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Be Careful With That World Cup promotion - Most People Will Not Be Impressed
The nation is set to go football crazy once again and a new study reveals what UK shoppers feel about brands exploiting the World Cup, in terms of product and pack promotions and sponsorships.
While a quarter of people polled think World Cup promotions on packaging help the excitement to build, and 18% said they would be more likely to choose a product if it showed a World Cup promotion, over half are disparaging of brands getting involved in World Cup promotions which is more than the number of people that claim to have seen a food and drink brand with a World Cup in-store promotion.
In the survey, carried out in the last week of May, just over a quarter of people are open to trying Brazilian influenced foods as well as limited edition products launched by companies for the World Cup, presenting ways for brands to engage with new and existing consumers. Females in particular, claim they are more open to trying Brazilian cuisine.
"Food and drink manufacturers need to tread carefully in view of consumers' World Cup promotion fatigue. Please don't make random associations just to jump on the bandwagon; the fit has to be just right to cut through the competition. Promotions' true impact should be not focussed solely on the immediate returns in terms of hard and fast sales but also take into consideration the impact on longer term brand equity and consumer loyalty," says Mat Lintern, Global Managing Director of MMR Research Worldwide.
When asked directly, there are fairly high levels of awareness that sponsors Coca Cola (65%), Adidas (63%), McDonalds (48%) and Budweiser (39%) are sponsoring the World Cup. But there are high endorsements for Nike (56%), Lucozade (37%) and Mars (35%) which are not sponsors of the tournament. Brands which are involved in football in other ways, for example by sponsoring players, are still benefitting from heightened awareness around the World Cup.
The study queried consumers' knowledge of Brazilian food.
Around a fifth think some of the limited edition products in the UK (for example, Lucozade The Brazilian, Lucozade Sport Brazilian Guava and Pot Noodle Brazilian BBQ Steak) are "very Brazilian" and this rises to nearly a third amongst 16-34 year olds!
This is substantially behind genuine Brazilian cuisine, favoured particularly by the ABC1 social class, such as carioca beans, caiprinha cocktail and guava paste / jam. Foods such as coconut cake, black beans, batata palha crisps, cassava flour and Brahma beer, which are authentic Brazilian foods, currently have less of a strong link with the country.
Women are more interested in trying lacta diamante negro chocolate, coconut cake, caipirinha cocktail and cheese bread mix while males are more interested in Brahma beer.
With the biggest tournament in football about to kick off, 95% of people quizzed by MMR Research Worldwide (MMR) say they will be watching games in the comfort of their own homes.
This compares to 33% who will watch at a pub or bar, 25% who will watch at a friend's house, and 9% will watch at work. The younger generation, particularly 16 to 34 year-olds, is more likely to watch games in a pub or bar or at a friend's house.
"Watching matches on terrestrial television from the comfort of their sofa in the living room remains by far the most popular way football fans will enjoy the World Cup," says Mat Lintern, Global Managing Director of MMR Research Worldwide, whose team of researchers will also capture the British public's attitudes to the World Cup after the tournament.
Food Industry At Dawn Of Online Retailing Revolution
The global food industry is on the eve of an online retailing revolution that will lead to fundamental changes for players along the supply chain, from processors through to retailers.
“In theory the online grocery market should be a place for everyone to sell everything”
For brands and private-label food processors of every size, it means exploiting opportunities and tackling the challenges of securing on-screen visibility. In its latest flagship report, “Food Processors Challenged by Online Growth Dynamics,” Rabobank looks at the growth of online food retail as a game changer for processors, similar to the introduction of self-service supermarkets in the 20th Century and later on the arrival of hard discount and private label. Rabobank leads the way in looking at how food producers and processors are having to assess brand strategies, adjust and diversify their product range, refine their marketing tactics and modify their supply chains in order to meet the demands of online retailers and ensure they don’t risk becoming invisible online.
“In theory the online grocery market should be a place for everyone to sell everything,” said John David Roeg, Senior Analyst, Rabobank. “But food processors face the danger of being pushed to the back of the e-shelf. It’s not enough to change the packaging or formulations; in the face of increased competition and opportunities for commercial advantage, products need to be ‘online-proof’. Even the most popular products can lose share of screen so it is equally important for consumers to understand how to navigate the new online retail world.”
From large Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) to B-brands and the cheapest private-label producers, different strategies will be required to make products stand out against the competition. In the end it will be the squeezed middle that find it difficult to break the top line search results dominated by the most popular (A brands) or the cheapest (private label) products.
