General Mills launches convenience retailer panel

heathier snacking fixture

General Mills has brought together 11 of the UK’s top convenience retailers to help raise awareness of the importance of the Better for You Snacking category.

The retailers will work alongside General Mills to demystify the category, which is currently growing at over 8% year-on-year. The manufacturer has three major brands within Better for You Snacking: Nature Valley, Fibre One and Larabar.

To bolster the panel’s efforts, and starting from 2 September, a new 30 strong field sales team aims to make thousands of calls to stores across the country to offer tailored merchandising, PoS, category advice and trend insight.

Clare Ryal, Convenience Controller at General Mills, heads up the panel. She said: “At the moment, almost every store you walk into has a different space allocated for Better for You Snacking. Some are large and located where we recommend – near food-to-go and confectionery – while others are mixed in with biscuits or have very little presence at all.

“There are two key principles to driving category growth – getting the right range to meet the different need states (energy boost, diet management, sweet experience etc) and execution excellence: making sure retailers have the best possible location, space and activation.

“With our new field sales team, we want to make it clear for retailers where their Better for You snacks should be located. As a business, we have a lot of data and insights, but having worked in the convenience channel for many years, I know there’s nothing as valuable as the direct feedback from retailers themselves.”

Retailer Scott Graham of McLeish Inverurie sits on the panel and has recently had his fixture relayed to trial the General Mills category advice.

Scott said: “It’s great to have a manufacturer so keen to hear our views and to see our feedback already being actioned. I’m excited to see now the difference just a few simple changes can make to our stores.”

As a result of retailer feedback, General Mills recently released an optimised case size (11 count) for its Nature Valley single bars to ensure better fit on shelf. It also released its Fibre One Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Fibre One Peanut Butter Popcorn bars as singles.