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    Never mind the weather!

    Photo: iStock

    We don’t care how wet it gets, the nation’s BBQ pits will lift British spirits and store revenues come what may – so stock up now to avoid a damp squib

    Despite the evidence of the senses, summer is nearly here, and for the c-channel summer means impulse buys for outdoor gatherings, or in technical terms, BBQ season.

    The British public has an highly developed social sense that inclines them towards gatherings in gardens no matter how poor the weather; and if it is spectacularly wet, the action merely transfers indoors and transforms itself in a matter of seconds into BNI, which is approximately the nocturnal and/or internal version of BBQ.

    Either way, the smart storekeeper is stocking up now on the stuff that will make the summer go with a swing. For convenience, the important goods of the BBQ lie in the lubricants of the day – perhaps not the pig-on-a-spit, but the baked goods, sides and salads, sauces, condiments, pickles and crunches, and perhaps above all (or at least equally) the liquid coolants and refreshments that add essential flavour to the meal-based celebration of sunshine and friendship. As Brian George, founder of National BBQ Week, says, “There’s something great about having a BBQ – it’s not just any old mealtime, it’s an occasion.”

    Beyond that, as Josh Corrigan, Customer Development Director, UK, at St Pierre Groupe says, the past few years have taught us how to make the most of at-home events. “As the difficult economic situation continues, it’s all about ‘levelling up’, taking hosting to new levels, which retailers can capitalise on,” he says. “Retailers can maximise their midweek barbecue business, and their barbecue sales generally, by offering an attractive range of bakery and other products for all pockets, including premium options.”

    Do your prep

    “As the warmer weather arrives this summer,” says Amy Burgess, Senior Trade Communications Manager at CCEP, with commendable optimism, “so too does the season for barbecues and gatherings at home. With families and friends gathering in their gardens up and down the country for barbecue feasts, retailers should stock up on refreshing accompaniments, including soft drinks.”

    Along with the drinks, meats and meat alternatives that make up the main course, consumers will be considering baked goods, sides and salads, along with sauces, pickles and relishes – so the opportunity to optimise your offering is now.

    Rachel Wells, Commercial Director at bakers St Pierre Groupe, notes how the BBQ occasion has been growing in recent years. “The pandemic gave people the opportunity to rethink their eating habits, followed by the cost-of-living crisis focusing their minds on enjoying affordable treats at home, at a less costly alternative to going out,” she says, adding that, “consumers are now routinely trading up on bakery staples to something more premium. Those hosting barbecues this summer will want to impress and offering an upgrade to standard bakery is one way to ensure they do so.”

    Never mind the weather!

    Once just a garden get-together, the BBQ has become a focus for brands looking to expand their markets and their premium items, as it becomes clear that people are willing to invest in their domestic leisure opportunities  when the sun is out – and still save big money on restaurant meals.

    “Barbecuing is gaining popularity, driven by the continuing cost-of-living crisis, which is leading to consumers staying in rather than going out, and when the warm weather comes, that means making the most of their gardens,” says Josh Corrigan, Customer Development Director at St Pierre Groupe, which fronts the Baker Street extended-life brand of breads and buns.

    “The barbecue category stands to benefit in 2024 from the increasing popularity of more substantial barbeque foods, such as burgers and hot dogs, including vegetarian and plant-based options – driven, in part, by the rise in ‘Americana-style’ dishes on menus across the UK.”

    This country originally imported the BBQ from the USA (and of course Australia), where dependable fine weather made the event an institution. Now we have developed and domesticated the brands and the goods to supply the UK’s own distinctive BBQ tradition – one which can adapt to sudden squalls and move easily from outdoor grill to microwave to keep the flavours coming – at a standard of excellence that has coined the new term “fakeaway”, which expresses the idea that what is cooked at home easily equals (and cannot be told apart from) a takeaway.

