Better Wholesaling: How has KP Snacks helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?
Matt Collins: We have developed a plan which includes focusing on core range. The category is highly proliferated, with lots of products, formats, and variants, and for a retailer or caterer, it can be confusing. So we are working with wholesalers on the right range to stock. We have also focused on value creation, offering pricemarked packs with very competitive shared margins.
BW: What is the greatest challenge you feel the industry faces?
MC: Within crisps, snacks and nuts, one of the challenges is how to get singles back into growth. They remain the biggest segment of the category at 49%, but that is down 8.5% year-on-year. We have to give singles a really strong platform that includes new products, strong promotional activity and on-pack initiatives, and case sizes that are fit for purpose.
BW: What trends and opportunities are emerging that wholesalers can take advantage of?
MC:Health and permissibility is definitely a growing trend. It is why we launched Hula Hoops Baked, which taps into the less fat and lower calorie message. We are also seeing a rise in sharing packs, which now represent 34% of the category – up 12.9% in value year-on-year.
BW: What challenges has KP Snacks overcome this year?
MC: The bag-snacks category is in decline at 0.5% value, but volume is in slight growth, so we need to overcome that deflation. Within that, we need to share less to other segments, and that taps into our singles challenge. We are working to drive penetration and frequency of purchase, so we are asking ourselves: ‘how do we get the right distribution and generate that rate of sale?’
BW: What’s KP Snacks’ greatest achievement this year?
MC: We are really pleased with our McCoy’s range, and with how that brand has developed. We have increased distribution and rate of sale, and we think a big part of that is the £5m investment we have put into the brand. We have also worked on product quality, refreshed the pack design, and worked with our trade customers to help give the product a really prominent feature.
BW: What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in snacking over the next 12 months?
MC: Stock the right range and use strong promotional campaigns that link in with television advertising. Cross category promotion is effective in retail but remains challenging in depot. However, if there is an opportunity to dual site, then do so. Strong availability is key. We also advise wholesalers to lay the category to reflect retailers’ in-store planograms.
BW: What would you like to see happening in wholesale in the next 12 months?
MC: We want to continue to build relationships. We work closely with the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, and for us, it is about suppliers, manufacturers and wholesalers sharing best practice. Both us and our customers are keen to work collaboratively.
BW: Are you planning any activity that wholesalers should be aware of?
MC: We have got a busy year ahead concentrating on our core range, launching NPD that adds value, excitement and is on trend, and we will continue with shopper and depot investment. This is about creating theatre that shines – whether that is an in-store shelf barker, or an in-depot display. Category management is also a focus, and I am really proud that this year we won the supplier initiative of the year for SnacKPartners at the Retail Industry Awards.