Consumers are staying in as much as going out, gathering friends together to watch a movie or a sporting event. Indies can capitalise by building a Big Night In display of sharing products.

With UK adults planning more quiet nights in – the go-to option for money-saving – sharing is an increasingly important part of snacking, driving 3.1bn snacking occasions per year, according to a pladis 6Ws insight study.
The growing trend for a big night in is demonstrated by the rise in popularity of high-quality home entertainment services as well as on-demand film and TV subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Now TV. Indeed, appetite amongst consumers for a ‘big night in’ doesn’t seem to be abating, as Netflix reported 6.96million new subscribers in the third quarter to the end of October 2018.
Although the ‘big night in’ isn’t a seasonal phenomenon – people enjoy nights at home all year round – it’s an occasion that continues to be shaped by wider and seasonal category trends and retailers must ensure they reflect these in the products and price formats they stock.
In addition, as the pressure on pricing remains, consumers’ savvy shopping behaviours mean they will expect to see a continued focus on price cuts and multi-buys for snacking products, allowing them to manage their weekly shop and still purchase their household favourites.
Stuart Graham, Customer Marketing Director at pladis UK & Ireland commented: “pladis offers a wide range of core everyday biscuit brands and snacks which are loved by consumers and sought-out on shelf. Stocking best sellers such as these will lead to better sales and profit for retailers, particularly if supported with the right range of price points.”
“For example, as our Better Biscuits category advice indicates, Price Marked Packs play a vital role in demonstrating value to consumers, particularly in convenience. We have more than 40 brands available in PMPs and are therefore well versed with launching a PMP to market. Specific promotional execution for retail clubs is growing in importance and we work with retailers and wholesalers through our field team to ensure we have great in store execution,” added Graham.
With busy consumers often skipping meals or eating at irregular times, snacking can also be necessary sustenance to keep them going between meals. Jacob’s Cream Crackers, the UK’s bestselling crackers (Kantar), are often consumed as a late evening snack, so stocking everyday favourites like these is a way for retailers to provide the best range of options to consumers.
Similarly, with ‘sharing’ becoming an increasingly important part of snacking, particularly for nights at home or entertaining, consumer preference is leaning towards larger packs and experimental flavours. Innovations such as McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes Nibbles and Flipz Chocolate Covered Pretzels have supported this trend and continue to provide indulgent ‘big night in’ moments, resulting in a positive response from consumers.
Built around the trend of staying in with friends and family, retailers should focus their ‘big night in’ range around products suitable for at-home sharing. When targeting the ‘big night in’ trend, large sharing bags and multi-pack products are most popular with shoppers. “We advise spotlighting these snacks by positioning them close to point of sale and alongside complementary categories such as dips and drinks,” explained Graham.
“The pladis portfolio offers customers a range of popular shareable snacks across sweet and savoury. Our Jacob’s Cracker Crisps Thins range launched in 2017 to target this fast-growing evening sharing occasion. Jacob’s Cracker Crisps Thins are worth £11.3m RSV TY (Nielsen) and consumers are choosing this brand on a regular basis as part of their repertoire, demonstrated by a strong Repeat Rate at 31% (Kantar), higher than its closest competitor. This product is a ‘big night in’ must stock.”
“Furthermore, our McVitie’s Nibbles – a range perfect for sharing – was the first of its kind in the category when first launched in 2016, and now includes the addition of Jaffa Cakes Nibbles – a new format for our £54 million McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes brand. Perfect for the ‘big night in’ consumption occasion, the product is available in a 100g sharing pouch at an RSP of £1.50 – a must stock for independent retailers.” says Graham.
The launch of TUC Minis in 2017, available in TUC Original and TUC Mini Cheese flavours, taps into a new growing consumption moment for TUC – the evening sharing occasion.
With TUC Minis pladis is looking to target consumption moments which are centered around this popular sharing occasion. This as a huge opportunity as people cherish the emotional experience of time spent together with friends and family. TUC is already a successful family favourite brand growing 7% year-on-year (Nielsen), and the new minis range will add a fresh approach for retailers’ shelves going into 2018.
The chocolate-covered pretzel snack, Flipz has joined pladis’ UK portfolio.
Available in 100g pouches in three variants – Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and White Fudge – Flipz features crunchy, savoury pretzels enrobed with chocolate to offer a sweet and salty taste combination that is already winning over snacking fans on this side of the Atlantic.
“Launched in summer 2018, Flipz is already very successfully tapping into the growing trend for sweet and savoury flavour combinations in snacking, with research suggesting that almost one in six consumers are interested in a savoury snack with chocolate,” explains Graham. “In its first five months on shelves, Flipz achieved £4m worth of sales.”
Retailers should consider creating a dedicated ‘big night in’ display in-store based around the most desirable products and pack formats for this occasion, Graham suggests.
A well merchandised ‘big night in’ display with paired products and cross-category promotions will always encourage incremental purchases and help drive up profits. Locating this in high footfall areas at the front of store will help draw shoppers’ attention to the fixture, increasing impulse sales. The appearance of a display is often underestimated in terms of the influence it has on shopper purchasing decisions.