    “Shoppers are also looking for quick and easy ways to create ‘fakeaway’ favourites,” confirms Corrigan. “Baker Street’s range of Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls are ideal for those looking to recreate classic burgers and hot dogs, served with a variety of toppings. Baker Street’s recipes have been specifically developed for this purpose – with burger buns ‘built for burgers’, and hot dog rolls ‘ready to handle’ the load.”  

    Never mind the weather!

    Within the Impulse channel, chilled microwave meals are in strong year-on-year growth, adding millions within the last 52 weeks, says Ross Davison, Head of Convenience at Kepak (Foods Division), which is the home of Rustlers. 

    “Rustlers, worth £109.1m, is at the forefront of this category growth with a majority (85.4 per cent share) of the category. This year, the summer occasions will see shoppers looking for reasons to stay in and watch sport on TV during big tournaments such as Euro 2024 and the Olympics, which will create an opportunity for convenience retailers.”

    Davison sees this ability to move from outdoors to in (and back again) as a revenue opportunity – it’s the summer of sport and not just the weather that will make the upcoming BBQ season a dual opportunity for burgers on both sides of the back door.

    “Retailers understand the value of Rustlers in their stores for driving sales around the time of these summer sporting events. More than half of stores stock the brand, with two packs of Rustlers sold every second. A staple in its bestsellers range, the Quarter Pounder is the number-one SKU accounting for 19 per cent of category sales.” 

    He points out that the average basket containing a Rustlers is £13.26, constituting an 82 per cent increase on the convenience store average of £7.27 [ACS Local Shop Report], highlighting how retailers can use the brand to prompt bigger spend. Items commonly bought with Rustlers includes complementary food such as fries and drinks.”

    For the BBQ category, it is the emergency sun-downer top-ups, and the range of foods that fit the occasion, that can add to the basket if the products are well-merchandised.

    “In the past 12 months, only 3.6 per cent of transactions containing a Rustlers Best Seller (Quarter Pounder, BBQ Rib, Breakfast Muffin, Southern Fried Chicken Sub, Twin pack Cheese) were single item baskets. This demonstrates Rustlers’ value as a key basket builder for nights when a match or competition takes priority on the television,” Davison says.

    Roll on summer

    “The past few years have taught us how to make the most of at-home events and as the difficult economic situation continues, it’s all about ‘levelling up’, taking hosting to new levels, which retailers can capitalise on,” says Corrigan, who says the growth is being driven by rolls, so retailers should stock accordingly and think about space-saving OFDs that direct footfall to key displays in-stores and offering multiple facings to popular products during the summer months.

    “Our best-selling products for the barbecue season are our Baker Street Burger Buns and Hot Dog Rolls, which give retailers extended-life options that allow for variety,” he says. “Both the Original Burger Buns and Classic Hot Dog Rolls can be used for a host of tasty barbecue meals, including traditional ‘American style’ burgers and loaded hot dogs. 

    The brand is up 27 per cent year on year for sales [IRI], helped by the fact that Baker Street’s range, like sister brand St Pierre, offers extended shelf-life, appealing to retailers and shoppers alike.

    Never mind the weather!

    Health is another trend that has been growing alongside “garden dining”, and it means that you will be wanting some delicious crunchy salad to go with that burger.

    “Great-tasting salads are now a key feature of many summer BBQs and as the meat component may be regarded as less healthy, the healthier choice of a fresh salad accompaniment takes on more importance,” says Martin Purdy, Commercial and Marketing Director at Florette UK.

    “People are also becoming much more adventurous by introducing new and exciting flavours from all over the world to their BBQs. The good news for retailers looking to maximise the BBQ opportunity is that versatile fresh salads are the perfect accompaniment to new and emerging ‘world foods flavours’ and can be merchandised as such.” 

    It is also the case that convenience has come to salads, so instead of finicky prep it is all done for you by means of ready-mixed bags of leaves

    “Mindful that consumers are now more time conscious than ever before,” continues Purdy, “and want to minimise meal preparation times, ready-to-use fresh salads are not just convenient, the carefully selected blend of leaves provide the perfect eating experience.”

