SLR November 2021 edition

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SLR Awards – a closer look at our winning stores




A MODERN TAKE ON NICOTINE, WITH 99% LESS TOXICANTS † * THAN A CIGARETTE. *This product is not risk-free and contains nicotine, an addictive substance.

MOVE ON TO VELO NICOTINE POUCHES. †99% less toxicants than cigarettes comparison based on an assessment of smoke from a scientific standard reference cigarette (approximately 9mg tar) and components released during use of a VELO pouch, in terms of the average of the 9 harmful components the World Health Organisation recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke. To find out more visit: VELO.COM/MOVEON This product contains nicotine and is addictive. For adult nicotine consumers only.







Golden Wonder’s major milestone



Not much cheer for Scotland’s retailers


Now is the time to make your store a byword for sustainability. SLR Awards – a closer look at our winning stores

COMMUNITY RETAILING One Stop’s scholarship programme


Prepare for a bumper Christmas

November 2021


Contents ISSUE 223


Community Retailing One Stop launches a scholarship programme to provide opportunities for young people. p7 Forecourts Forecourt retailers continue to invest in their businesses, despite the pandemic.. p8 Tech Jisp records 10,000 scans in five weeks of its Scan & Save trial in 14 Nisa stores.. p9 Wholesalers CJ Lang introduces a new wholesale and retail data reporting service, powered by TWC technology. p12 News Extra Autumn Budget There wasn’t much for Scotland’s retailers to cheer about in the Autumn Budget. p24 Product News Fruit Shoot makes the move to 100% recycled plastic while Mars saves planet Earth. p26 Off-Trade News Beam Suntory unveils a £3m plan to restore Scottish peatland and Campo Viejo reveals a more sustainable bottle design.







INSIDE BUSINESS p28 SLR Awards A closer look at the winning stores from SLR’s recent virtual Festival of Excellence. p33 2 Minutes Of Your Time Nick Williams Tayto’s Scotland Trading Controller looks forward to Golden Wonder’s 75th birthday. p35 Products Of The Year Back for 2021, SLR’s Product Of The Year Awards celebrates the vital contribution that product innovation makes to a successful convenience industry. p36 Hotlines The latest new products and media campaigns. p62 Under The Counter The Auld Yin is unimpressed by a baby food brand’s depiction of parenthood. FEATURES p38 Forecourts Next-generation forecourts are meeting new consumer need states, as JET’s latest store development demonstrates. p40 Christmas Wines & Spirits After a restricted and low-key Christmas last year, shoppers are expected to prepare for bigger and better in-home celebrations this time around. p44 Vaping The hotly anticipated boom in UK vape sales might not have materialised just yet – but vape can still deliver a hit in the convenience channel. p52 Sports & Energy Drinks Consumer priorities may have changed but the category still offers a key opportunity for retailers to charge up sales. p60 Big Night In Staying in is still the new going out for consumers in Covid-challenged times.

ON THE COVER p18 In the wake of COP26, there is no better time to think about the environmental impact of your store.



News COMMUNITY RETAILING Programme will give four young people a helping hand at university

Spar Scotland continues support of Healthy Living Programme Spar Scotland has continued its support of Healthy Living Scotland (HLS) by distributing free fruit to every primary school child from the Spar stores in Abronhill, Garthamlock, Thornliebank, and Erskine. It also ran pumpkin-related activities in Bo’ness, Sanquhar and Eastriggs stores with the team from HLS.

Opinions sought on plan to end need for food banks The Scottish government has launched a consultation on proposals to end the need for food banks. The consultation, which is open until 25 January, proposes a trial to “pilot the use of shopping vouchers as an alternative” which would end the need for emergency parcels. The government’s draft national plan is supported by food bank operators, including the Trussell

One Stop launches scholarship programme One Stop has launched a scholarship programme designed to provide opportunities for young people from its communities and to support social mobility. The programme will provide four young people, from lowincome households – studying an undergraduate degree in online, technology or sustainability – with financial assistance, paid internships, a business mentor, and a graduate role. One Stop has been working in partnership with Groundwork to develop and set up the application process and criteria. The initiative follows a successful trial with two students who have been enrolled on the programme from 2021. Liz Fox, Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at One

Stop, said: “The programme provides opportunities not only for us as a business but also for young people looking to progress their careers within an Online, Technology or Sustainability environment.

“For us, getting the social mobility aligned in our scholarship programme was key and working with Groundwork has enabled us to get the programme developed and up and running. We’re delighted to be welcoming our first students into the One Stop team” Liliana Odjo (pictured) from Coventry is one of the students currently on the pilot scheme. She said: “I started going to One Stop when I was child, and now, here I am doing their very first scholarship. I think it’s amazing the way they’re helping people in their own communities.” Students applying for university in 2022, who come from a lower income household, are being invited to apply before 31 January 2022.

Trust and Independent Food Aid Network.

Retailers welcome Daily Record news Publisher Reach has included pro rata terms for newsagents as part of new price increases for the Daily Record. From Monday, October 25, the price of weekday editions of the Daily Record increased by 5p to 95p. The retail profit per copy sold also increased pro rata to 19p. From Saturday, October 30, the Saturday edition increased by 10p to £1.50, with the retail profit per copy increasing pro rata to 30p.

Lomond grows green fleet Glasgow-based Lomond: The Wholesale Food Co has added 20 new 7.5 tonne hybrid refrigeration vehicles to its fleet. The vehicles feature the new Lomond livery. The wholesaler has also introduced electric company cars for its field sales team. All team members have electric chargers fitted to their homes and Lomond directors,

WELLBEING GroceryAid partnership highlights range of resources available from charity

Nisa supports retailers and store workers Nisa is partnering with GroceryAid to increase awareness of the range of wellbeing resources available to its retailers and their employees. The symbol group’s field team has been handing out posters and leaflets to existing Nisa retailers and encouraging them to place them in areas visible to employees. GroceryAid material has also been added to Nisa’s induction packs to make new retailers aware of the support available. Matthew Howie, Nisa Retail Development Manager covering southern Scotland, is the GroceryAid lead for Nisa and a member of the GroceryAid Scotland committee. He said:

“As independent retailers, many partners don’t have obvious support for their wellbeing, but GroceryAid exists to provide that and it’s really important that as a symbol group, we share with them the tools that are available and at their disposal.” Howie added: “GroceryAid is a really underutilised tool that we want our partners to be aware of. We work in a diverse industry where you will have many different people with different outlooks on life. Some people will bottle it up, some will be open and ask for advice. So, it’s about building that relationship with our partners so they feel they can reach out and speak about it.”


EG Group opens Peterhead site

Forecourt retailer EG Group has opened a new Spar convenience store and forecourt at the Buchan Gateway Retail Park in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. The site, located on the A90, has 10 lanes, a drive-thru Starbucks, and dedicated parking for shoppers. The 3,000sq ft Spar convenience store has an external ATM and is open 24 hours, seven days a week. It also offers a host of food-to-go options including sandwiches, hot and cold rolls, and pastries, as well as a Greggs bakery. Other in-store services include lottery, PayPoint, and free Wi-Fi. The store employs 10 people from the local area.

Sam and Barbara Henderson, also drive electric vehicles.




News FORECOURTS Independents spent an average of £16,000 on their stores in the past year

Forecourt retailers continue to invest Forecourt retailers have continued to invest in their businesses in the past year despite the pandemic, new research reveals. The ACS 2021 Forecourt Report shows independent forecourts spent around £16,000 on average per store. However, while this is higher than their convenience store only counterparts, this is a significant fall on the previous year, when independent forecourt retailers were investing around £24,000 per store. The UK’s 7,395 forecourt shops provide more than 88,000 secure local jobs and provide access to essential services, the research finds. Other key findings from the report include: Q More than one in three independent forecourt operators (37%) took no days off over the past year. Q There are around 536 charging points at 405 forecourt locations (excluding service stations) in the UK, part of a wider network of over 16,000 charging locations. Q Around one in four independent forecourts are open 24 hours. PROPERTY MARKET English buyers look north

Hungry buyers eye the Scottish retail market A growing number of buyers of convenience store in Scotland are hailing from the south of England due to the lack of opportunities there and perceived value for money in Scotland, Christie & Co says. The property specialist says that although the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidance on movement differed from that south of the border during the pandemic, the convenience and forecourt property markets have painted a similar picture to that of England’s bull market, with buyers hailing from right across the UK. Christie & Co said: “Our Scotland retail team can report seeing exceptionally robust trading results and along with them, very strong buyer demand which is at an all-time high. ”In fact, the buyer appetite for retail assets is so strong, the number of sites currently available for sale is outpacing demand and this is driving buyers to look further afield for more opportunities.” The property company added: “Scotland an increasingly popular choice for buyers looking for a change of lifestyle. “With so many hungry buyers keen to get a slice of the action, it’s a fantastic time to think about selling.”

In addition, 76% of independent forecourts engaged in some form of community activity over the past year, not just through raising money for charity, but also by sponsoring local teams, being part of litter picks, and other activities. One in five forecourts is also involved with providing stock for food banks. ACS Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “UK forecourts have demonstrated how essential they are to their communities throughout the pandemic, and especially in the last few months during the fuel supply chain issues. “As we look ahead, we must ensure that the essential services that forecourts provide are recognised, and that they are incentivised to invest in new technology, alternative power options for vehicles, and improving their shop offer for customers.” The report also shows that forecourt retailers are also more active than ever on social media, reaching their customers through engagement on Facebook (38% of retailers), Twitter (22%), Instagram (20%), and TikTok (13%). COMMUNITY RETAILING

Spar Scotland launches community cashback campaign for COP26

Spar Scotland has launched a community cashback campaign that coincides with COP26 in Glasgow. The symbol group is donating £1,000 to 26 charities, community groups, and projects across Scotland. Nominations from customers, employees and the general public will be shortlisted and a public vote will choose who will get donations. Colin McLean, Chief Executive of Spar Scotland, said: “We are looking for local litter picking groups, planting trees and recycling initiatives, community social projects, green space developments and many more green ideas that happen in local communities around Scotland to support.” The campaign will be promoted in-store and on digital channels.




News RETAIL TECH Augmented reality vouchers prove popular with shopppers

New News Scotland promo News Scotland has launched a new HND promotion to which offers readers money off their delivery rather than the previously advertised ‘six weeks free’. The value of the offer has increased as the investment equates to nine weeks free at a £2.80 rebate for a seven-day offer, and 10 weeks at £1 for weekend only. The promo is supported by advertising across The Sun and The Times, as well as radio and digital activity.

Store vacancy rate static The store vacancy rate remained unchanged at 14.5% in the third quarter of the year, 1.3 ppts higher than in the same point in 2020, according to the latest BRC-LDC Vacancy Monitor. The research shows no shopping locations saw an increase in vacancies in the third quarter, with shopping centre vacancies remaining at 19.4% for the

Jisp reaches Scan & Save milestones with Nisa Jisp has recorded 10,000 scans, 5,000 taps, and 2,000 redemptions in just five weeks of its Scan & Save trial with 14 Nisa stores. The company has been working with major brands such as Kellogg’s, Red Bull and Nomad Foods to offer savings on certain products using Augmented Reality vouchers. Greg Deacon, Chief Customer Officer at Jisp, said: “It has only been five weeks, and what a fantastic achievement for Jisp, Nisa and our brand partners. To deliver the participation, adoption and engagement from both retailers and shoppers is phenomenal. It’s not just the amount of scans, taps and redemptions that we are looking at – we are really diving deep into the who, where and when in store and at the shelf edge.”

The company says Scan & Save has dramatically boosted brand sales, with Red Bull and Trivento Malbec being wine the top-selling products. Deacon added: “The early shopper adoption has been impressive, with a strong number of repeat users at 59% which shows that our tech is boosting loyalty. We’ve also noticed that the majority of shoppers were aged 30-39, with half of the customers being mostly female. Data like this allows us to advise brands and retailers on how they can optimise their budgets, fine-tune marketing campaigns, improve store operations and reward retailers and shoppers alike.” Nisa retailers have been rewarded for every voucher tap and

offer redemption in store, in total earning £400 across five weeks. James Taylor, Nisa’s Head of Central Operations, said: “The early indications from the Scan & Save initiative are superb, and we’re delighted to be a part of it. It’s a brilliant new way of engaging with shoppers and helping to drive footfall which is always very welcome to our independent retailers, and we’re excited to see how it continues to perform over the coming weeks.”

second consecutive quarter, and vacancies on the High Street remained at 14.5%.

Aldi launches silver Scottish Beer Festival Aldi has unveiled the line-up for

WHOLESALERS Strategy for growth pays off for Spar Scotland wholesaler and retailer

CJ Lang delivers positive results

its 25th Scottish Beer Festival, which showcases 30 craft beers from 11 breweries. The event gives customers the chance to try everything from black IPAs to chocolate stouts and fruity pale ales to crisp lagers, with prices starting at £1.49. The festival takes place across all of Aldi’s 98 Scottish stores in a deal worth more than £100,000 to the breweries involved.

New Unitas guides Unitas Wholesale has worked with its supplier partners to launch three new mini category guides that offer advice on confectionery multipacks category and on the opportunities that the ‘Big Night In’ occasion and Christmas confectionery & biscuits category presents. The category guides are available to view and download at and on the Plan for Profit app.



CJ Lang & Son has reported a 9.4% increase in turnover to £212.5m for the year ending 30 April 2021, with pre-tax profits growing to £3.0m, as it continues to implement its strategy for growth. As part of its business transformation programme, CJ Lang recently announced record levels of future investment into its company-owned store estate, with a major programme of store refurbishment works starting in

2022. The works will result in an improved customer offer across chilled and produce categories. CJ Lang & Son Chief Executive, Colin McLean, said: “The previous 12 months saw a significant change in the retail landscape as the impact of Covid-19 was felt. Like many other retailers, our primary focus has been on the well-being of our staff whilst supporting our customers in the many local Scottish communities in which we operate as changes in routine have resulted in many shoppers choosing to shop locally.” He added: “The Scottish retail market environment remains extremely challenging, with significant potential headwinds. Inflationary cost pressures, supply chain impacts, driver and fuel shortages have been well documented, however we remain well positioned to navigate these challenges.”


Nisa unveils revamped autumn range Nisa retailers have begun introducing the revamped Co-op autumn range. The Co-op standard chilled soup range has been overhauled, with new flavours and textures added, and they all are gluten free. In ready meals, the Chinese collection has been re-launched and replicates classic Chinese takeaway lines, including new products, such as the Crispy Chilli Beef. Meanwhile, the Co-op Irresistible ready meals offer has had a refresh to offer customers restaurant inspired meals, and new Co-op pizzas lines are available. In addition, work has been done to strengthen and improve the Co-op pie range, with quality ingredients and new lines added.


News WHOLESALERS Cloud-based platform reports wholesale shipments data and retail sales

CJ Lang deploys new data reporting system CJ Lang & Son has successfully introduced a new wholesale and retail data reporting service, hosted through TWC’s SmartView technology. Spar Scotland Sales Track, a cloud-based platform, reports wholesale shipments data and retail sales from Spar Scotland’s company-owned stores. In the three months since the platform went live, more than 40 suppliers signed up to the service. Colin McLean, Chief Executive for CJ Lang & Son, said: “Incredibly, the implementation of the platform has had very little impact on our operational time, whilst generating a new revenue stream for the business.” He added: “We are now able, for the first time, to share shipments data to all Spar Scotland retailers, enabling our partner suppliers to monitor their performance through CJ Lang & Son at a total category, sub-category, brand and SKU level, including competitor data.”

