SBHD: Angus Porter, the UK marketing director of Mars Confectionery, gives his opinion on the findings.
Your figure of 80 per cent of consumers buying “because it’s their favourite” sums up the market very well. People buy from a repertoire, and they are loyal to a small number of brands, although they do experiment. New products benefit from this willingness to experiment – but turning a novelty into an established favourite is the trick; few new products in this sector are lasting successes. Time Out is hovering at the moment, it has been out for a couple of years, and Cadbury is investing heavily to secure it permanent presence in the top ten. We have high hopes for Galaxy Caramel which went national after your research, but results from early launch regions are so positive that Nestl and Cadbury are relaunching their Caramel products in retaliation!
Kit Kat and Mars have had such consistency of advertising message over the years, and consumers know where they are with them.
While advertising is an important lever, it’s not the whole story. Our research confirms that most purchases decisions are made at the counter, and that is the number one function of our merchandising force, to ensure our products are displayed attractively and in prime position. You can double a product’s sales by moving it from the worst to the best position on the fixture.