Charlotte Buxton finds out how wholesalers can inspire their retail customers to boost Big Night In sales.

While the best retailers know how to put on a great Big Night In (BNI) display with linked snacks deals, promotions and PoS, many more are falling short. Better Wholesaling spoke to major suppliers to the category – who shared their advice.

1. Sporting events

kettle chipsResearch shows that seven in 10 shoppers choose supermarkets over c-stores when buying for events such as the Olympics, according to Nick Widdowson, Unilever merchandising and creative controller. But as 46% of shoppers say promotions would influence them to buy from a c-store, Widdowson stresses that multi-buys and cross-category merchandising are crucial tools.

Andy Verney, Kettle Foods’ head of impulse, adds: “On these sharing occasions, we find that consumers want to treat themselves, and their guests, and look for products to create a feeling of ‘specialness’ in their home environment.”

2. Savoury sharing snacks

Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez International, calls on evidence which suggests that shoppers in the savoury category are branching out from traditional fried potato crisps to more innovative and often lighter options: “Baked snacks can deliver on taste while offering a lighter way to snack,” she says.

In these more health-conscious times, with Mintel data showing that potato crisp sales have been in decline for the past two years, Matt Mill, senior brand manager at Kraft Heinz, believes that Planters nuts – “available in a variety of pack formats to cater to the snacking needs of consumers, including resealable sharing bags” – can help retailers cash in on the BNI occasion.

3. Sweet sharing bags

bag of tropical skittlesHammering home the focus on the sharing element of the occasion, sharing bags of sweets provide a reliable path to BNI sales success. Dan Newell, confections marketing manager at Wrigley, says: “Both Skittles and Starburst are available in sharing bag formats, which are perfect for the popular occasion.”

4. Soft drinks

Sales of alcohol-free wine are booming in the UK, according to Dan Harwood, head of wine education for Eisberg Alcohol Free Wine.

Stocking a broad range of soft drinks, including carbonates, juices, stills and waters, is also important. Nigel Paine, GB commercial director for out of home at Britvic, tells Better Wholesaling: “Where possible, retailers should also endeavour to offer a varied range of formats, such as two-litre colas and multipacks, to cater for consumers who are staying in with family and friends during the colder winter evenings.”

5. PMPs

Robinsons PMPBritvic’s GB marketing director, Kevin McNair, says: “PMPs drive positive price perceptions and are the ideal offering to entice shoppers on key missions. We are very excited to see the new Robinsons PMP hit the shelves as it presents an incredible sales opportunity. Retailers should make sure they stock up on this self-executing offer while stocks last to recruit new squash shoppers and drive sales in store.”

6. Ice cream

Research by Mars Ice Cream has found that 58% of UK consumers would consider offering an ice cream bar or ice cream on a stick as a dessert choice – rising to 73% for those aged between 18-34.

Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager for Mars Ice Cream, says: “It’s great to see that ice cream continues to prove its place as a firm favourite for a fantastic night in! Enjoyed by all ages, it’s proven itself as a staple for dessert to enjoy in the comfort of your own home, whether you’re entertaining friends or family in the garden, or in the lounge.”

chocolate bar7. Chocolate

Chocolate is still the number one choice for those settling down for a night in with friends and family, followed by biscuits, crisps and candy, so there are plenty of opportunities for cross-category selling to create the perfect night in, says Mondelez’s Nash: “What’s more, 52% of all confectionery occasions take place with other people present, so having a range of sharing formats is key to maximising this opportunity,” she adds.

8. Healthy alternatives

YushoiAs ‘better for you’ products continue to rise in popularity, consumers are looking for a variety of unusual flavours and ingredients, says Sarah Brown, senior brand manager for Yushoi Snapea rice sticks. “Retailers need to capitalise on this by stocking a selection of products, especially snacks that meet with this trend,” she adds.

9. Wine

Shaun Heyes, channel director at Treasury Wine Estates, says: “BNI offers up a great opportunity for retailers to drive incremental spend – and wine shoppers spend more than double what the average convenience shopper spends, buying more items per visit and spending longer in store than the average shopper.”  He recommends encouraging cross-shopping between wine and other categories, such as everyday foods like pizzas and sharing snacks.

10. Targeted offers

Unilever’s Widdowson emphasises the importance of stocking something for everyone, and the value of tailoring your communications: “Think deals targeting men, couples, groups of friends, ‘treat for myself’ offers and family promotions,” he says.

Treasury’s Heyes implores wholesalers to work with their suppliers to make their depots come alive, along with passing on suppliers’ PoS kits to retailers to help them do the same in-store.


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