “Millions of people across the UK still rely on cash, particularly those in vulnerable groups, and today we are delivering on our promise to ensure that access to

cash is protected in communities across the country. “I want to make sure that people are still able to use cash as part of their daily lives, and it’s crucial to ensure that no person nor community across the UK is left behind as we embrace a more digital world.” The news has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores. Findings from ACS’ 2021 Local Shop Report show that consumers think that two of the most valuable services offered in convenience stores are cash machines and the Post Office. ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “We welcome further detail on the how the Treasury plan to legislate for access to cash and delivery of a flexible criteria for cash provision between urban and rural areas. “Cash is still an incredibly important way of paying for goods and managing money for millions of people, and convenience stores play an increasingly important role in being often the only provider of ATM services locally. One of the most effective ways to promote access to cash would be to ensure banks provide adequate funding for a viable ATM network, yet this has been cut in recent years.”

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JUNE 2022 | SLR


News Extra

SGF Mini Summit

NewsExtra BOOST YOUR STORE’S SUSTAINABILITY CREDENTIALS – P30 TRADE ASSOCIATIONS Retailers meet to discuss industry challenges in the wake of the pandemic

Scottish Grocers’ Federation

Convenience Matters with the SGF The UK Treasury has just conducted a consultation on proposals to introduce an Online Sales Tax (OST). Given the massive rise in online shopping and the emergence of many different forms of e-commerce it is no surprise that the Treasury is looking to get its hands on a potentially significant revenue source. The consultation can also be seen as a response to longerterm concerns that large online retailers don’t pay tax at a sufficient level in relation to their income. Most small retailers would welcome taxation measures which would create a more level playing field but, as ever, the devil is in the detail. The key questions are who pays the tax and how much will it cost? The tax could either land on retailers or on the app-based third-party ordering and delivery services which retailers are increasingly using. Either option seems to put us between a rock and a hard place: retailers understandably would rather not pay the tax but if it falls on the delivery services then it could make online shopping more expensive, with costs ultimately having to be passed onto the customer. There are further challenges. The Treasury say that money raised from any OST will be used to reduce business rates, but that they can’t guarantee this will happen in Scotland – the reality is that the money will probably disappear down a hole somewhere in Whitehall, with Scotland seeing precious little of it. In the meantime, and just to confuse things even more, the Scottish government is looking at potentially introducing its own version of an OTS. Increasingly, we seem to be getting the worst of both worlds when it comes to crossborder policy.


SLR | JUNE 2022

Retail reformulation in the spotlight at SGF Mini Summit A packed audience at the recent SGF Mini Summit heard a panel of highquality speakers discuss how the retail sector must reformulate itself postCovid. BY ANTONY BEGLEY

Retail reformulation post-Covid was the theme of last month’s SGF Mini Summit at the Macdonald Inchyra hotel in Polmont, as a packed audience gathered to hear an impressive list of speakers offer their views on the challenges that face the sector today – and how retailers should respond. Hosted by Moniave retailer Graham Watson, SGF’s newly appointed Junior Vice-President, the event reviewed the tumultuous events of the last couple of years and probed the short- and longer-term effects on the sector. Duncan Simpson started the session with a look at the sustainability challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for local retailers before Kimberley Guthrie of Scotland’s Town Partnership discussed the importance, and value, of local spending, focusing largely on the Scotland Loves Local campaign. Mike Osborne, the flamboyant and engagingly outspoken founder of Gander, then offered a whistlestop tour of the commercial and environmental benefits of using his food waste reduction platform. Next up was Michael Chapman of PepsiCo who stayed on the sustainability theme by highlighting the huge progress that the company has made in reducing its environmental impact on the Walkers brand. Walkers sells a whopping 11 million bags of crisps a day and has managed to remove 500 tonnes of plastic form its supply chain in the last five years alone. It has also been using exclusively renewable energy since 2018 and is aiming to use only recycled or renewable plastic by 2030. Hannah Barnes of BP then took the stage to discuss some of the energy giant’s more leftfield and ambitious Scott Annan urges retailers to thrive, not just survive.

Mital Morar discusses Store Group’s response to Covid.

projects to digitise store operations across its 10,000 European sites. All the tech solutions being trialled, the audience heard, focus on helping colleagues interact better with the business and each other. Barnes also highlighted the growing role being played in BP by advanced sensoring and robotics across every aspect of operations. Retail consultant Scott Annan closed the day in a joint presentation with Manchester retailer Mital Morar whose Store Group has been making waves down south for years with high-end hybrid store models that combine retail, hospitality and entertainment. Morar admitted that the last few years had been devastating for his business, but a contagious energy and passion combined with a unique creative vision has seen his group survived and thrive. The key to success, he said, were the three Ps: people, processes, and performance. Annan ended on a positive note too, highlighting that all customers eat three times a day, which means 1,000 sales opportunities a year.

The Mini Summit speakers.


BACK IN THE CHAIN GANG? When SLR first saw the light of day, about two decades ago, the sector in Scotland looked very different from how it looks today. The most obvious difference was a whole array of fairly large chains: Botterills, Aberness, Morning, Noon & Night and many more that retailers of a more mature vintage will no doubt recall. Over the years, however, as the economy flourished before the almighty crash of 2009, all of these famous chains were sold on to larger, growth-hungry multiple groups, often Scotmid and the Co-op – and often for inflated figures that probably over-valued the business. Great news for the retailers doing the selling, of course. The last major chain to go was David Sands in 2012 and the sector was left unrecognisable. The days of the Scottish independent chain seemed all but over. Over the last few years however, it has started to look like there may be a new chain gang in town. David Sands has returned to the sector in a variety of guises, Harris Aslam has built up his portfolio of stores, Jay Javid is building his own growing empire and, most recently, Stephen Thompson has returned to the convenience retailing fray with a public commitment to building a chain of up to 50 stores in the next five years. After a decade of being Chairman of Dundee Utd, the former Morning, Noon & Night man opened his first store just last month in Alloa and, as you read this, he will be opening his second store in Kirkcaldy under the new Eddy’s Food Station brand. The last time Stephen appeared on the cover of SLR was back in the very early 2000s! It’s probably not unfair to say that building a 50-store chain in five years is what might be referred to in footballing circles as ‘a big ask’, certainly in the current economic climate. But Stephen is an ambitious man and who knows? Predicting the future has never been a reliable sport and, at the minute, we’ve no idea what’s round the corner next week, never mind in five years’ time. But one thing is for sure: the sector is in an interesting period once more and it will be fascinating to see what the future brings.

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SLR | JUNE 2022

Mr. Singh Everyday Value

Hira Odedra Bardney Post Office

Why become a member with My BAT Rewards? Are you serious about growing your business with products your customers want? What about the chance to win a watch or a tech gadget each month? Regular prize draws are just one of the many stand-out benefits you’ll enjoy as a member of the #MyBATRewards programme – all designed to help you grow sales and accelerate your product knowledge to expand your range and support more customers. It couldn’t be simpler – just join the #MyBATRewards scheme and register the platform*. Then complete one of the regular online quizzes successfully for your name to go in the draw for a chance to win a brilliant prize. The winners are announced in monthly prize draws. BAT is serious about its mission to support retailers with a fit-for-purpose programme to help them seize the initiative with quality products across key categories, including VUSE and VELO. The #MyBATRewards scheme is the only place retailers can access such a broad range of benefits for BAT products, including exclusive offers, exciting discounts, product training and information, and more. Upgraded last year, the platform is easily accessible via a website and app and has never been easier to use.

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Register your interest in becoming a member of My BAT Rewards by emailing at Scan the QR Code or contact your local BAT Representative for more information.

*Terms and Conditions apply. This product contains nicotine and is addictive. 18+ only. Read leaflet in pack. For trade use only. Not to be left within sight of consumers.

Cover Story

Eddy’s Food Station



Morning, Noon & Night veteran Stephen Thompson has returned to local retailing with the launch of the first of a new chain of stores after a high-profile decade as Chairman of Dundee Utd FC. BY ANTONY BEGLEY

Eddy’s Food Station

Cover Story


tephen Thompson is well-known to many in the local retailing sector in Scotland, particularly those of a certain age – so his return to local retailing after a very high-profile decade as Chairman of Dundee Utd was always certain to generate a lot of light and

heat. The son of Eddie Thompson OBE, the man behind the Morning, Noon and Night chain of 50 convenience stores that was sold to Scotmid for £30m in 2004, Stephen is now very much back in the local retailing game with the launch of the first of what he hopes will be as many as 30 new stores, creating up to 500 new jobs in the next five years. “After the challenges of being at Dundee Utd, it’s been really enjoyable to return to convenience retailing,” Stephen told SLR. “My LinkedIn has been red hot since the news broke of the new store and it’s been great to hear so much positive feedback. The feedback you tend to get as Chairman of a football club makes you a little wary of reading your social media feeds!” So, back where he first made his name, Stephen opened the first Eddy’s Food Station store in Alloa last month to much fanfare and many column inches. The name, incidentally, is apparently “a nod” to his father Eddie, even if it is spelled slightly differently. The new store employs 14 people and, on the day SLR visited, was more than ably staffed by a team of four plus George Ezady, Area Manager of the Discovery Retail business that runs the stores. George has been in the sector for over 30 years, including eight years as an Area Manager with the Coop as well as stints with WH Smith and as a store manager at Harris Aslam’s Glenshire Group. The focus for the chain, as the name suggests, is very much food-to-go and that is clear from the get-go with external signage and A-boards tempting shoppers with an array of hot and cold food-to-go options. When we visited, the store had only been open for a week – and had been closed for seven years before that – so it was always going to be a challenge to move the new business through the gears quickly, but George has been quietly pleased with the first week’s trading. “The store has been here for 60 or more years and was independently owned by the same family,” he explains. “About seven years ago it was closed for a full refit and, thanks to a series of major health issues, the owners never re-opened it. So, when we finally turned the lock on the door it was immaculate, with new chillers, new fixtures, the lot – even if the kit was a little outdated.” All that kit has been replaced and has gone into storage in case it can be pressed back into service as the chain grows. “Everything in the store is brand new, absolutely everything,” says George. “But we knew that we had to re-establish the store in the local community, and we knew that would take time – but we’re doing all the right things like working social media hard and doing great deals on hot food to drive trial and footfall so we’ve been quite pleased with the first week. We’re already seeing ‘regulars’ and we’re seeing new faces every day.”

JUNE 2022 | SLR


Cover Story

Eddy’s Food Station

The food-to-go offer is well presented and is clearly the heart of the store, offering a range of traditional hot and cold favourites like sausage rolls, Scotch pies, mac cheese, pizza, and bacon rolls, with many lines supplied Stuart’s Bakers & Butchers. Clean, bright LED digital screens highlight menus and specials, and a hefty range of apparently very expensive catering equipment ensures everything is cooked to perfection. While food-to-go is what the store is all about, it still offers the broad range of traditional convenience categories you’d expect with a particular emphasis on important categories like fresh and chilled and alcohol. Supplied by Booker through its Budgens group, as well as a number of Scottish wholesalers, the store features an extensive range of fresh produce, much of it from Booker’s Jack’s range. Larger-format packs are also evident across the store with chilled multipacks of beer, sharing bags of crisps and snacks, large format soft drinks and sharing confectionery all very much in evidence. 16

SLR | JUNE 2022

The store also features a Lavazza coffee machine to complement the strong food-to-go offer. Shopfitting standards are very high and, as you might expect after just a week of trading, the place is immaculate – with the four-strong team ensuring it stayed that way throughout the day. Interior signage is smart with a striking blue and orange theme that helps set the store apart visually from other chains. The store sits with a housing estate on one side and shoppers must travel half a mile in either direction to find the nearest competition, a Co-op and a Scotmid. There’s also a school nearby which presents a host of opportunities if George and the team can find ways to lure the schoolkids to the store. Stephen and George haven’t yet appointed a store manager, recruitment being a challenge that faces all retailers at the moment – but one should be in place soon. Also in the pipeline is a free-to-use ATM. The machine is already on site and was scheduled to be up and running within a day or so of our visit. All told, it’s a very good, professional store that does all the modern basics well and certainly bodes well for the future of the Eddy’s Food Station chain. It fits a lot into a relatively small space – possibly around 1,500sq ft – and offers locals plenty of reasons to drop by and check it out. And the chances are, if they visit it once they will return. As for future growth, the second store is due to be unveiled shortly in Kirkcaldy. While George was unwilling to officially confirm exactly where the new store is, he did reveal that “it’s very much a trading store with a strong food-to-go business” and is, apparently, a good bit bigger than the Alloa premises. Targeting 50 stores inside five years is a huge ask, but Stephen remains confident, even if the last year or two haven’t helped. “It’s a difficult time to launch a new chain,” he admits, “and we have had a whole lot of challenges getting the business up and running because of the pandemic – but we’re off and running now and we’re all excited about the future. “This an extremely exciting first leg of a long journey for the Eddy’s Food Station brand. The retail industry is an industry I know and love. It’s an avenue I’ve always wanted to return to, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s finally happening. We’re investing heavily in resources and research into our offering and we’re passionate about giving our customers an unrivalled, superior experience. We’re taking this opportunity to shake up the market, creating a retail experience that combines convenience and quality and goes above and beyond customer expectations. “Expansion is very much front and centre and so we are continuing to scope out further sites for future stores in more central and convenient locations. “Our employees are fully equipped to create an environment that will give customers the best possible experience and create a real sense of community.” Fittingly, Stephen leaves the last word to his father: “I’m thrilled to be following in his footsteps with this new venture and look forward to embracing the journey ahead as the Eddy’s Food Station network grows.






