HIM Think Tank

All posts from: May 2018

Following the healthy agenda

Posted by: HIM Thu, 31 May 2018

It is no secret that the UK, along with many other countries, is facing an obesity crisis. According to a report by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), almost three in four UK adults will be overweight or obese by 2035 if the current trends continue, writes HIM’s Heidi Lanschuetzer.

The NHS claims that these forecasts could mean they will bankrupt it. But why has the UK been hit with this epidemic? Isn’t the choice of shoppers to eat healthily?

Healthy food and drink should not be luxuries. Just like in higher income groups, many consumers in lower-income groups have the desire to improve their diets and lead a healthier lifestyle, too. HIM research shows that C2DE shoppers (39%) and ABC1 shoppers (41%) are almost equally likely to rate a range of healthy products as very important or important (8, 9 or 10 out of 10).

However, with price being highlighted an important feature in buying food for three out of four (74%) shoppers, it comes with little surprise that price is commonly cited as a barrier to consuming healthier food among those in the lower-income groups.

It’s clear that a proactive approach is needed and that suppliers and retailers must work more closely together to make healthier options more accessible to shoppers.

There is a huge opportunity for both manufacturers and retailers to take a proactive approach in making healthy foods more accessible and affordable to a wider population, and in doing so staying ahead of the ‘state stick’ and boosting their reputation as being socially responsible.

Convenience is a key driver for meal choice among c-store shoppers. For instance, two-thirds of meal-for-tonight shoppers use at least some pre-prepared items when cooking their evening meal (HIM). Therefore, making it easy for shoppers to choose a healthier option over a not-so-healthy one is paramount. A big enough and clearly labelled choice of better-for-you ready meals and meal solutions should be part of a convenience store retailer’s range.

The challenges of new legislation

Posted by: HIM Wed, 2 May 2018

Changes to legislation have been a prominent topic over recent years. TPD2 and the sugar tax are directly and indirectly affecting specific categories, while pension auto-enrolment and the National Living Wage increases are putting a greater strain on independent retailers’ bottom line, writes HIM’s Josh Clifton.

Most suppliers and retailers have addressed the impact of these legislative changes and have embedded them into their strategies, but how prepared are they for the changes that are upcoming?

Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol comes into effect this week in Scotland, and will dictate that a base price of 50p per unit is charged across all alcohol SKUs. Many believe that white ciders and value spirits will be the categories most affected.

While the legislation is currently set to be implemented in Scotland only, there is already talk of similar regulation being introduced across the rest of the UK, so it is imperative that BWS suppliers begin to understand the threats and opportunities MUP may present for their brands.

So how prepared are retailers in Scotland for this impending legislation? We spoke directly to a number of Scottish independent and symbol retailers to find out how aware they are of the legislation, and what impact they believe it will have on their decision-making. The insights gathered shed light on how best BWS suppliers can support retailers during this challenging time – and it’s not just about advising on post-MUP pricing and ranges.

More than 24% of the Scottish retailers we spoke to still do not feel prepared for MUP and there is concern about visit frequency, redundant categories and a drop in spend.

Some 70% of retailers say they are considering range changes as a result of MUP. Given these responses, it is important that suppliers understand the concerns and challenges that they face in order to avoid their products disappearing from shelves. Implementing the support and upskilling that retailers have told us they require will provide a platform for turning MUP from a potential threat into an opportunity.

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