Sandy MacEwen, Head of Sales at TWC, worked alongside CJ Lang & Son’s team for nearly 18 months setting up and embedding the new tool. She said: “Our platform has been built to give suppliers quick key facts ‘on the go’ via our NAM Dash tool, where you can view category performance right the way down to SKU level information, within a couple of clicks. “We also have a wholesale analysis tool to help suppliers understand how their products are being bought by retailers within a category, alongside a suite of EPoS analysis tools.” MacEwen added: “The Retail Basket Analysis shows the importance of how data can be used to drive growth opportunities as it’s very easy to find trends that are specific to a category. “Suppliers are already in conversations with the CJ Lang & Son’ trading team around crosscategory promotions, through the insights they’ve found using the Retail Basket Analysis.”

SUSTAINABILITY COP-26 summit marked by Co-op

To mark the COP-26 climate change conference, the Co-op ran a national campaign to get people asking questions about how they could impact climate change at a community level. Six flagship Co-op stores across the UK were ‘rebranded’ to Co-op26 with amplified exterior signage and window vinyl takeovers. The rebrand also ran across the Co-op’s social channels for the duration of COP-26. In addition, all of Co-op’s 2,600 food stores communicated the same in-store messaging via marketing materials, including a full package of interior POS such as hanging boards, shelf edge labels and bunting, exterior bollard covers, and in-store radio takeovers.


Co-op sparks climate action conversation with Co-op26 rebrand



A FRESH LOOK AT YOUR SOFT DRINKS Changing your soft drink display can appear daunting. There’s a knockon effect when you move one SKU out that can create more questions than answers. Andy Pheasant from Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I (SBF GB&I) joined Andrew Cruden at his Northampton store to find out how you can simplify the improvement of your whole range.





“We’ve been here now for 24 years, and during that time we’ve built up a strong customer base. But while we’ve added new products in, we haven’t properly looked at how we range our display for six years.

“While Andrew’s store is in the middle of a town centre, he knows his regular customers really well and has built a good ‘local’ feel in his shop.

“Being a town centre store, we have a lot of passing trade, as well as office workers who want to be able to find the drink they want really quickly”.

“There isn’t a huge amount of space to play with, so he needs to make sure that every centimetre delivers all it can. By looking at how his soft drinks are laid out and highlighting the biggest growing categories, he can really grow his sales.”


£800M%1 29.3%2







1 IRI SL Data latest 8 week data to 17.05.20 (Total Drink Later change vs. YA) 2 EXT IRI, MarketPlace, GB, latest 52 week data ending 21.02.21












We ranged Andrew’s soft drinks by category to make it easier for the consumer to find what they're looking for. The quicker shoppers can find something in store, the more they're going to spend. So, we have blocked by colas, which then flow into stimulation, then into refreshment energy, and then into the waters at the other end of the display. STEP TWO



GET KEY BRANDS AT EYE LEVEL It’s vital to make sure the key brands consumers are looking for most often are displayed at “eye level”. In Andrew’s store, these are CocaCola, which flows into Monster, Red Bull and then Lucozade, making the biggest sellers easy to see on shelf. STEP THREE




TO SEE MORE OF ANDREW’S SHOP AND FOR ADVICE FOLLOW @SUNTORYBF_GBI ON TWITTER AND LINKEDIN 4 Based on five-week data 23/8/19 - 30/9/19 v. 23/8/21 - 26/9/21 5 Based on five-week data 01/07/21 - 31/7/21 v. 23/8/21 - 26/9/21

At the moment, we know cans are performing really well, and we also know that stimulation is what's driving the soft drinks category. So we've made sure these drinks are really easy to find. We've also added in some new take-home options such as 900ml Lucozade Energy, because people are still looking for bigger formats.

News Extra

Autumn Budget

NewsExtra GET YOUR FILL OF FORECOURT NEWS – P38 AUTUMN BUDGET Confirmation of Living Wage rise prompts warning of job losses

Scottish Grocers’ Federation

Convenience Matters with the SGF As the year draws to a close, we are already drawing up a list of our priority work areas for 2022. A key priority will be the Scottish government plans to restrict the promotion and location of foods deemed to be high in fat, salt, and sugar. The impact of this on the convenience business model will be significant, but is only one aspect of this policy intervention. Another is the longer-term cumulative impact of a constantly increasing burden of regulation and compliance on convenience retailers. A c-store is not a big space – in Scotland most have a sales area of less than a thousand square feet – and typically they have small staff teams. Nevertheless, c-stores have become highly regulated spaces to the extent that it’s difficult to think of any other comparable type of business which is subject to so much regulation (or should that be State control?). The regulatory framework for alcohol and tobacco is well known, with vaping products now a part of that too. The National Lottery is also subject to age verification procedures. Most recently with the introduction of Natasha’s Law retailers now have significant compliance responsibilities for food labelling. When DRS is introduced, retailers will be obligated to provide a takeback service, and store and retain containers for collection by the scheme administrator. With the coming regulations on HFSS, retailers will be heavily restricted on what they can sell and where they can sell it. It is remarkable that retailers manage all of this so effectively and are still able to focus on maintaining a profitable business. One of SGF’s main tasks is to ensure our members are fully informed and supported to achieve this.



Autumn Budget addresses wages and alcohol duty

A confirmed rise in the minimum wage rate meant there wasn’t much to cheer about in the Autumn Budget for Scotland’s local retailers. Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in the Autumn Budget that the National Living Wage will rise to £9.50 from 1 April 2022, representing an increase of 59 pence or 6.6%. Bryan Sanderson, Low Pay Commission Chair, said: “The pandemic has been an exceptionally difficult period for businesses and workers alike, but the labour market has recovered strongly, and the economy is expected to continue to grow over the next year.” However, the NFRN has warned that the move will threaten jobs in the sector. National President, Narinder Randhawa, said: “Independent retailers have already been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, with many having to reduce staff levels and hours and take on more of the work themselves. This increase to the national minimum wage will only make matters worse. “At a time when small businesses need help and support more than ever, this move by the government feels like a kick in the teeth for those that are already struggling to survive.” There was a small crumb of comfort in the cancellation of a planned rise in fuel duty. The Chancellor said, with fuel prices at the highest level in eight years, he is “not prepared to add to the squeeze on families and small businesses”. Randhawa said that, with petrol and diesel prices at an all-time high, the cancellation “will come as a relief to those retailers who provide home delivery services.” Sunak pledged to make business rates fairer in England, and said

the UK will carry out the “most radical simplification of alcohol duty” for more than 100 years. He said there will be just six duty rates on alcohol, which will mean that some stronger spirits and wines will become more expensive, but weaker alcohols like beer and rosé will become cheaper. Duty is also being cut on fruit ciders to bring it in line with apple ciders, he said. Association of Convenience Stores Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “On one hand, the chancellor is implementing reform of duty rates to make the system simpler, but on the other, the new ‘draught relief ’ will make the system more confusing. As the line between on-trade and off-trade becomes increasingly blurred, duty should be applied at the highest point of the supply chain.” In addition, he revealed that the price of a pint will fall by 3p and the planned increase of duty on spirits will be cancelled. In response, Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “By freezing duty, the chancellor has given welcome relief to all distillers, specifically in Scotland where 92% of all UK spirits are produced or

bottled. It’s confirmation that the UK government wants to support one of Scotland’s most important industries and will take action to protect jobs, investment and exports, and to bolster the recovery in hospitality and tourism.” Sunak said the Budget funds the government’s ambition to have 20,000 new police officers and provides an extra £2.2bn for courts and rehabilitation services. It will also spend £3.8bn for the “biggest prison-building programme in a generation”. The Budget also includes an extra £435m for more CCTV and streetlights. The chancellor also announced funding for the Scottish Government of £41bn per year, representing a 2.4% rise in the Scottish Government’s budget each year, meaning that the funding for the Scottish Government is the highest it has ever been. In addition, more than £200m will be invested in Scotland to boost the post-pandemic recovery and enhance the Scottish economy. Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said: “The Budget ushers in an era of real devolution, ensuring money is spent on projects that matter most to people in Scotland.”


MORE SUSTAINABLE By becoming more sustainable retailers can ensure their store is fit for the future, save time, effort and energy, make their store a more pleasurable place for shoppers and ultimately increase their sales. We know, however, that it can be difficult to know where to start on the topic. Which is why this year we teamed up with The Energy Saving Trust to make changes in Amit Patel’s 900sq ft. store in Sandiacre, Derbyshire, and create a case study to show retailers how they can get started on their own sustainability journey.


Our partnership with Amit helped him save more than £600 a year. The savings we made show that by


making changes that benefit both their local community and the wider world, convenience retailers in the UK could cumulatively save an astonishing £28.3M every single year. The project team made a range of changes both large and small in Amit’s store, designed to show that starting your sustainability journey is something every store can do, without having to spend thousands of pounds. We implemented new LED lighting, new chillers and new shelving in Amit’s storeroom, as well as making a raft of smaller changes including replacing his CCTV monitor, his heater and adding in a new door-closing mechanism. By analysing Amit’s monthly electricity consumption we showed that there was a nine per cent reduction during the installation period, which climbed to a 12% reduction after all the installations were completed. That equates to potential financial saving of £610 a year. We know that not every store is in a position financially to invest in replacing their chillers, but our work in Amit’s store shows that not every change has to be as large as that to make a real difference. Crucially, this project highlights the importance of progression, not perfection.

PROJECTED ANNUAL SAVINGS Comparing a year before with a YEAR DURING all installations Comparing a year before with a YEAR AFTER all installations

Before After

35671 32514

Difference Difference (%)

-3157 -9%

Financial Saving


Before After

34882 30566

Difference Difference (%)

-4316 -12%

Financial Saving







ANDREW PHEASANT, HEAD OF REGIONAL ACCOUNTS AT SBF GB&I “We know that not every store is in a position financially to invest in replacing their chillers, but our work in Amit’s store shows that not every change has to be as large as that to make a real difference.

AMIT PATEL, PREMIER TOWN STREET IN SANDIACRE “This project has been fantastic to work on. I’m already seeing the benefits of the changes – both in terms of my energy savings and the feedback from my shoppers, who love what I’m doing and the way the store looks now.

“If the UK’s 46,388 convenience stores made these sustainability-focused alterations, the total savings across the channel could be up to £28.3M per year.”

“Thinking more about how we impact the environment is incredibly important for many reasons, and I urge all retailers to look at how they can start doing just that”.



BE PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM With the recent COP26 Conference being held in Glasgow, the eyes of the world were very much on Scotland for a fortnight or so, as politicians and campaigners grappled with the huge challenge of climate change and, to some extent, with each other. With such an important global event taking place so close to home, it is inevitable that people in Scotland will be asking themselves the question: am I doing enough to help the environment? Many consumers will now be thinking more deeply about the issue of climate change and whether their own actions are contributing to it in some way, and many will have resolved to behave differently as a result. And this will inevitably mean changes to their shopping patterns, and what they require from retailers. Until recently, the carbon footprint of your store would have been a long way down your list of daily concerns. But the mood is changing, and consumers are increasingly making shopping choices based on, or at least influenced by, concerns about sustainability, whether it be by eating less meat or through concerns about excess packaging. And if your customers are concerned about an issue, then it impacts on you whether you like it or not. Of course, there is a limit to what retailers can do on their own. Shoppers still want their food to be fresh and their drinks to be chilled, so energy usage and packaging waste are inevitable by-products of running a convenience store, but it is important that retailers stay on the right side of this issue and are seen to be doing what they can to minimise any negative impact on the environment. There are some simple steps you can take. Swapping plastic for paper or other more sustainable materials, for example, and offering meat-free alternatives to appeal to the new generation of consumers. And with utility costs increasing sharply, it’s a good idea to look closely at how you can minimise your energy usage whether you care about rising global temperatures or not. Many of these changes might even have a positive impact on sales and profits rather than being an additional cost, but will signpost to your shoppers that their concerns are relevant to you too. Playing some part in the growing sustainability movement, however small, could be of great benefit in the long run. After all, the trick is always to be seen as part of solution, rather than part of the problem.

EDITORIAL Publishing Director & Editor Antony Begley 0141 222 5380 | Editorial Manager David Rees Web Editor Findlay Stein 0141 222 5389 | Editorial Contributor Karen Peattie

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CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS Circulation Manager Cara Begley 0141 222 5381 | Scottish Local Retailer is distributed free to qualifying readers. For a registration card, call 0141 222 5381. Other readers can obtain copies by annual subscription at £50 (UK), £62 (Europe airmail), £99 (Worldwide airmail). 55 North Ltd, Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 6AY Tel: 0141 22 22 100 Fax: 0141 22 22 177 Website: Twitter: DISCLAIMER The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of 55 North Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endevoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Scottish Local Retailer is produced monthly by 55 North Ltd.


© 55 North Ltd. 2021 ISSN 1740-2409.



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*Source data: Nielsen Scantrack Epos, Total Symbols/GB, White Bread Loaves by brand, Unit % Chg YOY, 52 wks to 19th June 2021. **Source data: Nielsen Scantrack Epos, Total Coverage/GB, Unit Sales, 52 wks to 19th June 2021 analysis across all brown/wholemeal breads available in Pre Packed Bread category. Excluding Private Label. ***Source data: Nielsen Scantrack Epos, Total Coverage/GB, Unit % Chg YOY, 52 wks to 19th June 2021, Major Bread Brand defined as greater than 3% of Pre Packed Bread Category Unit % share for same time period as analysis. Analysis across all white breads available in Pre Packed Bread category. Excluding Private Label ****Source for Claim: Nielsen Scantrack EPOS, Total Impulse/GB, Value Sales, Latest 12 wks to 14th August 2021.


100% recycled*.

* Bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic. Bottle, label and cap are 100% recyclable.




100% recyclable. BE YOUR NATURAL SELF

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HOW GREEN IS YOUR STORE? With the recent COP26 in Glasgow attracting the world’s attention, there is no better time to think about the environmental impact of your store and assess whether your customers feel you are doing enough on sustainability.


he average convenience store is not normally considered to be a centre of excellence for sustainability and environmental good practice. But with Scottish consumers potentially more aware than ever before about global warming due to the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow it is surely just a matter of time before shoppers start to wonder if their local store shares the same values when it comes to the environment and climate change. In a special report, SLR looks at ways that convenience are impacting the environment and the steps they can take to reduce the more negative effects whilst still maintaining high levels of sales and customer service. In many cases, you might already be helping far more than you think.

