The latest FMCG industry trends report from SymphonyIRI Group reveals a decline in the volume of confectionery sales over the last year in the UK, despite events like the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.
For the 36 week period up to 1 September 2012, volume sales of confectionery dropped 1.3 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year – the second highest decrease across all food categories.
At the same time sales value is increasing – up 1.3 per cent in the first 9 months of 2012 – indicating that the price of confectionery is rising, forcing shoppers to cut back to make savings in the cost of their weekly shop. The price of confectionery is however rising more slowly than in any other food category.
Confectionery manufacturers have responded to declining sales volumes and competitive pressures by increasing the amount of product they sell on promotion – up from 64 per cent of all products sold in the year up September 2011 compared to 66 per cent in the year up to September 2012.
While confectionery remains one of the most highly promoted grocery products, manufacturers are changing the type of promotion they adopt – moving to more off-shelf displays which prove more effective in shifting volumes.
Earlier this year, SymphonyIRI Group’s report ‘Pricing and Promotion in Europe 2012’ highlighted a 5.9 per cent increase in off-shelf promotions for confectionery manufacturers. There is evidence that off-shelf often achieves better uplifts and is more efficient for retailers, who are choosing to place more products on them to maximise their effect.
Tim Eales, Director of Strategic Insight at SymphonyIRI Group explains: “As price inflation continues and incomes are squeezed, shoppers are forced to cut back on non-essential items. In the past we have always seen them save a little for a treat but now even the treats are being rationed. This may be combined with a desire by consumers for a healthier lifestyle.”
SymphonyIRI Group advises retailers and FMCG manufacturers to analyse and act on shopper behaviour, market insights and trends as consumers become more price cautious in order to control the cost of their grocery shopping basket – working together to develop strategies to retain shoppers and maintain or increase the shopper basket.