Survey reveals healthier alternatives to the fore

19th December 2022

Logistics BusinessSurvey reveals healthier alternatives to the fore

The food and drink ‘reformulation revolution’ continues apace in the UK’s supermarkets, according to Christmas supermarket survey figures released by CHEP UK & Ireland.

As retailers continue to implement the new high fat, salt, sugar (HFSS) supermarket store of the future, reformulated products play an increasingly significant part in influencing consumer behaviour.

Impacted categories retain a strong off-fixture presence thanks to reformulation. Across these categories, the share of compliant food displays increased from 24% to 47% year-on-year. Breakfast cereals lead the way, with 94% of cereal displays compliant compared to just 30% last year. The usual rise in alcohol displays for World Cups and Christmas combined generated a 32% annual increase in off-fixture locations, and general merchandise surged 44%.

Sean Field, CHEP UK&I Store Solutions Category Manager – Northern Europe, said: “There is a ‘reformulation revolution’ underway in UK stores. Innovative manufacturing and creative marketing combine to generate off-fixture opportunities that more than recuperate the retreat of non-compliant foods moving in-fixture.

“For most consumers, new arrivals from manufacturers like Mr Kipling, Pringles, and Jacob’s look like any other new products with fresh flavours. In fact, they are highly effective methods to overcome the challenge of the HFSS legislation and put these brands in the familiar position of front and centre in the supermarket space race.

“Our industry toolkit recommended using the 2022 twin trading peak of World Cup and Christmas to gather data on consumer reactions to new approaches to store layouts, with different products on display in unexpected locations. Retailers and manufacturers appear to be taking up this opportunity with relish to help reimagine the store the future.”

Other survey findings

Other key statistics covering the UK’s off-fixture displays include:

  • Overall, off-fixture displays increased by 12% as retailers created new space, often due to more compact checkout layouts and streamlined counter offers
  • The usual rise in alcohol displays for World Cups and Christmas combined generated a 32% annual increase in off-fixture locations, and general merchandise surged 44%
  • Around 16,000 or 19% of food displays were still in non-compliant locations – a slight increase on the most recent figures registered 16%
  • Confectionary continues to retreat in-fixture with 44% fewer displays off-fixture despite the festive season. Biscuits reduced percentagewise even further at 80%

Bryan Roberts, an industry contributor to the Store of the Future toolkit, added: “The final quarter of 2022 is all about data collection. Manufacturers and retailers are testing the effectiveness of the ‘reformulation revolution’ to evolve product and sales approaches further in 2023.

“But Christmas is not the end of the story for the impact of HFSS on the store of the future. There are still many more influences on effective product layouts and theatre from the continent that can add value in the battle for customers.”

For more debate and discussion about the long-term impact of HFSS, CHEP UK & Ireland has created a store of the future webpage available to everyone to engage with.