Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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44 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM 2017 ALTERNATIVE SNACKS: General Mills Convenience T he alternative snacks category is one of the biggest oppor- tunities for retailers and has seen strong growth over the past several years. General Mills Convenience is working to make the alternative snacks category easier to shop; putting more energy and space toward breakfast and nutrition; and increasing the space allocated for this emerging category. There continues to be an opportunity to try new cookie, cracker and bar sets — putting crackers with salty, creat- ing a separate sweet section, creating a breakfast/nutrition section, etc. With shoppers spending on average less than three minutes in the store, retailers need to make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for. Here are some highlights from the past 12 months of how General Mills Convenience helped enhance "shopability" and increase conversion in alternative snacks: GRAIN BARS: • Worked with a leading national customer that has smaller sets to optimize its limited footprint. By leveraging a Nielsen incrementality study, General Mills Convenience was able to optimize the core, and place only items that added the most monetary value and incremen- tality to these small sets. As a result, this customer grew the category by 19 percent over the last 52 weeks, which is significantly faster than the total U.S. • Worked with a large regional customer to emphasize the importance and growth opportunities in nutrition bars. This customer agreed to give this category a more prominent loca- tion in its stores and also give the category placement near the front door of its new stores to maximize foot traffic by the section. The result has been 9-percent growth over the last 52 weeks, which is twice the growth of its comp market. • Worked with another large regional customer to create high and low nutrition indexing planograms to maximize sales in its urban stores and rural stores. The recommended assortment for urban stores is much different than for rural, lower-income areas. As a result, this customer is growing their category by 11 percent and also significantly reducing stale rates. OTHER BARS: • Influenced a major wholesale distributor to move granola bars from the protein/nutrition category to the breakfast category by accenting the declines of both segments and sharing proprietary consumer insight studies. This shift has resulted in an increase of 6 percent over the past six months within the granola segment. • Aided a large distributor in allocating the correct amount of space across multiple categories, segments and subseg- ments. This work led to incremental SKU gains of approxi- mately 15 SKUs across the distributor's snacking categories, with an estimated 7,500 new points of distribution. Additionally, retailers that have worked with General Mills to break out breakfast and nutrition have experienced double-digit growth. The breakfast/nutrition area may include cup cereal, pastries, granola bars and energy bars. A separate afternoon/ indulgent section may include crackers, cookies, bakery items and treat bars organized by segment and brand. General Mills is seeing great success with retailers that are dedicating more than 4 feet of space to the bar section in their stores. Retailers should examine their designated bar locations and test their planogram accordingly, according to the Category Captain. ••••••••••••• BEER/MALT BEVERAGES: Anheuser-Busch A nheuser-Busch figured out how to help c-store retailers win at holiday time by educating convenience store consumers to "Buy More" during those periods when c-stores typically under-perform against other destination-type channels. The beer category produces more than $18.7 billion in annual revenue with consistent year-over-year growth, evidenced by a five-year compounded annual growth rate of 3.65 percent. With the conve- nience channel making up more than 55 percent of total U.S. off-premise beer sales, and beer generating almost 13 percent of convenience sales, mutual performance is crucial to overall success within the industry. However, the convenience channel significantly under-indexes its fair share (94 index) of key holiday weeks, with volume shifting to larger-format retailers during the largest beer- selling weeks of the year. Generating strategies to support the convenience channel in achieving its fair share of off-premise in just seven key holiday periods equates to 1.6-percent annual growth for the total beer business, or a $290-million opportunity. During the holidays, beer sales and volume both increase. Consumers spend 7.8 percent more per unit; the pack sizes are larger by 6.8 percent; the dollars per basket increase 11.1 percent; and one in every 10 consumers buys an incre- mental unit per trip. While it was clear to Anheuser-Busch that consumers "Buy More" during these key holidays, they did so in the larger-format destination-type shopping formats that

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