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Why Grocery Sales Disappointed Despite Veganuary & Dry January Success

Reports released this week indicate that UK grocery sales were disappointing throughout January. The first month of 2020 has seen many brands release NPD, and with lifestyle trends like ‘Dry January’ and ‘Veganuary’ quickly joining ‘New Year, New Me’ campaigns as a catalyst for driving shopper habits at the start of the year, these lacklustre sales results could indicate that something is going wrong along the retail execution path.

According to the Retail Gazette, “data from Kantar Worldpanel revealed muted sales growth of just 0.3%” in the 12 weeks up to January the 26th. Yet, this year saw many BWS brands release new non-alcoholic alternatives in time for Dry January. Fast-growing craft beer brand BrewDog’s signature alcohol-free beer Punk AF was joined by a line of new alcohol-free drinks, and the company even celebrated the launch with the opening of an alcohol-free beer bar in London’s East End. Other brands also released signature non-alcoholic versions of their best-selling brews, such as Carlsberg’s Nordic. UK alcohol awareness charity Alcohol Change UK reported in December last year that one in ten drinkers would be attempting Dry January in 2020.

The other significant consumer trend for January was Veganuary. According to the Veganuary website, “since 2014, Veganuary has inspired… more than half a million people in 178 countries to try vegan”. The group states that they have “worked with businesses to drive up vegan food provision in shops and restaurants.” This is reflected in the actions of brands like Hellman’s, Rustlers and Old El Paso to name just a few, who heavily marketed vegan or vegetarian products, aiming at the thousands of people who were planning on cutting down on meat in January.

So with such a huge wave of consumers reportedly attempting either or both lifestyle challenges, and so many brands launching new products, the question remains, what went wrong to cause such sluggish sales results?

It’s clear that the number of people who will be seeking out specialist products each New Year is on the rise, and for companies who offer meat and alcohol alternatives, field merchandising must be considered as an answer to the demand. Field marketing will ensure that products are seen on shelves, and that these products are given competitive space so that they stand out over the sea of similar items.

Not only this, but data-led field marketing campaigns can ensure you know exactly what is and what isn’t selling where. Data like this is invaluable to optimise brand product innovation and key activation with reporting in real time, allowing for continued improvements for optimal results in driving sales. Manufacturers of seasonal products must plan early, using a field marketing company like Logobrand to take full advantage of these growing trends.

To ensure you see improved ROI on your next marketing campaign, or to make sure your NPD hits the ground running, get in touch with the team at Logobrand.

Read more: Availability in the New Year – getting straight in the aftermath of Christmas