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The 2019 Naturally Good expo will take place on June 2-3 at the International Convention Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
The two-day expo is the southern hemisphere’s largest business event for healthy retailers, brands and practitioners. There will be more than 360 exhibitors across the beauty, personal-care, health, home, living, food and beverage sectors.
“Naturally Good offers the ultimate place to see, sample and experience the world’s best natural, organic and healthy products under the one roof,” say the organisers.
Euromonitor International has predicted the rise of the “conscious consumer” as one of the top ten consumer trends for 2019.
Naturally Good’s Group Event Director Jon Perry said: “The natural way of living is fast becoming the new norm.
“The expo attracts a great calibre of both Australian and international exhibitors and speakers. It gets a lot of interest from visitors as they can learn from leading experts and discover emerging new and well-established Australian and international products.
“They can also build long-lasting connections and broaden their knowledge of all things natural, organic and healthy.”
Exhibitors will include leading brands such as Cloverfields, Manuka Doctor, Hemp OZ, Beauty Sensation, Bio Beauty and The Chia Co.
Hemp, alternative milks and insects
Hemp food products, alternative milks and insect protein powders will take centre stage at this year’s event.
There will be four hemp food producers – Hemp Oz, Hemple, Bulk Hemp Foods and Australian Hemp Foods – exhibiting products including hemp seed powders, oils and beverages.
“The market is really growing very rapidly,” John Leith of Hemp Oz said. “I’ve actually been quite astonished at demand for our products.”
Alternative milks will also be a key focus. Naturally Good keynote speaker Bob Burke, of Boston-based Natural Products Consulting, says oat milk in particular was “huge” at this year’s Expo West in California.
There will also be three insect exhibitors from The Edible Bug Company, Grilo and The Cricket Bakery.
Grilo’s Lucas Becker says more than two billion people worldwide eat insects every day. “No other food in the market contains as much natural vitamin B12 as crickets,” he said.
Big-data firm IRI says supermarkets must invest “heavily” in technology to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer trends.
Chief Commercial Officer, Asia Pacific, IRI, Alistair Leathwood, has outlined the challenges facing the retail sector in IRI’s ‘Retail Outlook for 2019 and Beyond: Staying One Step Ahead’.
Investing in data and technology
Mr Leathwood says evolving technology presents great challenges to the FMCG sector, but opportunities too.
“Consumers across the world today are inundated by choice and have easy access to a wealth of information,” he said.
“Australian supermarkets must invest more heavily in data and technologies to better understand and meet the expectations of hyper-connected consumers.
“The insights brands can glean from digital technologies provide the opportunity to experiment with new products, environments and business models.”
Young driving online shopping
Online still comprises a relatively small share of sales. But IRI estimates that its share will grow 10-15 times faster than total channel growth rates.
“Millennials are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest adopters of e- and m-commerce,” Mr Leathwood said. “An understanding of their buying habits is crucial.
“Retail marketers also need to factor in generation Z, the generation behind them. They’re constantly online and will continue to be so.”
Convenience is crucial for the mobile younger generations as well as “time-poor mid-lifers”, says IRI. It cites data showing an emerging trend of “little-and-often” shopping patterns – in other words, an increase in store visits, but with smaller spends per basket.
Consumers becoming less loyal
Shoppers browse less than they used to, says IRI. Price, promotional mechanics and clever marketing are more influential than brand loyalty in FMCG purchases. This trend is creating opportunities for smaller, more contemporary suppliers and brands, and more exclusive products.
“Grassroots marketing that brings a relatable, real-life authentic brand story to life has never been more crucial,” Leathwood said.
“Brands need to reflect consumers’ wants and needs. It’s no longer a case of the big eating the small. It’s now a matter of the fast eating the slow.”
New technology trends
Mr Leathwood says that although many retailers recognise the importance of data, they’re still not sure what to do with it.
“We know FMCG suppliers and retailers analyse data, but many struggle to create value from it,” he said.
“With the growth of data from the internet of things, the job to decipher it becomes ever more complicated.
“It’s crucial they keep up to speed with new technology trends with a fresh mindset. If they master the data, they’ll be able to achieve highly targeted and effective marketing strategies – and a deep understanding of their customers.”
Foodstuffs is stepping up its fight against plastic by testing bespoke certified home compostable bags – made from corn.
The Kiwi company, which owns New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square, is testing the bags in the produce, bakery and butchery departments. The trial is taking place in selected stores around the country.
Foodstuffs Sustainability Manager Mike Sammons says the trial is part of the company’s “going reusable” push in produce.
“We’ve had a solid range of reusable bags available in our stores for some time,” he said. “We know our customers want us to help them do the right thing. But sometimes we all forget our reusable bags.
“It’s fantastic there’s now a plant-based compostable roll-bag alternative to conventional plastic. It’s both light and translucent for bagging apples, mandarins and flaky croissants. The home compostable bags can also be used as a barrier bag for butchery items.”
Mr Sammons says that, after a “careful review” of all the market options, Foodstuffs chose corn-made Compost Me bags.