SUSTAINABILITY CONCERNS AFFECT FOOD CHOICES Nearly one-fifth (16%) of consumers now list the environment as their main motivator for healthy and sustainable eating, according to new research from IGD. The latest data shows UK consumers are increasingly looking to adopt more healthy and sustainable diets, with 58% open to changing their eating habits. The research, drawn from 1,368 UK consumers during July 2021, also found there has been a rise in people eating meat only twice a week or less – 39% compared to 34% in 2020 – showing that consumers are becoming more aware of the sustainable issues surrounding food production and diets. Mark Little, Director of Health and Sustainability at IGD, says: “Not only are consumers increasingly willing to change their eating habits for health reasons, but they are also starting to better understand the connection between their diets, the environment and how changing what they eat could impact their own health, as well as the planet’s health.” IGD has identified a series of practical actions that businesses can take to help drive behaviour change and encourage consumers to change their behaviour for good. These include: Q Offer easy solutions to help with the trend for healthy, scratch cooking Q Influence shoppers with recipe cards, on-pack cues and sampling Q Use signage and promotions to show that healthy eating can be both tasty and budget friendly Q Help healthy options such as fruit, veg, grains and pulses stand out in-store and online to enable quick purchasing decisions.



ENERGY SAVING Globally, electricity generation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases and global warming, but if that doesn’t motivate you to minimise your energy usage then one look at your utilities bills should do the trick. Energy costs are rising and are set to rise still further in the months to come, so keeping a close eye on your electricity usage will save not just the planet but your profits, too. However, the key challenge is to strike the right balance for your customers – changing shopper preferences towards fresh food and food-to-go have meant increasing investment by the industry in refrigeration and other energy-hungry equipment. Improvements in technology have brought about a reduced environmental impact due to refrigeration in retail outlets, however. Modern cabinets are substantially more energy-efficient than older models, and many retailers have already noticed the savings that result from having doors on chillers. For those who dislike doors on cabinets, air curtains or aerofoils are also available to prevent the cold air from escaping from the chiller space and into the store, while some larger stores have invested in heat exchange technology to repurpose the excess heat generated by refrigerators. A variety of simple sensors are also available to tell you where energy is being used in the business, and whether a saving can be made by switching off lights or other devices in areas where they are not currently needed. LED lighting is another simple but effective form of technology to improve the in–store environment for shoppers without increasing your electricity bills. Many organisations have already pledged to use energy from renewable sources only. Switching to these sources is unlikely to result in any cost reduction, but it would give you a good message to convey to your customers if they are concerned about the carbon footprint of your store.

REDUCING FOOD MILES The transport sector is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK, bigger even than the domestic power station network, so reducing food miles is a key part of the sustainability agenda for the future. Stocking

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Cover Story


GOING MEAT-FREE The global meat industry has been highlighted as one of the contributors to the warming of the planet, and consumers have noticed. While many shoppers have been reducing their meat consumption for health or animal welfare reasons for some time, there is now a new generation of consumers that is also cutting back because of its concerns about the impact on the environment. Families are increasingly opting to have ‘meat free’ days during the week, and so shoppers will be looking for tasty alternatives and mealtime inspiration on a more regular basis. The opportunity for local retailers is to show that you have the solution to their need states by providing a good range of meat-free options, and by ensuring that your fresh produce offer is in tip-top shape.


sourced items and focusing on produce when it is in season is a much more planet-friendly alternative to goods that have been airfreighted from overseas or travelled many miles through internal distribution systems. Convenience stores are already leaders in the field of selling local produce, with many retailers benefiting from the strong sales and points of difference generated by lines with a strong connection to the local area. 20


No retailer wants to have waste, but the dumping of unsold food hurts more than just retailers’ bottom lines. Food waste in landfill releases greenhouse gases as it breaks down, so is an environmental no-no, not to mention being an unfortunate outcome when there are hungry people in the community. Local food banks will accept ambient goods that are nearing their best before dates to redistribute them to needy families, while there are a number of wastecutting apps available that will alert their users when a store nearby has fresh food reduced in price because it is going out of date. Check out the Too Good To Go app as a starting point.

REDUCING PACKAGING The public is increasingly becoming motivated to avoid single-use plastics and reject what is seen as unnecessary packaging waste. Legislation on plastic carrier bags and plastic straws has driven change and awareness here, and there is more to follow – although the

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To find out more email, call 0808 1 000 000 or visit *Except label and cap. ©2021 Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. All rights reserved. COCA-COLA, COCA-COLA ZERO SUGAR, DIET COKE, SMARTWATER, FANTA, SPRITE, DR PEPPER are registered trade marks.

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although environmental sticklers will point out that even electric vehicles rely on power sourced through the national grid, which in turn creates greenhouse gases. Cycles and scooters are the most sustainable options possible, although possibly not always the most practical.

SHOUT ABOUT LOCAL full details of the Deposit Return Scheme for packaging in Scotland are still yet to be revealed, there is strong consumer support for such a programme and an ongoing concern about plastic bottles in particular ending up in the oceans. Plastic has become a dirty word for many shoppers, so there is an opportunity to turn the negative into a positive by offering paper bags, packaging-free products and food-togo consumables made from more renewable sources.

HOME DELIVERY Delivery services peaked during the height of the pandemic, but demand hasn’t abated since and many retailers are looking at home delivery as a way of increasing their store’s catchment area and basket spend. In environmental terms, however, it will need to be carefully managed, as an active delivery service has the potential to increase a store’s carbon footprint. Some retailers are in the process of switching from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric ones to make home deliveries,

Finally, it is worth mentioning that consumers can cut their own carbon footprint by visiting the local shop on foot instead of driving to a large supermarket several miles away. This is a major sustainability selling point for many convenience stores and can be turned into a positive by reminding customers to shop local with signage, and on social media. This is just one of many ways that local shopping and local shops can be seen as being better for the planet than the available alternatives, putting the industry in a good place for a successful, and sustainable, future.

BRANDS PLAY THEIR PART Big brand manufacturers are increasingly setting themselves ambitious sustainability targets to demonstrate to consumers that they are on board with tackling climate change. Soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr recently confirmed it plans to be carbon net zero by 2040, 10 years ahead of the UK’s proposed 2050 deadline. It also announced that Irn-Bru and Rubicon will be in 100% recycled plastic (rPET) bottles by spring 2022, rolling out across all the company’s other brands by 2023. Under the company’s No Time To Waste initiative it will also: Q Significantly reduce the use of virgin plastic through 100% recycled film on all consumer multipacks Q Introduce paper straws on small juice packs Q Be among the first in the UK to introduce only plant-based plastics in its 1ltr cartons. Roger White, AG Barr Chief Executive, says: “As a responsible business this is a hugely important programme for us. Under our No Time To Waste programme we are openly committing to be carbon net zero by 2040, if not sooner, and plan to involve all our staff, suppliers and customers in achieving our long-term vision.”



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Danone streamlines for sustainable growth Danone UK&I has named James Mayer as the President of its newly-implemented structure, which sees four category businesses – Specialised Nutrition, Plant-Based, Dairy and Waters – merged into one unified company under one leadership team. The changes are the culmination of Danone’s global Local First project, that looks to deliver greater business impact and drive sustainable growth.

Doughnut milestone National Doughnut Week has reached the £1m fundraising milestone, with £38,039.79 raised to date during the recent 2021 week. The total now raised for charities since its launch 30 years ago is £1,022,304.95. All the funds raised this year went directly to The Children’s Trust charity. Bakers, cafés, bistros, delis and lots of other small businesses from around the country took part and supported the event.

Meringue makeover Following the launch of several

Product News GET YOUR TILL JINGLING WITH CHRISTMAS WINES & SPIRITS – P40 SOFT DRINKS Britvic moves closer to using 100% recycled plastic

Fruit Shoot is clearly sustainable Fruit Shoot singles and multipacks across its core range have made the move to 100% rPET (recycled plastic) and clear bottles. The update is another step on Britvic’s journey to reaching its ambition that all bottles produced and sold in Great Britain will be made from 100% rPET by the end of 2022. The product will also undergo a recipe refresh and packaging redesign for the first time in three years. Alongside its new clear bottle, Fruit Shoot will now be preservative free following a reformulation. As part of wider consumer research, Britvic found the transition to a clear bottle had

several impacts on parents’ perceptions – eight out of 10 parents said they would trust Fruit Shoot more and almost three quarters said it showed Fruit Shoot was more natural than they thought. To drive awareness of the switch to 100% rPET bottles, Fruit Shoot will be visible across outdoor and digital platforms early next year, demonstrating the new clear bottles with the messaging, ‘New CLEAR bottle, just as fruity!’ Ben Parker, At Home Commercial Director at Britvic, commented: “This time last year, our sub-brand Fruit Shoot Hydro made the shift to 100% rPET bottles

and we’re proud to announce the next progression of our journey with all core bottles following suit.” Parker continued: “The kids’ drinks category is performing extremely well with double digit growth (22.3%). It is therefore an optimal time for us to bring Fruit Shoot to the forefront on shelves and in chillers, with updated bottles, packaging and a reformulated liquid. “With the transition occurring across singles and multipacks, parents will have peace of mind, both in terms of sustainability and health, when picking up Fruit Shoot for their kids to drink at home.”

new Meringue products, including Strawberry & White

YOGURT Yoplait uses blockchain technology to raise money for charity

Chocolate Meringue Shells,

Yoplait unveils Sky Brown digital collectibles

Lees of Scotland has developed new designs for its Premium Meringue range. Using striking photography to “elevate and evolve the creative identity”, the new designs offer relevant serving suggestions to consumers. The new look is the first packaging redesign in 15 years for the range.

Mevalco’s retail move Spanish food importer Mevalco, voted the FWD’s Best Small Wholesaler of the Year in 2019, has launched into the retail sector with a range that includes meats (cooking and cured), cheeses, cheese accompaniment and sweets, olives and pickles, pulses and vegetables, olive oil, vinegars, spices, sauces, and seafood. For more information email or call 0117 982 6540.



Yoplait has launched its first-ever NFTs (NonFungible Tokens) collection, in partnership with skateboarding sensation and Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Sky Brown, to raise money for the Skateistan charity. According to Wikipedia, a non-fungible token is “a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. NFTs can be used to represent easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files as unique items, and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership.” In this instance, the NFTs are digital art in the form of a Sky Brown x Yoplait avatars, which incorporate moments from Brown’s medal-winning moments at Tokyo 2020. There are 61 avatars available to purchase via the Team GB NFT website. These can be used in several ways, such as a social profile picture or digital art collections. Buyers will also be offered an exclusive opportunity to be entered into a ‘lucky dip’ to win a host of ‘money can’t buy’ prizes. A “super-excited” Sky Brown said: “Proceeds from all NFTs purchased will go to my chosen charity, Skateistan. By combining skateboarding with creative, arts-based education, Skateistan gives children the opportunity to become leaders for a better world.”


Nut mixes roll into retail Snacking brand Sun Valley is to extend its Nuts For range from January with new non-HFSS, environmentally friendly snacks, which target consumer demand for healthy, sustainable snacks. The new SKUs – Protein Pick-up and Berry Boost – are vegan-friendly and a source of plant protein. The new packs flag up nuts as a great source of minerals, such as copper. A third launch, Nuts For’s second Simply Dip’d option – Honey Cashews and Peanuts – will offer honey roasted nuts with more honey and less sugar. The new lines come in 100% plastic free, compostable packs. Visit to find out more.




Flower blossoms Flower & White, a producer of ‘better for you’ confectionery, has secured a listing in 107 Spar Scotland stores. The Flower & SUSTAINABILITY Mars bars to be carbon neutral by 2023

Mars does bit for planet Mars bars sold in the UK and Ireland will be certified as carbon neutral by 1 January 2023. Mars Wrigley says the move will make the Mars bar, which has annual sales of more than 200 million bars in the UK, the first carbon neutral chocolate bar to appear on British and Irish shelves that is produced by a top five confectionery company. The confectionery giant aims to reduce the Mars bar carbon footprint by more than 20% in the UK and Ireland by 2023 by supercharging its efforts to sustainably transform supply chain agricultural practices, including using satellite data to geomap cocoa farms, and accelerated partnerships with suppliers to produce dairy more sustainably.

In addition, the Mars bar will be trialled in fully recyclable paper packaging starting in 2022. Any emissions that cannot be eliminated will be offset by carbon removal credits based on climate solutions like reforestation and land restoration.

SUSTAINABILITY Plant-based brand to spend £17m

Alpro invests to increase production and cut energy consumption

Alpro is to invest £17m on a high-speed production facility for its Kettering-based factory, along with a state-of-art combined cooling, heat and power (trigeneration) unit and water treatment plant, which will reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and water usage across the site. The latest investment is part of a total £41m plan set to ramp up production capacity for its plant-based products destined for UK shoppers, enhance its sustainability credentials, and create new jobs locally. The new high-speed production facility is set to increase capacity to 300 million litres of soya, oat, rice and coconut drinks a year. With further planned investment, that number is set to increase to up to 400 million litres as early as 2022. Alpro has also installed a state-of-the-art trigeneration unit to generate electricity and provide both heating and cooling from the combustion of gas.

The greenhouse gas reductions and high-quality offsets used for Mars bar to go carbon neutral in 2023 are expected to be roughly equivalent to charging more than 13 billion smartphones. Mars Wrigley will work with an independent auditor to certify the Mars bar as carbon neutral and will be adhering to the PAS 2060 standard for carbon neutrality, which is widely considered to be the leading standard of carbon neutral specification. Adam Grant, Mars Wrigley UK General Manager, commented: “At Mars, we believe that actions speak louder than words and, to create a world tomorrow where our planet is healthy, we are clear that bold action must be taken today.”


Coke starts countdown to Christmas with new on-pack promo Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) kicks off its annual Coca-Cola Christmas countdown this month with the launch of a brand new on-pack promotion. Twenty-seven million festive-themed sharing packs of Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar are rolling out now, featuring the strapline ‘win a meal, give a meal’. Shoppers can scan QR codes on-pack for the chance to win e-vouchers from Love2Shop. And for every entry, Coca-Cola will donate a meal to its longterm charity partner, FareShare, a charity set up to fight hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities. The festive pack designs and promotion will run across sharing formats including large PET bottles and multipacks of cans.

White portfolio comprises five 20g Fairtrade chocolate bars, a choice of three Fairtrade Chocolate covered Meringue Bites in a 120g boxed format, five Fairtrade Chocolate covered Meringue Bites in a 75g pouch format and three variants of Meringue Kisses presented in a 100g box.

Support for more planetfriendly periods Lil-Lets has received a positive reaction to recently-launched reusable tampon applicator. Consumer trials revealed that 89% of those who initially tested the product found the reusable applicator to be simple and easy to use and 91% would recommend it to others. Lil-Lets ceased production of all plastic applicator tampons last month, reducing period plastic by over 11 tonnes each year.

Pro Green supports Quaker food poverty campaign In a new campaign called #FillABowl this winter, Quaker is donating up to half a million more breakfasts to children’s food charity Magic Breakfast, on top of the 2.9 million the brand has already pledged for the year ahead. To launch the initiative, Rapper turned campaigner Pro Green joined staff at a Magic Breakfast school to serve out porridge and continue to raise awareness of food poverty.

Pat on the head for Bestway Bestway Wholesale’s pet specialist division, Bestpets, has been named as ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ at the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Awards, for the third time. The PIF Awards is the UK’s premier event for the pet industry, and the triumph comes hot on the heels of Bestpets receiving the Pet Product Marketing Award for ‘Wholesaler of the Year’.





