January blues provide opportunity for growth for nutrient category, says Bridgethorne
With getting fit and healthy the number one New Year’s Resolution, the January detox season is in full swing, presenting opportunities for growth across all associated categories, says customer, category and shopper management specialist Bridgethorne.
Sales of juice makers were reported to have been up by a massive 275 per cent in the first week of January whilst sales of protein shakes, bars and supplements have also been increasing. Data from Euromonitor reported an increase in sales of protein products in the UK by 17.4 per cent last year, compared with 4.7 per cent for sports and energy drinks. In addition shoppers are also embracing so-called ‘superfoods’: sales of quark, a virtually fat free soft cheese that is said to aid weight loss, was up by 37.9 per cent last year making the product worth £8.5million in the UK, whilst sales of beetroot, which it has been claimed can help treat blood pressure and boost athletic performance, are up 20% in four years (source: Kantar). Tesco reported sales of beetroot juice up by 50 per cent just last year alone.
There is no evidence to suggest that this trend is going to be reversed. In fact, the prospects for growth for products, which can substantiate their health credentials, look strong for suppliers who do what is needed to understand the category. But, suppliers need to have an effective category strategy in place to discuss with retailers, which reflects the expectations and goals of both the supplier and the retailer.
“Suppliers must regard it as their responsibility to help grow categories, increase margins and help the retailer deliver on its KPIs,” explains Bridgethorne co-founder, John Nevens. “But it seems that while retailers are crying out for the data, analyses and reports that help them build the category as a whole, many suppliers continue to fail to carry out even these routine category management tasks.”
Nevens says this means crunching the numbers, completing the analyses, building the reports, undertaking the range reviews and using the insights from the data to show how to grow the category for the benefit of both themselves and the retailer, and how best to channel investment.
“Simply supplying great products may no longer be enough,” he says. “From our regular conversations with retailers and their buyers we know that there is frustration that, when it comes to trying to get products listed, suppliers are often missing solid category based rationales. They often don’t know how to extract the best insights from their data, or turn it into a selling story that resonates with the buyer. What we do helps grow categories and by leveraging objective insights, suppliers and retailers may also benefit by developing joint initiatives for category growth and creating mutually beneficial trade investment plans.”