Sweet like chocolate…

The road to sweet success!

We are a nation of confectionery lovers! Whether we turn to our favourite choice for a mid-day boost at work, for comfort, or a sporting moment – there is a time, and a snack, for all occasions. Stocking the right selection, and knowing what your customers want is crucial to ‘bagging’ sales opportunities and maintaining consistent momentum when it comes to sales.

Recent research has shown that ‘hunger’, ‘snack’, and ‘pleasure’, are the three key motivators that drive consumers’ sweet treat needs when purchasing from a vending machine. 44% of all consumers who purchase from snack vending machines do so at least twice a week, and most of the time this is on impulse.

Operators will see real value by simply ensuring that their vending machines offer the right range of products for the site in question. To maximise sales, operators might consider supporting need states across the day parts. Offer a variety of products that will appeal to the site demographic. Then it’s down to stand-out and visual appeal to further encourage these impulse purchases.

Stocking the right products

KIT KAT® remains an absolute winner amongst consumers and tops the charts as the UK’s leading chocolate biscuit bar. During 2009, the KIT KAT® brand’s market share increased by 14% (IRI, Total Market, MAT July 2009), outperforming the total confectionery market. Our Fairtrade certified four finger KIT KAT® and four finger KIT KAT Dark® are this year’s best-selling products, as they remain the snack of choice for consumers looking for a quick fix. The Fairtrade certification is one small part of our Cocoa Plan – Nestlé®’s 10 year, £65 million initiative to support sustainable cocoa farming in the Côte d’lvoire. Most recently, KIT KAT® Chunky Caramel has proved a big hit. Its vibrant, metallic packaging has great stand-out and its classification as a ‘hunger’ snack makes it the ideal option for leisure sites.

Invest in innovative promotions

Another key success has been our vending machine ‘electrostatics’. These are adhesive-free stick-on branding, which are easy to apply and peel off without making any marks. Four different machine ‘looks’ have been launched throughout the year to accompany media campaigns surrounding KIT KAT® Chunky Caramel, KIT KAT® Perfect Break, KIT KAT® Fingers Crossed and POLO® Suckers or Crunchers. A staggering 20% uplift in KIT KAT® sales through the promotional period proved just how much branding can generate awareness.

Consumer trends

Over the last year we have seen a significant change in how the consumer behaves. Consumers now not only look for a delicious treat; but also want to know if the bar they’re tucking into is made with natural ingredients, and how the calorie and saturated fat levels measure up. Research also shows that although people don’t always act on this information it has certainly become more important to consumers to have access to these key nutritional facts.

Nestlé Professional® has a long heritage in the provision of leading confectionery lines. The company is working with its foodservice partners to ensure that clear nutritional labeling allows their customers to make informed decisions. The company has committed to a ‘no artificial colours and flavours’ policy within its confectionery lines by the first quarter of 2011. The good news is that we are well on target to achieving this goal.

Call Nestlé Professional® now on 0800 742 842 for more information.