America’s top canned cocktails arrive in UK AB InBev has launched a new challenger to the cocktail-in-acan market, Cutwater Spirits. The all-natural range – which includes Tequila Margarita, Whisky Mule, Strawberry Margarita, Vodka Mule and Rum Mojito – is available now. Based in San Diego, Cutwater Spirits is the number one – and most awarded – RTD cocktail brand in

Off-TradeNews HIT BIGGER VAPING SALES – P44 SUSTAINABILITY Beam Suntory launches peatland restoration initiative

Whisky maker unveils £3m sustainability project

the US, growing by 145% year on year.

Dear dram One of the rarest casks of whisky to come to market in recent times, a Macallan 1991, has been sold by London-based brokerage, VCL Vintners for a record breaking price of $2.33m (£1.73m). The last re-gauge of the cask put the ABV at 51.1%, with 600 bottles estimated to be remaining inside. The previous world record for a whisky cask

Beam Suntory, the maker of Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, has launched a new Peatland Water Sanctuary initiative. The company will invest close to £3m in a large-scale series

of projects that will restore and conserve 1,300 hectares of Scottish peatlands by 2030, enough to produce the same amount of peat that Beam Suntory harvests every year in making its Scotch whiskies on an ongoing basis. Suntory and Beam Suntory will also undertake new watershed conservation projects at various locations in Scotland. The first Peatland Water Sanctuary project is due to begin near the Ardmore distillery in November 2021, with subsequent projects across other

sites in Scotland to follow in the coming years. Initial assessments for new projects are already underway on Islay. David Hunter, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Beam Suntory said: “We believe it’s our responsibility to make a positive impact on the environment in which we operate, which is why we are committing to restoring and conserving as much peat as we harvest by 2030, as well as conserving crucial watersheds across Scotland.”

sold at auction was another Macallan, which went for $572,978 in August 2021

Green gin Plymouth Gin has improved the sustainability credentials of its bottle. A new design has eliminated all single-use plastic and reduced the overall weight of the glass by 15%. Improvements include the introduction of paper labels and an updated closure from PVC to recyclable PET. The brand’s distinctive monk that sits at the bottom of the bottle – previously applied via plastic label – is now embossed directly


Green light for green brewery Innis & Gunn has been given the go-ahead to build a new brewery where low carbon brewing technologies will be researched on a two-hectare site at Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park. It will be the first major brewery to be built in Edinburgh for over 150 years. Students at Heriot-Watt’s School of Brewing and Distilling will spend time on placement in the brewery, engaged in on-the-job learning. Aside from the carbonreducing research, further collaboration between Innis & Gunn and the university is envisaged in fields such as product and packaging innovation, and new product development. The total budget for the brewery is £20m.

onto the glass.

Approachable whisky anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has released a special limitededition expression, anCnoc 2009 Vintage. Described as a “distinctive yet approachable whisky, with passion, tradition and craftsmanship distilled into every bright golden drop,” it has an RSP of £50. Only 1,320 cases are available. It is bottled in 70cl at 46% ABV, non-chilled filtered and with natural colour.



SUSTAINABILITY Beer makers plan to cut emissions

Brewers launch roadmap to net zero The UK’s brewing sector launched a roadmap to net zero carbon emissions at the Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow last month (25 October). Published by the British Beer & Pub Association, Zero Carbon Forum and Carbon Architecture, the roadmap provides guidance to the sector to help support breweries across the UK take on an ambitious pathway towards emission reduction targets, which come ahead of those set by the UK and Scottish Governments respectively.

In accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Account and Reporting Standard, the roadmap has been broken down into three ‘scopes’ for reporting purposes. Scopes one and two of the roadmap, which focus on direct and indirect emissions from operations, outlines the ambition for brewers to reach net zero by 2030. Scope three, which focuses on indirect emissions from supply chains, describes the ambition for brewers to reach by 2040.




New Smirnoff flavour Smirnoff has expanded its new flavour range by introducing Smirnoff Mango & Passionfruit Twist (70cl, 37.5% ABV). With an RSP of £16.50, it is exclusive to

SUSTAINABILITY New smaller labels are recyclable and use less ink than before

Campo Viejo unveils more sustainable bottle and label design

Campo Viejo has refreshed its visual design, opting for a more modern and contemporary approach. The brand has updated elements of its bottle design and packaging to “reflect the more expressive and colourful nature of the Spanish way of life”, and the most notable changes in bottle labelling will be visible across the entire range of red, white, rosé and cava varieties. The changes will also generate a positive impact on the environment by eliminating elements such as the netting around the Campo Viejo Gran Reserva bottles, which

will save 6,330 CO2eq/kg in CO2 emissions. Across the range, bottle labels will change from adhesive labels to recyclable FSC-certified PET paper, and a reduction in the label size and redesign of the graphic elements will use less inks and paper. All Campo Viejo bottles are also made using 68% recycled glass. Lucy Bearman, Wine Portfolio Director for Pernod Ricard UK, said: “The new visual identity maintains Campo Viejo’s bold colour pallette and modern classic appearance, whilst reflecting the premium quality of the wine.

SUSTAINABILITY New technology plays part in green milestone

Whisky industry halves greenhouse gas emissions Data tracking the Scotch Whisky industry’s Sustainability Strategy has revealed the sector has cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% since 2008. The latest data also details that almost 40% of all energy used by producers is obtained from non-fossil fuel sources, compared to 28% in 2018. Collaboration, sharing of knowledge and expertise, and harnessing innovative technologies have been key in achieving these successes. In September the Scotch Whisky Association became Scotland’s first trade body, and the UK’s first food and drink trade association, to be recognised as a Race to Zero partner. The partnership recognises the Scotch Whisky industry’s commitment to robust net zero criteria in line with globally halving emissions by 2030. As well as cutting emissions, the industry has pledged to use water responsibly; ensure by 2025 all new packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable; and play an active role in the wider conservation and restoration of Scotland’s peatland. Welcoming the advance made by the industry First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are committed to achieving net zero by 2045, and since 2008 we have decarbonised faster than any other country in the G20. “So it is fitting that producers of Scotch whisky, one of our most internationally renowned products, have taken similarly ambitious steps to halve their emissions and adopt renewable energy, and I commend the industry for leading by example and for their membership of Race to Zero.”

These are subtle, evolutionary enhancements but importantly an opportunity to make more sustainable, packaging choices.” The packaging refresh coincides with a six-week digital media campaign for the brand, running until mid-December to drive brand awareness amongst 80% of ABC1 UK wine drinkers. Campo Viejo will be back on video-on-demand, YouTube and social media with its ‘Decanta La Vida’ campaign, through which the brand wants to inspire consumers to live life intensely, passionately and more expressively.


New Scots producer seeks to shake up canned cocktail market Whitebox, a new canned cocktail company has launched in Edinburgh, following the success of its 100ml Negroni drink which has sold more than 60,000 cans in the UK. All Whitebox products are mixed to adapt to being stored in cans and have similar ABVs to drinks served in cocktail bars. The eight-strong range (RSP £3.50 to £7) includes classic cocktails such as martinis, old fashioneds and whisky highballs, as well as collaborations with some of the best cocktail bars from around the world, with each product made to its own bespoke recipe. More cocktails are due to be launched in the coming months. Retailers should email orders@ for stock enquiries.

Booker until March 2022, when it becomes more widely available. Price-marked packs (£15.99) are also available. With 87% of spirits growth coming from flavoured products, the new variant follows the introduction of Smirnoff Raspberry Crush in the summer, which achieved £6m RSV in the first 10 weeks of launch.

‘Pound-a-pint’ four-packs British cider brand Crumpton Oaks has unveiled a £4 pricemarked pack of four 568ml cans to broaden the brand’s consumer base, attract new shoppers to the category and reinforce its quality and value proposition. Email for more information or to order.

Black and white fingers Dead Man’s Fingers has launched a new Black Rum and a new White Rum. Dead Man’s Fingers White Rum (70cl, ABV 37.5%) is vibrant and full of character, with hints of vanilla and tropical fruit. It is exclusively available via Tesco/Booker until 1 January. In contrast, Dead Man’s Fingers Black Rum (70cl, ABV 40%), a naval style rum bottled at 40% ABV, offers rich notes of molasses and dark, runny caramel. It is available to all channels now.

Captain Morgan broadens a-peel with Sliced Apple Diageo’s flavoured rum brand, Captain Morgan, has launched a new Sliced Apple variant. The 25% ABV spirit drink is rolling out to Spar, Nisa and Bestway in a 70cl bottle format (RSP £16.50) during November, with wider availability in the spring. The launch will be supported with over £1m of marketing investment in its first year. The new product features a stand-out contemporary bottle design and offers “a versatile liquid with bold notes of apple”.



Inside Business

SLR Awards 2021

SHAMLY TAKES POLE POSITION AT SLR AWARDS Premier Racetrack’s Shamly Sud was the star of the show at the SLR Awards, claiming the title of Scottish Local Retailer of the Year along with a further four gongs. The virtual event also saw Spar Scotland named as Symbol Group of the Year. HEADLINE SPONSOR

Shamly Sud is our Scottish Local Retailer of the Year.



SLR Awards 2021


he 2021 SLR Awards, held virtually on 27 October, saw Shamly Sud crowned as Scottish Local Retailer of the Year. The Glasgow-based retailer also collected the Forecourt of the Year, Vaping & Nicotine Replacement Retailer of the Year and #ThinkSmart Innovation Awards. Additionally, her Premier Racetrack Crowwood store was named SLR New Store of the Year. Shamly, who runs the Premier Racetrack chain of stores with her family, has drawn inspiration from study tours across the globe to create some of the most immersive shopping experiences it’s possible to find in Scotland. From liquid nitrogen ice cream to Havana cigars, from 60+ flavours of slush to fully chilled beer caves, Premier Racetrack simply elevates local retailing to a new level. “We often overuse phrases like groundbreaking but one visit to any of Shamly’s stores is all you need to see that she and her family have torn up the rulebook and written a new one,” said the judges. “Visiting one of her stores is a genuine experience. They are unique in the UK. “Premier Racetrack is a truly outstanding business and we are proud to have Shamly as our SLR Local Retailer of the Year 2021.”

CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK Falkirk retailer Anand Cheema, who only bought his first store in 2020, was named SLR Young Retailer of the Year. As the son of Scottish Grocers Federation Chief Executive Pete Cheema, a former successful multi-site retailer himself, Anand has been able to call on the support and experience of his family, but has also had the additional pressure of being in the spotlight to deal with in his first year as a retailer. His Spar Falkirk store, described by the judges as “very, very pretty,” also collected the SLR Refit of the Year award. “The quality of thought that has gone into designing the store is exceptional,” the judges

said. “A large food-to-go island, a hot food counter and a full range across every important category means Spar Falkirk can cater for every requirement.”

GONGS FOR GREENS The evening proved fruitful for former SLR Retailer of the Year Harris Aslam. His Nisa Greens of Ellon store claimed two titles: Scottish Brands Retailer of the Year and Off-Trade Retailer of the Year. The judges noted that “there are locally, regionally and nationally sourced Scottish products available to the store’s customers in virtually every product category from gins and beers to confectionery, fresh meat, fresh produce and chilled”. They also said: “His off-trade section is similarly inspirational, offering something for everyone, again including many locally produced beers, gins and more.”

CHRIS CLAIMS TWO Ayrshire retailer Chris McCallum also claimed two awards. Chris was named both Fresh & Chilled Retailer of the Year and Sustainability Retailer of the Year. His Spar Coylton store was hailed by the judges for its “next generation fresh and chilled offer and its admirable commitment to driving the vital sustainability agenda”. Spar Coylton was fully refitted recently, with sustainability front of mind. This meant installing energy efficient refrigeration and lighting throughout, and adding reflective panels to the front door to help manage in-store temperatures. Additionally, the store has committed a huge amount of space to the fresh produce and chilled categories, perfectly reflecting the growing demand for these products in convenience retailing. The importance of fresh and chilled in convenience retailing was underscored by a second category award, with Scotmid Barnton named Fresh & Chilled Retailer of the Year for a convenience multiple operator. An outstanding store in every sense, Scotmid Barnton is one of Scotmid’s newest stores and the enormous space dedicated to the fresh produce and chilled categories perfectly reflects the growing demand in convenience retailing.


Anand Cheema, Young Retailer of the Year.

Inside Business

A pair of awards also went to Renfrew retailer Saleem Sadiq, named as Soft Drinks Retailer of the Year, while his Spar Renfrew store claimed the Team of the Year Award. The judges agreed that “Spar Renfrew’s soft drinks offer is simply about as good as it gets in convenience. A huge range across all key subcategories, a big selection of larger format packs and multipacks to cater for the current trend for

Daniel Johnson MSP was recognised for his groundbreaking Protection of Shopworkers Act.

get-togethers and all the latest new products, all presented beautifully.” The store also collected the Team of the Year category, in recognition of the staff response when Saleem was bedridden with Covid. The team swung into action and kept the store running efficiently, despite the many challenges of lockdown, and without Saleem able to help and guide them.

WHAT SHOPPERS WANT Premier Birnam Stores was named Food-to-go Retailer of the Year, with the store hailed by the judges for the “absolutely fantastic food-to-go offer available in the store, bang in line with current shopper trends”. The food-to-go section of the store has been fully modernised and expanded and offers an enormous range of options, perfect for busy shoppers to grab and go at any time of the day. The judges noted that “Premier Birnam has exactly the type of offer that today’s shoppers are looking for: great quality, great value pricing and a menu that offers something for shoppers in every key day part, be that breakfast, lunch or even evening meal.”

DELIVERING EXCELLENCE While many stores have adopted home delivery over the last 18 months, Dundee retailer Umayr Asif has taken the service to a level that the SLR judges hadn’t seen before, anywhere in the UK. Umayr took the Home Delivery Retailer of the Year title for his outstanding Premier News Food & Wine Nethergate store, lauded for the “almost incredible scale and complexity of its class-leading home delivery business”. Using Snappy Shopper, Umayr and his team have built an enormous home delivery operation on top of the in-store business. He now runs nine delivery vehicles and completes many hundreds of deliveries every week. SLR Publishing Director Antony Begley commented: “It’s fair to say that the judges NOVEMBER 2021 | SLR


Inside Business

SLR Awards 2021

unanimously agreed that Umayr and his team are doing something truly special.”

TURRIFF TRIPLE Another retailer doing something special is Ian Smith, who was named Newstrade Retailer of the Year for the third consecutive year. His Premier Turriff store offers a full range of local, regional and national newspapers as well as an enormous selection of magazines running to many hundreds of individual titles. Ian manages the category closely and regularly updates his range to meet current demands. He also operates a vibrant Home News Delivery service. The judges said: “Premier Turriff shows what is possible when you commit to the category and truly understand your customers.”

