New Grocery trends - a long view
Constructing a clear picture of the present - and future - business were Wabel partners IRI and Mintel at this year's Wabel Grocery Summit.
Throwing the spotlight on France, Jacques Dupré from IRI painted a fragile picture for private label in the French market. With a turnover of EUR13.8bn and 8.6 per cent of the total market, one in six euros is spent on private label savoury grocery products in France.
“But there’s no natural growth overall in private label,” said Jacques. Indeed, the slice of private label savoury grocery is actually decreasing. But he did point out that France is a ‘special case’, private label is ‘growing nicely’ in the rest of Europe.
And looking to bright spots in France, Jacques underlined that there is a good dynamic for apertifs snacks (up 3.5% in volume in 2013), soups and sauces (up 1.7%) and warm drinks (up 1.6%), but volumes for baby food (-4.4%), and pet food (-0.9%) are slipping down.
So are there any opportunities? Private label has seen a fall in its slice of the market, despite an increase in offering. But opportunities do exist in themed private label, says IRI. While both standard and economic private label is losing ground, ‘themed’ products – like regional and local products are making gains.
“Buyers need more specific offers with more trusted suppliers,” advised the IRI executive.
He also explained that further growth opportunities exist: in core and premium segments; and in developing strategies to get the right private label offer, to differentiate and increase market share.
Trends in Savoury Grocery: Mintel
Taking a closer look at a select number of categories, Mintel’s Manon Dupres underlined a clutch of trends to the Wabel Summit audience.
Sauces and Seasonings
Ethnic tastes, such as Latin American flavours and BBQ sauces with a Caribbean twist, are being taken on board and absorbed into new innovations in private label.
While EU consumers still have an eager eye on salt and sugar levels and will watch the content of new sauce products avidly. Both brands and private label are pushing low salt claims in their marketing.
Premium packs are building growth. Going premium through the choice of ingredients used in food and beverage formulation. Mintel quoted the example of Lidl’s recent launch, ‘Porto wine sauce with forest fruit’.
Convenience is still a strong and growing appeal to consumers, convenience is ‘key for the category’ Manon told the audience.
There’s a huge focus on ethical claims - private label and brands are reflecting this in their new product development and launches. And premium is still gaining in popularity, with luxury coffee a key strategy to tackle mature markets.
The extraordinary growth in coffee pods is still maintained, and one key are is to reflect the quality of a coffee shop. “Private label needs to mirror this.Private label is entering the expresso market with premium positioning,” clarified Manon. “Flavoured coffee is a real npd opportunity,” she added.