It’s been a tough year for the sector but with the convenience sector starring throughout 2020, there’s a strong platform for healthy growth in 2021, says Healthy Living Programme Director Kathryn Neil.
2020 has been a challenging time for everyone, however it has also provided lots of encouragement for local retailers. On a positive note, it gave the convenience sector a chance to shine and to show how essential their stores are within the community. So, despite all the challenges, doom and gloom, there are some encouraging points to take away.
Cooking at home
During the pandemic, we learned from our retailers that there was a trend developing for cooking at home. People now working at home more often means that they have more time within their day to spend that extra 20 minutes in the kitchen making a home cooked meal. We also learned that people had started to focus on what they were eating and the demand for healthier meals was increasing.
In response to this, we have now devised new point of sale to help retailers steer their customers to cooking at home. We have wobblers in stores that have QR codes which can be scanned to provide recipes. These can be downloaded for use when the customers return home. Signposting step by step ways to help consumers in store is key for selling healthier products and educating families in cooking healthier mealtime solutions.
Food to go is a key area in many convenience stores now, so we have designed point of sale to help guide the consumer into making the healthier choice at lunchtime. Our POS fits in with any current meal deal in place and assists the retailers in pushing the sales of their healthier ranges.
Welby loyalty club
2020 saw the re-launch of our Welby Loyalty Club and we aim to deliver this in as many convenience stores in 2021 by linking up the local store with their communities. The club encourages children to purchase four pieces of fruits and the fifth piece is free. The children then receive a certificate and magnet to say they are part of the Welby club. This initiative is focused around bringing a bit of fun, bright colours and interacting with children in stores whilst delivering the healthy eating message. Retailers that are already part of the scheme have seen uplifts of loose fruit reach as high as 200% within the first week of running the club.
2021 is going to be an exciting year with the SGF Healthy Living Programme, we are hoping to broaden our focus based on the learnings we have taken from 2020 and work with the changing trends in shopping behaviours with the shift towards healthier products. We have some interesting ventures that we cannot wait to deliver in store. We might even see a famous face pop up alongside our new ideas… watch this space!