2 0 MAY 2 022

Scottish Grocers’ Federation



KP Snacks continues cricket partnership KP Snacks has been named as Offical Team Partner of The Hundred, a 100 ball cricket competition. KP’s eight leading brands will feature across the team shirts of eight men’s and women’s teams competing in the tournament. KP has also launched a ‘Win and Get Active’ on-pack promotion as part of its ‘Everyone In’ campaign that gives shoppers the chance to win thousands of bats and balls.

Jubilee sauces Kraft Heinz has renamed Heinz Salad Cream and Heinz HP Sauce to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Both ‘HM Sauce’ and ‘Heinz Salad Queen’ are available from now until supplies run out. Anke von Hanstein, Senior Brand Manager for Heinz Sauces, said: “This is a great opportunity for our retail partners to capitalise on the occasion and uplift sales of best-

Product News SET YOUR BARBECUE SALES ALIGHT – P44 SOFT DRINKS Retailers can maximise spend from both ‘premium’ and ‘value’ occasions

Britvic report reveals polarisation of soft drinks market Britvic’s annual Soft Drinks Review 2022 has revealed opportunities for the convenience channel to grow soft drinks sales by appealing to shoppers at both ends of the value spectrum. The report found consumers on average are £1,200 worse off this year compared to 2021, with onein-five being financially squeezed due to factors like rising inflation and energy costs. However, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and growing shopper confidence means overall consumer spend is expected to be noticeably higher in 2022 compared to the previous two

years, with one-in-five consumers claiming they are better off financially following the pandemic. Britvic said this polarisation in personal finances presents new opportunities for convenience retailers to maximise customer spend from soft drinks that cater to ‘premium’ and ‘value’ shopping occasions. In 2021, the soft drinks category saw a move towards premiumisation, with a 6% price per litre growth, as consumers sought new ways to treat themselves during lockdown. This was

mainly driven by the resurgence of on-the-go drinks and the accelerated growth of the energy drinks segment – two trends predicted to continue this year. At the other end of the scale, larger numbers of consumers are feeling the pinch and are looking to make their money go further. Pressured shoppers are also expected to move toward smaller transactions and smaller pack sizes to make their money stretch further. You can visit soft-drinks-review to read the full report.

selling brands, HP Sauce and Heinz Salad Cream.”

Graze unwraps truth around added sugar Healthy snack brand graze has launched #KnowAddedSugar, an educational campaign which aims to grow awareness of the amount of sugar added to snacks and help shoppers to make more informed, healthier choices. The campaign focuses on a #KnowAddedSugar Index, hosted on the graze website, which reveals the estimated


Capri-Sun builds on success of Legoland promo Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) has brought back its popular Legoland on-pack promotion for Capri-Sun this summer, in partnership with Merlin Entertainments. The promotion offers a free adult or child entry with a paying adult to Legoland Windsor Resort, one of the UK’s favourite theme parks for young families. Tickets can also be redeemed at the Legoland Discovery Centres in Birmingham and Manchester. The promo is supported by out-of-home and social media advertising, alongside in-store activity and runs until 22 July. ‘Buy One Get One Free’ vouchers will be valid until 31 December 2022. Promotional packs include 4x200ml multipacks of Capri-Sun Orange and No Added Sugar Orange, 8x200ml multipacks of Capri-Sun Orange, Blackcurrant and No Added Sugar Orange, 15x200ml multipacks of Capri-Sun Orange and 1-ltr bottles of Capri-Sun Orange Multi-Vitamin Squash.

added sugar content contained within popular snacks. SOFT DRINKS The entire Irn-Bru and Rubicon ranges will be more sustainable by the end of the year

New brand identity for Cathedral City

Barr unveils 100% recycled Bru bottles

Saputo Dairy has unveiled a

AG Barr is rolling out 100% recycled plastic (rPET) across all its 500ml Irn-Bru and Rubicon products. The new 100% rPET packs are available now, with the rest of the Irn-Bru and Rubicon range due to change by the end of this year. The move is a crucial part of a wider initiative, No Time To Waste, which the company launched last year, bringing together net-zero, plastic and packaging, waste, water and sustainable sourcing workstreams. Clear on-pack labelling will help inform shoppers about the new bottle materials, and the roll out will

brand redesign for its Cathedral City cheese – the first major revision of its branding in six years. Updated packs feature a redesigned city scene with the cathedral centre stage, along with new vibrant SKU-specific colourways. The packaging also features a newly added signature from Cathedral City’s Master Cheese Grader.


SLR | JUNE 2022

be supported by an advertising campaign to engage consumers on recyclability and recycling.




Yazoo offers two-for-one theme park entry Flavoured milk brand Yazoo has brought back its partnership with Merlin Group to help retailers maximise on-the-go sales

SOFT DRINKS Coke makes whole-bottle recycling easier

Coca-Cola starts attaching caps to bottles Coca-Cola Great Britain is introducing new, attached caps to its plastic bottles, making it easier to recycle the entire package and ensure no cap gets left behind. Production has already started at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ site in East Kilbride, meaning consumers in Scotland will be among the first to see new caps attached to 1.5-litre bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke. The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.

All of Coca-Cola’s bottles, including the caps, have been 100% recyclable for many years but not all are being recycled. Bottle caps are often discarded and littered. The new design means that the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening, so the whole plastic bottle and attached cap can be recycled together. Coca-Cola is the first major soft drinks company to announce the switch across its entire range in Great Britain. Last year CCEP announced that it had reached its target of using 100% recycled

CONFECTIONERY Retailer incentive programme proves popular

PVM marks loyalty scheme milestone Perfetti Van Melle is celebrating reaching the milestone of over 4,500 members of its Loyalty Reward Scheme. The retailer incentive programme, which also offers several stocking and merchandising initiatives to help retailers boost profits, has already rewarded retailers with free stock, hoodies and cash prizes since its inception last August. Retailers are encouraged to display Perfetti Van Melle’s best sellers on dedicated merchandising racks, for which they will be instantly rewarded through a points-based membership scheme. The more points they collect, the better their rewards will be. Among the offers to be enjoyed are free stock, superior display solutions, expert category advice and the chance to be entered into a draw for gift vouchers worth up to £1,000. To gain extra points, retailers need to stock additional lines, feature POS signposting or displays such as the Chupa Chups Wheel or Mix of Minis range. Nicola Hornsey, Senior Sales Manager at Perfetti Van Melle, said: “Our Loyalty Reward Scheme is not just a great chance for retailers to win some fantastic prizes, it also gives them the opportunity to reinvigorate their confectionery offering, add some real shopper favourites to their lines and boost their profits.” Retailers should contact for more details on how to get involved in the scheme.

plastic – excluding caps and labels – in all its 500ml or smaller bottles sold in Great Britain ahead of schedule, helping to save around 29,000 tonnes of plastic per year. The move also follows CCEP’s transition to Shrink to Board pack, alongside light-weighting of its aluminium cans, which are now 22% lighter than two years ago. Commenting on the new caps, Stephen Moorhouse, General Manager at CCEP GB, said: “The move is just one of the steps we’re taking as part of our This is Forward sustainability action plan.”


Tattie promo is Lightyears ahead Albert Bartlett has joined forces with Disney and Pixar for an on-pack promotion to mark the release of ‘Lightyear’, which hits UK cinemas on 17 June. The promotion gives families the chance to win one of two trips to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Running until July 17, the promo features across 2kg bags of Albert Bartlett Original Rooster potatoes and Albert Bartlett Butter Golds. It also features on 5kg packs of Original Roosters as sticker only, available from Costco. The promo is supported with a video advert across digital channels and social media, showcasing footage from Albert Bartlett’s recent TV commercial and the Lightyear trailer.

across the summer months by offering two-for-one tickets for Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. Available until the park season ends in November, the on-pack promo runs across all Yazoo flavours and formats, including the limited-edition Choc Caramel and PMPs.

Spar own-label expands for summer Spar has launched a variety of own-label products to help retailers take advantage of the opportunities presented by this summer, including several products to cover shopper needs for seasonal eating, BBQs, picnics and alfresco dining. New for 2022 are Spar Chorizo-style sausages, jumbo hot dogs, quiches, plus range extensions on dips. The summer range will be supported with digital activity.

Thistly Cross lands on Scotmid shelves An East Lothian-based cider producer Thistly Cross has won a competition to have its Scottish Fruits Cider sold at 179 Scotmid stores across Scotland. The competition was launched by the convenience retailer to champion local producers and further demonstrates its commitment to Scottish sourcing. The threeweek listing will help Thistly Cross to extend its reach and brand awareness.

KP Snacks grows its £1 PMP range KP Snacks has extended its £1 price-marked pack range with the addition of Hula Hoops Big Hoops Salt & Vinegar (70g) and Discos Cheese & Onion (70g). The new Big Hoops Salt & Vinegar PMP joins Big Hoops BBQ Beef, while Discos Cheese & Onion is the second Discos flavour to launch in the £1 PMP format, following the launch of Discos Salt & Vinegar last year.

JUNE 2022 | SLR




Molson Coors backs Aspall with £3m campaign Aspall Cyder has hit screens with its first-ever TV ad as part of a new multi-million-pound marketing campaign launched by owner Molson Coors. The £3m investment comprises a comprehensive TV, video on-demand, digital, social and out-of-home media campaign, supported with experiential activity. The marketing campaign builds on the brand’s premium credentials but emphasises that “quality doesn’t need to be elitist or pretentious, it can be enjoyed by all”.

Pimm’s launches limitededition Jubilee design Pimm’s has introduced a limitededition design on its Pimm’s No.1 bottle to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The limited-edition bottle (ABV 25%, RSP £15) is available from now until August and will temporarily

Off-TradeNews SWEET SALES FROM BISCUITS – P50 WHISKY New premium expression is “slightly sweeter”

Famous Grouse launches Sherry Cask Finish The Famous Grouse has unveiled Sherry Cask Finish, a new premium expression of Speyside malts matured in sherry seasoned, European oak casks to deliver a blend of rich, warming and spiced flavours. A permanent addition to The Famous Grouse portfolio, the blend has been in development for over two years and takes its name from the maturation process that uses the most premium ex-sherry casks to secure a sweeter balance. The packaging of Sherry Cask Finish features the Spanish female Capercaillie. It was chosen for its link to the product’s

Spanish sherry heritage and its vivid orange and red plumage which echoes the deep amber of the liquid itself. Alongside its ongoing support for RSPB Scotland, The Famous Grouse plans to support further habitat protection projects focusing specifically on the Capercaillie. Sanele Gwala, Global Senior Brand Manager at The Famous Grouse, said: “This new, revived blend is finished in sherry casks and butts seasoned in the region of Jerez, Spain. The aim was to create a blend that is slightly sweeter but still in keeping with the smooth and distinct DNA of classic Grouse.”

replace the standard Pimm’s No.1 label design.

