The market research firm surveyed 699 UK shoppers across all major grocery multiple retailers via an online questionnaire post shop in 2016.
Smaller packs for usage occasions
Shopper Intelligence found sugar confectionery was in the top ten (seventh) of store purchases where consumption is planned ‘out of home’.
The market research firm said this presents huge opportunities for smaller, easy to carry packs that could be used for out of home occasions such as for picnics or lunchboxes.
Chris Adkins, director of Shopper Intelligence, told ConfectioneryNews: “Fun packs and multipacks are the obvious current example, but perhaps there is an opportunity for brands to develop new options that don’t currently exist.”
The survey found most respondents, 35%, purchased sugar confectionery to bring home and to eat at a later date (35%), compared to 24% of respondents who said they tend to consume on the day of purchase.
Usage displays and promotions
Shopper Intelligence suggested brands and retailers engage shoppers with promotions and secondary displays, tailoring sugar confectionery to usage occasions
“Given the way the data suggests confectionery is being used, it could make sense to consider locations that link to an occasion, for example with season picnic displays," said Adkins, who has previously served as shopper insights manager for Mars and Mondelēz's predecessor firm Kraft Foods.
Shopper Intelligence's survey found the majority (53%) planned to buy sugar confectionery before visiting the store. Around 46% bought the category on impulse – making sugar confectionery the fifth most impulsive category in store.
Of those 53% that planned to purchase sugar confectionery, 18% intended to buy a specific brand, indicating high levels of loyalty and a conversion rate of 85%.
Those buying on impulse were tempted by promotions (32%).
Easily identifying price
Overall, survey respondents said price was the most important factor in purchasing decisions, just ahead of quality, stock availability, range, layout and offer.
Adkins said: “One might suggest that the brand opportunity is to engage with retailers on how price is communicated in store – it needs to be easy for shoppers to identify.
“Brands could also help retailers to develop a suitable pricing portfolio, i.e. products in their range should capture different price tiers to maximise the opportunity.”
The survey found 62% of respondent consume sugar confectionery as a grab and go purchase and are driven mainly by product standout, (43%), ease of shop (43%) and prominent promotional display (23%).
The majority, 40%, purchase sugar confectionery for themselves, but many (11%) buy for their children, a much higher proportion than the 4% average across all categories in store.