LAW MAKER AND LIFE SAVER Two individuals who made vastly different contributions to the convenience retailing industry over the past year were also awarded. Daniel Johnson MSP was recognised for bringing a new law into force in Scotland that gives local retailers far greater protection from the abuse and violence that they face daily. Receiving the Special Recognition Award, Johnson said local retailers were “genuine key workers who play a fundamental role at the heart

It was the company’s efforts over the last year specifically that were recognised at the ceremony, and Antony Begley praised its performance as “nothing short of remarkable”. Also remarkable, Nisa Retail’s ‘Make A Difference Locally’ (MADL) charity programme was a well-deserved winner of the SLR Symbol Group Community Initiative of the Year. To date, more than £13m has been distributed to good causes throughout the UK through MADL, with more than 15,500 individual

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS With stores all over Scotland stepping up to do their bit during the pandemic, the Community Retailer of the Year Award proved a tough category for the judges. So tough in fact, that three stores were named as joint winners. Premier Linktown Local, Premier Watson’s Grocer and Day Today Stenhousemuir shared the award, with all three stores adjudged to have been true community heroes over the last 18 months. Faraz Iqbal’s Premier store has long been a hub of community activity in the Kirkcaldy area of Linktown. During lockdown he also introduced a home delivery service to make sure that vulnerable and elderly customers as well as those shielding and self-isolating could still get what needed. As the only store serving Moniaive, Graham Watson’s shop has always been a vital resource for the local community, but during the pandemic the residents of the village in Dumfries and Galloway came to rely on it more than ever. When the supermarkets began running out of key products at the start of lockdown, Graham sourced essentials in bulk from as far away as Australia then spent many long nights weighing and bagging products in preparation for customers. He, too, introduced home delivery for the vulnerable and elderly. Asiyah and Jawad Javed’s monumental efforts during the pandemic have been an inspiration to all, not just in the Stenhousemuir area but throughout Scotland and across the globe. One of the many reasons they won was their commitment at the start of lockdown to hand out free care packages, including hand wash, to anyone who wanted it in their area. This was at the time when many less scrupulous retailers were hiking the price of handwash to exploit a desperate situation. The Javeds also collected the Confectionery Retailer of the Year Award. 30


Spar Renfrew staff stepped up to take the Team of the Year Award.

of every community in Scotland” and “deserve more protection under the law, particularly after their efforts and achievements during the pandemic”. Meanwhile, Berwickshire shopworker Angela Lindsay was hailed as the Unsung Hero of the Year. Angie’s quick thinking and kind heart played a life-saving role when one of her customers suffered a stroke in the Blackadder Mini Market in Greenlaw, Duns. When store regular David Wilson started slurring his words, Angie followed him home where she found him in extreme distress. She quickly contacted members of his family and organised an ambulance. Her quick thinking helped ensure David made a great recovery. The judges said: “This is true heroism and is a wonderful and uplifting example of that is so special about this unique industry.”

WORLD-CLASS BUSINESS For the first time, this year’s ceremony included three symbol group awards and it was Spar Scotland that claimed the coveted Symbol Group of the Year crown. Transformed in the last three years by CEO Colin McLean and his management team, Spar Scotland was hailed by the judging panel as “a very fine example of a Scottish world-class business”.

donations made by Nisa retailers. In 2020 alone, more than £1.25m was generated and shared, a 44% increase on the previous year. Helen Lyons commented: “Making A Difference Locally has always been, and remains, a unique fundraising model and to have donated more than £13m to good causes is simply phenomenal.”

TECH TITAN The final symbol award went to United Wholesale Scotland (UWS), named SLR Symbol Innovation of the Year winner, recognised for its impressive commitment to leveraging the power of technological innovation to drive improvements in its business. Among the initiatives that helped secure UWS the award was the launch of a brand new Home Delivery service at the start of lockdown in 2020. UWS also implemented a raft of other technological innovations – including a new ‘pay on your phone’ app – to help streamline the business and ensure the safety of its customers. Congratulating all of the evening’s winners, Antony Begley concluded: “The SLR Awards 2021 is really a celebration of the entire sector. Every local retailer in Scotland deserves enormous praise and recognition for the role they have played over the last 18 months. Scotland needed you – and you delivered.”

SLR Awards 2021

Inside Business





Q Spar Renfrew


Q Shamly Sud, Premier RaceTrack






Q Premier RaceTrack Autoport

Q Day Today Stenhousemuir HIGHLY COMMENDED


Q Premier Birnam Stores HIGHLY COMMENDED


Q Spar Coylton Q Scotmid Barnton (convenience multiple) HIGHLY COMMENDED



Q Nisa Greens of Ellon HIGHLY COMMENDED


Q Nisa Greens of Ellon

Q Spar Coylton



Q Spar Falkirk

Q Premier RaceTrack Autoport



Q Day Today Stenhousemuir Q Premier Linktown Local Q Premier Watson’s Grocer

Q Spar Renfrew

The judges were unable to separate these outstanding stores and therefore named all three as joint winners. FORECOURT RETAILER OF THE YEAR

Q Premier RaceTrack Autoport


Q Angela Lindsay, Premier Blackadder Mini Market & Deli SPECIAL RECOGNITION





Q Anand Cheema, Spar Falkirk Symbol group awards

Q Premier News Food & Wine Nethergate




Q Premier RaceTrack Crowwood

Q Nisa Retail



Q Scotmid Bo’ness

Q Spar Scotland



Q Spar Falkirk



Q Spar Coylton

Q United Wholesale Scotland SYMBOL GROUP OF THE YEAR

Q Spar Scotland



Scottish Grocers’ Federation

Be part of our

AWARD WINNG TEAM S y m b ol G r oup of th e Ye a r


To find out more and join our SPAR Family today visit SparScotlandOfficial



CJ Lang & Son Limited

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

Inside Business

Nick Williams, Trading Controller, Tayto | 2 Minutes

NICK WILLIAMS As Golden Wonder looks ahead to celebrating its 75th birthday next year, we talk to Scotland’s Trading Controller Nick Williams to see how the category is looking ahead of this special birthday.

GOLDEN WONDER HAS A BIG BIRTHDAY, THEN? Absolutely. Next year Golden Wonder will be celebrating 75 years of having Snacking Sorted. Golden Wonder has been a Scottish favourite since it all started in Edinburgh in 1947.

IT ALL STARTED IN SCOTLAND? Yes, indeed it did. William Alexander, a local Stockbridge baker, started frying sliced potatoes in the afternoon after he’d finished baking for the day. He used ‘Golden Wonder’ potatoes – people loved them – and so Golden Wonder was born! Although there have been many changes since then, the brand is still just as loved today – currently the No.2 ‘crisps and snacks’ brand with a stunning 96% brand awareness [Norstat, 2020] and growing faster than the market at +12.1% [IRI, Sep, 2021]. The offering now consists of nine punchy flavours of crisps as well as a wide range of great tasting snacks, including Ringos, Transform-A-Snack, Saucers and Tangy Toms.

WHAT ARE THE LATEST CATEGORY TRENDS? £1 PMP sharing snacks have been a major driver of growth over the 18 months – growing at an impressive 25.9% YoY [IRI, Sep, 2021]. With sales in sharing bags skyrocketing, big bag formats are a must-stock for independent retailers!

ANY UPCOMING NPD OR CAMPAIGNS? Golden Wonder has met recent PMP and sharing demands by moving core lines into bigger formats. We recently launched £1 Spicy Bikers – taking our best-selling Fun Snacks into sharing. And also added new flavours to other

Old bakery

successful brands – Ringos Sour Cream & Onion (to tap into the double-digit growth of this flavour) and our ever-popular Cheese & Onion Transform-A-Snack. The brand is now launching a new range of £1 PMP sharing crisps that offer even more: more premium flavours, more sales and more profits. The three unique flavours – Mature Cheddar & Spring Onion, Chargrilled Steak and Crispy Smoked Bacon – were consumers’ preferred flavours and have been specially crafted to deliver Golden Wonder’s legendary taste that is perfect to share. Since launching our first Cheese & Onion crisps (in a green bag) almost 60 years ago, Golden Wonder has been famous for fully-flavoured crisps. These latest flavours are exclusively available in £1 PMP packs and are the perfect way to upgrade any sharing occasion. The launch will be supported with a digital campaign, a national Share & Win competition and extensive trade marketing support.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR YOUR BIG YEAR? 2022 will be our 75th year as a British snacking favourite. Golden Wonder has achieved a number of notable ‘firsts’ such as being inventors of Ready Salted and the launch of Cheese & Onion way back in 1962. We have some exciting plans to celebrate this milestone that will continue to excite and engage our loyal consumers – and drive sales and profits for our ever-supportive independent retailers. Watch this space…! Every product is Golden Wonderfully flavoured ‘with more punch per crunch!’ which is perfect for our Scottish consumers. Together… Scottish independent retailers and Golden Wonder can have snacking sorted!

FACTFILE My team and I work very closely with Scottish independent retailers to support them by delivering a tailored offering which focuses on proven Scottish best-sellers and is supported by a promotional plan executed through all the major wholesalers with engaging consumer campaigns. By working together, we can successfully offer a wide range of affordable Golden Wonder favourites for customers - while delivering strong margins for retailers.




Sterling Rolling 30g 3-in-1 Pouch

Nordic Spirit Mint Extra Strong

JTI Sales Team

Ross Hennessy, Sales Vice President at JTI UK We are thrilled to have received these three accolades – most importantly because they have been voted for by our valued customers. Our brands are going from strength to strength in retail, with Sterling the UK’s leading value RYO brand* and Nordic Spirit the UK’s no.1 nicotine pouch in traditional retail**. Our passionate sales team work tirelessly to support retailers across the country, so it’s rewarding to see these efforts culminate with award wins.”

Stock up on JTI’s award-winning products now!

Retailers should visit or speak to their local JTI Sales Representative for more information. *IRi Market Place, Volume Share, Total RYO/MYO, Total UK, Jun 2021 **IRi Market Place, Volume Share, Nicotine Pouch Category, Total UK, YTD Jun-21. For more information or to verify comparison contact Nordic Spirit on Facebook or Instagram: @nordicspirit_uk or using our details at



YEAR 2021


SLR Product Of The Year Awards is back for 2021, celebrating the vital contribution that product innovation makes to a successful convenience industry.


nnovation is critical the success of all industries and none more so perhaps than the fast-paced world of convenience retail, where UK sector sales totalled a huge £43.2bn in 2021 according to the latest ACS Local Shop report. In a year of continued uncertainty, the launch of innovative new products from both multinational brands and smaller independent producers has not only served as a tangible statement of confidence in the market and consumer spending power, but also – for the tens of thousands of retailers who added them to their inventories – new products have helped to add excitement to their offers and create numerous valuable customer engagement opportunities. That’s why as 2021 draws to a close, SLR is once again launching its Product Of The Year Awards. Now in their second year, the Awards are designed to celebrate the hero new products that have had such a positive impact on stores and

sales and crucially, to reward the suppliers who invested in bringing them to market. Winners of the SLR Products of The Year New Product Award 2020 included Tennent’s Zero in the Beer category, McVitie’s VIB range for Biscuits and of course Cadbury Orange Twirl in Chocolate. And with a treasure-trove of inspiring new products launched across the convenience industry in 2021, this year’s winners are sure to be equally stellar. One retailer who consistently strives to make the most of the industry’s flow of innovative NPD – and who will no doubt be casting her vote, is Donna Morgan, of Brownlies of Biggar, near Edinburgh. “The importance of innovative new products simply can’t be overstated in our fast-paced industry where staying still is just not an option,” she says. “High quality, interesting new products from well-known and trusted brands really can and do have a tangible impact on footfall and sales.

“People are always keen to try the latest new launch from a big-name brand, particularly in impulse categories such as confectionery, soft drinks and snacks, especially at the moment when affordable, interesting new product development can offer people a bit of muchneeded excitement and indulgence. “At Brownlies we always strive to be the first with new products which gives us a real boost over any local competition – customers know they can come to us and get hold of the very latest NPD and trends. “I’m really looking forward to the launch of the SLR Product Of The Year Awards and recognising the brands that have helped to make such a positive difference to our offer in these continued challenging times,” she added. To vote for the new products that helped to enliven your store in 2021 you won’t want to miss the December issue of SLR and special editions of The Week In Retail, where our shortlist of outstanding new products will be revealed.

PICKING THE WINNERS An exclusive shortlist, compiled by SLR’s team of experts and featuring 2021’s most outstanding NPD, will be published in SLR’s December issue and in The Week In Retail. All local retailers will then be able to choose their favourites from the list and tell us about the valuable contribution that these innovative products have made to footfall, sales and customer engagement. Once all the votes have been cast and counted, the overall winners will be rewarded with their name in lights as part of a unique supplement in the February issue of SLR and a special edition of The Week In Retail. All winning and shortlisted products will also be able to showcase the SLR Product of The Year Awards 2021 Winner or Shortlisted logo on pack and on marketing material.




Product News & Media Watch

Boursin Plant-Based Garlic & Herbs Groupe Bel Boursin first-ever plant-based alternative to cheese, is presented in a convenient, easy to use, and resealable 130g format. Inspired by the recipe of the original Boursin, the Vegan Certified new launch offers a combination of garlic, parsley and chives in a plant-based recipe made from sunflower oil. It launches exclusively at Sainsbury’s in December and will be available to retailers nationwide from February 2022 in cases of six, RSP £3.

Tilda Katsu Curry Rice Ebro Foods Rice brand Tilda is tapping into the growth of shoppers experimenting with modern Asian cuisine at home with new limited-edition Katsu Curry rice. It is available now, with an RSP of £1.59 per pouch. Made with jasmine rice, the ready-to-heat recipe features a blend of aromatic curry spices including cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and fenugreek, combined with carrots, tamarind and coconut cream for a mild, slightly sweet taste.

Sterling Essential 50g JTI JTI has launched a new 50g format for its Sterling Essential Rolling Tobacco, available now with an RSP of £21.20. Like the 30g format, it is a less-for-less alternative, with no filters and papers, providing existing adult smokers the freedom to purchase their preferred tobacco accessories. It also comes in a paper insert pouch packaging which contains less aluminium, and the blend generates less leaf waste compared to other RYO brands due to its whole leaf blend.



Rustlers meats demand for plant-based products Rustlers has unveiled a plant-based “meat-mimicking” burger to tap into growing demand from shoppers following flexitarian and meat-reducing diets. Made with pea protein, the ‘Meatless Maverick’ seeks to mimic Rustlers’ bestselling SKU, the Quarter Pounder, complete with the brand’s signature sauce. It is available now from Booker in cases of four, with an RSP of £2. Research shows the £648.4m meat-free category is in over 20% growth, with 27% of consumers who have never purchased a free from/alternative product planning to. “The meat-free movement has rapidly accelerated growth of the category, which is being driven by flexitarians as consumers seek more balance in their diets,” said Adrian Lawlor, Chief Marketing Officer of Kepak Group. “It’s important for a brand like Rustlers which has built its success on meeting clear consumer needs to recognise this trend and provide solutions to meet it.”

Merry & Bright Pun Boxes Bonds of London Part of Bond’s Christmas range, the Merry & Bright pun box is filled with festive treats like Christmas candy poles and Christmas sparkling stars – ideal for token gifting. Also new is the Happy Hour pun box, offering a mix of cocktail- and fizzinspired flavoured gummies. Flavours include Mojito, Rhubarb Gin and Classic Fizz. To stock the range, email sales@ or call 01623 446 001.