“The bags are third-party certified to break down into their natural elements in your home compost,” he said. “So you can use them in your garden soil for growing plants. This is the biological side of the circular economy.
“So the message to customers is – reuse them as many times as you can and then home-compost them.”
The brains behind Compost Me is Heidi Nixon, a finalist in 2019 MYOB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Heidi says she’s been striving for the past 10 years to develop solutions that are better for the planet.
“As a buyer for Foodstuffs many years ago, I was growing increasingly disheartened about the amount and calibre of the packaging going through our stores,” she said. “So I decided to throw myself into finding something that would work for customers, stores and the planet. After a long hard slog, I’ve found a solution.
“Now, customers at selected PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square stores will be able to access these bags when they get caught short. We’ll see how the trial goes, but I have a feeling it will be a great success.”
If so, Foodstuffs says, it will roll out the option across New Zealand. It also says it’s “actively working” towards 100-per-cent reusable, recyclable or compostable private-label and in-store packaging by 2025.
Coles is now offering a range of family favourites in bulk sizes, which will save customers up to 65 per cent.
More than 25 of the supermarket’s popular products will be available nationally in value-sized packs while stocks last.
Some of these products include:
Barilla pasta, usually $1.95 for 500gm, available in a 5kg bag for $14 (saving: 28 per cent).
Panko Breadcrumbs, usually $2.70 for 200gm, available in a 1kg box for $5 (saving: 63 per cent).
San Remo Cous Cous, usually $2.80 for 500gm, available in a 2kg pack for $6 (saving: 46 per cent).
Kewpie Mayonnaise, usually $4.90 for 300gm, available in a 1kg bottle for $9 (saving: 45 per cent).
“We know our customers look for value when stocking up on pantry staples and offering some of our popular products in bulk is one way we are helping our customers save time and manage the family budget,” Coles Chief Operating Officer Greg Davis said.
“A great example is the Barilla 5kg bag of spaghetti, which is enough to make 40 main course-sized bowls of pasta and last the average family for a couple of months, or even feed the whole extended family at a celebration.”
Manuka Health New Zealand has won ‘Most Trusted Honey Brand’ in Australia at the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted awards.
It’s the second year running Manuka Health has won this award. It has also featured among the top-three honey brands since 2016, winning Highly Commended accolades in 2016 and 2017.
This year’s ‘Trusted Brands’ survey polled more than 3,000 Australian consumers on products from more than 70 categories.
Manuka Health’s General Manager Marketing Kate Kember says the company wants to grow its bee-product portfolio, including new dietary supplements.
“We’re driven by a desire to use science to unlock the real potential of New Zealand bee products,” she said. “We’re looking forward to building on the success of our honey range with more natural health solutions over the coming months.”
Advertising & Retail Director Asia Pacific at Reader’s Digest Sheron White paid tribute to the company after its win.
“Congratulations to Manuka Health,” she said. “The sustainability and quality of honey is important and so are the brands we trust to uphold these values.
“In 2016, we developed the ‘Honey’ category for Trusted Brands. As consecutive winners of this category, Australians have identified Manuka Health as a top brand they place their trust in.”
About Manuka Health
Established in New Zealand in 2006, Manuka Health says it has built on its commitment to produce high-grade Manuka honey sustainably. It claims to have experienced “exponential growth” in international markets and now sells in more than 45 countries. Its products are MGO-certified.
Demand for Greggs vegan sausage rolls in the UK is so fierce that people are bidding up to £7 ($13) each for them on eBay.
The British bakery chain launched its “vegan-friendly” sausage roll on January 3 this year in 950 stores. The rollout followed what Greggs describes as “strong consumer demand”, including a 20,000-signature petition. The rolls retail for £1 ($1.86) each.
In the seven weeks after the launch, Greggs experienced a 9.6 per cent rise in like-for-like sales. Total sales jumped 14.1 per cent compared with 2.9 per cent last year.
To top it off, sales have now hit £1 billion ($1.86 billion) for the first time in Greggs’ 80-year history.
Greggs was quick to give its vegan innovation its due.
“Whilst there are significant uncertainties in the months ahead, Greggs has started 2019 in great form, helped in part by the publicity surrounding the launch of our vegan-friendly sausage roll,” CEO Roger Whiteside told UK news network ITV.
“We hope to continue benefiting from this strong momentum during the first half of 2019 before facing stronger comparatives later in the year.”
‘Flying off the shelves’
The vegan sausage roll soon became a victim of its own success, however, quickly selling out across the country. In fact, demand was so high that some people were even bidding £7 ($13) for them on eBay.
Mr Whiteside said: “We’re not giving out numbers – it’s in the hundreds of thousands. But it’s the fastest-selling new product we have launched in six years. It’s literally flying off the shelves.”
On its website, Greggs says it designed the vegan sausage to “mirror” its meaty counterpart.
“The most hotly debated sausage roll since, well … the sausage roll,” the Greggs website says. “Our new vegan-friendly sausage roll has been designed to mirror some of the sausage roll’s classic features, including 96 layers of light and crisp puff pastry, but instead we wrap it around our own bespoke Quorn filling.”