‘World’s best’ rye whisky comes to UK Speciality Brands is expanding its Canadian whisky offering with the addition of Lot No. 40 Dark Oak (48% ABV, RSP £65), a rich and bold expression from distiller Corby Spirit and Wine. The new liquid retains the essence of Lot No. 40 but displays a more intense profile and is ideal for the seasoned whisky drinker. It is made from 100% rye grain and distilled twice before being


Magners launches largest-ever off-trade promo Magners has unveiled its latest on-pack promotion, which has over 1,000 prizes up for grabs including a luxury villa stay for 10. The promotion is available across six million packs of Magners Original including four- and 10-packs of cans as well as 568ml bottles and 8x500ml bottles. In addition to the luxury weekend for 10, which includes a private chef, live entertainment and Magners Original, consumers can win from over one thousand prizes including staycation vouchers, speakers, headphones and Spotify vouchers. A QR code on promotional packs takes consumers to a microsite where they can upload a photo of their recently purchased Magners Original to immediately find out if they have won a minor prize. They will be automatically entered into a draw for the villa stay, which will be drawn in September. Iain Telford, Senior Marketing Manager at Magners, said: “Summer is a busy time for the cider market and our new on-pack promotion will ensure strong brand presence in stores as we enter this key trading period.”

finished in heavily charred American oak barrels. COMMUNITY Drinks giant helps Queer Britain preserve LGBTQ+ history

White Claw makes waves in the festival scene Hard seltzer brand White Claw is investing more than £4m in a multichannel summer strategy, which includes a major presence at a number of UK festivals. The brand will appear at London’s All Points East, Mighty Hoopla and Wide Awake, as well as festivals across the UK including Parklife in Manchester, Loves Saves the Day in Bristol and Boardmasters in Cornwall.


SLR | JUNE 2022

Diageo partners with UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum Diageo has formed a new two-year partnership with London-based Queer Britain, the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum. The first-of-its kind partnership aims to capture some of the lost LGBTQ+ contributions to history and culture in the UK, creating space for the community to find meaningful connections to both past and present. Diageo will provide funding to support the setup of the inaugural museum space and provide resources to support the museum’s archivists in their mission to grow an archive of stories and artefacts. The drinks giant’s archivists will work with Queer Britain to upskill volunteers and create archive best practices that will enable the museum to preserve LGBTQ+ history. KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST NEWS AS IT HAPPENS – FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @SLRMAG



Funkin Cocktails extends flavour range RTD brand Funkin Cocktails has added two new flavours to its line-up: Peach on the Beach and Long Island Iced Tea. Peach on

WINE New premium carbon neutral wine range rolls out

Accolade unleashes Wise Wolf

the Beach is available in a 200ml

Accolade Wines has launched Wise Wolf, a new carbon neutral wine range under its Banrock Station brand that comes in bottles made using 100% recycled glass. As well as the environmentally friendly bottles, the labels are made from 100% recycled paper, the closures are made from 100% recycled plastic and the outer cases are made from 100% recycled paper pulp. Every element of the packaging has been carefully considered, and shoppers are invited to learn more about each part by scanning an on-pack QR code and visiting

smooth, velvety finish – and in a

The range of wines consists of a Pays D’OC Chardonnay, Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wise Wolf expects to meet consumer demand with younger wine drinkers increasingly aware of the impact of their consumption. Tom Smith, Marketing Director for Europe, Accolade Wines, said: “We know that over 80% of wine drinkers believe companies and brands have the responsibility to take care of the planet and its people. “With the Wise Wolf range of premium wines, we are aiming to make old world wine more accessible for consumers with

desirable packaging and familiar grape varieties.” Wise Wolf by Banrock Station is available from this month with an RSP of £11 and a promotional price of £9.

nitro can (ABV 5%, RSP £2) – with a nitrogen infusion providing a classic foamy head and 700ml sharing format (ABV 10%, RSP £9). Long Island Iced Tea rolls out in a classic, sparkling 250ml can (ABV 5%, RSP £2). For wholesale enquiries, contact

Williams Bros plays another Joker Williams Bros Brewing Co has extended its Joker IPA series, with the launch of Juicy Joker, a 5% New England style version of the brewer’s flagship Joker IPA that is available in 440ml cans. The Joker range also includes Williams’ bestselling Joker IPA and Double Joker. Retailers

WINE New campaign celebrates the Spanish way of doing things

Campo Viejo returns to screens Pernod Ricard’s red wine brand Campo Viejo has returned to screens with ‘Decanta La Vida,’ a new campaign which celebrates the Spanish way of life. The campaign, which captures the spirit of sharing, is live now and will run throughout June on video-on-demand, social media, and out-of-home. It will also come to life through a media partnership with News UK and Virgin Radio that will encourage consumers to share a bottle with friends and family throughout the summer. The 20-second ad sees six friends gathering around a table to enjoy a meal and a bottle of Campo Viejo and is set to reach 75% of 25-54-year-old UK wine drinkers. Lucy Bearman, Wine Portfolio Director for Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Passion is at the heart of our brand, and we’re delighted to once again inspire consumers to live life spontaneously, passionately, more expressively: learning to enjoy the small things in life, the simpler, more intimate moments.”


Kingfisher rebrand is a thing of beauty

should email r.mclelland@ for trade enquiries.

God save the Lamqueeni Accolade Wines is celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with the launch of a limitededition Lambrini SKU. To mark 70 years on the throne for Her Maj, Lamqueeni (6% ABV) will be available until mid-June with an RSP of £3 per 1.25-ltr bottle.

KBE Drinks has announced a major new rebrand and repositioning for Kingfisher. Launching this month, the new look offers a more premium, modern feel to the brand. In the off-trade, the rebrand will include new labels and outer packaging. Core to the rebrand is the tagline of ‘Look up and see the beauty’ which will be front and centre of a heavyweight consumer marketing campaign focusing on encouraging drinkers to be more present in their lives and appreciate the beauty all around them. Kingfisher is becoming increasingly popular in the convenience channel; its sales have surged by 65% since 2019, against 15% for total beer over the same period.

Jubilee-themed bottles have the trappings of a royal celebration and are decked in bunting and sparkle, with three different colour variations available: gold, silver and rose gold.

Klopp gets another runout for Erdinger Erdinger Weissbräu has unveiled the latest phase of its ‘never skim an Erdinger’ campaign featuring Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp. A new ad runs across TV, cinema, digital and out-of-home. It is backed by an updated website which includes information on Erdinger’s ‘Best Bit’, details of the perfect pour and an interactive stockist search.

JUNE 2022 | SLR


Inside Business

Store Profile | Singh’s Sheffield

SINGH’S ON SONG IN SHEFFIELD A year on from the relaunch of a store in Sheffield featuring the best of the Premier symbol group, SLR paid a visit and found a business that’s absolutely flying.




ovid has a lot to answer for, putting an end to lots of things for a couple of years – including store visits for trade journalists. Which is why SLR found itself travelling down to Sheffield for a hands-on look at Singh’s Premier Store on Teynham Road in Sheffield last month, a full year after the store had been utterly reimagined during a £400k refit. Working closely with Premier, the concept was to deliver the very best of Premier in a relatively small 1,750sq ft store. The Singh’s business has been with Premier for 30 years and the Teynham Road store was very well established and doing well, so the challenge for the Singh brothers – Mandeep, Vrinder and Baljeet – was to see how much growth they could squeeze out of a store that on the face of it didn’t look like it had all that much potential. Spoiler alert: quite a lot of growth is the simple answer. Sales increased from £35k a week to a whopping £65k a week, footfall increased by 22

SLR | JUNE 2022

20% and margins shot up 6% to an eye-watering 28%. And the growth hasn’t flattened out yet. Or, to put it another way, the brothers will recoup the £400k they spent in just 12 months. The question of how exactly they managed that sort of stellar growth is what we went down to find out. Mandeep Singh explains the most major improvements that were made to the store, and they’re actually relatively simple: “We opened up the shop front to let customers see in and to make those inside feel comfortable. We added a Refresh@Premier drinks-to-go zone with high margin, with self-service lines like F’real, Tango Ice Blast, Fanta Frozen, Jolly Rancher, Hershey Milk Shakes and coffee and hot chocolate. “We added a food-to-go deli counter and a beer cave. We massively increased the vaping section and put it on the shop floor, and we also increased the chilled and frozen range. Fresh and long-life sales have grown from £1.5k a week to £6k a week, so it’s working.”


£400k refit in spring 2021 Sales up from £35k p/w to £65k p/w Footfall up 20% Margins up 6% to 28% Home delivery sales of £20k+ p/w Basket spend £9.85 in-store More than 30,000 social media followers

To make space the brothers thinned-out slower categories like ambient grocery, where they adopted a ‘less is more’ strategy and delisted about 30% of the range. The thing that is most obvious about the store is that there is not a single square foot of space that is being wasted or even underutilised. Every inch is delivering sales and profits. The focus on high margin lines like drinksto-go, vaping and food-to-go has delivered in spades. There can’t be too many stores out there hitting margins of 28% on a weekly basis. Mandeep did admit that not everything worked 100% but accepts that it’s “all part of the learning curve”. He highlights that “you don’t have to get everything right all the time, you just have know your business well enough so that you can spot

Singh’s Sheffield | Store Profile

Inside Business

“We expect delivery sales to outstrip store sales within the next two to three years.” MANDEEP SINGH

when something isn’t working the way you want it and then fix it.” A case in point is the vaping section. It’s already doing £5k a week but the team have reworked the fixture on several occasions to the reflect the latest trends, with the most recent change increasing the space for the vaping bars that are dominating the category at the moment. The store also majors on local sourcing and, increasingly, is shifting more and more space to multipacks and larger format packs across lots of categories: crisps and snacks, soft drinks and beers in the large beer cave. “Some of that shift is down to home delivery,” explains Mandeep. “When people are making orders, they often order larger formats or multipacks and that’s easy to understand.” Which takes us nicely to a real game-changer: home delivery. Singh’s have long been doing home delivery, from pre-pandemic times, but Covid turned it into a massive opportunity that the brothers certainly weren’t going to pass up.

Using Zeus Labs on Facebook, a pretty simple solution, the store now makes use a team of drivers and fleet of vehicles of various kinds, all badged up under the ‘Singh’s Drop’ logo. They deliver within half an hour, charge store prices and they market the service extremely heavily on social media – which is a little easier when you have over 30,000 followers, as they do. The store now does in excess of £20k a week in delivery sales with 85% of orders being repeat business and 90% of home delivery customers new customers, in the sense of not being historic customers of the store. Basket spend for delivery orders is 300% higher than basket spend instore. Mandeep says the service is still growing and, somewhat astonishingly, told SLR that “we expect delivery sales to outstrip store sales within the next two to three years.” For Martyn Parkinson, Booker Retail Sales Director, the store is a perfect example for other Premier retailers to follow.

He told SLR: “We know that not everyone has £400,000 to invest or enough space to accommodate all the new concepts and ideas in this store, but the concept is largely modular so other retailers can pick and choose the elements they think would work in their store for their demographic. “The changes we’ve made at Singh’s are changes any Premier retailer could make and the evidence that the concept works is there for all to see. Moving forward I expect to see many more stores implement some or all of these elements.” So far, Parkinson says no fewer than 352 retailers have visited the store for a nosey, and very few leave uninspired. “It all comes down to understanding your customer,” concludes Mandeep. “Understand what they want. Just ask them, they’ll tell you. And if you deliver what they want and you can have a bit of fun and banter along the way, you won’t go far wrong.” Take it from a man who clearly knows. JUNE 2022 | SLR






Scottish Grocers’ Federation

Checkout Scotland

Inside Business

CHECKOUT SCOTLAND UNVEILS STELLAR LINE UP GroceryAid Scotland’s first ever live music event looks set to be a must-attend event with top notch artists including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Scouting For Girls and The Feeling due to perform.





GOLD SPONSORS Q Bobby’s Foods Q Brewdog Q Edinburgh Gin Q Mars Wrigley SILVER SPONSORS Q CJ Lang/Spar Scotland Q Eldorado Q Highland Spring Q Pernod Ricard Q Snappy Shopper Q Whyte & Mackay

1 September BAaD, Glasgow

Tickets only £60

Sponsorships are available via


GroceryAid Scotland has confirmed that some top-drawer acts have been confirmed for its inaugural music event. Sophie EllisBextor, Scouting For Girls and Scotland’s very own The Feeling are set to grace the main stage at Barras Art & Design (BAaD) in Glasgow on 1 September. The unique musical celebration of the Scottish retailing industry will also see performances by George Bowie, Cassi, Pretty Ugly with further DJs due to be confirmed shortly. Also set to spin the decks on the night is accomplished DJ and GroceryAid Scotland Co-chair Jim Harper of One O One Convenience Stores. The event will be hosted by Scottish TV and radio star Jennifer Reoch.