With the launch, Rustlers has saught to overcome the most prominent barriers to trial for the plant-based category – price (33%) and taste (31%). “There is a perception that products within the meat free category require long cooking times with not much in the way of tasty, quick and treat options,” added Lawlor. “Meatless Maverick will offer a meat-free alternative to Rustlers whilst bringing the taste, convenience and quality credentials associated with the brand to moderate meat reducers, committed meat reducers and moderate vegetarians.” Lawlor also recognised price as a crucial factor in any shopper’s purchase decision: “Meat mimicking products tend to carry a price premium vs the equivalent meat version, which acts as a deterrent. The Meatless Maverick burger will be available at the same accessible price point as our meat products, appealing to the 52% of people who find affordability a challenge when committing to a plant based lifestyle.”

Seabrook Loaded Bites Calbee Following last year’s launch of restaurant-inspired Loaded Fries, its first snacking product under the Seabrook brand, Calbee has unveiled new Loaded Bites, a “modern, on-trend twist to everyday snacks”. Loaded Bites is available in two flavours – BBQ Beef and Sour Cream & Onion – in cases of 8x6x16g multipacks, cases of 11x55g £1PMPs and 8x90g sharing bags. All have a £1 RSP.

Love Hearts Candy Sticks Swizzels Swizzels has transformed its Love Hearts sweets into a brand-new range of candy sticks (RSP 35p), available now in 36-count shelf ready packs. Each pack includes a temporary tattoo featuring a positive and ‘feel good’ message, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to sharing the love with consumers. Twenty different tattoo designs have been created for customers to collect. The sweets are free from artificial colours.

Product News & Media Watch Flora Plant B+tter Spreadable Upfield

Noochy Poochy McKinna Plant Labs

This new spreadable butter alternative is fully plant-based, made with 100% natural ingredients, and contains no artificial colours or flavours. It has 70% lower carbon footprint than dairy butter, and the tub, lid and foil are all recyclable. The product also has transparent carbon footprint labelling for sustainable shoppers and has been approved by the UK Vegan Society. It is available now with an RSP of £3.25.

Red Bull Cactus Fruit Red Bull

Noochy Poochy is a 100% vegan complete dog food, with a 28% protein content. This is not only the highest of any vegetarian dog food on the UK market but also higher than most meat-based dog foods. The brand’s name comes from its use of nutritional yeast, known as ‘nooch’, which gives the food a cheesy flavour. It is available from specialist wholesaler Tree of Life. Visit noochypoochy. com for more.

Street Food Carnival Kitchen

Red Bull’s latest Summer Edition, which first launched in March 2021, has been made a permanent SKU. It is available from this month in both plain and £1.35 price-marked 250ml cans. The variant delivers the same functional benefits of Red Bull Energy Drink, along with a burst of berry flavour that blooms into an exotic fruit and violet flower taste. Cactus Fruit is now the second-bestselling Edition behind the Red Edition.

New brand Carnival Kitchen has launched, with a street food-inspired range that includes Philly Steak & Cheese Pie, Tandoori Chicken Pie, Jerk Chicken Flatbread, Red Thai Pork Flatbread, Piri Piri Chicken Bites, Cheese & Jalapeño Bites. All RSP at £2.50. The products have been made specifically to be eaten hot or cold and are ideal when heated up. They can be consumed at home and on the go. Visit carnivalkitchen. for more information.


A lot of Poppy Cooks Florette has teamed up with social media personality Poppy O’Toole – better known as Poppy Cooks – for a six-week campaign that runs throughout November into December. It includes recipes and videos created by O’Toole using Florette, competitions and exclusive content, and seeks to inspire shoppers to make healthier food.

Check those nuts KP Snacks has launched a new campaign in partnership with health charity Movember to get more people talking about testicular cancer. Winner of season one of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, The Vivienne, will act as KP’s campaign ambassador, featuring in video content to encourage those with testicles to check their nuts.

Bisto back Bisto is back on TV with its first new advert in six years, as part of a £4m campaign that champions the brand’s premium Bisto Best range. Running until next March, the ad takes viewers on a journey through the lifetime of two best friends, sharing moments of joy during their mealtimes, all topped off with lashings of gravy.

Oats on fire Ginsters Bakes Samworth Brothers Ginsters has launched a new Bakes range (117g, RSP £1), featuring flavours inspired by American and North African fusion cuisine. The four-strong range includes: Cajun Spiced Chicken Bake, Philly Cheese Steak Bake, Mac & Cheese Bake and Harissa Spiced Chicken Bake. The range has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and is available in Booker now; Nisa, Spar and Bestway will stock it from next year.

Hames Bronze Chocolate and Truffle Boxes Hames Chocolates A 10-strong range features a variety of milk, white and dark chocolates and truffles, as well as Gin & Tonic, Salted Caramel and Blood Orange variants. The nine-piece boxes have an RSP of £10. The chocolates are made from thickly moulded, rich chocolate and contain cocoa that supports sustainable farming, and the milk chocolate truffles are made with British milk. Visit www. hameschocolates. to order.

Quaker Oats has launched ‘The Fire Inside’, a new multi-million-pound campaign intended to amplify the brand’s message that “wholesome nutrition can feed more than just consumers’ bellies”. The campaign runs until the end of November across TV, digital, social and in-store. It also sees Quaker build on over 10 years’ support for charity Magic Breakfast.

Cheesy advert Chicago Town has invested £2.5m in a new multimedia campaign that sees the frozen pizza brand back on TV, supported with social, digital and out-of-home activity, including bus stop wraps and a giant special-build billboard to promote the brand’s Loaded Cheese, Cheesy Stuffed Crust Takeaway pizzas. The campaign runs until the end of November.

For all the latest product news, head to





FUEL FOR THOUGHT: THE NEW FORECOURTS Next-generation forecourts are meeting new consumer need states, as JET’s latest store development demonstrates.


onsumer needs and behaviours have always been subject to change, but with the pandemic having accelerated this state of flux, the need for forecourt operators to future-proof their businesses with cutting-edge, quality products and services alongside first-class customer experiences has never been so

acute. For JET Retail, that need has been embodied by its newly re-opened flagship site – JET’s biggest transformation to date – close to the Phillips 66 Limited Humber Refinery in South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire. Following a £3m investment, which included a complete knock down and re-build, the state-of-the-art site now features a host of new facilities and improved access to better and more safely meet the changing needs of both its HGV and car-driving customers. Roads to reach the site have been remodelled to make entering and exiting easier for car and HGV drivers alike, with a separate HGV driver entrance offering simpler access. On-site, an array of new facilities have been designed to improve the customer experience, including a larger HGV loading area, new HGV and retail forecourt technology and a larger customer parking area. The site also offers new pumps, a full range of all JET branded fuels, new AdBlue facilities and, thanks to a new partnership between Jet Retail, Spar and James Hall & Co, a new Spar-branded retail store. In line with evolving market trends and the growing consumer appetite for convenience on the go, the new store features a broad mix of chilled produce as well as fresh bakery options and tinned and packaged grocery.

According to Lumina Intelligence’s UK Forecourt Market Report 2021, just over a quarter of forecourt shoppers in 2021 were on a planned topup mission, with bakery (45%), chilled foods (44%), fresh fruit and veg (35%) and tinned or packaged grocery (32%), the most popular categories purchased. The store also features an upweighted food-to-go offer, including an array of freshly prepared hot and cold options via Spar’s Daily Deli concept plus Rollover Hot Dogs, in a bid to capture a larger slice of the key breakfast and lunchtime opportunity. Customers can also select from a range of hot and cold drinks to go including items from Seattle’s Best Coffee and Polar Krush. Commenting on the new site, JET Retail UK director Renee Semiz said: “This site has been future-proofed to meet the changing needs of our customers. “Every aspect of this site and the customer experience has been meticulously considered to produce a facility we can all be immensely proud of. We are a customer-focused business committed to getting our drivers back on the road quickly and safely and this site is equipped to do exactly that.” JET Retail UK’s outlay comes at a time of continued investment by the UK’s independent forecourt sector. According to the Association of Convenience Store’s Forecourt Report 2021, independent forecourts spent around £16,000 on average per store in the past year – far more than their convenience store-only counterparts, although less than the previous year.



Q 8,384 – Fuel forecourt sites there are in the UK Q 7,395 – Forecourt sites with shops Q £4.7bn – The total value of forecourt shop sales Q 88,000 – Jobs the UK Forecourt sector provides


16% – Pay at pump 10% – LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) 5% – Ad Blue 5% – Red Diesel 4% – Hydrogen Refuelling Station 2% – Electric Vehicle Charging Points

Source: ACS/Lumina 2020/2021 Source: ACS Forecourt Report 2021




Wines and Spirits

GET READY FOR THE BIG PARTY After a restricted and low-key Christmas last year, shoppers are expected to prepare for bigger and better in-home celebrations this time around, creating a big sales opportunity in the wines and spirits market.




ollowing the hasty curtailment of Christmas celebrations in 2020, Christmas 2021 is all set to be a huge occasion, and possibly the biggest sales season yet for the take-home drinks industry. The ongoing pandemic has brought about a huge shift in purchasing patterns and consumer behaviour in the wines and spirits categories, and celebrating and entertaining at home is likely to remain high on the agenda as we move into the Christmas period. Here’s SLR’s take on some of the key trends to get behind in the category in order to take full advantage of the big sales opportunities.


Wines and Spirits




Last year, premium drinks grew by 27.4% in value in the off-trade, says Diageo. Hannah Dawson, Head of Category Development, Off-Trade, says: “As consumers still look to create memorable experiences at home, it remains important for retailers to help them do this by ensuring a good stock of premium drinks brands. Retailers may want to consider how to respond to the rising demand for the at-home cocktail occasion, for example.” She continues: “Last year, gin drove the biggest growth in spirits with flavoured variants making up 45.8% of total value share, therefore, offering the right choice through range is important to driving sales this Christmas.” Retailers should also consider the importance of premium spirits as Christmas gifts, notes Dawson. “At Christmas, malts and whiskies prove popular as they make great gifts for family and friends,” she adds. “Therefore, retailers would benefit from stocking whiskies at various price points.”

The lockdowns of 2020 led to a record year for sales of wine in the take-home sector, totalling £1.8bn, according to Accolade Wines. Tom Smith, Marketing Director – Europe, says: “With many of us having to change our Christmas plans to the reintroduction of lockdown restrictions, both food and drink categories benefitted from home-centric celebrations. “This year looks to be more promising and bigger than ever. With many feeling like they ‘missed out’ last year, we expect there to be an increase in smaller, everyday celebrations in the run-up to the big day, with wine and sparkling playing a key role. “What is clear is that brands remain important and are key to attracting people to the category, offering familiarity and trust. Christmas Day will see a greater emphasis on celebrating and treating. For some, that means trading up to premium options, whilst for others, it may be an extra bottle of their everyday favourite, so it’s important to remember tiering and pushing big brands alongside premium options.” Hardys was the number one Christmas wine in 2020 and is now worth £173m, according to the company. This festive season, Hardys will continue to capitalise on its Certainty campaign both in-store and through its marketing and social campaigns, highlighting the reputation of the brand based on more than 165 years of wine making and over 9,000 global awards.

Martin Attock, Vice President, Commercial Development at CCEP GB, says: “We know many people are planning a bigger Christmas this year. While many will embrace the return of the hospitality sector this Christmas, many at-home habits have been formed over the last 18 months which suggests more social occasions will take place in the home. This presents retailers with an opportunity to drive sales of mixers like Schweppes, the no.1 mixer brand in retail, by tapping into occasions like parties, nights at home with family and friends and also gifting.”


XMAS TREND 4 – LOW/NO ALCOHOL Tom Smith, Marketing Director – Europe, at Accolade Wines predicts: “We believe there will be more of a focus on moderation. As a result, we expect the importance of no/low alcohol products to increase around Christmas, with sales projected to rise 31% by 2024.” Within the premium spirits category, alcohol-free variants are now a key trend, according to Hannah Dawson, Head of Category Development, Off-Trade, at Diageo. She comments: “Earlier this year we were proud to tap into the popular gin flavour profile and launch the new Gordon’s 0.0% and Tanqueray 0.0%. Crafted using the same distinct blend of quality botanicals available in Gordon’s London Dry Gin and Tanqueray London Dry Gin, we wanted both innovations to show that you don’t have to compromise on taste or experience if you choose not to consume alcohol. “Since entering the market, Gordon’s 0.0% experienced a huge surge in demand and quickly became the top selling alcohol-free spirit in the off-trade within four weeks (Nielsen Scantrack).”



Sustainability is going to continue to be a key issue for consumers across all categories this Christmas, and the Scotch Whisky industry revealed the progress achieved within its ambitious Sustainability Strategy as the COP26 event got underway in Glasgow. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) revealed the sector has cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% since 2008, while the latest data also details that 39% of all energy used by producers is obtained from non-fossil fuel sources, compared to 28% in 2018. Energy efficiency in distilleries improved by 13% since 2008 against a 2020 target of 7.6%. Collaboration, sharing of knowledge and expertise, and harnessing innovative technologies have been key in achieving these successes, according to the SWA. SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts said: “These are very encouraging figures to release as the Scotch Whisky industry continues on its journey to net zero. We still clearly have progress to make, but we are determined to reach our 2040 net zero target across the whole industry, not least as the future of one of Scotland’s most historic and successful industries depends on it, as do the people we employ and the communities in which we are based.” In September the SWA become Scotland’s first trade association, and the UK’s first food and drink trade association, to be recognised as a Race to Zero partner. As well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the industry has pledged to use water responsibly, ensure by 2025 all new packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and play an active role in the wider conservation and restoration of Scotland’s peatland.


No. 1 Mixer brand in convenience.*

You’ve got the Christmas spirit... We’ve got the tonic.

On the lead up to Christmas, Schweppes Mixer sales in convenience go up by around 50%, so stay stocked up!!**

© 2021 European Refreshments UC. SCHWEPPES is a registered trade mark of European Refreshments UC.

To find out more email, call 0808 1 000 000 or visit to request festive Schweppes POS.

Source: Nielsen Total Impulse Value MAT w/2 19.06.21* Nielsen Value Symbols and Indies 2 weeks to Christmas 2018 = 50%; 2019 = 60%; 2020 = 44%**



Vaping & Nicotine Pouches

t’s an unfortunate fact of life that now and again not everything lives up to our expectations. For all the initial hype and hysteria, things occasionally fall just that little bit short of what was promised: That ‘cutting edge’ coffee machine that was supposed to froth up your footfall, the season finale of Game of Thrones, cronuts. The same could be said for vaping, which at the start of 2020 was pumped and primed for a meteoric rise in sales following the demise of menthol cigarettes. The reality for many retailers however, has been rather less explosive – more hot flush than big bang. However, given the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, that’s perhaps hardly surprising (specialist vape stores were closed for large parts of 2020, while many locked-down smokers parked plans to quit with the help of vape products – meaning fewer new entrants to the market. But, with a current estimated value of around £1.2bn in the UK, that’s certainly not to say that vape doesn’t remain a crucial category for stores looking to boost sales and loyalty – and nor that it can’t achieve its long-promised glory. In-fact for those convenience retailers who have invested in the category despite the recent challenging times, vape has been rather victorious. According to data from Mintel’s Smoking Cessation and E-cigarettes UK 2021 report, vaping rates have increased since the start of the pandemic, “likely for the same reasons that smoking has increased e.g., boredom and stress”. 44



The hotly anticipated boom in UK vape sales might not have materialised just yet – but vape can still deliver a hit for convenience retail. BY GAELLE WALKER

With more time at home to trial, existing vapers have also been busy experimenting with different nicotine levels and flavours, meaning that retailers offering a wide range of innovative products and choices have reaped rewards – especially those who also offer an online ordering and delivery service. And while rates of innovation have slowed from the dizzy heights seen in 2019, again largely due to the Covid-19 uncertainty, that’s certainly not to say it’s dried up. In-line with a growth in the disposables market, the start of the year saw vape brand Dinner Lady launch a new £3.99 disposable Vape Pen range in eight flavours, including the brand’s best-selling Lemon Tart and new-to-theUK blends Banana Ice and Strawberry Ice. Featuring nicotine salts, the slim-line pen has been designed to target new vapers transitioning from traditional cigarettes, as-well as established vapers looking to pack a pen as a back-up for when out and about.

