According to global insight leader IRI, Maltesers, owned by Mars, is the UK’s best-selling chocolate brand in convenience stores with sales of nearly £50m. Chocolate sales are worth £1bn a year to the convenience channel, a decline of 2.1 per cent from the previous year.
IRI Convenience Market Place measures EPOS (Electronic Point of Sales) data from over 20,000 individual convenience stores, high street multiples such as McColls, travel and forecourt retailers, symbol grocers such as SPAR, NISA and One Stop, as well as unaffiliated independent grocers. This analysis was based on a review of data over the two years to 13 Sept 2015
Maltesers, now in a countline format and with new seasonal lines to grow the brand beyond its sharing her- itage, overtook Britain’s favourite chocolate bar Cadbury Dairy Milk and is now the best-selling chocolate brand across convenience outlets. Maltesers sales are particularly strong in the symbol groups, indepen- dents and travel outlets, whereas Cadbury Dairy Milk remained the number one in Confectionery, Tobacco, and News retailers (CTNs). However as the manufacturer of Cadbury Dairy Milk and other well-known Cadbury chocolate brands, Mondelez is the number one chocolate manufacturer in the convenience sector by value sales.
According to IRI, the convenience sector accounts for 29 per cent of all chocolate sold in the UK. It costs shoppers 32 per cent more (price per kg) than it does if they bought it in supermarkets, at £12.22 per kg. This is partly be- cause impulse outlets can command higher prices, and partly due to the higher sales of multipacks and bigger promotions in the supermarkets.
Martin Wood, Head of Strategic Insight – Retail at IRI UK, commented: “Premium consumers are willing to pay for convenience. So even after allowing for the higher costs of distribution within this sector, there is still ample opportunity for bigger margins and profits for manufacturers.”
In terms of pack format, hanging (principally sharing) bags are doing well, as they do in supermarkets. Hang- ing bags account for just under ten per cent of the convenience market (up from 8.7 per cent in 2014 by sales value). They are benefiting from the narrowing of the unit price between hanging bags and single bars. According to IRI, a proportion of impulse customers will trade up to hanging bags when they are on promotion – offering much more chocolate per volume than the traditional countlines.