All told, attendees will be treated to over 14 hours of quality entertainment and fantastic food and drink at a tailor-made venue that boasts a large indoor main stage area, a first floor VIP area as well as a covered outdoor area with anything up to 700 people expected. Jim Harper said: “Checkout Scotland will be a fantastic opportunity for the trade to gather and recognise their colleagues’ efforts during the Covid crisis, while also supporting GroceryAid, our industry charity. “The event will celebrate an industry that has shone during the pandemic, serving communities across the country with passion and energy. Critically, the event will also help raise awareness of the GroceryAid charity and the life-changing work it does for industry colleagues in need of a little help.”


JUNE 2022 | SLR


Inside Business

Sustainability | 56 Degree Insight

SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS In the latest in our series of research-based articles based, Duncan Stewart of 56 Degree Insight discusses how convenience stores can play a part in meeting customer demand for more environmentally friendly produce and practices. BY DUNCAN STEWART


survey undertaken by 56 Degree Insight in April found that whilst the cost of living has become the issue which Scots consumers are most concerned about, their levels of concern over protecting the environment have not been diminished. Indeed, 55% told us that minimising climate change was one of their principal concerns, a slight increase from the level recorded at the beginning of the year. Reflecting these findings, a survey we undertook recently focused on the food and drink choices made by Scots found that the majority of consumers want to be able to make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. While 77% already try to have a positive impact on the environment in the everyday actions, almost as many (67%) are looking for more ways that they can do the right thing. Women, younger people and members of the more affluent social classes were the population groups most likely to say that doing more to protect the environment was important to them. So the evidence is clear, consumers want to be able to make a difference – but sometimes this

can be easier said than done. Making sustainable choices is often difficult given our hectic lifestyles, tightening budget, a lack of knowledge on the best produce to buy and restricted options available in some stores. This demand presents a significant opportunity for local convenience stores, beginning with your own ways of working. In the same survey two in three Scots (67%) told us that when shopping for food and drink it was important to be made aware of measures taken by stores to reduce waste and increase sustainability in its operations. Or course the rising demand for more environmentally friendly food and drink choices also presents opportunities in terms of the produce stocked in convenience stores. According to The Vegan Society the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. While our survey showed that a relatively small percentage of the Scottish population (6%) eat vegan food all of the time, a much larger proportion (22%) are flexitarians, choosing to have a vegan diet some of the time (the growing popularity of ‘meat free Mondays’ is a good example of this).

Where our food comes from is also increasingly important to consumers. As covered in previous articles, there is growing demand for locally produced food for a wide variety of reasons. A major factor in this trend has been the desire to minimise the carbon footprint of the food and drink we consume. Reflecting this trend, 55% of consumers in our survey stated that food miles are important when choosing food and drink. Packaging is also a key consideration as consumers try to make more environmentally friendly choices. When choosing which food and drink products to purchase, most consumers state that it is important to them to have minimal packaging, ideally plasticfree or recyclable (66%). The clear labelling of a product’s environmental credentials on packaging (or via in-store information) was also found to be important. So in short, whilst consumers are undoubtedly feeling the pinch as prices rise, the climate crisis and concerns about the environment aren’t going away. By stocking the right produce, providing clear information, and thinking about the environment in our operations we can help them to make the choices they want.



SLR | JUNE 2022

BACK IN THE MARKET FOR COMPANY STORES! Scotland’s leading convenience retailer and wholesaler is looking for new sites to join our portfolio of SPAR Stores.

Do you have what we’re looking for? • A well established, quality business – freehold or leasehold • Incentives available for sourcing vacant properties or development sites • All locations in Scotland considered with a focus on growing towns and city suburban areas • 2,000-4,000sq feet gross

To find out more and for a confidential discussion please visit, email or call 01382 512000 SparScotlandOfficial



CJ Lang & Son Limited

CJ Lang & Son Ltd, Longtown Distribution Centre, 78 Longtown Road, Dundee, DD4 8JU


Product News & Media Watch

Juic’d Boost Drinks Boost Drinks has launched Juic’d, a new 500ml canned energy drink range. Developed with 5% real fruit juice, Juic’d comes in three flavours: Mango & Tropical Blitz, Watermelon & Lime Twist, and Pineapple & Guava Punch. All are available in cases of 12 x 500ml cans price-marked at £1. The launch is supported by a marketing strategy that includes out-ofhome, digital, social media and in-depot activities.

Rustlers heats up food-to-go category with peri peri burger

Triple Treat Mars Wrigley Mars Wrigley has unveiled Triple Treat, a new chocolate snack that is 100% compliant with England’s forthcoming HFSS legislation. High in fibre, and consisting of over 75% fruit and nuts, Triple Treat will be available in four variants – Snickers, Mars, Galaxy and Bounty. Fortygram singles RSP at 80p and are available now in Tesco stores, with a wider roll-out later in the summer. Multipacks of 4 x 32g bars (RSP £2) will also be available.

Spicy Thai Ringos Tayto Tapping into consumer interest in spicy flavours, Golden Wonder has added a new Spicy Thai variant to its popular Ringos range. Ringos Spicy Thai is available in 55g sharing packs (£1 PMP) and 6x12g multipacks (RSP £1.25). Golden Wonder’s £1 price-marked pack range is consistently outperforming the market (+49.2% vs +7.8%) and the brand said early sales of the new flavour were “way ahead” of its expectations.


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Rustlers has expanded its award-winning Cook in Box range in the convenience channel with the launch of the Peri Peri Chicken Tenders Burger. The Peri Peri Chicken Tenders Burger is available now in cases of four with an RSP of £2.75. It joins Rustlers’ existing Cook in Box range comprising the All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin and the Supreme Cheese Melt Burger. Launched in April last year, the range is already worth £3.3m. Elaine Rothballer, Head of Marketing Consumer Brands at Kepak, said that, despite chicken’s dominance in the food-to-go fixture, there was an

Relentless Zero Sugar CCEP The new Relentless Zero Sugar range, includes two flavours – Peach and Raspberry – and a bold new pack design. Both variants are available now in both plain and price-marked 500ml packs. The launch is supported by an integrated campaign that includes digital, PR, influencer and in-store activities. New POS materials including shelf strips, totems, wobblers and FSDUs are available on request via

opportunity for a product more aligned to quick service restaurants. She added: “With Southern Fried Chicken tenders and a Peri Peri sauce, the new Rustlers Cook in Box product taps into on-trend flavour profiles made popular by restaurants and sought by younger shoppers seeking convenient food-to-go solutions. “Thanks to the patented dual-purpose packaging of Cook in Box, eliminating any messy preparation whilst also acting as a product carrier to enable easy consumption on the go, the product is not only convenient for consumers, but ideal for convenience retailers looking to offer a hot food-to-go option.”

Weetos Orange Chocolatey Hoops Weetabix Food Company Weetabix brand Weetos has added a new limited-edition flavour to its range, available now in 420g packs with an RSP of £3.29. The new variant was top ranked in product concept testing, showing that demand for chocolate orange flavours remains as strong as ever. It is HFSS compliant with no red traffic lights and is high in fibre.

Robinsons Benefit Drops Britvic Benefit Drops is a range of new mini packs with added vitamins that each offer different functional benefits.The four-strong range is available in cases of 6 x 66ml with an RSP of £2.50 (£2 promotional) and consists of Vitality, Immunity, Boost and Focus variants. Each pack contains 20 servings and can be displayed on clip strips in chillers. The launch is supported by a media campaign and on social media.

Product News & Media Watch Cadbury Twirl Caramel Mondelez

Ringos Puffs Tayto

Available in cases of 48 x 43g bars, limited-edition Cadbury Twirl Caramel (RSP 69p) brings the number-one best-selling chocolate flavour to one of the nation’s favourite confectionery bars. Mondelez said the new bar proved “extremely popular” among consumers in taste tests. The launch is supported by PR, digital and social media activities to drive visibility and encourage trial. New POS material will also be available.

Golden Wonder has launched Ringos Puffs, a new snack that is compliant with England’s forthcoming HFSS regulations, which is available now in BBQ and Sweet Chilli flavours in three formats: 20g (RSP 49p), 60g (£1 PMP) and multipacks of 6 x 16g (RSP £1.50). Anticipating similar HFSS legislation in Scotland, Golden Wonder has been getting ahead of the game by redeveloping some of its brands with lower levels of salt and fat.

Marvellous Mallows Swizzels

RTD Frappés CCEP/Costa

Swizzels has launched Marvellous Mallows, its brand-new and firstever mallows product. The company has combined its iconic Drumstick lolly flavour with soft mallow to create a new marshmallow sweet. The new product will be supported by a strong integrated marketing campaign. Swizzels said: “Mallows have continued growing over the last year and the category is now worth £24.7m.”

This new ready-to-drink Frappé range launches with two popular flavours from Costa’s coffee shops – Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caramel Swirl – in a drink that’s said to be creamier, thicker and more indulgent than Costa’s existing RTD line-up. Both combine Costa’s slow-roasted Signature Blend coffee espresso with fresh milk, finished off with either fudge chocolate brownie or caramel swirl flavours.


Cornish comfort Ginsters has launched a new £1.3m campaign that aims to driving awareness and build an understanding of the brand’s provenance and quality credentials. Featuring the brand-new strapline, ‘Ginsters. From A Land Where Comfort Matters,’ the ad runs throughout June across the ITV network, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Play it Italian Thin and crispy frozen pizza brand, Dr. Oetker Ristorante, has unveiled a multi-million-pound video-led campaign, heralding the brand’s return to TV and video advertising. The ‘Play It Italian’ media campaign runs across TV, cinema, on-demand and digital video and is supported by a print media partnership with Hearst, in addition to public relations activity.

Tyrrellble advert KP’s Tyrrells brand has launched a new media campaign to promote its Lentil Crisps. This latest instalment of the ‘Tyrrellbly Tyrrellbly Tasty’ campaign runs across major video-ondemand services including ITV, All 4, Sky and STV. The campaign champions the taste of the snack, and once again features classic Pathé footage.

Meet the Yog Squad Dairy Milk ‘Give A Doubt’ Mondelez Cadbury and The Prince’s Trust have come together to help break down some of the barriers faced by young people in the UK, after research revealed young Brits are so affected by doubt that 2.8 million have lost hope for the future. The limited-edition bars (360g, RSP £4.23) feature the doubts of footballers Ian Wright, Steph Houghton and Gary Neville.

Monster Ultra Gold and Khaotic CCEP Ultra Gold has “the fresh flavour of biting into a perfectly ripened golden pineapple,”while Khaotic brings a tropical orange twist to a lightenedup version of Monster’s traditional energy blend. Both new variants are available now in plain and pricemarked 500ml packs. Point-of-sale materials including shelf strips, totems, wobblers, free-standing display units and more are available from

Yogurt brand The Collective has launched its first masterbrand campaign, which introduces UK consumers to the Yog Squad. The campaign emphasises how yogurt can provide something delicious to eat for everyone, and entices all those in search for healthy, luxurious food items that don’t compromise on taste, to join the Yog Squad.

Keeping it simple Philadelphia has unveiled a new consumer campaign, ‘Deliciously Simple’, that is spearheaded by significant spend on out-ofhome activity in high-traffic locations and at roadsides. The campaign also runs across digital, social and video-on-demand, as well as in-store, reaching 94% of UK adults from now through to July.

For all the latest product news, head to

JUNE 2022 | SLR





Sustainability is a massive issue for consumers and is a hot topic for suppliers and wholesalers, yet local retail seems strikingly quiet on the issue. Is it time to grab the green thistle? BY ANTONY BEGLEY


ustainability is a huge issue and it’s one that’s only going to grow in importance in the coming months and years. At least half of all press releases that SLR receives contain some reference to it, reflecting the energy and commitment that suppliers are devoting to the subject. Similarly, much of the wholesale channel is embracing its sustainability agenda in a structured and organised fashion. And, of course, consumers are all over it – particularly the next generation of shoppers. Which is why it makes it so striking that the local retailing sector appears to be strangely 30

SLR | JUNE 2022

ambivalent. It’s a rare thing indeed to see any in-store messaging referring to the many accomplishments that local retailers have already made. It’s equally rare to see social media posts from retailers addressing environmental issues. This is odd for two reasons: firstly, retailers already do a lot on the sustainability front. They recycle all food waste (or should), they recycle all cardboard and they recycle a lot of plastic packaging. Granted, it’s a legal requirement – but that shouldn’t stop retailers telling their customers that they do this. It’s the quickest and easiest of quick wins to point these facts out in-store with a poster or on social media. So why don’t we do it?