But it is not enough to make it to the top of the screen. New technology allows retailers to control what customers see. In this algorithm-controlled world, retailers can steer customers in a certain ‘ordering direction’ with tailor made promotions and substitutions based on browsing or buying history, similar customer profiles, and standard shopping patterns (e.g. birthday parties). While this can benefit consumers, there are multiple incentives for a retailer to persuade a customer to change products too, which may lead to concerns around transparency and privacy online.
Rabobank has identified three areas where processors can adopt strategic changes to flourish in the online age:
A. Assortments – adjust products to make them online-proof: A risk for large FMCGs is to see their leading brands filtered out by consumers using filters such as gluten free or low sodium. An option for producers of B-brands is to specialise in niche products such as healthy options. Beyond niches, there are other variables that can lead to filter-beating products such as smart pricing and packaging variety.
B. New marketing techniques: Marketers and sales teams will need to develop more advanced systems and procedures to actively manage share of screen 24/7. While the emphasis will be on building strong and recognisable brands, tactics to improve visibility can include negotiating individual terms with a retailer for promotions, substitution deals (to promote it or to prevent it from happening) or on-screen advertising.
C. Supply chains – new efficiencies for retailers and processors: Online retail will lead to more complexity for retailers with some costs going up, like more flexible production runs; and some coming down, like working capital due to fewer stocks in the supply chain. New product development can also become less expensive since online provides an ideal platform for product testing in a small catchment area. Additionally, improved flow control can result in fresher products for consumers and lower stock losses, while shorter lead times and smaller batches are possible thanks to better data and forecasting.
For those food processors that get it right, online retail channels provide opportunities not previously afforded in the grocery industry. With no limitations on shelf space, the barriers to listing and delisting products are reduced. This goes for assortments from existing producers but also benefits small and new market entrants such as those in the slow moving (super) premium segment or small ethnic food category. Furthermore, Rabobank expects some producers will be able to sell products through new online platforms or market places.
“Ultimately, Rabobank expects retailers to downsize their property and store portfolio significantly,” concluded Roeg, “with only fast moving and profitable products getting shelf space, the rest will be ordered online.”
Food A Likely Winner As Football Fans Stay At Home For World Cup Matches
The Football World Cup is not shaping up to be a bonanza for the retailers and the hospitality sector with only just over half of the population planning to follow the games at all, compared to the three quarters that tuned in for the 2010 games [sourced for FIFA by KatarSport http://fifa.to/1pMiW0M]. The retail sector will only see an average spend of £16 per head as a result of the tournament, according to new research by leading ecommerce partner Webloyalty. But what may be a wet weekend for retailers, could still turn out score for the food and drink sector with match meals on the sofa in front of the TV. The study, carried out by market researchers Conlumino on behalf of Webloyalty, found that approximately 40% of people do not plan on watching or plan on actively boycotting the World Cup tournament this year. Of those who do plan on watching the games, the vast majority will be doing so from home, which could disappoint hopes for a surge in the hospitality sector as a result of the World Cup. Watching at home was the most popular option found by the study, chosen by 94% of respondents, compared to watching in the pub, which was only selected as an option by 23% of people. Although this could mean a slump for the hospitality sector, the large numbers of stay-at-home viewers will drive a total £271m spend on food and drink. “With so many fans planning to watch the games from home this year, spending on food and drink to entertain friends will be a common priority,” commented Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe. “Supermarkets can therefore expect to cash in on football fever this year.” However, consumers are less keen to spend on football merchandise. The study revealed disgruntlement with the Football Association’s decision to price England replica football shirts between £60 and £90 this year – 99% of people think it is unacceptable to charge over £60 for a replica shirt and £20.05 was the average price that respondents think of as fair. “Regardless of how big a football fan one may be, the public is clearly unhappy with having to pay so much for a football shirt, which is likely to deter many from buying one”, said Guy Chiswick. Nonetheless, 78% of people said that they would not buy a replica football shirt anyway, regardless of the price, which reflects the overarching low level of enthusiasm about World Cup merchandise - less than 2% of people plan on buying any other tournament or team themed clothing or accessories, such as scarves, posters, mugs, stickers or key rings, which means a lower spend forecasted in this area compared to food and electronics. When it comes to the way in which people will watch the football, traditional TV remains the most popular viewing option, despite the developments that have been made in digital technology, mobile devices and internet streaming over the last four years since the last World Cup tournament in South Africa. The overwhelming majority (93%) of Brits will be watching the games live on a television set. There will be comparatively low uptake on internet enabled devices, which contradicts recent popular claims about the death of TV – only 8% plan on watching it on computer or laptop and only 3% on a smartphone or tablet.