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Jan 15, 2018

What’s in your trolley?

by Mary Anne FitzGerald - Client Services Director

What’s in your trolley?

2017 was a turbulent year for retailers. Aldi overtook Co-Op to take fifth place in the grocery league table. Tesco announced its takeover of Booker, Palmer & Harvey went into administration and Nisa members agreed to an acquisition by Co-Op. So, what does 2018 have in store for brands, wherever we happen to shop?

Challenger brands will continue to drive category growth. We’ll probably see more M&A activity as successful smaller brands get snapped up but there is also room on shelf for independent brands as supermarkets seek to tempt shoppers with more choice. Local sourcing is another growing trend not to mention the massive explosion in craft beer and gin brands. Vodka will be next.

Retailers are also creating points of difference with shoppers through the premiumisation of private label and this is set to continue. Tesco has launched Eco Active, an own label range of eco-cleaning products. The new seven product range will also help shoppers save on existing branded eco-products by at least 50 per cent.

On the subject of things eco, the sustainability of packaging will play an ever increasing role at retail driven by a combination of punishment through legislation, pressure from increasingly environmentally aware consumers and an onus on manufacturers to lead the way. Pernod Ricard for example has just issued a global ban on the use of plastic straws and stirrers throughout its business. Better still, here’s this packaging solution spotted in Marks & Spencer which uses no packaging at all.

Health and wellness will be high on the agenda for shoppers, governments and retailers. Some retailers will be helping shoppers by having more designated zones and some will develop their own formats to meet shoppers’ health and wellness needs. Tesco and Spoon Guru have already partnered to help customers with specific diets and tastes to quickly and easily find food suitable for their requirements. The partnership is a first for UK grocery retail and will provide customers with a unique online and mobile shopping experience free of charge.

Reflecting this trend, is the healthy growth of non-alcoholic adult drinks as signalled by the success of alcohol free spirit Seedlip whose strapline is ‘Solving the dilemma of what to drink when you’re not drinking'. The fledgling brand was the first ‘zero proof’ drink to attract the attention of Diageo which snapped up a minority share in 2016. It has already secured listings in Tesco for both its SKUs and now plans to launch an entire portfolio of booze free brands.

Cheers everyone and here’s to a spirited 2018, whatever your tipple!

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Retail, Branding

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