Additionally, a lot of the products retailers stock now comes in recyclable or even already recycled packaging. Why are they so shy to tell their customers about all of this? It’s clearly a big deal for shoppers and retailers aren’t usually so reticent about giving paying customers what they want. The second reason why this state of affairs is odd is that sustainability seems to be one of those areas that local community-based retailing should ‘own’. It’s a golden opportunity to steal another march on the supermarkets, but thus far it looks like the mults are forging ahead on that front.

Let’s create a great recycling experience. The deposit return scheme (DRS) is coming to Scotland. Make it easy with TOMRA.

The global leader in reverse vending technology | Get in touch to find out more:



DRS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Q The scheme will go live in Scotland on 16th August 2023. Q The scheme will be run by a scheme administrator called Circularity Scotland, a not-forprofit organisation that will be responsible for its day-to-day running. Q Retailers using a reverse vending machine will receive a handling fee per eligible container of 3.55p for the first 8,000 items each week, with an extra 1.5p for each additional item. Retailers operating manual returns (over the counter) will receive 2.69p per eligible container. Q Retailers must accept any eligible container back, not only the products that they sell. Q The deposit amount will need to be displayed separately from the price of the product on any point of sale. Q The scheme administrator will collect the containers from stores on a regular basis, with one-off collections if required. Q Retailers will be reimbursed around seven days after the bottles and cans are collected by the scheme. Q Some exemptions may be given, these can be checked on the Zero Waste Scotland website.

SLR | JUNE 2022

CONSUMER DEMAND Perhaps the key point here is that consumers are increasingly making buying decisions based on the sustainability credentials of the stores and brands they use. Fair play to most brands: they’re falling over themselves to move to rPET and cardboard, dump single use plastic and repackage their products in lighter, more environmentally friendly ways. But it’s clear that consumers also expect retailers to be on board this juggernaut. A recent study from Edinburgh-based research agency 56 Degree Insight revealed that, despite the cost-of-living challenges, consumers remain very interested in protecting the environment. Indeed, 55% of over 700 respondents said that minimising climate change was one of their principal concerns, an increase on the year before. The majority of Scottish consumers want to be able to make a difference when it comes to protecting the environment. While 77% already try to have a positive impact on the environment in the everyday actions, almost as many (67%) are looking for more ways that they can do the right thing. Women, younger people and members of the more affluent social classes were the population groups most likely to say that doing more to protect the environment was important to them.

Making sustainable choices is often difficult given the pace of modern life, tightening budgets and restricted options available in some stores. But surely this represents a massive opportunity for local convenience stores. In that same survey two in three Scots (67%) said that when shopping for food and drink it was important to be made aware of measures taken by stores to reduce waste and increase sustainability in its operations. Additionally, when choosing which food and drink products to purchase, the majority said that it is important to them to have minimal packaging, ideally plastic-free or recyclable (66%). The clear labelling of a product’s environmental credential on packaging (or via in store information) was also found to be important.

COST VERSUS VALUE One of the hurdles often cited as standing in the way of the adoption of improved sustainability credentials is cost. Better packaging costs more. But a survey of over 1,000 consumers in January this year by Consumer Intelligence on behalf of Aquapak, found that 76% of people believe that the retail sector is “not doing enough to reduce plastic packaging” and more than half (52%) of consumers would be prepared to pay more for environmentally friendly packaging.






Of those shoppers, a third would be prepared to pay 1% to 4% more and a fifth would pay as much as 5% more for better packaging. Granted, what consumers say they will do and what they are actually prepared to do can be two very different things, but the direction of travel is clear.

DRS One development which will unquestionably accelerate the levels of engagement that local retailers have with sustainability issues is the much-delayed introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in August next year. The heavily debated handling fee that retailers will receive for taking drinks containers back from shoppers has now been announced, meaning in theory that the industry can now start gearing up for DRS in earnest. Mark Brill is UK & Ireland VP Sales and Marketing for reverse vending machine (RVM) manufacturer TOMRA. He told SLR: “At heart, the DRS aims to increase high quality recycling and reduce littering of drinks containers in Scotland. “Shoppers will pay a 20p deposit on top of the price of eligible single use drinks containers. 34

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Shoppers will then receive this deposit back when they return their containers for recycling. Eligible drinks are set to include soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, including PET bottles, cans, and glass bottles ranging from 50ml to three litres. “Scotland’s scheme will be a ‘return to retail’ scheme, which means that retailers will collect the bottles and cans back from consumers. As well as doing their bit for the environment, retailers will receive a handling fee for every eligible container that they take back.” That handling fee has been set at 3.55p for the first 8,000 items each week with an extra 1.5p for each additional item. This only applies to retailers using an RVM. Retailers choosing to handle returns manually will receive 2.69p per eligible container. Now that we’re off and running, what do retailers need to do to prepare? “The best way to prepare is to get familiar with the scheme and how it will work,” advises Brill. “Visit the Circularity Scotland website ( for full information and FAQs. We would also recommend sharing knowledge amongst other retailers, especially those retailers who have run in-store trials. “Retailers can also engage in broader discussions around DRS via the Scottish Grocers’ Federation who are representing convenience stores throughout the process.”

As part of these preparations, a key decision for retailers is whether to use an RVM or accept containers back manually. Broadly speaking, retailers who sell over 2,000 beverage containers a week should consider investing in an RVM from the beginning of the scheme. Manual handling is fraught with real-world challenges for in-store staff and customers. “Retailers who want to give customers a great recycling experience in their store and avoid manual handling for store staff should also explore automating, since it is typically quicker and more efficient to return bottles at a reverse vending machine,” says Brill. RVMs, of course, take up valuable space but there are some small footprint options available these days. TOMRA, for example, has developed a new compact RVM especially for retailers in Scotland. Called the ‘TOMRA M1’ and less than 0.6sq m, it still accepts all three materials included in the scheme.

NOW IS THE TIME With DRS finally looming and sustainability more important to more people than ever, now is the time to take a fresh look at how your store can embrace the environmental challenges we face and lead from the front for the benefit of everyone in the communities we serve.


* Bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. Cap and label are recyclable but not made from recycled plastic.

The new rPET bottles are available now, with the rest of the range due to change by the end of this year. Clear on pack labelling will help inform shoppers about the new bottle materials and encourage them to recycle. The launch forms part of the company’s environmental sustainability programme - ‘No Time To Waste’ - taking another step on its net zero journey. For updates visit:



Summer Drinks

NEW CHALLENGES AND REFRESHING OPPORTUNITIES The soft drinks category has some new hurdles to jump this summer.


BY GAELLE WALKER Q Soft drinks added £182m in sales to the convenience channel in 2021, with the category now worth £2.48bn. Q Soft drink sales in 2021 were up +11% on 2020 and up +8% on 2019. Q Drink-now soft drink formats are currently experiencing year-on-year growth of 26%. (Source: Suntory) Q 56% of shoppers say soft drinks are the main reason for visiting convenience stores. (SOURCE: BRITVIC SOFT DRINKS REVIEW 2022 EXCEPT WHERE INDICATED OTHERWISE)

CAMPO VIEJO CAPTURES SPANISH SUMMER SPIRIT Campo Viejo, the UK’s no.1 red wine brand, has returned to screens with its ‘Decanta La Vida’ campaign, which celebrates the Spanish way of life. Capturing the spirit of sharing, whether that’s a bottle, stories or feelings, the campaign is live throughout June on Video on Demand, social media and OOH. It will also come to life through a media partnership with News UK that includes Virgin Radio, to encourage consumers to share a bottle with friends and family over the summer season at various events. The colourful campaign sees six friends through their 20s, 30s and 40s gathering around a table to enjoy a meal and a bottle of Campo Viejo, and reflects “the true essence” of the convivial nature of the brand. The campaign is set to reach 75% of 25-54 year old UK wine drinkers, highlighting the breadth of the Campo Viejo portfolio including its Tempranillo, Reserva, Winemakers’ Blend, Rosé and Blanco SKUs.


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he sun is shining (or meant to be), the bees and buzzing and layers are being stripped off – it can mean only one thing… summer is here! However, while the warmer season has traditionally served up fluid sales for the soft drinks category, this summer will also see a flow of new challenges poured into the mix. While many of the difficulties and uncertainties that dogged manufacturers, retailers and shoppers over the pandemic years have now quietened, they have been replaced by “new obstacles to traverse,” Britvic’s annual Soft Drinks Review 2022 says. Not only has consumer behaviour changed thanks to a new hybrid work from home dynamic, but consumer confidence is also currently “at rock bottom” thanks to the current economic squeeze.












TO FIND OUT MORE EMAIL CONNECT@CCEP.COM, CALL 0808 1 000 000 OR VISIT MY.CCEP.COM. ©2022 The Coca-Cola Company. All rights reserved. COCA-COLA and COCA-COLA ZERO are registered trade marks of The Coca-Cola Company. Source: (1) AC Nielsen, Total GB, MAT volume sales, week ending 26/02/2022 (2) Kantar, FY 2021, CCZS recruited shoppers, having not drunk CCZS in the prior 12 months*GB, 18+. Purchase a promotional pack & enter pin code under ring pull /under label in downloaded Coke App. Open [09:00 30/05/2022- 09:00 29/08/2022]. Further purchases required for additional entries. Regular draws available or App Instant win. Tier 1 Draw Prizes (end date in App) incl: 375 x pairs/sets (3 people) of festival tickets, 200 x Ticketmaster Vouchers (£250 each). App Instant win prizes via winning moments incl: 300 x bluetooth speakers, 200 x sports cameras, 300 x Bluetooth headphones, 300 x headphones & 300 x music streaming vouchers (£20). Winning moments roll over if not claimed. Not all prizes may be won. Epic Prize Draws from all valid entries throughout promotional period (dates in App) across 8 draws incl: 16 x 3 tickets to a European music festival and 1 x Music Experience for 3 people. Max 2 Instant win App wins/person & Max 91 entries to the draw throughout the promotional period. 1 win/person/prize type. Mop Up draw for 1 x headphone set 09:00 29/08- 17:00 29/09/22. Excl. apply. Full T&Cs: Promoter: Coca-Cola GB


Summer Drinks

CÎROC SUMMER CITRUS RETURNS Cîroc is re-launching its bestselling Summer Citrus flavour (RSP £35.90) following the success of its initial launch in 2021 and is set to become a permanent fixture within the no.1 super-premium vodka portfolio. Being rolled out now in the off-trade, the product sits in the flavoured vodka category, which is currently the fastest growing segment in vodka at +51.9% [CGA/Nielsen, Jan 2022]. Cîroc Summer Citrus sold out when it launched as a limited-edition flavour last summer. The Summer Citrus expression combines flavours of sun-kissed blood orange and zesty lime and delivers stand-out on shelf thanks to a striking bottle that uses a colour palette synonymous with summer and displays its classic metallised orb in the centre – a characteristic feature of the Cîroc brand.

In fact, consumers are currently £1,200 worse off on average this year compared to 2021, Britvic says. Add in to the mix the continuing boom in online purchasing and quick home delivery services and its clear to see that in 2022, manufacturers and convenience retailers alike may have to work a little harder to make soft drinks pay this summer. Helping shoppers to “elevate” their soft drink experiences both in the home, and out of it, via the launch of exciting new products, engaging campaigns and eye-catching in-store activations will be key, Britvic adds. In fact, according to Britvic, despite the challenging economic situation, there remains a strong outlook for premium products that offer high quality experiences. In other words: shoppers will pay if it’s worth it. The move towards more premium-priced options was already starting to show in 2021 with a 6% price per litre growth, primarily driven by the resurgence of on-the-go drinks and the accelerated growth of the energy drinks segment – two trends that Britvic also expects to continue throughout 2022. Flavour innovations will be key, especially in the carbonates sector, which performed strongly in 2021, with cola sales up 4% and adding £23m in value to c-stores. 38

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Sales through stores were largely driven by sugar-free cola, which was up by 7%. Getting in on the innovation game ahead of the summer, Coca-Cola recently launched a limited-edition Intergalactic variant – inspired by the world of space. The zero-sugar product is the first in what will be a line-up of limited-edition colas under the Coca-Cola Creations brand – and has been designed to offer a “refreshing, innovative take” on the classic taste, with the added bonus of a “cooling sensation”. Martin Attock, VP of Commercial Development at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners GB, says: “Innovations like Intergalactic give us an opportunity to drive excitement, talkability and momentum around the CocaCola brand – engaging new and existing shoppers with innovative flavours and experiences unlike anything they’ve had before.” Away from colas, other recent innovations in the fruit carbonates market include Britvic’s new Tango Editions range. The sugarfree, rotational flavour series is seeking to “drive excitement” in the fruit carbonates sector with its combination of “bold” flavours, liquids and pack designs. First launched in February, the first edition ‘Berry Peachy’ offers a new Peach & Raspberry-flavoured drink with a new Edition expected to hit shelves soon.