    He affirms that there are now over 560 million packs of fresh salad sold each year [Nielsen & Kantar], “and with summer being a core period for the category as consumers choose fresher, lighter meals, market-leading brand Florette is ideally placed to help retailers capitalise on consumer demand for pre-prepared salad products which are ideally suited to the BBQ occasion.”

    Florette has a wide range of salad products perfect for the BBQ occasion, be it Florette Crispy (90g and 140g) – their biggest selling product in the Impulse channel – or Florette Mixed salad (125g), with its crunchy mix of leaves which pair well with any BBQ. 

    There are more and more opportunities to include fresh salads in BBQ meal deals, and Florette is committed to reminding convenience retailers of consumers’ primary focus on the “top up shop” – or  the last-minute, impulse or distressed mid-afternoon mission! – highlighting that fresh salad is one of the areas where consumers look to ‘top up’ to complete the BBQ meal purchase.

    Never mind the weather!

    “The BBQ occasion also highlights the true versatility of prepared fresh salads,” adds Purdy. “With one third of fresh salad eaten as a component, adding freshness and texture to sandwiches and wraps, and almost two thirds of salad occasions featuring on the side of plate, consumers can personalise and improve their favourite dishes with prepared salads.”

    Quality and innovation counts as well as health in today’s garden-entertainment environment, and as the home BBQ habit grows, consumers are now routinely trading up on bakery staples to something more premium, and that is where a simple and elegant upgrade – to something such as a St Pierre continental-style brioche – is one way to ensure social success.

    “The bakery category continues to benefit from consumers choosing premium options, as they look for ways to treat themselves well at home – which creates opportunity for local stores to capitalise on such trends,” says St Pierre’s Wells. “The move towards premiumisation shows no sign of slowing and quality brands like St Pierre give consumers an opportunity to ‘trade up’ and elevate everyday meals, such as gourmet burgers and hot dogs.”

    Posh buns fall into the category of affordable treats. Gastro-pubs have been doing brioche and glaze for some time now, so why not welcome it to the domestic BBQ, too?

    “Indulgence is another trend gaining traction as many embrace the little pick-me-ups that we all need from time to time,” Wells continues. “Hence local retailers’ bakery sales will continue to benefit from offering a mix of indulgence and impulse buys. Food is more than just a meal on your plate, and there is a strong argument for ‘everything in moderation’. “

    She says that customers are increasingly looking for products that deliver simple indulgence, and that retailers can cater for this demand by stocking ranges that “upgrade” their bakery range.

    “Our core range of brioche buns and hot dog rolls offer consumers a simple way to elevate the everyday at-home, and have continued to fly this year as shoppers embrace premium options that allow for easy upgrades to at-home menus. Our Seeded Brioche Burger Buns are up 84 per cent, our Brioche Buns are up 164 per cent and Brioche Hot Dog Rolls are up 68 per cent in the last year,” Wells says. 

    Remember that sharing packs are important for BBQ, and for burger buns and rolls, this means four packs and six packs. St Pierre Brioche Buns (sixes), St Pierre Seeded Brioche Burger Bun (fours), St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns (fours) and St Pierre Brioche Hot Dog Rolls (fours) are perfect, and also for informal entertaining indoors, to keep the party going even when the rain comes sheeting, stair-rodding, cats-and-dogging down.  

    On the side

    Just before we get to beers and wine, it is wise to remind retailers that there is good revenue and tasty margins to be made on the side – with all the accompaniments that go to add savour and flavour to the meat and bread – the ketchup, mayonnaise and mustards (don’t forget the French’s!), the chilli sauces and marinades, the endless bottles and concoctions that lift a food item into the realms of the truly memorable.

