Spread the word

As convenience customers begin to demand to a better range across the entire chilled category, many independent retailers are reassessing how to fill their chillers, and getting the butters, spreads and margarine sector right is just one part of that.

By Kevin Scott

Ensuring your range reflects trends in the BSM category is one of the first things retailers should consider when assessing if their range meets the needs of their shoppers. Stuart Ibberson, Business Unit Director at Arla Foods, says: “In the BSM category over the last couple of years we’ve seen a rise in consumers moving towards more natural products, such as Anchor and Lurpak, and away from those packed full of additives.

More consumers are now following an ‘everything in moderation’ approach and are taking a more holistic view on health.” As a result of consumers paying more attention to what’s in a product rather than its calorie and fat counts, they are switching into the more natural and taste-led sectors such as spreadables and block butter because they trust these products more and know they can deliver a quality product. Another trend Ibberson has seen develop over the last few years is scratch cooking and home baking, which has been prompted by the ever growing number of cooking programmes shown on TV. He says: “Aside from the many TV celebrity chef shows, reality shows such as Come Dine with Me and Masterchef have made cooking more accessible to a lot of consumers and given them added confidence in the kitchen.

This coupled with the growing number of people choosing to cook from scratch to save money, has helped boost cooking at home even further still.” So, with good quality butters and spreads essential ingredients for scratch cooking they are therefore must-stock items for retailers. “Top up or impulse purchases of butters and spreads in convenience and independent stores are often down to forgotten baking ingredients so it’s important for retailers to ensure they stock up accordingly,” says Ibberson. He says that sales are likely to grow by responding to these trends, adding: “Ensure that your staff are well informed on the overall category and can recommend the right ranges for individual customers. Education is key and taking time to share product knowledge with customers will allow them to make more informed choices on which products to buy, while also showing that you’re giving them the time and attention they need and deserve.”

Arla recommends that retailers merchandise product formats separately and then within these sections, merchandise product types together i.e. Block butter, Spreadables. It also advises retailers to ensure their product range covers all need states for their customers such as olive spreads, cooking and baking products such as block butter, as well as spreadables to make them a one-stop-shop for consumers and avoid them shopping elsewhere. Ibberson adds: “Needless to say, availability is also key, if a product is not in stock then it’s likely customers will go elsewhere to find it.”

Flora TV ad follows baking trend Flora is in the midst of a new TV advertising campaign to support Flora Buttery. The campaign will target mums and champion the use of Flora Buttery across a broad range of usage occasions. The TVC will focus on baking as a family activity and specifically target novice and occasional cooks with Flora Buttery to tap into the growth in home baking, which is being driven by TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off. Patty Essick, Brand Building Director for Spreads at Unilever UK, comments: “Our new TV advert will drive awareness of the versatility of Flora Buttery – specifically its use as a baking ingredient – and appeal to mums who bake with their children. “For mums, it’s a about finding a great-tasting spread that all the family love that can be used across a number of food occasions, whether on toast, in packed lunches or when baking.”

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