*IRI Marketplace Data Symbols & Independents 52 weeks sales to 20th February 2022 / Rio 330ml Original PMP only


Summer Drinks

Retailer View

SALEEM SADIQ, SPAR RENFREW “Soft drinks is such a huge category for local stores and undoubtably drives shoppers in, especially in the summer months when shoppers are in need of refreshment on the go. At Spar Renfrew we dedicate 25 metres of chiller space to soft drinks. Energy drinks and carbonates are both in growth, especially the sugar free variants, but it’s also important to talk about water. “Water is a massive seller in our store and we devote more than three metres of chilled space to it and are considering even more. In terms of volumes, bottled water sales are now almost outstripping energy drinks which is pretty incredible. We expect demand for bottled water to grow as we head into the summer and shoppers seek out products which offer them natural, simple, instant refreshment.”


SLR | JUNE 2022

And in yet another bid to help shoppers elevate their on-the-go hydration experiences, Britvic also extended its Robinson’s squash brand with a new range of Benefit Drops. Available now, each of the four new mini packs offers a different added functional benefit – offering shoppers “a convenient and tasty way to gain additional vitamins while on-the-move,” Britvic’s Out Of Home Director Phil Sanders says. “We know that being on-the-go can sometimes be a barrier for people when it comes to staying hydrated throughout the day. As more shoppers return to being on the move, as does the need for portable and flavourful refreshment options. “Each of the four flavours in the range provides a different added vitamin combination, which is perfectly suited for shoppers looking for functional drinks to suit their lifestyle, especially considering 32% of consumers have said they would be interested in buying cordials and squashes with added vitamins or minerals,” he adds. Similar to the existing minis range, Benefit Drops can be displayed on clip strips in the fridges at the front of stores to encourage impulse buys and keep the brand at the front of shoppers’ minds. However, despite the trend towards more premium products and elevated experiences,

COCA COLA SWITCHES TO ATTACHED CAPS Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB) in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, has announced it is introducing new, attached caps to its plastic bottles, making it easier to recycle the entire package and ensure no cap gets left behind. Production of bottles with attached caps has started at CCEP’s site in East Kilbride, meaning that consumers in Scotland and the North of England will be first to see new caps attached to 1.5-ltr bottles of Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke. The switch is set to be completed for all plastic bottles across Coca-Cola GB’s range of brands by early 2024.


Simple steps to sales success

e are worth ng ra I & B G F SB e th om fr * These favourites K U e th ss ro ac es or st enience more than £72M to conv these sales! of e ic sl ur yo on t ou s is m Don’t

Lucozade Energy & Lucozade Alert: Vitamin B3 helps reduce tiredness. Light: 80% fewer calories than most regular soft drinks. *Nielsen, GB Total Coverage Wholesale, Price-marked packs, MAT Value w/e 29.01.22. Nielsen, GB Total Coverage Wholesale, Price-marked packs, MAT Value w/e 02.04.22

**Recommended retail price. LUCOZADE ENERGY, LUCOZADE SPORT and the Ard device and registered trade marks of Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd. Ribena is a registered trade mark.

Summer Drinks

retailers should certainly not lose their grip on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, Britvic warns. Due to the current “polarisation of personal finances,” the two trends look set to run alongside each other as consumer buying habits continue to evolve throughout the summer and beyond. With large numbers of consumers feeling the pinch from rising living costs, 43.9% of sales in the convenience market now come from PMPs – up from 38.1% in 2019, Britvic says. Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I’s Wholesale Channel Director Matt Gouldsmith, is also keen to stress the key role that PMPs can play in convenience stores. “Price-marked packs are incredibly important for retailers when it comes to demonstrating value to their shoppers,” he says. “They need to be balanced alongside shopper insight and store-specific requirements in order to meet the needs of consumers. We know that price-marked soft drinks are growing more quickly than non-price-marked packs. “To help retailers make the right choice on what to stock in their store, we offer the option of price-marked or non-price-marked packs across our range of soft drinks, including leading brands Lucozade Energy, Lucozade Sport, Lucozade Alert and Ribena.”


ROBINSONS TO SCORE WITH THE HUNDRED Robinsons Ready to Drink has been announced as the official soft drinks partner for The Hundred cricket tournament, kicking off in August. As part of a three-year deal, the partnership will include an on-pack promotion to further drive sales this summer and beyond. From mid-May, Robinsons Ready to Drink will be launching its on-pack promotion across more than two million packs, giving consumers the chance to win tickets to the tournament every two weeks via a QR code. Adam Russell, Director of Foodservice & Licensed at Britvic, says: “In recent times, traditional mealtimes out of home have shifted considerably, and the sector has a range of opportunities to entice customers through their doors as a result. Consumers are now, more than ever, looking at all times of the day for meal and snack solutions, including a soft drink, and with plenty of opportunities to get out and about this summer, Robinsons Ready to Drink is the perfect portable solution for operators to appeal to a range of customers and occasions.”

JUNE 2022 | SLR




A SIZZLING OCCASION The UK barbecue market has never been so strong and convenience retailers look set to reap the rewards. BY ELENA DIMAMA

DISPOSABLE ZEROES? Waitrose and Aldi have already decided to stop selling disposable barbecues this summer, and the government is reportedly considering that all retailers should follow suit. According to research, more than one million single-use grills end up in landfill each year. “Single-use disposable barbecues can have an incredibly damaging impact on the environment and local wildlife,” Alex Russell, Head of Sales at online campsite booking site Pitchup said. “Another risk to the environment is that they contain charcoal, which is almost always not sustainably sourced. This means that each disposable barbecue will have had a negative impact on the environment – before it is even used.”


SLR | JUNE 2022


he country’s appetite for a good barbecue has not waned in the slightest in recent years, as Brits barbecued more than ever in the last two years. And although the weather caused a dent in BBQ-related product sales, this year’s Jubilee celebrations and a potentially warmer summer could mean great news for retailers. According to AHDB, 100 million barbecue meals were consumed during summer 2020, up 44% year-on-year, while in 2021 people still enjoyed a barbecue on 80 million occasions, Kantar found. And although there were fewer BBQ occasions throughout 2021, the value of these has increased 17% – driven by accompaniments – to reach £5.03 per occasion, up from £4.30 in 2019.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BREAD Any good barbecue consists of a great amount of meat, sides and – of course – bread. Rolls saw a whopping 25% increase in sales in the UK in 2020 compared to the year before, although its performance did slow in 2021, due to the bad weather, with £261m in sales. A similar trend was also witnessed by speciality bread, with £43m in retail sales in 2020 (up 4% on 2019) and £42m in 2021, according to Mintel. Hovis is one of the brands hoping to benefit from a potentially good BBQ season this year, expanding its 1886 range from just burger buns to also include hot dog rolls. “Our range differs

from 99% of the market whereby they all offer a brioche style roll whereas Hovis is more of a pretzel style topping,” the company told SLR.

MEAT’S THE WORD Beefburgers featured at 157 million occasions throughout summer 2021, representing 14% more occasions when compared to 2019. Burger sales have been driven by both standard and premium label products with volume growth of 20.6% and 13.5% since 2019. Sausages were also popular (up 6.8% in 2021 compared to 2019), while marinades also saw volume growth of 7% over the summer of 2021. Beef and pork marinades did particularly well at 26% and 2% respectively compared to summer 2020. Retailers are gearing up to reap maximum benefits from this year’s BBQ season, with Spar having launched an array of own-label products, including chorizo-style sausages, jumbo hot dogs, quiches plus range extensions on dips. Nisa has also kicked off its barbecue deals, with a four-pack of Co-op Beef quarter-pounder burgers and a Budweiser four-pack for £3.50 for the first bank holiday of the year. “We know shoppers are always looking to react when the sun shines and SPAR stores are ready and able to fulfil all our customer needs with great value, quality and tasty range of fresh foods whatever the weather,” Joanne Cramer, SPAR UK Senior Brand Manager, noted.

The crowning glory of every British BBQ

Selected stores. Subject to availability.


Mints & Gum

SWEET AND RESILIENT The UK’s gum and mint category is as robust as ever despite the turbulence of the last few years. BY ELENA DIMAMA


t has been a turbulent few years for the local retailing sector in Scotland and while ‘normality’ still seems like a long way off, some things carry on regardless – and that very much includes the profitdriving mint and gum category.

CHEWING ALL TROUBLES AWAY Despite all this uncertainty, gum was the most profitable grocery category in the beginning of 2022, according to Nielsen, with more than 8.4 million consumption occasions each year. Against this backdrop of popularity, confectionery giant Mars Wrigley is launching its first global campaign for Extra, called Find Your Fresh Look, going live first in the UK. The brand targets the under-25s for the first time, following research suggesting that nearly 50% of gum consumption coming from Gen Z. The campaign marks the beginning of a series of initiatives from Mars Wrigley, aiming to reach the next generation of gum consumers and get half of the nation chewing gum by 2025. Staying within the theme of targeting Gen-Z, the brand has also launched two new flavours for Extra, Apple and Blueberry, with research by Kantar having showed that fruit-flavoured gum is over-indexing with that age group and is 51% incremental to the segment. Apple was also found to be the most popular fruit in the UK, and blueberry was the leading flavour in confectionery, according to research by Kantar.


SLR | JUNE 2022

“These two popular flavours are set to continue to grow gum penetration in the UK by recruiting new consumers to the segment. We will be supporting retail partners with colourful POS to drive awareness and trial of Apple and Blueberry,” Sasha Storey, Senior Brand Manager, Extra, at Mars Wrigley, notes. Earlier in the year, Mentos announced it had enjoyed a strong year of sales for its Mentos Pure Fresh gum range, reinforcing Kantar’s figures for the nation’s appetite for fruity gum. Growth was primarily driven by fruit flavours (Tropical, Cherry and Bubble Fresh). “These flavours are relatively unconventional compared with traditional mint, providing that point of difference and indulgence, whilst the sugar-free aspect targets the health-conscious too,” Kim McMahon, Product Manager, Mentos UK, said. “That’s why we’re investing heavily in the range this year – watch this space! Retailers should consider adding Mentos Pure Fresh Cherry, Tropical and Bubble Fresh to their till points to make the most of this demand.”

BREATH OF FRESH AIR Using recognisable and ‘trusted’ brands is key to ensuring the confectionery segment does well on shelf, according to Ferrero Rocher. “The three biggest flavours that consumers are looking for in [Mints & Gums] are mint, fruits and extra-strong mint,” Levi Boorer, Trade and Shopper Marketing Director, Ferrero, tells SLR. “By offering the Tic Tac range in a number of pack sizes, and always in a robust, resealable box, consumers can easily manage their treating without fear of the product spoiling when they just want a quick treat during the day,” adds Boorer. “People typically look for mint and fruit flavours from this sector, which is why we recommend retailers stock a variety of flavours from our Tic Tac range, so they can cater for different shopper tastes.” Perfetti van Melle is also keeping its faith in the category, having announced earlier in April that its signpost mint brand Smint is the fastest growing mint brand in the UK, according to the IRI Sugar Confectionery report.