    One particular hero ingredient of the perfect BBQ burger (and hot dog, chop, chicken breast or steak) is the pickle, and there is none better the range of gherkins, pickles and sauerkraut from Kühne, all made in Germany using only the finest hand-picked and sustainably sourced ingredients.   

    Consumers increasingly value products and brands with a story and a history behind them – it spells tradition, continuity and integrity, meaning value and taste: there must be a reason this product has lasted so long, and the story behind Kühne started as far back as 1722 when Johann Daniel Epinius founded a small vinegar distillery, later taken over by the Kühne family. This, in turn, led to the launch of other products including mustard, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, red pickled cabbage, dill relish pickles, and whole pickled gherkins.  

    Never mind the weather!

    “Kühne gherkins are grown in the best soil and are then pickled in a home-made vinegar brine that has been created to ensure the balance of the final product is just right,” says Lesley Parker, Senior Brand Manager for Kuhne at RH Amar, which distributes the range in this country

    The brand is sponsor of the UK’s National Burger Awards, where the nation’s finest burger chefs battle it out, and is the only pickled gherkin to be awarded a Great Taste Award – in fact eight of them.

    “Kühne products are also 100 per cent natural, made without the addition of preservatives or artificial colours, are gluten-free and lactose-free, and the majority are suitable for those following vegetarian and vegan diets, so they really are perfect for any diet,” adds Parker, who waxes enthusiastically about the breadth of Kühne’s offering, which includes whole gherkins, sliced gherkins and cornichons, as well as sauerkraut, relishes and sauces –and now a very special range of premium gherkins. 

    “The new Kühne Gourmet Selection is a range of premium gherkins packed fresh to ensure the perfect crunch. Available in three variants infused with either Herbs, Honey or Chilli, each comes in a premium, standout 580ml jar (RRP: £3.55 each),” says Parker, emphasising that the high quality and premiumisation will make the range attractive to Brit BBQ bon vivants.

    “Pre-launch tests show that 86.3 per cent of consumers who tried the product liked it a lot, and way above the Pickles, Chutneys and Olives category average benchmark of 70.9 per cent.”

    Consumers relish the tang that pickles add to a BBQ sandwich, whether a burger, hot-dog or even pitta:

     “Indeed, demand for gherkins is also being driven by the increasing popularity of a number of cuisines where gherkins are a common ingredient, including Americana and Middle Eastern dishes. The increase in demand also aligns with the rise of the health-conscious shopper and gherkins are also commonly eaten as a healthier snack.”

    So back to health as well as premiumisation – just add sunshine for the ideal trifecta.

    “Gherkins rank as the biggest Pickled Vegetable category and are the biggest contributor to overall value growth with a 23.6 per cent share of all sales and value growth of +32.5 per cent in the last year,” says Parker.

    Drink up!

    Drinks seem to be one of the first things people think about when they think about a BBQ, and there are of course infinite options to accompany a buffet of fine meats and delicacies – not limited to beer (which will soon have its own feature in the upcoming Summer Drinks). Wine is a perennial, and summer is of course the season of cider. But soft drinks (this is a family occasion for the most part) and energy drinks – ever-more popular by the year – are also present bigly in BBQ plans, along with an upswing in frozen or chilled beverages such as iced coffee – all versions of every sort of drink coming not only in bottles but as RTDs – a serious, ongoing trend for the summer.

    CCEP has recently dipped a toe into the market with its Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola RTD, which has generated nearly £27m worth of sales since its launch in March 2023.

    “With the sun shining and gatherings in full swing, consumers will be on the lookout for a whole range of refreshing alcoholic drinks to serve their guests,” says Amy Burgess. “Our Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola RTD has generated nearly £27m worth of sales since its launch in March 2023 7, is a must stock for retailers, especially when summer is just around the corner.”  

    In the light of its recent ARTD success, CCEP has now added Absolut Vodka & SPRITE to the range, “Which blends the smoothness of premium vodka, Absolut, with the loved lemon-lime soft drink, SPRITE, offering yet another refreshing alcoholic serve to enjoy at home.”  