According to the Vegan Society, in 2018 the UK launched more vegan products than any nation.
The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. In 2018, there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16 per cent of the population.
Red Rock Deli is introducing a Limited-Edition Fusion range of potato chips, the company has announced.
The new flavours are:
Thai Red Chilli and Creamy Coconut
Steak and Chimichurri.
Engaging the senses
“Red Rock Deli is renowned for its premium products and innovative flavour combinations,” Senior Brand Manager Lauren Mather said. “We’re all about developing flavour combinations that engage all the senses.
“Our new Limited-Edition Fusion range gives consumers the opportunity to feed their curiosity with new and exciting flavour innovation.”
Red Rock Deli will support the launch with a variety of digital, social and in-store activations, it says.
It will also host “exclusive pop-up dining experiences with five secret chefs”. But it’s keeping the details of each “Secret Supper” a mystery – and will inform guests by secret alert before the event.
The Limited-Edition Fusion range is available in both 150g and 80g packs at Coles, Woolworths, independent supermarkets and select P&C stores. RRP $4.49.
Research from Salmat has found that more consumers are choosing PayPal (50 per cent) over credit cards (48 per cent) for the very first time.
In fact, Salmat’s research found that digital options are increasingly popular in general, which it calls “a significant shift in consumer behaviour”.
Salmat’s Head of Digital and Performance Marketing Karen Lewis said: “Australians shop using a variety of devices. These insights indicate that people want more convenient options to make purchases, such as logging in via PayPal.
“While financial institutions have attempted to stay ahead of the curve, online payment services have effectively integrated themselves into a modern way of online shopping. This has ensured their continued rise to dominance in the retail environment.”
So what are the study’s major findings?
1. More people want to pay later
Afterpay is on the rise, with more Australians opting into the ‘buy now, pay later’ service. The research found that one in 10 Australians regularly use Afterpay, despite the company only being established in June 2017.
2. Rumours of the death of cash has been much exaggerated
Perhaps surprisingly, nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of consumers named cash as their preferred payment option.
“Despite experts predicting that Australia could be cashless in just three years, our research found that cash is still the dominant method for paying,” Ms Lewis said. But she also added that non-cash payment methods had reached “a tipping point”.
3. Consumers walk away if they can’t pay
The research found that if retailers don’t have the payment options a customer prefers, almost a third (29 per cent) will simply go elsewhere.
“We know consumers’ expectations are continuously rising,” Ms Lewis said. “Consumers want quick, easy and hassle-free options when they pay for goods. If retailers don’t offer this service, they’ll lose out on sales.”
4. Privacy is still a principal concern
While Aussie consumers are embracing different payment options, they still have reservations about how they may affect their privacy. For instance, more than half (58 per cent) are concerned about the safety and security of their personal data and payment information.
“Brands need to understand the importance of ensuring customers feel comfortable using these payment options,” Ms Lewis said. She suggests brands “highlight their dedication to data security and integrity” to put consumers’ minds at rest.
Salmat carried out the study jointly with ACRS to investigate how Australian shoppers pay for goods. Salmat describes itself as “a marketing services business that helps clients with the constant pressure of acquiring customers”.
Local brands are the big winners, with NSW’s Harris Farm Markets and SA’s Foodland taking out the top spots.
Retail titans Coles and Woolworths were left propping up the bottom of the table, while Aldi struggled in the middle.
The survey also explored supermarket shoppers’ biggest gripes, which included too much packaging and long checkout waits.
CHOICE.com.au Food Expert Rachel Clemons says shoppers’ preference for fresh and local food is the standout finding.
“The big lesson for Australian supermarkets is that fresh and local food matters,” Ms Clemons said.
“Over 2,800 people from the CHOICE community volunteered their time to tell us what they like and don’t like at their local supermarket.
“We asked them about everything from store presentation to value for money. The CHOICE community is renowned for being informed, discerning and savvy shoppers, so well done to the brands that impressed.”
In better news for Woolworths and Coles, CHOICE awarded ‘the big two’ high scores for their online delivery services.
Quality, not quantity
CHOICE says that “buying local” is a priority for many shoppers, whether it be to reduce food miles, support local producers, or for other reasons. In fact, says CHOICE, almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they were “frustrated” by the lack of local produce at their supermarkets.
One survey respondent, Rita from NSW, said: “Instead of stocking so many brands, supermarkets should concentrate on stocking fresher and locally produced produce.”
‘Too much packaging’ biggest gripe
The top five biggest gripes, according to CHOICE, were:
Too much packaging on products (54 per cent)
Lack of locally produced products (45 per cent)
Long wait at the checkout (43 per cent)
Products being unavailable / sold out (42 per cent)
Lack of staff member to provide assistance (37 per cent).
Respondents also had their own takes, including what they saw as supermarkets’ obsession with price.
Wayne from Victoria said: “Supermarkets believe it’s all about ‘the lowest price’. To me, it’s more about range, quality and service.”