UK & ROI, 18+ only. 10:00 28/02/2022 – 16:59 30/09/2022. Internet access required. Purchase a promotional pack of Trebor Extra Strong or Softmints (GB only), visit and select your region. ROI & NI residents purchase not required. Enter your name and contact details including Eircode / postcode (for ROI & NI) or your barcode & batch code (for GB) to find out instantly if you’ve won a prize and to be entered into the Grand Prize draw. Grand Prize: 1 x £10,000/€. Instant Win Prizes: 201 choice of vouchers from spa days, gym/wellbeing memberships, hair stylists and many more up to the value of £50/€ (subject to individual terms and conditions). Grand prize draw to take place on 07/10/2022. Wrap Up Draw: Entrants between 17:00 01/10/22 – 16:59 31/12/22 will be placed in a final draw for a chance to win £250/€. Retain receipt to claim. Max 1 entry per person per day. Max 1 Prize per household. Visit website for full T&Cs. Promoter: Mondelez Europe Services GmbH – UK Branch with registered office at Cadbury House, Sanderson Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1DH. For more details and great category advice go to


Nicotine & Reduced Risk


Adult smokers and vapers are demanding more from their nicotine portfolios. BY GAELLE WALKER

S DISPLAY DOS AND DON’TS Imperial’s Tom Gully shares his thoughts on in-store vape displays and merchandising: “It’s a good idea to have a strong visual display of vaping products, positioned away from the main gantry where possible, with clear information on pricing to enable customers to browse at their leisure without the need to handle products. “Where space is limited, even a small countertop unit can help achieve this, especially if it is well organised and fully stocked. Making sure it is positioned in a well-lit part of the counter will also help increase visibility of products even further. “Whatever display solution is in place, we would recommend grouping the respective products and brands together in a wellorganised display. As well as creating further shelf-appeal for products, this will make it easier for staff to locate products for quick service and maintain stock levels.” 48

SLR | JUNE 2022

hoppers: they want it all don’t they? In these value-driven times, the need for retailers and brands to offer their shoppers low price points has perhaps never been so acute – but that certainly doesn’t mean that shoppers are willing to accept lower quality. If anything, shoppers in 2022 are becoming even more demanding – a trend which is being observed right across the convenience gamut from soft drinks to food-to-go, tobacco and vape. Tapping into this trend, Imperial Tobacco recently announced a new launch for its Embassy Signature range to help retailers answer the growing demand among adult smokers for premium features and experiences – without paying the premium price tag. Available for a limited time only, the Embassy Signature Silver Edition variant offers a host of new premium features for the £10.15 RSP of the original product. Some of the special features, which Imperial says are “usually associated with premium cigarettes,” include reduced smoke smell paper, a modern shaped filter, textured tipping paper and a resealable ‘fresh protect’ foil feature that maintains product freshness. The growing consumer demand for premium quality experiences at value-for-money price points is also continuing to shape demand and NPD in the alternative nicotine products market – and particularly in the vape category. The vape category has grown to be worth around £1.2bn in the UK according to Imperial, with roughly 38% of vaping volume sales taking place in the Convenience channel. Closed pod systems, such as myblu, now account for 7.9% of volume share as adult vapers look to

the category for its ease of use, flavours and value proposition. As an incredibly “fast-moving” category, Imperial says it’s also important for retailers to keep one eye on the emerging trends in next-generation nicotine products and be prepared to adapt their range to incorporate any new products they think would work for their customer base. “Making room for a small sample of new products on a regular basis enables retailers to trial the products and assess shopper interest in them prior to investing heavily or making them a permanent part of their range,” Imperial’s Head of Consumer Marketing Tom Gully says. Other alternative nicotine products that retailers would do well to explore, are tobacco-free nicotine pouches which provide a convenient choice without smoke, vapour or odour. JTI’s Nordic Spirit range, which is available in varying strengths, was recently extended with a new Spearmint flavour to complement its existing line-up of Mint and Bergamot Wildberry. “Now more than ever, existing adult smokers and vapers are looking for convenient, discrete products that can be used when smoking or vaping might not be possible – making them a must-stock for retailers,” JTI’s Portfolio Brand Manager Bruce Terry says. “A key trend within the nicotine pouch category is the continued demand for higher nicotine strengths. “Strong and Extra-Strong now make up 76.3% of nicotine pouch sales and Extra-Strong is the fastest growing strength, so we advise retailers to provide a good choice of products in this segment.” To help retailers tap into this trend, Nordic Spirit recently launched Extra Strong variants of its new Spearmint and Bergamot Wildberry products.

THEY WORK HARD Time for a proper break

. 1 5 £10 RRP


Our lowest price



** * *

*Based on ITUK RRPs as at March 2022. RRP: For the avoidance of doubt, retailers are free at all times to determine the selling price of their products. **Based on ITUK estimates as at March 2022.




With their treat-worthy status and affordable price tags, cakes and biscuits sales continue to look sweet, despite the current squeeze on incomes. BY GAELLE WALKER


SLR | JUNE 2022


he market for cakes, sweet baked goods and biscuits fared well in 2021 as home-bound shoppers found themselves with time to indulge in small treats more often. And with a large proportion of the adult population still enjoying some form of hybrid work-from-home solution, sales in 2022 continue to be buoyed by the self-treat occasion. Their ‘affordable treat’ status should also provide cakes and biscuits with an extra layer of protection from the current income squeeze, Mintel says, provided that brands continue to invest in more innovative flavour, format and packaging developments, alongside attentiongrabbing communications. Jo Harwood, Sales Director at Burton’s Biscuit Company agrees: “With economic and political uncertainty in the air, shoppers and consumers are looking to cheer themselves up with little treats – and the biscuit category is benefiting from this. “We are lucky to have some of the nation’s bestloved, heritage biscuit brands in our portfolio, and they are benefiting from shoppers’ and consumers’ increasing desire to give themselves a little treat. “As a result, many of our iconic biscuits are growing ahead of the category, with everyday treats brands such as Jammie Dodgers seeing 7.7% growth.” And fortunately for the nation’s many sweettoothed shoppers, the cakes and biscuits category continues to be buoyed by a tasty serving of innovation and investment. Burtons recently raised the stakes with the return of Maryland’s ‘Keep it Kookie’ campaign. Part of a “major repositioning” of the brand, the new campaign calls on shoppers to share their “kookieness” and vote for their favourite kookie quirks. The launch of the £750,000 campaign follows the launch of a new modern look for Maryland,




T&C’s apply, see promotional packs for details. PMP On Pack designs also available.



with packs now featuring a bolder design, bigger logo, QR code and social media hashtag to better engage shoppers. Pladis also brought some sweet innovation to the table with the launch of McVitie’s Club Salted Caramel – the brand’s first new flavour in 10 years. David Titman, Marketing Director of McVitie’s at Pladis UK&I is confident the launch will cause “a stir”. “Research shows that more than half of snackers (53%) are prompted to purchase when they see new flavours in-store,” he says, “so this addition is sure to ramp up excitement and interest around the brand. We’re confident that the launch of this popular new flavour will encourage impulse purchases and, ultimately, drive higher sales growth for retailers.” Ferrero UK also upped the innovation ante with the recent arrival of Kinder Cards in single-serve packs of two cards, and multipacks of four. Commenting on the development, Ferrero UK Customer Development Director Levi Boorer said: “Even with the changes seen to store footfall and impulse purchases, the category has remained resilient as consumers have found ways to incorporate their favourites products into at home treating. By offering the Kinder ranges in a number of pack sizes alongside our 100 kcal Duplo bars, consumers can easily manage their treating and make responsible choices, enabling them to enjoy treats as part of a balanced and varied diet.” Border Biscuits also unveiled a bold new positioning and brand identity back in March, along with new packaging formats and three new products to tap into “the latest flavour trends”. As part of the re-brand, the business added a Dark Chocolate Orange biscuit and bar, alongside a Dark Chocolate Raspberry biscuit, to its portfolio. Given the economic situation, price-marked packs (PMPs) also look set to take on a more important role when it comes to driving those all-important impulse sales in 2022. Burton’s offers shoppers a wide range of PMPs including £1 PMPs for Wagon Wheels Original, Wagon Wheels Jammie, Maryland Choc Chip, Maryland Double Choc, Maryland Choc Chip & Coconut and more. Last year, Burton’s also relaunched its Jammie Dodgers PMP in a new compact and affordable case of 15 following retailer demands for smaller pack sizes.

The company’s Trade Communications Manager Susan Nash explains: “Health and wellness have never been as important as they are now, after two years of facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic. In fact, 25% of shoppers are more influenced by health when shopping than pre-pandemic, and the Healthier Biscuits segment is now worth over £556m, making it a key segment for retailers to tap into. “BelVita, for example, is well placed to help retailers take advantage of these continued long- term trends.” Pladis is another manufacturer which has been busy investing in its Healthier Biscuit portfolio since the start of this year, including the launch of a new and improved lower sugar and salt recipe for its Go Ahead Fruit Slices range, which is worth £13m. Featuring the same light-textured, crispy baked biscuit, the recipe update offers shoppers more fibre and less sugar and salt. Available in three flavours, each individually packaged portion weighs in at an average of 54 kcals per slice – helping retailers to “tap into increasing consumer demand for healthier snacking options,” Pladis says. New Go Ahead Fruit Slices come in Apple, Forest Fruit and Raspberry flavours – in multipacks of 5x43.6g with an RSP of £1.59. The launch come just weeks after Pladis expanded its McVitie’s portfolio with the introduction of a lighter version of the McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuit. The new variant offers 38 calories per biscuit and includes 30% less sugar than a typical semi-sweet biscuit. Commenting on the development, David Titman, Marketing Director, McVitie’s at Pladis UK&I says: “McVitie’s Rich Tea Delights will help drive relevance of biscuits by drawing even more attention to the breadth of products on offer across the category and within the McVitie’s portfolio. “We’re excited to be bringing a product to market which caters to evolving shopper needs and a nationwide focus on health, while retaining the great taste that’s synonymous with McVitie’s. Now, whether shoppers are looking for an indulgent treat or something a little lighter, it’ll be even easier for them to enjoy McVitie’s biscuits as part of a balanced diet.”

HEALTHIER BISCUITS With the lifting of pandemic restrictions continuing to drive recovery of the on-the-go occasion, sales of healthier snacks, including biscuits, cereal bars, and on-the-go biscuits are also on the up, according to Mondelez International. 52

SLR | JUNE 2022


+Y 10.4






O T Y D A E R U ARE YO *Sweet Biscuits: Combined Read: Nielsen Scantrack (23.04.2022) Total Coverage including Discounters and Kantar (17.04.22) Total Value Channel. Savoury Biscuits: Kantar (17.04.2022) Total Market





SLR | JUNE 2022

Sports & Energy

The energy drinks category is evolving in line with new shopper needs. BY GAELLE WALKER


ast becoming the superheroes of the soft drinks fixture, Sports and Energy drinks are not just helping to the fuel the minds and bodies of Scottish shoppers, but also store sales too. In fact, according to hot-off-the-press findings from Britvic’s latest Soft Drinks Review, energy drinks became “the fastest growing and biggest category in convenience” in 2021, with sales growing by 21% and increasing in value by £116m, as shopper demand for ‘pick-me-ups’ increased. The Red Bull Brand in particular has racked-up significant gains in the past year, growing by £85.6m in the 12 months to February 2022 vs the same period a year before – driven by shoppers’ need for a “more physical energy than ever,” along with a number of key new requirements, namely: enjoyment, practicality and health.

D S¹








O Y 2 .5 SEC



Sports & Energy

REV-UP YOUR RANGE Merchandising advice from Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I Q

Make the chiller easy to navigate by ranging soft drinks together by category.


Group similar drinks together, for example by having Stimulation, Energy, and Sport sections so these can be shopped more clearly by the customer.


Give stimulation drinks more prominence.


Low-price point stimulation drinks are a big seller, so keep these near higherprice point stimulation drinks to range together and give the whole range more importance. The stimulation category is growing by 22%, so make sure to stock up on drinks such as Lucozade Alert to take advantage of this trend.


Incorporate more price-marked packs into the range.


Price-marked packs tend to be more popular in suburban areas than standard packs, so retailers in these areas should make sure to incorporate more PMPs instore to cater for this and drive sales.


SLR | JUNE 2022



As such, within Sports and Energy, functional products and stimulants were the biggest winners in 2021, as Chris Newman, Head of Category Management for Convenience and Impulse at Britvic, explains: “Stimulants energy was one of the real winners in 2021. “This category also represents a strong tradeup opportunity for the convenience channel, with approximately two times higher average price per litre than the soft drinks average. “Stimulant brands are taking advantage of this opportunity by providing more choice and flavours to consumers.” In this spirit of offering shoppers more choice, Barr Soft Drinks also extended its Rubicon Raw brand earlier this year with a new Apple & Guava flavour.

READY, SET, GO! The “incredible number” of sporting events and occasions set to take place this summer should also provide the already rocketing sports and energy drinks market with a further charge, Suntory Beverage & Food Wholesale Channel Director Matt Goldsmith says. “There are many opportunities for retailers to tap into large sporting occasions including the Women’s European Championships and the Commonwealth Games in the summer, as well as the Men’s Football World Cup later in the year. Sports drinks as a segment will prove even more popular as we approach the summer months, and these sporting occasions and events increase.” “Retailers should stock up on on-the-go formats of energy and sports drinks like Lucozade Energy and Lucozade Sport to meet shopper needs, particularly as the weather gets warmer and shoppers spend more time outside,” he adds.