    Never mind the weather!

    Burgess also advises that retailers should ensure they have sharing packs from leading brands like Coca-Cola, led by Coca-Coca Zero Sugar (which is the fastest growing major cola brand in retail by both value and volume), along with Fanta and Dr Pepper. “Schweppes should be a must stock too considering it is sold in retail more than any other mixer brand.” she adds. 

    Beer is of course a given at any self-respecting BBQ, but the summer means especially cider. Calli O’Brien, Head of Marketing at Aston Manor Cider, says that while the cider market is generally performing similarly to Beers, Wines and Spirits, it’s worth noting that flavoured cider is down and that this suggests drinkers are moving away from flavoured ciders in favour of more traditional recipes.

    This means less Kopparberg and more Brothers, Westons and of course Crumpton Oaks, which is the number one value apple cider brand in GB impulse – helped by its value proposition, given the ongoing economic stresses. 

    “Aston Manor’s ethos is all around affordability,” explains O’Brien. “We are here for shoppers, helping them to save with our affordable cider, allowing them to focus their spend on what really matters. Our range provides shoppers with an affordable, great-tasting solution, so they can be assured they are not compromising when needing to spend a little less cash on cider.” 

    Regarding cider sales, Knights Cider is now the UK’s number one strong amber cider brand. The strong amber brand has also recorded over 12 million cans sold annually, with Knights seeing a 54 per cent increase in shopper numbers year-on-year – which is truly bucking the market. As total cider sales have declined by seven per cent (mostly flavoured). 

    Merchandising is essential to keep cider sales fresh. “Cider is the impulse drink of choice, so retailers must ensure they respond to this by offering a 100 per cent chilled range of options for customers to buy, take home, and enjoy straight away,” says O’Brien. “When a shopper buys cider on impulse, having it chilled and ready to drink is often more important than price.”

    Never mind the weather!

    One third of shoppers only ever buy cider in cans so it is important that retailers stock both bottles and cans to provide choice. Frosty Jack’s and Crumpton Oaks Cider come in both pack formats and O’Brien recommends retailers dual stock plastic bottled products alongside cans to help attract more footfall. Crumpton Oaks is available in a four-pack pint cans variant for £4.99, offering value for money and reassurance to the shopper with price marked packaging. 

    The Frosty Jack’s RRSP range includes a 1L bullet bottle price-marked at £2.99, a 1.5L bottle price-marked at £3.99, and a larger 2L offering price marked at £4.99. Non-priced marked options are also available.

    Alongside cider on the garden trestle table goes nice, chilled wine, and Tom Smith, Marketing Director – Europe, at Accolade Wines says that as a well-established category, still wine remains a foundation of the beer, wine and spirits mix for any store. “With £6.3 billion in sales in the past year, still wine has continued to perform strongly because of a combination of established consumer favourites and exciting innovation across several areas, from new formats to product formulation. This combination has really helped wine to perform ahead of Spirits or Beer categories over the past year,” he says.

    Never mind the weather!

    Accolades big brads are Hardys and Echo Falls, and more recently Jam Shed, which will be gracing gardens the length and breadth of the country when the sun comes out. Crucially, the majority of sales in convenience come from the core mid-range price point between £6 – £8 “and should be at the heart of every retailer’s range in-store”.

    Now in its second decade as the UK’s number one wine brand, Hardys is worth £316m, delivering £46m more in value to the category than its number two competitor. Within convenience, Hardys remains the strongest core brand accounting for £149.3m in sales last year, with Hardys VR accounting for 35.5 per cent of the brand due to its good value proposition, positive price perception and familiarity.

