More than half of the 150 retailers questioned in the poll named either tobacco (27%) or alcohol (26%) as their best-performing category last year, and they are expected to continue to perform well next year, according to the survey. However, 34% of respondents said they would like to see more innovation in the alcohol sector, the highest of any product category.
The continuing strength of pricemarked packs is reflected with over half (55%) of retailers saying that they represented the single biggest pricing trend in the industry. A similar number called for wholesalers and suppliers to provide more promotions and pricemarked products to help them compete.
The energy and soft drinks category is the one that the most independent retailers will be focusing on developing this year, with 10% of retailers saying they plan to give it more space in store.