Sports & Energy

Retailer View

SALEEM SADIQ, SPAR RENFREW “Energy drinks are a hugely important category in our store and an exceptionally buoyant one. They currently account for 20% of all soft drink sales in terms of volume and almost a third of sales in terms of value. “We now devote just over three metres of chiller space to energy drinks specifically, which makes me laugh as I remember how sceptical I was when I first entered the category in the early 90s. Back then I was totally unconvinced that the concept would ever take off! In addition to those three metres of chilled soft drinks space, we also sell a range of larger format 2-ltr bottles, plus large multipacks of 10 out on the shop floor. “Energy Drinks have been subject to high levels of innovation of late which is great as it certainly drives footfall and sales but it can also create a challenge for us retailers. Finding space to fit all the new variants and limited editions in the chiller can be tricky! We always like to have three or four facings of key brands such as Red Bull and Irn Bru Energy. However these days that is becoming more of a challenge. “There is also a large variety of smaller, cheaper-priced brands out there which are also gaining traction and earning their space on shelf. Spar’s Blue Bear Energy Drink, which is on offer at ‘2 for £1’ is becoming an increasingly strong seller.” 58

SLR | JUNE 2022

BIGGER IS BETTER Summer is here and with the associated rise in in- and out-of-home sharing occasions, convenience retailers looking to rev up their energy drink sales would do well to stock up on lucrative multi-pack formats. According to Red Bull, multipacks are currently in strong double-digit growth – with value up 18.9% in the year to February 2022, making “now the perfect time for retailers to stock up on multipacks ahead of a busy summer season.” And with shoppers once again “enjoying a functional boost on their office commute and on the move,” Red Bull also says it’s “vital” that retailers stock larger formats, “to meet the increasing consumer demand for longer lasting functional boosts.” In fact, according to Red Bull, larger Red Bull formats have ploughed more £209m in value into the total Sports & Energy market in the past year and are growing at 18.7% year on year, with over 35% of all larger-can drinkers enjoying Red Bull on the go. Meeting demand for larger formats, Barr Soft Drinks also added a new 500ml variant to its Irn-Bru Energy range late last year. The brand is also available in Sugar and No sugar formats.

Offering consumers a combination of 20% real fruit juice, caffeine from green coffee beans and B-vitamins, the “exciting” new flavour proposition is available in plain packs, £1.29 PMPs and a new 4x500ml multipack. And in a further bid to increase that allimportant consumer choice, Britvic has also recently reduced the sugar content of its core Rockstar range. “When it comes to energy drinks, 44% of non-buyers state the reason they don’t buy into the category is that they contain too much sugar, Britvic’s Out Of Home Commercial Director Phil Sanders says. “Through this move, we are aiming to encourage continued growth within the category by energising those health-conscious consumers and meeting even more energy needs. The booming popularity of Low-Calorie stimulation drinks also prompted an extension of the Lucozade Alert brand with new Lucozade Alert Original earlier this year. Red Bull is also keen to stress the size of the Sugar Free opportunity for retailers. “For a long time now, sugar has played a key role in the Sports & Energy category as consumers increasingly pick up Sugar Free and Zero formats that appeal to the more healthconscious shopper,” Red Bull says.

Sports & Energy

“Sugar Free variants have been growing penetration by 48.8% and, in independent markets, Low or No Sugar variants have seen faster growth than Full Sugar, with 21.8% growth vs Full Sugar’s 16.9%.” Red Bull says that 35-year-old affluent females are the most common Red Bull Sugar Free shopper profile – “signalling demand for lowsugar alternatives amongst feminine shoppers looking for a functional boost during their day.” Tapping into the trend, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) recently announced the launch of a new Relentless Zero Sugar range in new Peach and Raspberry flavours. Relentless Zero Sugar Peach and Relentless Zero Sugar Raspberry are available now in “eye-catching” white and pink/peach can designs which also retain the Relentless ‘R’ motif. The new range and refreshed can

design gives Relentless a “perfect opportunity to drive its #WithoutLimits brand positioning and widen its appeal amongst young adult fans,” CCEP says. The launch is being supported by an integrated campaign including digital, PR, and influencer activities. Retailers will also be able to get their mitts on new point-of-sale materials, including shelf strips, totems, wobblers and free-standing display units to drive excitement in-store from June. The news follows CCEP’s launch of the Zero Sugar pineapple-flavoured Monster Ultra Gold and Monster Khaotic in the spring. Available now in both plain and price-marked 500ml packs, both brands are also supported with an array of POS to help retailers “drive excitement in-store.”


GAME ON! Lucozade Energy has teamed up with video gaming brand Xbox, to give shoppers the chance to win big with a new on-pack promotion. By scanning a QR code on pack, Lucozade Energy drinkers have the chance to win a host of prizes to meet all their gaming needs including Xbox Series S consoles, complete with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 12-month subscriptions. To celebrate the Season 2 launch of Halo Infinite, shoppers can also redeem exclusive in-game bonuses with every promotional bottle purchased. The promotion is live from now until August across multiple pack formats: 380ml (standard & PMP), 500ml, 900ml, and 4x380ml multipacks.





*Source: Kantar World Panel, Value Sales, Take Home Non-Alcohol Brands, MAT to 06.09.21, Total Scotland

JUNE 2022 | SLR






A BIGGER SLICE OF THE ‘ON-THE-GO’ ACTION With on-the-go occasions once again on the rise, local retailers have a tasty opportunity to make more of food- and drinks-to-go. BY GAELLE WALKER

h & Lusciou s Ric S F S H c e om ng a pli r an ll u t F

Ready-to-drink coffee is growing by


a must-stock sub-category for retailers*

89% Costa growth is


2022 Costa Ltd. All rights reserved. *Nielsen Total Market Value MAT w/e 26.03.22.


hings, they say, ‘can only get better’ and with the food-to-go market having grown by 9% in value within independent convenience stores in the latest 12 weeks (vs the same period a year ago) there’s certainly plenty of reasons for retailers to feel optimistic about their food-togo futures. In-fact, according to wholesale experts TWC, the value of food-to-go in total grocery retail has grown at an impressive 51% over the same period, highlighting not just the scale of the renewed consumer demand for on-the-go formats, but also, the sizeable opportunity that convenience retailers have to grow their share of this lucrative market even further. Fortunately for retailers, the sector’s leading manufacturers and suppliers have been cooking up an array of innovative new products and formats to help them do just that. With the Ready To Drink (RTD) coffee market now worth £228m and up 37% in value year on year, CCEP and Costa Coffee have launched a new RTD Frappé range, to drive incremental sales and help this key segment of the market hit its full potential. The range has launched in two popular flavours from

Costa Coffee’s coffee shop business – Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caramel Swirl – in a drink that’s creamier, thicker and more indulgent than the existing Costa Coffee RTD line-up. The line-up will be further supported with a subtle recipe tweak for its Latte and Flat White variants to deliver “a better Costa taste” and a bold new look to deliver maximum standout on the shelf. Away from drinks-to-go, savoury pastry brand Ginsters is also strengthening its portfolio with two new limited-edition products for summer. Capturing a taste of the seasons, Four Cheese & Chive Slice and the Italian-inspired Meatball Marinara Bake, are both available nationwide now. Both products have been designed to capitalise on the 27% growth in afternoon snacking – and respond “to the pre-family lifestyle of eating at diverse times” – often with two or three snacking times per day, Ginsters says. The Meatball Marinara joins two other “worldinspired flavours” in the Ginsters’ Bakes range, which together are also seeking to recruit younger shoppers into the category. And, with the morning goods category currently


line up

this summer



John Want, Sales, Marketing and R&D Director of the Rich’s brand pinpoints three key product trends shaping demand in 2022. Vegan victory: Demand for vegan options will continue to rise over the course of this year. Rich’s produce a number of plant-based bakery options for leading UK supermarkets, coffee shops and out-of-home outlets, and we’ve seen an increase in interest in plant-based sweet items in the past 18 months. Picture perfect: We’re also getting more requests for ‘Instagrammable’ products, visually impactful indulgent treats – products that are not only great to eat, but also look fantastic on your social feeds. Coffee shop experience: With more occasions to come together and eat as a group, we’ve seen an increase in demand for treats that offer a coffee shop experience in-home and can be divided up between many, such as social sharing buns. That is why we’ve developed our new Chocolate and Caramel Tear & Share Bun. Pack a punch: Multi-pack formats of muffins and cookies have also performed well in recent months, ideal for snacking on the move, and we expect this to continue in the months ahead.

experiencing 11% year-on-year growth, Rustlers is also hoping to appeal to sweet-toothed shoppers with a new All Day Breakfast Pancake Stack. The chilled breakfast product features three buttermilk pancakes, served with a sachet of maple syrup-style sauce. “Breakfast is a staple occasion seeing longterm growth, with consumption dominated by a small number of core products. Performance of the category is in part driven by morning goods, including breakfast pastries, bagels and pancakes – which alone are experiencing 23% growth,” Kepak’s Head of Marketing, Consumer Brands, Elaine Rothballer says.

ick & Cream h y T S F S H c e om ng a pli r an ll u t F

Costa is growing by

+£6.8m vs previous year*

To find out more email, call 0808 1 000 000 or visit

2022 Costa Ltd. All rights reserved. *Nielsen Total Market Value MAT w/e 26.03.22.



Among his impressive list of ailments, Under The Counter includes sleeplessness and extreme jitteriness. Mainly because he drinks coffee like Costa’s going out of business. He’s just not so keen on making it. He was keen, however, to hear about Moksha, a new product that could help him crack his caffeine addiction. Moksha is the brainchild of Chris Baker, who put a stop to his six cups of coffee a day habit when he began experimenting with mushrooms. Yes, really. Tinkering with toadstools is not for the faint hearted. UTC well remembers the case of Nicolas Evans, the millionaire author of the Horse Whisperer who destroyed his kidneys and nearly died in 2008 after mistaking the deadly webcap mushroom for the edible ceps variety. Baker must know his artist’s conk from his elm oyster though. Not only does he still have a pair of functioning pee extractors, but his fungi fiddling has conjured up “a delicious caffeine-free coffee alternative filled with mushrooms, adaptogens and anti-inflammatory superfoods”. The Auld Boy usually gives “superfoods” short shrift, but he was sold when he saw Moksha’s pack design. This instantly took him on a hallucinogenic trip back to his misspent youth when he was more than happy to brew up his mates some “mushroom tea”.


Under The Counter stumbled across the world’s most inconvenient convenience store the other day. He didn’t literally, as it’s nailed to the side of a mountain in China for one thing. For another, as the Auld Boy is so scared of heights that Mrs UTC has to get the Christmas tree out of the loft every year, the likelihood of him shinning 120 metres up a sheer cliff face to visit it is as remote as his beloved Hamilton winning the Champions League. As more eagle-eyed readers will have spotted, the approximately 12sq ft store benefits from a healthy passing trade made up mainly of rock climbers. The store specialises in food-to-go. To be perfectly honest, it only sells drinks and snacks. Think more bottles of water and packets of crisps rather than Costa coffee and Rollover hotdogs though. And you can forget about buying a lottery ticket or paying your gas bill there. It’s worth seeking out if you’re on a budget though – a bottle of water will set you back the equivalent of 24p. The last time UTC paid 24p for a bottle of water, the Champions League was non-existent. Just like Hamilton’s prospects of winning it.

RUBBERNECKERS Under The Counter received an email from Tianjin Recare Co the other day, a company which has been “reliably” manufacturing latex condoms for more than 25 years. Given that UTC has as much use for a condom as Bruce Willis has for a comb, this was very much an unsolicited communication. You wouldn’t think there was much NPD in the world of barrier contraception, but Recare was reaching out to tell the Auld Boy about its latest innovation: wine condoms. To clarify, that’s not wine-flavoured condoms but condoms for bottles of wine. The johnnies, which the company says are “funny and practical,” are unrolled over the necks of opened bottles and perform the same anti-oxidative function as a traditional wine stopper, albeit in a slightly more snigger-inducing fashion. On behalf of gynaecologists everywhere, UTC prayed that the world’s wine stopper makers didn’t retaliate to this incursion into their territory by trying to market their products as a funny and practical alternative to condoms.


SLR | JUNE 2022

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