    “We’re seeing white wine continue to lead the category, accounting for four out of the top five varietals,” says Smith. “This is also reflected in Hardys performance as we see, Hardys Sauvignon Blanc, Hardys Crest Chardonnay and Hardys Stamp Chardonnay/Semillon all showing growth, which shows that shoppers are still looking for accessible, familiar varietals from a brand they trust that, most importantly, deliver on taste. “

    The Jam Shed portfolio (worth £103m) now includes Shiraz, Malbec, Chardonnay, Rosé, Red Blend, Tempranillo and Jam Shed Fruits: Rhubarb & Strawberry Smash & Black Forest Mess, with growth of 13.6 per cent in the last year, has become the 10th largest UK wine brand in just a few short years. 

    Last February, Echo Falls launched a fresh, fruity flavour – Watermelon and Kiwi Fruit Fusion. With a nine per cent ABV, it particularly appeals to a young consumer demographic, tapping into the same demand segment as that for RTD cocktails and sweet ciders.

    Chill out

    After alcohol, the soft drinks and RTD split or fade continues with the mainstream move toward more energy and sports  drinks – a fashion perhaps begun years ago when Lucozade came in from the running track, and now carried on by brands such as Red Bull and Boost, which is also diversifying into RTDs and chilled coffee, alongside brands such as Starbucks and Arctic – a great growing market that again sits well with hot weather and outdoor activities like the BBQ.

    Adrian Hipkiss, Commercial Director at Boost Drinks, spoke to Asian Trader about sports and energy drinks phenomenon, and explained that the total UK Soft Drinks market continues to grow and is now worth more than £12bn, maintaining its spot as a top three category in Convenience, with Sports and Energy accounting for £1bn.

    “When taking a closer look into the energy sub-categories, it’s Energy Stimulation drinks that are a significant contributor to the value growth of the Soft Drinks category,” says Hipkiss. Boost is the sole brand to hold a top-three position in three distinct categories within the Functional Drinks market – Energy Stimulation, Sports Drinks and RTD Iced Coffee.

    Recently (i.e. since lockdown), take-home purchases have become more prominent, resulting in a growing consumer demand for 1litre and multi-pack formats, which continue to be a huge growth opportunity for retailers, with sales experiencing an increase of +16 per cent YOY.   

    “Boost Original Energy is available in 1litre, 500ml and 250ml, and Boost Red Berry is the largest selling 250ml Stimulation Flavour SKU in NI, highlighting a real consumer demand for flavour innovation within the category. Considering 39 per cent of Stimulation shoppers make their purchase based on flavour alone, it’s vital to stock a wide variety of flavours to cater to this,” he says.    

    In 2022, Boost ventured into the largest-selling can segment  within the energy category with the introduction of its new 500ml Juic’d range – especially suited to the BBQ occasion.

    Never mind the weather!

    Juic’d is available in five flavours Pineapple & Guava Punch, Mango & Tropical Blitz, Watermelon & Lime Twist (all of which launched in May 2022), Tropical Fruit Sour Punch (which launched in August 2022) and Blood Orange & Raspberry (launched in May 2023). The NPD is made with five per cent real fruit juice, enhances its nutritional value, flavour authenticity, perceived quality, and market appeal, meeting consumer demand for natural ingredients.

    Hipkiss reveals that sales of 500ml cans are booming with +19 per cent YOY growth, leading to the segment currently being the fastest growing category in Energy Drinks, so retailers should prioritise stocking Boost as a leading brand within the Soft Drinks category and leverage its diverse range of affordable priced-marked pack formats, flavours and take-home offerings to make the most of the BBQ season – and he says that the same goes for sports drinks:

    “With creative flavour innovations such as Raspberry & Mango surging in popularity, retailers should cash in on the trend to ensure they’re maximizing on consumer demand.” Hipkiss adds, and points out that Rio is also perfect for summer afternoons: “With a range of products such as Rio Tropical, which comes in both price-marked can and 500ml, 1.5Ltr, bottle formats, and Rio Tropical Light 330ml can format, there’s a selection of products on offer to suit varying consumer needs.”

