ELIT ROWLAND talks to Jon Eatly about the impact of bottled gum on the independent channel
BW: The launch of your new bottle format is intended to inject £12m of sales into the business – how much of this will come from the independent channel?
JE: We expect at least £3.9m to come from independents and symbols. The new bottle format retails at £1.99, offering real value to consumers. There’s six bottles in an outer and to get the product off to a good start in-depot, we initially had a ‘buy three, get one free’ offer for retailers, which was so popular we plan to do it again with other new products later in the year.
What additional support are you offering wholesalers’ customers?
We have introduced a new merchandising unit, featuring an elevated top shelf dedicated to bottles, to maximise visibility at the till point. To drive purchases and potentially increase sales by up to 55%, retailers are also being encouraged to use a secondary bottle siting in store, using the new paddle display supplied as part of the point-of-sale (PoS) suite.
Are there any plans to introduce price-marking on the new bottle format?
No plans at the moment, although we do believe that price-marked packs (PMPs) have a big role to play in the marketplace. The round pound is a key point to focus on and we plan to launch PMPs on some of our other sugar confectionery brands later in the year. This will be exclusive to the independent channel – we don’t offer price-flashes to multiples and discounters.
How important is the food service channel to you?
Foodservice and vending is worth £7m to our business and it’s an area we would really like to grow. We have a field force visiting independent cafés and sandwich shops to help them with the two main products that perform well in this sector: Extra Peppermint and Extra White. We expect to grow distribution and visibility over the next few years.
Is healthy confectionery important to independents?
Oral health is important to all consumers. We have a big ‘Eat, Drink, Chew’ campaign with Antonio Banderas to fight plaque acid and remove lingering food. It is part of a £20m marketing investment in the Wrigley brand this year and the wholesale channel will enjoy a significant part of this investment.
How is Wrigley working with wholesalers to help grow their sales?
Firstly, we support wholesalers with big off-shelf displays to highlight new products and promotions. But to help to pull those products through retail, we have a huge sales force that targets retailers’ outlets and creates room for displays at till-point. Wholesalers’ customers can also call us on the hotline (01752 752 094) which features on in-depot PoS.
Are you open to new ideas about in-depot activity and promotions?
Our cash & carry partners are very innovative and we are happy to consider new ways of growing business together.