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With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, we revisit some quick wins to ensure you make the most of the party opportunity this winter.
Promote local produce
Party season offers a sparkling opportunity to showcase the very best produce in your counters, but locally sourced food and drink are particularly hot.
“We are finding local produce, even in these current times, is a key seller and one that our customers look for whilst shopping at Friday Street Farm,” explained Ralph Bishop, general manager at Friday Street Farm Shop.
“Our purchasing team are always looking for new and unique products to offer our customers and we also focus heavily on local – choosing English sparkling over champagne, Kentish crisps over other leading brands and so forth,” added Rosie Collins, marketing director at Macknade.
Find out how to promote local here.
Cash in on seasonality
Fine foodies are becoming more conscious in their shopping behaviour, and retailers that change their offering with the seasons will do well. Therefore, cashing in on seasonality is a smart move for independent retailers.
“To keep customers interested we feel that seasonal ranges of products should be at the heart of any deli. Not only does it help to differentiate the brand within the season, but it keeps the customers on their toes while having to decide what to try this time!” explained Alicia Rogers, marketing executive at Holleys Fine Foods.
Discover how to do this here.
Create the ultimate party cheeseboard
As shoppers look for ways to wow their guests this party season, an artisan cheeseboard with all bases covered could be the way forward.
The shopping experience presented by indies will be more appreciated than ever by shoppers of all persuasions, as they visit speciality retailers for an enjoyable foil to a drab hour in a supermarket.
“Buy whole cheeses to create a mouth-watering display and then show off your cutting and wrapping skills. Whole wheels are great for keeping the price lower and your customers can choose what size they need”, advised Tracey Colley, operations director at the Academy of Cheese.
Find out how to sell a party-worthy cheese experience here.
Bring top-selling tipples to the fore
When it comes to what consumers will be looking for this festive season, spirits seem to be a steady choice. But make sure to have your trendy tipples at the front and centre of your party displays.
One key spirit to upsell is rum. As Brad Wicks, founder of Devon Rum Co, explained, “I’d say the recent growth in the spiced and flavoured rum sector has encouraged more consumers to make rum the focus for big occasions throughout the year. Just like gin before it, rum’s now enjoying a renaissance, and a real passion among consumers for artisan rums is driving this.”
Non-alcohol tipples are also top of many shoppers’ lists. “People are looking to gift for friends who don’t drink, as well as to make sure they feel part of the action if they drive to a party. Customers want to spend on a product that tastes great and means they feel included in every festive occasion. Retailers would be foolish not to offer [non-alcoholic] options for people to grab in-store”, according to Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda.
Find out what else to bring to the fore here.
Offer gifts for the hosts
With customers attending parties around the New Year, it is important to highlight small luxury food or drink items that can be given as tokens of thanks to hosts.
As Laura Roberts, owner of Laura’s Larder, explained, “For sweet items, we tend to think of these along the lines of ‘presents for the host’.
“The lovely Booja Booja flavoured chocolate truffles in the smaller boxes, or Flower & White’s Meringue Balls, are grabbable items which don’t cost the earth but feel like good quality to the giver and the receiver of the gift, especially when accompanying a bottle of wine.”
Find out what else Laura suggests focusing on here.
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