2016: How Retailers can take part
Co-op Food is the Official Sponsor of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight 2016.Whether you are a large retail chain or a small independent shop, taking part in British promotions increases sales. You can attract new customers, increase spending from existing customers and establish a point of difference between your company and those that stock and serve only mainstream products.
Retailers have reported 34% increases as a direct result of British themed promotional events. Every year, small, medium-sized and major retailers take part with tastings, meet-the-producer events and special offers, all enjoying the commercial benefits that participation brings.
- In 2012, many independent stores, farm shops and delis flew the Union Jack on the high street as they used British food as their entry point into the Olympic Games. Customers were treated to tastings, meet-the-producer events and patriotic promotional material bearing the slogans ‘Be Patriotic!’ and ‘Support the home team!’
- Tesco and SPAR (UK) Ltd painted shop-shelves red, white and blue. 2,200 SPAR shops took part and Tesco ran patriotic promotions throughout its stores. Love British Food 2012 promotions in Tesco cafes doubled sales and sold out most days.
“We used the opportunity to get our customers tasting fresh British produce in store and found the event to be extremely successful in helping communicate our values" Morrisons
"During this exciting summer, thanks to our partnership with Love British Food, SPAR UK retailers have had the chance to celebrate the best of British by running promotions in their stores and highlighting their extensive ranges of high quality British food.” SPAR"A phenomenal success with Asda's customers, particularly with our meat, chilled and seasonal produce offers" ASDA
“What's really exciting is that we've seen a clear increase in sales as a result.” Warner Budgens
Suggestions for maximising sales during the patriotic summer of 2016.
- Organise promotions around events such as Her Majesty The Queen's 90th Birthday and the Olympic Games.
- Look at your existing stock. Is any of it British? If so, Just because you know that the food and drink you stock is British, don’t assume that your
customers do! Highlight it in store with POS material using a local logo or Union flag.
- Look for new suppliers close to home: Helen Sac summer of 2016unders launched ‘fair deal’ milk, cream and live yoghurts in her shop, Capers, buying direct from a local dairy farmer.
- Rather than just use the term ‘local’, name the producers and farms. If you are unable to specify producers or farms by name then use generic phrases such as ‘All the meat sold comes from within 30 miles of this shop.’
- Create a display of British food and drink in your shop window and/or on a table positioned in a prominent place so that customers can see the British products available when they walk in. A display is also a useful draw for the media as it creates a talking point and is easily photographed.
- Run an in-store promotion or tasting of new or existing products in your shop. Cross-sell. If you organise a tasting for regional cheeses then match these with different chutneys or cheese biscuits.
- Invite producers into your shop. Retailers report that sales of products offered for tasting double when the producer is in-store.
- Position a board either in your window or outside the store telling customers which products are being tasted.
Working with Schools – your customers of the Future.
In addition to the commercial reasons for taking part in British Food Fortnight, we invite you to use the national celebration as an opportunity to be proactive in educating young people about British food. Schools are being invited to take part in the initiative and so will be looking for partnerships. Visit the schools page for information about this year's schools competition.
Why not also:
- Host a class visit in your shop: Give children a tour of your shop explaining where food comes from. Send them home with a shopping list of lunch box recommendations to give to their parents.
- Give a talk in your local school: food can be incorporated into most curriculum subjects.
- Help set up a fresh food tuck shop in your local school: you supply the food; the school runs the shop!
- Run a competition for children: competitions are always a success. Butchers: design a burger recipe that will be sold in your shop. Greengrocers: create point-of-sale signs showing the food miles of different produce. General stores: ‘Did you know’ Q&A where children have to go round the shop to find the answers. Give cinema tickets or DVD vouchers to the winner.
- Donate ingredients for school cookery lessons: all schools are invited to teach children how to cook during British Food Fortnight. Donating ingredients will provide a valuable service to your community and will win customer loyalty from parents.
- Think about children when planning your sales promotions: child-friendly promotions will encourage parents to visit your store. Some shops have invited a cow to their cheese tastings and staff in urban shops have dressed up in cow costumes!
Who has made it work?
A range of retailers have run British promotions over the years. Below are a selection of highlights which we hope will inspire you!
Huge Bread and Butter Pudding! Hovis baked a 3,300lb bread and butter pudding at the Hovis test bakery in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The record-breaking dessert weighed in at 3,300lb and measured 7ft by 5ft. A team of 7 bread experts from Hovis worked for 49 hours to prepare and bake the giant pudding.
Flash Mob! Hillfarm Oil held a Flash Mob at Bury St Edmunds Shopping Centre. There were around 30 dancers wearing Hillfarm / British food t-shirts.
Recipe book! Modern History launched a free recipe book including classic home-grown dishes from the North West from the Industrial Revolution era for British Food Fortnight. The book featured dishes inspired by some of the region's finest industrial heritage attractions, with gutsy traditional fare like Pig's Head Brawn, Black Pudding and Rabbit Stew, plus treats such as Jam Tart, Manchester Marmalade, Borrowdale Tea Bread and Rag Pudding.
Vegetable makeover! Riverford Organic Veg organised a competition to find the street that was in the most need for a vegetable makeover. The winning street received cooking lessons from an expert chef and was invited to a party where Riverford's cooks served up meals for everyone who took part.
Sausage competition! Croots Farm Shop in Derbyshire hosted a design a sausage competition for two categories (12 years of age and under, and adults). Over 50 entries were received and the winners included Buck in the Park (a venison sausage marinated in stout with garlic and redcurrants) and Ketchup Sausage (a pork based banger flavoured with red sauce).
Meet the Producer! Complete Meats offered a tasting day as part of their activities. They got local meat producers and a representative from Quickes cheese to come along to present their produce. The event achieved a 30-40% increase in takings on the day even with a 10% discount on everything.
Learn about Butchery! The Wolverhampton butcher, Robinsons, employed a full time butcher for the Granary who was supported by a team of ten specialists from the Tettenhall shop to create an exciting calendar of events. The store offered taster sessions, sausage making workshops, joint carving demonstrations and preparation tips for the festive season.
Farm walk! Ebworth Estate organised a walk around the estate looking at livestock and wildlife, followed by an opportunity to taste and buy Ebworth lamb and beef.
Free Fruit! Millets Farm Centre in Oxfordshire gave away a piece of home-grown fruit to each children with every purchase made throughout the promotion, which culminated in a British food weekend bazaar with cooking demonstrations and tractor and trailer rides.