With retailers facing increasing pressures, new products with high rates of sale and offering healthy cash margins should be considered now more than ever.

With inflation running at 10.5%1 and some input costs such as energy running at even higher levels of increase, retailers are facing rising operating costs, meaning they have to make their space work even harder to maintain profits. So,the choice of how best to utilise the space in-store and what new products to stock becomes even more important, and products that drive incremental, high margin sales are a must.

On the bright side there is one pressure facing larger supermarkets that many convenience retailers and local shops don’t face: HFSS regulations2.  

Stores that are less than 2,000 square feet don’t have to comply with the regulations regarding in-store displays and positioning near the till, so here’s an opportunity for smaller, local convenience stores to gain a larger share of the impulse confectionery market.

So what’s the best way to overcome these issues and make the most of this competitive advantage?

One possible solution is to consider international brands. Brands from Asia and the USA are growing in popularity in the UK, thanks in part to exposure on social media platforms such as TikTok. These brands have gained their own space in supermarkets – see, for example, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons’ USA fixtures or Tesco’s new international aisle – and command a price premium with shoppers due to their novelty.

This, coupled with their unique selling points, also lends itself to in-store feature and display… the brighter and more eye-catching, the better.

There also appears to be a current consumer preference for ‘true to life’ fruit flavours as younger audiences seek authenticity and difference3. Exotic flavours, in particular, are proving a big hit, with varieties such as watermelon proving to be a winner with shoppers4.

So, for local and convenience stores, making sure you stock brands that deliver on all these attributes should ensure the best outcome.

Stocking Japanese sweets in your store

One such brand is Hi-Chew. This best selling sweet from Japan gained widespread popularity in the US after launching in 2008, with more than 75% of retailers stocking it5 and sales of over US$100m6.

Its success being attributed to a unique combination of taste and chewy texture delivered by its double layer technology and true to life fruit flavours that guarantee a great long-lasting hit.

What sets Hi-Chew apart is its high level of customer loyalty, says brand owner Morinaga & Co. According to one study in the UK, the brand’s customer loyalty rate is more than 70% which is almost double that of similar major sugar confectionery brands7.

This fact, combined with above-average RSPs (MRSP is £1.25 for 50g vs a category average of under £0.9), ensures healthy cash margins are delivered and precious space in store is profitably utilised. If space in-store is limited retailers can take advantage of the brand’s bespoke counter and floor display units. 

Find out more about stocking the Hi-Chew range, contact your local Bobby’s representative:

Sally Malpass, sales administrator, Mobile: 07483 120462 Email: Sally.malpass@bobbysfoods.co.uk

1 Bank of England
2 Gov.uk
3, 4 & 6 Morinaga &Co, Internal sales data, November 2022
5 IRI data, ACV Weighted Distribution rate, June 2022
7 Cross Marketing Global Research, Rate of those who have bought the brand within the past 1 week among those who have bought the brand within the past 1 month, August 2