As the cost-of-living crisis continues to squeeze family budgets, a predicted increase in at-home socialising is good news for retailers ready to cash in on a Big Night In boom.
By Elena Dimama
The Big Night In occasion is expected to see big growth in the year, as inflationary pressures and the cost-of-living crisis leads an increasing number of consumers to stay indoors.
According to TWC Trends, 58% of Scottish consumers plan to eat out less frequently, while the rise of the ‘fakeaway’ trend set to continue.
Overall, 29% of consumers plan to have fewer takeaways to curb spend, with many planning to increase ‘entertaining at home’ occasions, TWC Trends figures reveal, while two-thirds of people believe it is important to make savings on their grocery bills, according to Nielsen.
However, 69% of consumers plan to shop at many stores to take advantage of offers, with 60% actively looking out for and trying to buy products when on promotion.
“As the recessionary environment hits, we expect to see growth in in home family dining and at home socialising,” Ben Parker, GB Retail Commercial Director at Britvic, notes. “Consumers have been feeling the pinch from rising living costs and inflation this last year, with consumer confidence at the lowest point on record.”
Indeed, total take-home soft drink sales in convenience and impulse over the last year showed growth of 5.3% versus 2021, according to IRI, with social occasions being worth £2.64bn for the year to 27 November 2022, up 3.6% annually, according to figures from Kantar.
“For those consumers who are planning nights in with friends and family over socialising outside of the home, larger formats such as our 2-ltr sharing bottles and multipacks of carbonated soft drinks as Pepsi MAX, Tango and 7UP Free play an important role.
“Interestingly, cola is now the second-most-consumed mixer with spirits at home, with eight million more occasions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Cola flavours are driving growth, with 56% of Pepsi MAX’s penetration coming exclusively from flavours. This shows consumers have an appetite for new and interesting flavours within the cola category.”
“Sharing formats are particularly important to Gen-Z consumers,” Mike Chapman, Head of Wholesale at PepsiCo says, “with 71% favouring a night at home with friends or family.” Indeed, according to Kantar, this demographic is snacking three times daily, seeking intense flavour experiences when choosing products for the Big Night In.
“Sharing RRP price-marked packs continue to be hugely important in driving continued growth of the category, accounting for 68% of total CSN growth,” Chapman adds. “RRP PMPs remain the number one contributor to crisps and snacks growth in value vs other segments, so stocking the right mix of standard and RRP PMP sharing formats is key for retailers, particularly to maximise occasions like Big Night In.”
For Kepak, PMPs “continue to provide a vital reassurance of value, with all of Rustlers’ best sellers available in this format, however, value isn’t just confined to the price of a single product,” with Ross Davison, Head of Convenience at Kepak (Foods Division), explaining: “Meal deals and bundle offers are popular with shoppers seeking savings. Product promotions also highlight good value and drive impulse purchase, such as an on-pack promotion giving shoppers something extra.”