    Chilled coffee is also a day-long winner for hot summer days outdoors. Perfect for RTDs and at the apex of refreshing and stimulating convenience, the market is offering some fantastic choices for c-stores to stock.

    Now worth over £233m in the UK, the RTD Iced Coffee category is growing rapidly, with Symbols and Independents sales having now grown to over £43m, according to Hipkiss.

    Abigail Kelly, Head of Marketing and Insight at Crediton Dairy Ltd, says that when it comes to seasonality for chilled drinks, particularly chilled coffee, the most popular seasons is the summer months – which means BBQs.

    “Demand typically increases as we move through the year, with the most significant volume sold during the summer season,” she says, and believes the continued growth within the chilled coffee category can be attributed to several factors, including healthier options – “A clear front-runner here is Protein, which is why this year Arctic Coffee is meeting this demand for consumers by bringing to market Hi Protein Caramel Latte, a delicious, chilled caramel latte with 15g Protein” – and innovation (“Brands are continuously introducing new flavours, variants and product formulations: last July, Arctic Coffee launched its Limited Edition range – which included Vanilla and Toffee Nut flavours”).

    She says Mocha is underrepresented in the chilled RTD coffee sector, which lacks a good one on the market that hits on the indulgent chocolate delivery: “We’re about to change that with Coffee Mocha (RRP £2.20), a 1-litre take-home format that serves well for giving consumers a coffee fix at home or those who want to share it with a friend.”

    Meanwhile, Starbucks chilled coffee remains the leading player within the RTD category, worth £145m. The brand has continued to grow with an 18 per cent value and 25 per cent volume increase in the last 12 months.

    Never mind the weather!

    “2022 saw the launch of the Starbucks chilled coffee Multiserve range, 750ml sharing size formats in three flavour variants – Caffe Latte, Caramel Macchiato and Skinny Latte – allowing coffee lovers to enjoy their favourite chilled coffee at home,” says Adam Hacking, Head of Beverages at Arla. “These continual innovations and range increases have led to Starbucks chilled coffee being the fastest growing brand in these formats, increasing 138 per cent (£19m) YOY.”

    He explains how at-home convenience is no longer a trend but a new, permanent, consumption habit that has driven Starbucks’ product innovation: “In March 2023 we extended the award-winning, large-format Starbucks Multiserve chilled coffee range to include Starbucks Multiserve Skinny Latte chilled coffee. The NPD also tapped into the consumer trend for less sugar in favourite products, a movement which also inspired the launch of the Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso No Added Sugar Multipack, giving loyal shoppers a more convenient and accessible way to enjoy the signature Arabica espresso coffee with smooth creamy milk for a quick uplift at home.”

    This all means that with cans of chilled RTD coffee in the fridge or cool box, another elemental ingredient has officially been added to the BBQ repertoire. If you don’t fancy alcohol, and fizz is too much for you, then chill out with a sophisticated and cool caffeine beverage.

    Hipkiss says that Boost’s Iced Coffee offering boasts an attractive retail price point, positioning it as a compelling choice for retailers to stock, complementing higher price point SKUs like Costa and Starbucks. He recommends that to capitalise on the burgeoning growth of the category, retailers need to allocate enough space for RTD iced coffees. “In recognising increasing demand for iced coffee, Boost instigated an innovative in-depot fixture within one of Scotland’s largest depots, and Unitas member United Wholesale, which saw leading chilled coffee brands displayed prominently together – driving retailers to iced coffee products and promoting further category growth at +12 per cent,” he says.

    “Iced beverages continue to be a popular option for consumers as an afternoon pick-me-up or a convenient beverage that travels well when on-the-go. The growing demand for iced coffee now means one in three hot coffee drinkers prefer an iced coffee on a warm day, with RTDs delivering a great, affordable treat that UK shoppers are increasingly looking for,”

    And on that note, it’s time to peer out the window at the sky and keep our fingers crossed for a great and hopefully long, BBQ season.

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