Disposable vape brand Geek Bar also brought a number of new flavours to the market including Strawberry Ice Cream, Geek Berg and Pink Lemonade. But while disposables have been basking in the glow of growing popularity in the past year (albeit with a side-serving of negative press which we’ll come on to later) it’s the closed tank and pod-mod devices which continue to drive the most sales for convenience stores, as JTI’s UK Head of Reduced Risk Products Gemma Bateson explains: “The vaping category remains a key category for retailers, with strong year-onyear growth. “In particular, closed tank devices, or podmods (such as JTI’s Logic Compact) are currently the fastest growing vaping segment in the UK, as well as the biggest segment within the category for value sales. “Vapers are looking for convenient and easyto-use devices that they can experiment with in terms of flavours and strengths to find the

Vaping & Nicotine Pouches



right fit, making these devices an important must-stock.” RELX agrees that convenience will continue to be the driving factor in next-gen nicotine selection – with consumers increasingly looking for quick in-store transactions and easy to operate vaping systems. “At RELX we anticipate closed pod systems will continue to grow in popularity as these devices meet consumer demand for a simplistic system which is easy to charge and activate,” senior Trade Marketing Manager Micaela Sangiovanni says. “Closed pod bundles which come complete with a pre-charged vape device, USB charging cable, long battery life and ready-to-use flavoured pods are perfect for smokers and vapers on the go and will continue to grow in popularity into 2022,” he adds. Imperial Tobacco & blu UK Corporate Affairs Director Duncan Cunningham is also optimistic about the future of pod-mod systems such as its myblu device. “Whilst open systems have traditionally dominated the vaping category (currently making up 76% of the market), the introduction of pod-mod devices in recent years has seen closed systems, such as myblu, continue to trend upwards, regaining its share of the category back towards 24%.,” he says. “The myblu device combines the performance demanded by experienced vapers with the

of-use appreciated by new entrants to the category. “The device’s hassle free Liquidpods allow vapers to switch between flavours in seconds via a simple onestep ‘click and go’ system.” Over the past year within traditional retail, nicotine salts (which result in nicotine being absorbed into the body faster than normal e-liquids) have grown to become the preferred liquid for pods. In fact, Imperial’s best-selling variant in the myblu range is now the Menthol Intense Liquidpod, highlighting the continuing consumer shift towards nicsalts, Cunningham added. And, as we barrel towards the end of 2021 and the dawn of the annual New Year’s quitting opportunity, a further boost to vape sales could be in the offing. This January, the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) will join forces with the ‘Smoke Free’ stop-smoking app to encourage more smokers to completely give up their habit. The new campaign, which will promote vaping as a successful quitting ally, will be the latest in a series of recent joint initiatives between the two organisations. And that’s not all. Last month the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued updated guidance encouraging vape manufacturers to license their products as

Q Ensuring vaping products are displayed clearly and prominently in store is of key importance – especially now when many customers are still reluctant to touch or handle products and surfaces. Q If possible, Imperial recommends displaying vape products away from the main tobacco gantry, with clear information on pricing to enable customers to browse at their leisure – without the need to handle products. Q For smaller stores, or those looking to introduce vaping products for the first time, JTI says that a countertop display solution is also a viable option to test consumer response to the introduction of the category. Q Once stores expand their range, JTI says it’s best to move to a vape category solution, where products can be displayed in the same gantry to ensure quick service times and repeat custom. Q Imperial also recommends stocking at least one open and one closed system from a big brand such as blu. Podmod systems “should also be a focus as they have become increasingly popular thanks to their ease of use and flexibility”. Q Devices should also be supported with a strong portfolio of e-liquids, especially fruit and menthol flavours, in a variety of nicotine strengths, including nicsalts. Q Proactively engaging with shoppers at the till point is also key. Retailers and store staff can use these conversations to not just to advise customers on range and supporting promotions but also as an important intelligence-gathering tool to help them shape their future offers. Q As an incredibly fast-moving category, 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. Q Imperial recommends making room for a small sample of new products on a regular basis to enables retailers to trial products and assess interest before investing. Q Keeping up to date with the latest news, information, promotions and opportunities is also key. Fortunately retailers now have a wealth of data available at their fingertips via apps such Imperial’s Ignite, as-well-as JTI’s trade website, plus of course their local sales representatives.





18+ only. This product contains nicotine and is addictive. For adult nicotine consumers only.



FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 0808 169 5000 *Based on Nielsen RMS data on Volume Share and Share of Modern White Segment for the 12-month period ending October 2020 for Sweden & Denmark total retail market. Excludes Norway where nicotine pouches without tobacco cannot be sold. VELO is sold under the brand name LYFT in Sweden and Denmark.


Vaping & Nicotine Pouches


Great advice on developing your vape sales in-store: Q Establishing a customer’s level of vaping experience is probably the key starting point when taking about vape products and providing a customer with the right advice and products for their needs: are they entirely new to the category, have they dabbled with vape before, or are they old hands looking to trial some NPD? Q If they are entirely new to the category, it’s also important to ask about their smoking habits: are they, or were they, a heavy or light smoker? Q Do they have any flavour preferences, such as menthol, tobacco or fruity flavours? Q Have they tried certain devices before? If so, ask what they liked or disliked about the experience, nicotine hit, flavour, practicality? Q It’s important to note that many adult smokers who have dipped their toes into vaping before may have had unsatisfactory first experiences (especially in the category’s infancy when product performance was nothing like it is now). Q These negative early experiences could have clouded their judgement on the category as a whole meaning that providing these types of prospective customers with the correct advice and products for their needs is particularly key to win sales and those all-important repeat purchases. Q Based on these answers, store owners and staff can then tailor their advice on the devices, flavours and strengths that would be best suited. For example, if they’re a heavy smoker that’s completely new to the category, focusing on easy-to-use pod-mod devices and nicsalts would probably be the best starting point. Q Training staff via the use of product demonstrations and allowing staff to get to know the different components using demonstration models and sample liquids, will also go a long way towards helping really help them understand more about how they work. Q Using similar demonstration models can also be a great way to educate customers on the devices before they buy.



medicines – a move which could pave the way for the potential prescribing of e-cigarettes by healthcare professionals. The move, which could also potentially lead to the use of products with higher nicotine strengths than are currently allowed, has been broadly welcomed by the industry – including by brands such as VPZ which recently launched a clinic service across its retail network to help even greater numbers of people “quit smoking for good.”

ILLICIT FEARS However, the impact of these potentially very positive moves could be seriously undermined if the growing illicit market is not brought soon and sharply to heel. The Scottish press is brimming with horror headlines surrounding illicit vapes containing dangerously high levels of nicotine, large quantities of which are being bought online and via social selling sites. Unfortunately, the past few weeks have also witnessed an apparent spike in seizures of

why not buy ? shoppers do. M Y B L U. H A N DY A N D E A S Y VA P I N G .


This product contains nicotine. 18+ only. Not a smoking cessation product. © Fontem 2021.


Vaping & Nicotine Pouches


compliant illicit disposable products from retail stores. In October, North Lanarkshire Council published news of a wave of seizures of illicit disposable nicotine vapor products that its officers had made from local shops, while a recent UKVIA investigation identified “a significant amount” of non-compliant products entering the UK and being sold “by convenience shops and on major online marketplaces”. The problem, the UKVIA says, “lies with some distributors who are flouting UK regulations and managing to get these products imported into the country and sell them onto traders and retailers, as well as a lack of proper scrutiny on major online marketplaces”. Commenting on situation, the UKVIA recently called for “tough action” against resellers of non-compliant disposable vape products. UKVIA Director General John Dunne said: “We are calling upon regulators and the online marketplaces to robustly enforce current regulations and do much more in order to ‘clean up’ the disposable vapes market. “The disposable vape sector has enjoyed a significant revival in the last couple of years, appealing as an entry point for adult smokers looking to quit conventional cigarettes. However, an investigation by the UKVIA has identified that illegal products are re-entering the UK market. “Robust enforcement of the current regulations is the only answer and it’s needed now. We can provide support to the regulators and educate the industry on how to distinguish between what’s a compliant product or not; and we are in the process of doing this. 50


“However, we are not in a position to come down heavy on those breaking the law, that lies with the regulators. “The vaping sector’s reputation, that the industry has taken years to build up, and which has made it one of the most successful business markets in the 21st century to date, is being threatened by a minority intent on making a quick buck out of a popular product and we will not stand back and just watch it happen. “Disposables have a major role to play in the vape market, but like all products they need to adhere to the legislation.” Legitimate manufacturers, including Geek Bar, have also stepped up their efforts to stifle the problem. China-based Geek Bar is now working closely with UK vaping and retail trade associations, including the UKVIA, as well as regulators, in a bid to check and seize counterfeit Geek Bar products in the UK. It is also helping authorities in China to crack down on counterfeit factories – a move which has already resulted in four closures this year.

POUCH PERFECT The nicotine pouch market is also continuing to develop, especially in UK convenience where, according to JTI, almost 50% of nicotine pouch sales take place. JTI recently added an Extra Strong Mint variant to its Nordic Spirit range in an answer to growing demand for more menthol flavours, while BAT added three new flavours to its newly launched VELO brand including: London Pride, Ruby Berry and a limited-edition Summer Vibes flavour with a taste of Pina Colada.

Away from vaping, growth in the heated tobacco category is also continuing to gather momentum as a growing number of existing adult smokers look for alternative but familiar tobacco experiences in the form of heated products. The Heated Tobacco category is now worth nearly £2m a week in traditional retail, according to JTI, with independent stores in the UK experiencing heated tobacco sales of £21m in the last year and growth of 27.4% year on year. The space, which up until the end of last year had been dominated by PMI’s IQOS device has been somewhat shaken up by the arrival of JTI’s Ploom brand in the UK, which launched following successful sales in Japan, Russia and Italy. The device is sold alongside compatible EVO tobacco sticks, which are available in four different flavours. JTI’s Bateson added: “Although Ploom is only available currently in a select few accredited retailers in London, and the EVO tobacco sticks for retailers within the M25, we have our sights set high and the ambition is to see Ploom become the number one heated tobacco device in the UK. “We are looking to get this product into the hands of other retailers as we continue to grow, so for now, watch this space!”

Top performing JUULpod flavours bring in more revenue.

Designed for adult smokers.

•Menthol JUULpods are U.K.’s #2 refill kit in independent shops.4 •Berry JUULpods are the U.K.’s #1 fruit flavour.2 • Mint JUULpods are the U.K.’s #1 closed pod refill kit.1 •The JUUL Starter Kit is the U.K.’s #1 closed system in supermarkets.3

Not for sale to minors. JUUL is an e-cigarette. This is an age restricted product and age verification is required at sale. 1.IRI total market, value sales, 12 weeks to 11/04/21 sales comparison of top four performing JUUL skus versus the top four performing SKUs of our nearest competitor. 2. Based on additional sales of Mango, Golden Tobacco and Rich Tobacco JUULpods, IRI total market, value sales, 12 weeks to 11/04/21. 3. IRI total market, value sales, Supermarkets, 12 weeks to 11/04/21. 4. IRI total market, value sales, Symbols and Independnets, 12 weeks to 11/04/21.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance.


Sports & Energy Drinks


Consumer priorities may have changed but sports and energy drinks still offer a key opportunity to charge up sales BY GAELLE WALKER




fter a challenging 2020, This move, Mintel says, is helping the UK’s sports and brands to establish a “fixed place” energy drinks sector on consumers’ shopping lists. is not only back on According to Red Bull, track but racing ahead “multipacks and larger formats have as manufacturers and retailers been crucial in driving category Today Sports & Energy is worth continue to respond and adapt to growth,” in the past year and the £1.6bn, with new consumer demands in the brand expects this to continue growth totalling post-pandemic era. throughout the remainder of 2021 over £199.4m vs Summer 2021 witnessed high and beyond. 2020. (Nielsen levels of innovation across the The continuing focus on drink Scantrack Value sector (but in energy and stimulants Sales 52wks to WE later occasions also prompted 28.08.21) specifically) as consumers began to Suntory to launched 12x330ml cans return to out-of-home socialising, of Lucozade Energy and 6x380ml leisure and sport, combining to multipacks of Lucozade Zero Pink give the category as a whole a welcome boost. Lemonade mid-way through 2021. Impulse sales of sports drinks particularly, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I Channel which according to Mintel “suffered the most Director, Wholesale, Matt Gouldsmith significant decline” in 2020 as a result of months elaborates: “The pandemic and lockdown of lockdowns are now well on the road to restrictions meant consumers’ shopping habits recovery. changed dramatically, with on-the-go and team However, with the working from home sporting occasions disappearing and it’s great to trend looking well and truly here to stay and see these have now returned. many consumers having invested in home “We moved quickly to better fit the shifting gym equipment and entertainment systems focus on drink-later occasions to make sure we during the pandemic, in-home consumption is had the right pack formats for shoppers. expected to remain a key opportunity for the “Cans proved particularly relevant, so we foreseeable future. expanded our portfolio into more single and As a result, and despite the easing of lockdown, multipack can formats as a result. brands have not relinquished their focus on in“We suspect that many of the consumers home and drink later occasions, with many of who have bought into take-home formats over the big-name manufacturers having continued the past year will continue to do so – and we’re to invest in new pack formats, including larger making sure our range of packs and formats sizes and multi-packs, as-well as new products reflects this.” designed for exercising or aiding concentration However, despite the easing of lockdown at home. restrictions and return to a more “normal” way














H S I T T O C S 1 . 0 N FROM THE * D N A R B Y R E C O GR *Source: Kantar World Panel, Value Sales, Take Home Non-Alcohol Brands, MAT to 06.09.20, Total Scotland




66% of shoppers always buy the same size*5 energy can








Sports & Energy Drinks of life – fatigue and stress continue to dog many consumers – a fact which has led to strong sales and an innovation explosion in the stimulants category.





