Martyn Fisher talks to Kettle’s Sarah Gibson about the premium snack brand’s wholesale plans
How has Kettle Foods helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?
We are in a fortunate position as the number-one premium crisps brand. It is important to have a product range optimised for the diverse nature of wholesale and having a solid, well-loved premium choice available is a must to grow sales.
What is the greatest challenge the wholesale industry faces?
The ever-changing landscape of wholesale. The lines are continually blurring between grocery and wholesale. However, this is also a big opportunity for suppliers and wholesalers if we collaborate and diversify ways of working. Retailers and caterers need change, so wholesalers must balance a good core range with good new products.
What trends and opportunities are emerging that customers can take advantage of?
There is a growing need for healthier choices and products for specific dietary requirements. Kettle Chips are now all gluten-free and our popcorn brand, Metcalfe’s, offers alternatives with lower fat, sugar and salt.
What challenges have you had to overcome in the past year?
There was a gap in the market that we were failing to fill – a smaller sharing pack that works for wholesale. We have seen such a huge growth in sharing formats, so this was a huge priority for us, and a challenge was to be timely and make the most of this opportunity. Our £1 80g sharing packs mean we have really stepped up to provide a great pricemarked pack (PMP) tailored for wholesalers. Early sales indications are great, too.
What was Kettle’s greatest achievement in the past year?
It has been a busy year in wholesale for Kettle Chips, with a really successful on-pack activity that enabled consumers to stream a film for just £1. The entry rate outstripped all our previous on-pack promotions by some way, so it really resonated. Add to that our first TV campaign in five years and it has really been a bumper year for the brand.
For Metcalfe’s, the best is yet to come – we have got some brilliant plans for this autumn around portionability and that golden 100-calorie benchmark, which we think will be really exciting, particularly for foodservice, as well as some pretty innovative new products.
What would you like to see happen in wholesaling in the next 12 months?
I would love to see a greater focus on health. It is an undeniable trend and I would like to see wholesalers capitalise on it. There should be an increased focus on the opportunities provided by digital platforms. A better user experience on websites is just one part of that, although it is a massive part. It would also be good to see some more inventive ways of communicating popping up – social media is not just for the end-consumer.
Are you planning any activity of which wholesalers should be aware?
For Kettle, we will have lots of support for our new PMPs in-depot, as well as more TV support for the brand in the autumn. We are running our first on-pack promotion on Metcalfe’s this month, with a really generous offer that will tie in the at-home cinema opportunity – the perfect popcorn partner. We also have lots of exciting innovation for Metcalfe’s late this year.
What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in the crisps & snacks category?
Follow the key market trends to ensure you maximise sales. Speak to your suppliers about tailored category advice and plans. It is also important not to overcomplicate plans and to keep things simple to focus on the big bets.
Kettle Chips sharing SKUs have grown by
YOY in convenience