Category Snapshot: Bakery Q4 2017


Category Snapshot:

Bakery Q4 2017

The bread market has been in value decline for the past four years, but it’s finally starting to recover, now down just 0.3% (The Grocer 2017). This growth is largely due to innovation in a category that was suffering as people turned to free-from or on-the-go options. Some big ATL campaigns have gone live too, which might have contributed to this growth.  


Halloween events: Trick or treat?

Many bakery brands bring out special editions of their products for Halloween, but how easy is it to land space and media within the store to promote this to shoppers? Mr Kipling’s Halloween range of cakes was supported with secondary space and front of store media, however in Tesco the retailer template imposed didn’t allow for much in-store impact. ASDA’s execution was far more intriguing, in line with the retailer’s strategy to prioritise in-store events. Although share of voice was reduced, the creative itself was fun and engaging – appearing branded whilst aligning to the retailer’s template.

an appearance from the buyer

We spotted some unusual POS at shelf this Christmas: two barkers promoting Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference private label cakes and biscuits, with endorsement from category buyers, a technique frequently used in the BWS category to promote wine. Whilst the figure of the buyer might not mean as much to the average shopper as to us in the industry, the recommendation is an effective tool to use at shelf, particularly where products aren’t easily differentiated from one another. Consider speaking to your Sainsbury’s buyer about how this worked for them; it might be something brands could be involved with going forwards.

Warburtons: Pride and Breadjudice

Very few of you will have escaped Peter Kay’s bare chest this quarter, since this much-talked about TV ad has translated into store, print and online too. Several versions of creative were spotted, with creative being brilliantly adapted to make sense in a busy environment. An FSDU in Co-op contained all the essentials: huge endorsement by a famous face (often pointing to the loaf itself), packs large enough to communicate the brand name, and a clear CTA: ‘start your loaf affair’. Secondary space such as this is a great way to increase product availability, however brands must ensure that they consider the product size with the unit. In this case, the unit itself was quite small comparative to the product size so would have needed frequent re-stocking, which, was not always the case.

the Super Six: retailer comparison

When comparing the bakery aisle in a similar timeframe in the Super Six a few observations can be made:

For morning goods and plant bread, it was a relatively quiet quarter despite the growth we’ve seen in the wider category. Hovis, Kingsmill and Warburtons all invested in fixture POS across the period, although not all was as STOP generating as possible. Fixture media in a highly saturated and fairly brand loyal category is important not only to win new shoppers and keep giving existing shoppers a reason to keep buying your brand, but also to break auto-pilot behaviour if you want your brand to be considered. Barkers tend to get lost in some retailers, given the visual variety on the shelf and in some the shelving itself doesn’t lend itself to barker opportunities. Aisle fins are more highly recommended here if you can get them away. With little opportunity to brand at shelf however, it is vital to get your branded message across via packaging and at the start of the shopper journey.

key learnings

Category growth indicates that shoppers are visiting this aisle again; brands just need to ensure that share isn’t lost entirely to the new innovations in the category. Brands looking to revive an existing SKU can all learn a lesson from Warburtons’ campaign this quarter: a great example of translating TV messaging below the line. Messaging in-store needs to be clear and concise whilst still relaying your brand’s identity.

Brands also need to remember the power of conversion in category. Where possible use fixture media, but if not available or appropriate, consider doing two things: 1) increase brand visibility out of category and drive to aisle and 2) utilise packaging/secondary space to your advantage to carry the believability message.

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