Making ‘big night in’ features attractive and easy to spot will have a positive impact not only on the sales of products included, but on other categories, as shoppers spend more time in-store as a result. Shoppers want themed space and signage, so offering secondary sightings, for example at point of sale, and eye-catching shippers can also significantly boost retailers’ sales.
Evening snacking
Evening snacking is worth over £6.5 billion (Kantar) and is growing. Chocolate is still the number one choice for those settling down for a night in with friends and loved ones, followed by candy, biscuits and crisps – so there are plenty of opportunities for cross category selling to create the perfect night in (Kantar). What’s more, 52% of all confectionery occasions take place with other people present, so having a range of sharing formats is key to maximising this opportunity.
Chocolate sharing formats, like bags and tablets, are key and bags are the fastest growing standard chocolate segment (Nielsen).
Mondelēz International introduced new size £1 promotional price-marked packs within its chocolate bags range, helping retailers to improve price perception among their shoppers and help drive sales. The new £1 (RRP) 95g promotional PMPs are now available across some of its bestselling bags; Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Buttons, Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Nibbles, Cadbury Twirl Bites, Cadbury Bitsa Wispa and Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis.
The premium market is the fast-growing chocolate segment that is incremental and bringing in new, higher value shoppers. To capitalise on this popularity, Green and Black’s, which is growing at 11.1% (Nielsen), launched two new singles bars last summer, Green & Black’s Truffle and Green & Black’s Praline. As well as capturing the premium singles market, these launches meet the needs of consumers looking for a luxurious new way to unwind.
The tablets segment is also growing 3.2% and Mondelēz has a leading share in this segment (Nielsen). Building on the success of Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo in tablets, the brand brought a different form to the market in 2018 – Cadbury Dairy Milk Oreo Sandwich. The tablet has a layer of CDM chocolate sandwiched between mini Oreo biscuits.
Research has identified that as we go through different life-stages, our tastebuds change. This is true for many foods such as olives and coffee, and some consumers increasingly look for a richer tasting chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage vs milk chocolate. However, that is not to say we are all happy to reach for very high percentage cocoa products. There are degrees of acceptance and some consumers find dark chocolate a little too bitter and therefore believe it is not for them.
Cadbury Darkmilk has been launched to meet this consumer demand. Made with 40% cocoa, this new tablet is like no other with both a unique taste and texture, providing a hit of cocoa combined with a creamy and smooth taste. The range launched with two variants – Cadbury Darkmilk Original and Cadbury Darkmilk Almond. From the beginning of this year, another variant joined the range – Cadbury Darkmilk Salted Caramel.
2019 has seen the return of an old favourite, Cadbury Bournville Orange. First launched in 1927, the bar combines strong cocoa notes with the thick, chunky texture of Bournville and real orange fruit pieces. It will now become a permanent offering for the brand to tap into the trend for orange chocolate. Cadbury Bournville will also become available as a PMP which will ensure stand-out on shelf and boost customer trust.
Bringing the love
Boost Drinks is starting 2019 with a bang, bringing a great new product to the shelf and have been undertaking some big activity to make sure everyone knows about it.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the brand brought some love to the UK, with the introduction of a Boost Energy Red Berry 250ml SKU. A flavour explosion of mixed berries, this drink is a new addition to the shelves of independent stores across Great Britain. The drink is available as a 49p PMP.
Red Berry is currently the second best-selling energy drink in Northern Ireland.
Simon Gray, Founder and Managing Director of Boost, said: “Here at Boost, We Love Local because we supply exclusively to independent retailers. By this, we mean that as an independent company ourselves, we are committed to working with independent retailers and want to do everything we can to help their businesses thrive. Historically, we’ve introduced two brand new, limited edition SKUs every year but this year we’re doing things slightly differently. From the time we’ve spent speaking and listening to our customers we know how much you love our existing range of energy, sport and protein drinks and it’s not always necessary to keep bringing in brand new flavours. Instead, we’ve brought in Red Berry, a SKU that’s already proved itself a winner but will still create excitement and give your consumers something new to try!”
When the company saw how much of a stir Red Berry was causing in Northern Ireland, it felt it was only right that it brought the hugely successful product to the mainland, so that everybody could benefit from its popularity.
As Boost launched Red Berry just in time for Valentine’s Day, the company did a huge campaign, partnering with dating specialists Tinder who reach millions of people in the UK every day. Boost spread the love whilst giving three lucky consumers the chance to win the ultimate date of their dreams. The company took out adverts and shared information across Tinder’s own platform as well as our social pages. It got people talking and was all linked to the launch of Red Berry.
During Valentine’s week Boost sampled cans of Red Berry in Glasgow and advertised in London and Manchester.
Boost is partnering with Asian Trader, giving one of their readers a chance to win a romantic date with their other half, courtesy of Boost. Simply enter our competition and you could soon be taking a loved one out to a restaurant of your choice, and Boost will foot the bill!
All you need to do to enter is send your name, store name, store address and telephone number to: Asian Trader giveaway, 1-2 Silex Street, London SE1 0DW, or via email to