While working from home may well have its perks, it also throws up a fair few challenges and added pressures: collaboration challenges, technology glitches and greater trouble ‘switching off ’ to name but a few. The impact of changed family dynamics can also not be underestimated and with Covid infection rates continuing to climb, despite the successful vaccine rollout, anxiety continues to hold court at the back of many minds contributing to sleep woes and the tiredness factor. Given all this, it’s hardly surprising then that recent research from Suntory also indicates that 75% of people are currently concerned about their levels of tiredness and stress. Research from Barr Soft Drinks also supports this finding, as Marketing Director Adrian Troy explains: “The Energy category has always been driven by people’s needs and there are currently big sections of society that are busier than ever before. “We may have lost the busy morning commute, which has always been a hotspot for Energy consumption, but it’s been replaced by juggling childcare and the need to catch up on work late into the evenings, which creates the need to feel alert and awake throughout the day. In line with these trends Barr Soft Drinks launched Rubicon RAW – a new Big Can Energy drink “designed to meet the developing needs of today’s Energy consumers”. Made with 20% fruit juice, natural caffeine, B-vitamins, ginseng and guarana, the Rubicon RAW range consists of three variants – Raspberry & Blueberry, Orange & Mango and Cherry & Pomegranate, with natural flavours and no artificial colours. Lucozade also launched new stimulation drink Lucozade Alert earlier this year in Tropical Burst and Cherry Blast flavours. Containing naturally sourced caffeine and vitamin B3 (which supports normal nervous system function and also fights fatigue) Lucozade Alert was brought to the market to respond “to a clear consumer need for a stimulation drink which tastes great, is low calorie and relevant to a wider audience.” Britvic’s Purdeys brand also joined the stimulation fray introducing two new flavours over the summer: Refocus – a blend of dark fruits, naturally caffeinated and containing guarana and B vitamins and Replenish – a lighter refreshing blend of sparkling raspberry juices with rose extract for under 50 calories a bottle.


RED BULL CACTUS FRUIT PERMANENT Red Bull has announced that its Cactus Fruit Summer Edition for 2021 will now become a permanent SKU, extending the existing Editions range with the ‘Green Edition’. Delivering a refreshing take on the classic Red Bull Energy Drink taste, more than 1.5 million cans of Cactus Fruit Summer Edition sold over the summer of 2021 with the manufacturer confident of continued buy-in from consumers wishing to “hold on to that summer feeling all year round”. Red Bull Green Edition 250ml will be available in £1.35 PMPs from December 2021.

The drink is also enriched with B vitamins and magnesium “to help to restore natural balance”.

FOCUS ON FLAVOUR All these launches also tap into growing demand for more exciting fruity flavours. According to Barr Soft Drinks, flavoured energy now accounts for 53% of the mainstream energy market, and is growing faster than nonfruit. According to Red Bull: “Shoppers are buying more flavours as a take-home purchase than ever before. As well as this, tropical and exotic flavours have grown at a rate of +37% vs all other mainstream flavours on offer.” Tapping into this trend, Red Bull’s Editions portfolio, which currently includes Coconut Berry, Tropical and Red, is just about to get another member in the form of Cactus Fruit which, following a sizzling summer of sales, is set to join the line-up as a permanent addition from December. And Suntory’s foray into flavours certainly hasn’t stopped with Lucozade Alert. The manufacturer has also added new flavours across its Lucozade Sport and Energy ranges over the course of the past year including Lucozade Zero Tropical and the addition of a new Raspberry Ripple flavour to its Lucozade’s Energy range. New flavours have also been pivotal to the success of CCEP’s Monster brand in 2021, with the addition of new variants to its core, Juiced and Ultra ranges



Lucozade Zero: Zero sugar, awesome taste. *IRI Volume sales total market L52w 23.05.21 **Tropical-flavoured energy drinks growing at 22%. IRI INT Total LRS Soft Drinks. Data to 26th July 2020. LUCOZADE, LUCOZADE ZERO and the Arc Device are registered trade marks of Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd.



Sports & Energy Drinks including Monster Mule, Monster Ultra Fiesta, and Monster Juiced Monarch – a combination of real peach and nectarine juices with Monster’s energy blend.





Another major consumer need which has been enthusiastically answered with innovative NPD this year is the growing demand for sugar-free and low or no calorie options. While healthier alternatives such as low and no sugar options have been gaining ground for some time, the pandemic has shone a light on health and wellness. Low calorie variants have also been growing ahead of sugar versions, especially in the stimulants segment the review adds – and with 27% of people actively reducing their sugar intake, “no sugar is a key area of growth for the stimulants category”. Brands responding to the no sugar opportunity include Red Bull, which has now enhanced its portfolio to include a sugar-free variant of almost every pack in its range, a move which it says has “clearly resounded with shoppers”. Rockstar, which was recently given a makeover including a new look, flavour reformulation and a multipack format, also expanded its line-up with the launch of Rockstar Original No Sugar over the summer. With the same taste, Vitamin C content and functional benefits of Rockstar Original, the no sugar alternative has been designed to offer customers greater choice within the energy drinks category.

INNOVATIVE ACTIVATIONS ecent months have also seen an increasing amount of innovative sampling campaigns and promotional activations from its leading sport and energy drink manufacturers. Irn-Bru Energy is currently mid-way through a mass sampling campaign set to run until December in a bid to get more than 200,000 cans into the hands of Scottish energy drinkers. Commenting on the campaign, Barr Soft Drinks Marketing Director Adrian Troy says: “Energy is the biggest and most profitable Drink Now segment in Scotland and Flavoured Energy is leading the charge, now accounting for 34% of mainstream energy market sales, and outperforming Original Energy. “We know that Energy is a buoyant and fastgrowing sector of the soft drinks market, but shoppers need to see more choice and exciting flavours to keep them engaged.” Meanwhile, tapping into the in-home occasion and consumers’ growing thirst for gaming, CCEP’s Monster Energy brand recently announced a new partnership with Apex Legends. Live now until the end of the year, the Apex Legends on-pack promotion is available on variants from Monster’s core, Monster Juiced and Monster Ultra ranges. Unique codes located under can ring-pulls offer consumers points towards exclusive Battle Pass prizes and in-game content. This latest promo was designed to give Monster a boost at a time that it was “already on a recordbreaking trajectory,” CCEP said.

TOP TIPS TO POWER UP YOUR ENERGY SALES Q Keep an eagle-eye on best-sellers: CCEP urges retailers to dedicate space to best-sellers (like Monster) – including double facings where needed to avoid running out-of-stock. Q Pricemarking priority: Stocking price-marked packs will “help to reassure value-conscious shoppers that they can still enjoy great quality products from their favourite brands,” CCEP adds. Q Healthy lines: In line with the growing consumer trend towards health and wellness, Britvic also advises retailers to provide a range of great tasting sports and energy drinks for consumers to manage their health, whether that be sugar free, low calorie or natural options. Q Positioning: Low and no-sugar variants such as Monster Ultra should be positioned alongside their original alternatives, to make it easy for shoppers to choose the one they want, CCEP adds. Q Make more of multipacks: Multipacks and larger formats have been crucial in driving category growth according to Red Bull and the brand says it expects this to continue throughout the remainder of 2021 and beyond. (Red Bull 4-packs were bought at a rate of 2.5-per-second over the last year.) Q But don’t forget single-serve! Single serve cans remain “very popular amongst consumers,” Red Bull says with single formats up 18.3% vs 2020 and adding £61m in value to the category. Q Experiment with flavours: With shoppers buying more flavours as a take-home purchase “than ever before” and tropical and exotic flavours growing at a rate of 37% year on year according to Red Bull, make sure you stock a wide range of different fruity flavour options to meet demand. Q Don’t underestimate the Christmas opportunity: Soft Drinks sell 18% more at Christmas vs the rest of the year says Red Bull, and Sports & Energy was the second fastest growing category in soft drinks at Christmas last year. (Nielsen Scantrack Data to 5WE 02.01.21, Total Coverage)









Energy drinks are big business so it’s important to get your range right. To find out more about the right range for you visit Sales Supercharged. The exciting new retailer support initiative from Monster. Learn which products are really driving sales. How to give your chiller more merchandising muscle. And get the low down on all the latest consumer trends. Follow our advice now and supercharge your sales.

VISIT SALESSUPERCHARGED.CO.UK TO FIND OUT MORE. © 2021 Monster Energy Company. All rights Reserved. MONSTER ENERGY®, ®, MONSTER ENERGY ULTRA® are all registered trademarks of Monster Energy Company. Source: Top 10 performing SKUS = 73% of energy category growth, Nielsen Total GB MAT Value w/e 19.06.2021. 3rd biggest IC soft drink SKU in Indies & Symbols, No.1 low calorie SKU in the Energy sector, No.2 flavoured energy drink, No.1 flavoured energy drink – Nielsen – Indies & Symbols– MAT Value TY Period Ending: w/e 26.06.2021. 3rd biggest stimulation brand in GB and is worth £43m – Nielsen Value Sales, Total Coverage, MAT to w/e 26.06.21. Revenue is an estimate based on weekly ROS.


Big Night In



Staying in is still the new going out for consumers in Covidchallenged times.


he nation’s social calendars may well once again be brimming with nocturnal niceties (especially in the run-up to Christmas) but with consumers having invested in, and grown more attached to, their home comforts over the past year, the Big Night In occasion still offers a truly tasty opportunity for convenience store profits. In fact, as Britvic’s Out of Home Commercial Director Phil Sanders says: “Over the past year, as we’ve progressed through varying levels of restrictions, we’ve observed the ‘Big Night In’ opportunity continue to grow as people meet up with friends and family they’ve not seen for some time.” However, with stay-at-home socialites certainly not keen to sacrifice flavour, recent months have seen an explosion of new and innovative hospitality-style flavours driving new product development and sales within convenience, with sweet and spicy on-trend ingredients such as sriracha, chilli, lime and cherry featuring highly. In fact, according to insight from KP Snacks, 51% of shoppers say that ‘flavour’ is the number one purchase driver when buying crisps or snacks. The manufacturer’s McCoy’s Fire Pit range inspired by the trend of ‘wood fired’ cooking has gone from strength to strength in 2021 with options including Flame Roasted Peri Peri, Flame Smoked Chorizo, and Flame Scorched BBQ Ribs. This insight also fuelled the arrival of McCoy’s spicy new Fiery Steak flavour and a new British Beef & Ale 60


flavour for its premium hand-cooked Tyrrells crisp brand. The focus on flavour has been equally pertinent within the soft drinks category where fruity and tropical flavours, which offer a taste of the exotic and a swig of sorely-needed escapism, have dominated in 2021. Suntory Beverage & Food unveiled an array of new tropical-tasting drinks across its portfolio in 2021 including Lucozade Zero Tropical and the addition of a new Raspberry Ripple flavour to its Lucozade Energy range. A new special edition Ribena Cherry Twist variant also tapped into increasing demand for cherryflavoured drinks, which are growing at 20.2% year-onyear according to Suntory. The manufacturer has also recently launched Lucozade Alert in both Tropical Burst and Cherry Blast flavours. Containing naturally-sourced caffeine and vitamin B3 (which helps to reduce tiredness), the new drink also offers a low-calorie option, also in-line with growing consumer demand for lower sugar and calorie products across the convenience gamut. Britvic also catered to the trend with the launch of Tango Sugar Free Dark Berry earlier this summer following insight which revealed sugar-free choices have driven two-thirds of the overall growth of the fruit carbonates category in the two years to 26 June 2021.

SHAKE UP YOUR SOFT DRINK SALES Q Give drink-later drinks more prominence: Drink-later drink sales have grown by 8% during lockdown, so bringing these formats into the main chiller can help to drive sales. Q Give your biggest sellers the prime position: To drive sales, put the biggest sellers on a priority shelf in line with where shoppers’ eyes will naturally be drawn. Q Range drinks by category, not supplier: Range products together by type rather than by supplier – colas with colas and all flavoured carbs together, so shoppers can easily find what they want. Q The importance of healthier options: With diet continuing to outperform regular soft drinks, (with a 63% volume share of total soft drinks) retailers should stock up on price-marked formats of lower-sugar drinks. Q The growing role of sustainability: With one third of shoppers now choosing to buy from brands that they believe are doing social or environmental good, stocking sustainable brands is a positive move for the planet and store profits. Suntory recently unveiled new transparent sleeves to enable bottleto-bottle recycling on Lucozade Energy. Source: Lucozade Suntory Beverage & Food





Ever since he became the first person in his street to have a television (rented, obviously), UTC has fancied himself as a bit of a trailblazer. He’s also fond of the occasional alcoholic beverage, so imagine his delight when he received news of a ‘first of its kind’ from drinks industry watchdog, the Portman Group. It turns out that the first in question is the first time the Portman Group has upheld a complaint against a drink’s name for causing “serious or widespread” offence. How could a drink’s name possibly cause offence, the Auld Yin mused, forgetting the offence he took when he discovered The Famous Grouse wasn’t actually named after him. Quite easily, it transpires, if it’s called Fok Hing Gin. The Fok Hing manufacturer, Hong Kong-based Incognito Group, innocently claimed the offending name is a Hong Kong language term meaning “good luck”. It also said the company was paying homage to ‘Fuk Hing Lane,’ a street in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong, adding that the drink’s name had been changed from ‘Fuk’ to ‘Fok’ to avoid causing offence. Incognito’s tactful vowel change was in vain though. UTC was so offended he had to go for lie down. On his couch purchased from Lanarkshire’s very own Sofa King.



The Auld Yin’s falsers flew halfway across the office when he discovered that Heinz for Baby has launched a new ad campaign to celebrate – as the brand puts it – “the joy of parenting”. The ‘Pure Joy’ campaign pays homage to the “real, chaotic joy” of parenting. Squinting at a picture of a yummy mummy spoon-feeding her adorable tot, UTC said that just about covered the joy but “what about the ‘real’ and ‘chaotic’?” In his twilight years, the old boy is now a lot closer to wearing a nappy again than changing one, but he still vividly recalls with horror wrestling with poo-stained terry-towelling and safety pins at three in the morning as UTC Junior screamed the house down. He gave both barrels to Heinz for Baby’s Georgina Fotopoulou, who said: “We want to show how Heinz is a brand that understands [parents’] needs and is there, by their side.” “By their side?” he snorted. “In that case Georgina hen, you’d better start passing the wet wipes.”

WATCHDOG BITES BREWDOG Carbon negative brewery Brewdog has been getting more than its fair share of negative publicity of late, including a run-in with the Advertising Standards Authority over a competition in which thirsty craft beer drinkers could win a solid gold beer can. Except they couldn’t. As the lucky winners were quick to discover, the cans were in fact just gold-plated. After receiving 25 complaints, the ASA concluded that Brewdog’s social media adverts punting the promotion were misleading. In its defence, the Ellonbased brewer cheekily suggested “any reasonable consumer who entered the competition” would realise it would never be daft enough to offer a solid gold can as a prize in the first place, since a 330ml lump of the precious metal would set you back something in the region of £363,000. Brewdog said the cans were actually worth £15,000, based on the cost of making them, the metal used and the somewhat nebulous “quality of the product”. One winner, Mark Craig from Lisburn, thinks his can “is not worth anything”. UTC, who vaguely remembers winning a 10-shilling postal order in a People’s Friend competition one time, had nothing but derision for Northern Ireland’s wouldbe Goldfinger. “I bet he doesn’t chuck it in the recycling,” he growled.

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