As a degree of uncertainty continues to loom in the run up to Christmas, Premier Foods has uncovered that half of retailers are stocking up on festive-themed items and bestsellers earlier this year, amidst concern from many on potential supply issues of key lines.
The independent research , commissioned by Premier Foods, looks at the biggest worries and concerns for retailers in the lead up to the festive season, after a challenging year for many. Demonstrating the tough times many have faced, 22% of retailers say they are concerned about verbal or physical abuse towards employees.
As national restrictions have now ended, the impact a different outcome may have had is one weight off retailers’ minds. However, over a third are worried about competing with supermarkets to retain local shoppers at this time.
Premier Foods is ideally placed to help retailers overcome concerns and advise on how best to prepare in the final run up to Christmas, as it has a number of household staples within its portfolio, such as Bisto, Oxo, Paxo, Ambrosia and Mr Kipling. Its well-known brands offer convenience for those who may not regularly prepare Christmas dinner, in addition to having premium options to encourage people to trade up. While value is important as the country heads into a recessionary period, 20% of shoppers expect to be better off by the end of the year. After such an unusual time, many will be looking to treat themselves and their loved ones by spending more to make sure dinner goes to plan.
Courtney Lewis, Customer Director for Independent Convenience & Wholesale at Premier Foods, commented: “Nobody knows exactly how the festive season is going to play out, with half of shoppers having admitted they don’t expect to have a ‘normal’ Christmas this year. We understand that for convenience stores, stocking up – ready for the build up to the big day – is bound to be different too as a result. From our research, we know that retailers are looking to suppliers for more advice on bestsellers and shopper insight, given changing behaviours.
“The announcement that people will be able to form Christmas bubbles to meet in private households, as opposed to being able to dine out, means we expect more people to cook at home. As a result, ambient grocery is set to grow by as much as +8% as shoppers buy essentials. Our exclusive online hub for convenience retailers – Grocery Partners – allows us to share tips and advice, to help convenience stores make the most of the opportunity. Over half of retailers agree that, during the course of the pandemic, people have been selecting brands they know and trust more than they were before. This demonstrates a strong sales opportunity for those with the right range of festive favourites.”
Retailers can visit the Grocery Partners website for advice and range recommendations, in addition to having the chance to enter Premier Foods’ Christmas competition. For the chance to win products from Bisto, Oxo, Paxo and Ambrosia, retailers can enter a prize draw each week between now and 24th December 2020.
As 42% of retailers surveyed anticipate higher demand this year on items such as gravy, stuffing and custard, the competition offers retailers a helping hand, alongside shopper insight and advice.