‘80% of sales come from just 5% of products’: pladis wants to shake up UK biscuit category with advice for retailers

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

pladis has updated its online information hub to help retailers sweeten biscuit sales. Pic: pladis
pladis has updated its online information hub to help retailers sweeten biscuit sales. Pic: pladis

Related tags pladis Biscuits Mcvitie's Retailers UK & Ireland

pladis has updated its Better Biscuits category management online platform to help independent retailers shake up the biscuit category with an additional £21m in annual sales.

The information hub – which is a popular source for ranging and merchandising guidance – has been refreshed with new advice to help UK retailers maximise their biscuit sales.

Understand the needs of customers

“While biscuits are purchased by nearly all UK households, they aren’t included in as many shopping baskets as some other snacking categories,”​ said Laura Molyneux, category controller for channels at Pladis UK&I.

“We know retailers up and down the country look to our Better Biscuits platform to help them make the best possible ranging decisions for their stores. But, as the past year and a half has proved, it’s crucial that store owners continue to take time to understand the needs of their customers and adapt ranges accordingly – which is something they’ve done particularly well during the pandemic. This has contributed towards 10.2% more shoppers now choosing to buy from convenience stores.”

According to the McVitie’s and Hobnobs maker, there are five key steps that retailers should consider to encourage consumers to ‘add just one more pack of biscuits to their annual shop’.

Stock the bestsellers, as the majority of sales comes from just a small niche of products.

“First and foremost, the most important thing for independent retailers to do is stock the bestselling biscuit products,”​ said Molyneux.

“This is because 80% of biscuit sales in convenience stores come from just 5% of products . If you’re missing any of these key lines, you’re likely missing out on sales.”

Make biscuits easy to shop, as 47% of shoppers will leave a shop if they can’t find what they’re after.

“A great looking biscuit fixture is almost as important as the biscuits themselves – and retailers can ensure they’re making their fixtures easy to shop through mindful raging and merchandising. Consider placing branded products at eye-level and incorporating clear signage to direct shopper to the biscuit aisle.

“This is really important because generally, shoppers find it harder to find the products they’re looking for in convenience stores compared with supermarkets. And when convenience shoppers can’t find what they’re after – almost half will walk away.”

Convenience shoppers are 'particularly' fond of new products

Drive excitement through new product launches.

According to Molyneux, convenience shoppers are particularly fond of new products, so while bestsellers are important, stocking-up on innovative NPD will help to drive excitement.

“In fact, in the convenience channel, new products drive a bigger proportion of biscuit sales growth than they do in supermarkets  – meaning these new products are especially important to convenience shoppers. What’s more, convenience shoppers are 26% more likely to have tried something new.”

Make biscuits impossible to miss to help drive impulse sales.

“This step is all about making your biscuit fixture stand-out. This can be done via eye-catching POS, or even secondary sightings and displays in-store. For example, placing a display of biscuits beside the hot drinks machine. Over half (55%) of convenience shoppers purchase on impulse , so making biscuits impossible to miss will help to drive more biscuit purchases,” ​said Molyneux.

She added that retailers should also consider the changing profile of the typical convenience shopper.

“In the past year, more and more 24-35 year olds have visited convenience stores. To cater to these shoppers and their behaviours, we’d recommend creating a dedicated area for on-the-go snacking products, plus a Big Night In display which brings together snacking products from different categories to help drive extra sales.”

Majority of shoppers celebrate seasonal occasions

Finally, tie the category into the seasonal events that shoppers celebrate.

“Acknowledging seasonal events instore – such as Mother’s Day, Halloween and Christmas – really helps to drive incremental sales because most shoppers (92%) celebrate seasonal occasions.

“Through ranging and merchandising, independent retailers can demonstrate just how easy it is to celebrate with biscuits, which will encourage even more shoppers to buy suitable biscuit products. This is particularly true this year, as consumers will be going even bigger after months of restrictions due to the pandemic.”

The revised Better Biscuits platform also features the latest news, category bestsellers, recommended planograms and competitions targeted towards retailers.

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