‘Guilt lane’ abolition is prime target for food firms

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Graze boss Anthony Fletcher has led the firm into bricks and mortar retail
Graze boss Anthony Fletcher has led the firm into bricks and mortar retail

Related tags: Retailing, Snack food

Manufacturers should prime themselves to take advantage of the supermarkets’ abolition of ‘guilt lanes’ by making healthy alternatives to chocolates and sweets to stock at checkouts, like the online snack manufacturer Graze has done, its boss has said.

Supermarkets had been pressed by lobbyists last year to cut down on so-called guilt lanes, where indulgence foods such as sweets are displayed by checkouts.

Graze announced in July that it would stock a new range of its products in 1,600 Boots and Sainsbury stores in its first venture into traditional retailing.

“What you’ll see in the stores is that we’re going to be a healthy choice at the checkouts to give an alternative to crisps and chocolate,”​ Graze’s chief executive Anthony Fletcher said.

Making more money

Retailers’ sales had been mixed following the voluntary removal of guilt lanes, he added. “Some are cracking it and have managed to transition their checkouts to a different product range and are making the same if not more money, while many others could be struggling.”

Before launching into Sainsbury and Boots, Graze trialled its on-the-go range in several Boots stores across the country. The range accounted for the highest rate of sales across the stores’ total snack categories, Fletcher said.

More than 50% of the purchases were made by customers who hadn’t bought products from Boots’s snacking category in the past five months, research showed.

Sainsbury

Sainsbury would take on 12 of Graze’s new stock keeping units, according to the retailer’s impulse category planner Amy King.

“In Graze, we have found a manufacturer who offers a variety of delicious, convenient snacks to suit everyone’s taste,”​ King said.

According to Fletcher, consumers were demanding healthier snacks, which is why Graze agreed to work with Sainsbury and Boots.

“Most people find that making a healthy choice is difficult, unsatisfying or means you have to compromise on taste,”​ he said.

“Graze is trying to make products that are not just healthy, but have a clear health benefit and have a fantastic quality of ingredients that you will entertain eating, enjoy and will satisfy you.”

Related topics: Obesity

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