Stock up on impulse sales

Burton's Fish 'n' Chips

Despite the relentless growth of ‘mission shopping’, impulse sales remain a fundamental part of local retailing in Scotland. Making the most of the opportunity to get that extra sale and push up basket spend with prominently displayed impulse options is vital.

by Émer O’Toole


The demand for snacks that can be enjoyed ‘on-the-go’ is on the rise, and this is an area for growth within impulse sales. As people’s lifestyles have changed, so too have their snacking habits. There’s an increasing need for snacks that can be enjoyed on the move, with an added emphasis on portion control.

If retailers can get the right range merchandised and promoted in the right way, Burton’s estimates that independent retailers could share in biscuit sales increases of more than £25m in the next two years, with the key being to recognise and act on what’s driving market growth.

Biscuits is the second most expandable category in ambient grocery, and as a result, promotions can have a significant impact on which products shoppers buy. Growth isn’t coming from low value, biscuit barrel fillers. The strong performers are must-stock treats for sharing with family and friends and, increasingly, savoury biscuits. Burton’s expects promotions to play a big part in driving biscuit sales in convenience in the future. In this sector, price cuts and price-marked packs drive impulse purchase on ‘treatier’ biscuits, while multi-buy offers continue to prove popular among consumers buying everyday biscuits.

Savoury biscuits

Savoury biscuits have undoubtedly been the star performers this past year, creating new opportunities for convenience retailers and for a biscuit market that has faced challenges of late. Burton’s entered the savoury biscuits sector in 2014 with huge success, generating sales in excess of £25m with Burton’s Fish ‘n’ Chips and Cathedral City Baked Bites. The sector is really on consumer trend at the moment, meeting demand for products that consumers regard as both permissible and convenient. The fact they’re ‘baked not fried’ ticks the ‘better for you’ box, and the pack sizes allow for all-important portion control.

In terms of the drinks sector, CCE says energy drinks are in growth, something that looks set to continue as innovation in low or no sugar variants are introduced to the sector. Adult soft drinks, including Schweppes and Appletiser, are also performing well, and are proving to be a popular choice for at-home social occasions following a 19.3% increase in future consumption formats over the past 12 months. As consumers continue to become more health conscious, product launches like Capri-Sun’s No Added Sugar range are designed bring people back to the juice sector, by providing more choice.

Instant consumption across the soft drinks category saw steady growth in 2015, as more people looked to hydrate while on-the-go. This trend looks set to continue and retailers can tap into this by stocking a variety of pack sizes in their chillers for people to purchase quickly. Unique pack formats like Mega Monster, the 553ml resealable can, or the new glacéau smartwater sportscap, can also help capitalise on the instant consumption trend.

As shoppers have increasingly busy lifestyles, impulse sales will rise, so it is important that retailers stay ahead of the game.