Ferrero’s Jodie Wood talks to Helena Drakakis about her proudest moment in wholesale and discusses the biggest challenges facing the confectionery category.
BW: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned working in wholesale?
JW: The most important thing I’ve learned is that ‘one size does not fit all’ and you need to get the basics right before anything else. Ferrero works extremely hard to ensure products are fit for purpose, often creating new packs or outer cases to maximise sales for our wholesale partners. These include smaller case sizes of products such as Kinder Surprise, which is available in cases of 48 as well as the traditional 72, and pricemarked packs (PMPs) at key price points, such as the recently launched Thorntons Toffee & Fudge £1 PMP bags.
What has been your most challenging moment in wholesale?
The relaunch of Thorntons in wholesale has been a pivotal part of Ferrero’s strategy this year. By introducing a new core range, supported by a strong media investment, focused activity and exceptional in-depot execution, Thorntons products are now enjoying double-digit growth in wholesale.
What has been your proudest moment working in the channel?
Nothing beats seeing the successful launch of a new product in a wholesale depot – the greatest measure of success is seeing retailers loading up their trolleys and then coming back the next day for more. I’m fortunate to have been part of some award-winning launches in this sector, such as Nutella & Go! and Kinder Joy, both of which are experiencing exceptional sales in wholesale. Ferrero has even more exciting new products to come later this year, so watch this space!
What are the main challenges with confectionery?
The confectionery category has been experiencing a period of decline. However, Ferrero continues to drive growth. We offer wholesalers a core range of products that are distinct and often unique, allowing us to drive incremental value in the category. Ferrero has a clear strategy on portion control and responsible treating, allowing our products to be enjoyed as part of a balanced and varied diet – more than 95% of Ferrero’s products contain fewer than 150 calories.
What are the opportunities within wholesale?
Ferrero believes that in-depot displays are crucial in order to grow sales and drive customer engagement. By creating innovative and impactful display solutions, we ensure key launches stand out in-depot and inspire customers around the category opportunity.
As well as understanding the importance of displays, we know retailers often make purchasing decisions outside the traditional cash & carry. Ferrero is therefore continually developing its digital platforms to meet these needs. We have just launched a new trade website www.yourperfectstore.co.uk, which partners with our trade Twitter account, @YourPerfectStore. Here we share category advice, offer free point-of-sale (PoS) material and engage with our followers on happenings in the industry.
Keeping the content fresh and offering something new that has a genuine and credible influence for our wholesale and retail partners’ sales is vital at Ferrero.
How can wholesalers drive sales better all year round?
By recognising that there is an all-year-round opportunity and that it’s not just seasonal. Boxed chocolates, for example, are often seen as seasonal products, but demand for gifting products extends well outside the traditional seasons – it’s always someone’s birthday.
We also understand the role that sharing now plays. As a result, the Ferrero and Thorntons Boxed Chocolate ranges are clearly positioned in line with two key shopper missions to make the category easy to navigate: to give to share and to give to gift. Boxed chocolates provide a lucrative sales opportunity for wholesalers, particularly with shoppers trading up to more premium treats to share with loved ones for an evening at home.
Ferrero offers wholesalers eye catching PoS tools specifically designed to help maximise gifting and sharing opportunities.
What is Ferrero doing to help wholesalers with category management?
Ferrero has brought its category management strategy to life with wholesalers through the opening of the Shopper Experience Centre – a multi-room collaboration environment with sophisticated technology, based at Ferrero’s new UK headquarters in Greenford Park, London. The aim of the Shopper Experience Centre is to help our trade partners unlock the perfect store to cater for their shoppers’ needs. We know a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t cut it with wholesalers and the early feedback about the centre confirms we can deliver tailored insights and breakthrough technology to help them grow their businesses.
What are your top tips for building relationships in the supply chain?
Investing in people is a huge priority for Ferrero. We understand the importance of regular face-to-face communication at all levels in wholesale and that’s why we continue to expand and develop both our account management teams and our field representatives. Ferrero is passionate about attracting and retaining talent in wholesale. It’s such an exciting and rewarding sector to work in. We know that consistency is hugely important to our customers, so we work hard to develop our team and offer clear progression in the sector.