May 24, 2024

Added to this, 43% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop in a convenience store that sells PMPs. So, what’s not to like?

Shopper loyalty
Well, one of the key concerns from retailers and wholesalers is that PMPs can limit a retailer’s ability to charge a higher price for the product. However, it is argued, charging the correct price is more important to build shopper loyalty and price confidence.

Matt Stanton, head of insight at DCS Group, explains: “While charging a higher price may drive a short-term margin gain with shoppers on distress missions, it will hurt shopper loyalty. With shoppers looking to save money, they will plan to shop in a store where they have confidence in the product prices and will avoid stores looking to capitalise on distress missions by charging higher prices.

Matt Stanton

“Distress top-up missions account for just one in 10 total convenience shopping trips, whereas planned top-up missions make up one-third of the total and have a much higher basket spend, so these are the missions that most convenience retailers should be prioritising.”

Demonstrating value
One category in which PMPs are prevalent is crisps and snacks. Value for money is now the third most important reason for snacks purchases (after flavour and quality), with more than 90% of consumers agreeing value for money is important.

However, convenience shoppers worry they will pay more for shopping locally and PMPs give them confidence they are not being ripped off. That’s why PMPs have increased to 77% of snacks sales and 57% of independent retailers believe PMP snacks are more important than ever, as they are a proven way to demonstrate value.

Also, from a practical point of view for retailers, PMPs can make store operations easier, as the price of a PMP is obvious to the shopper, so they don’t need to ask.

Many convenience retailers use price tickets on the shelf edge, but these can sometimes become obscured or fall off and many retailers still do not have the facility to print price tickets out, and instead rely on sticking price labels on the product. PMPs are easy – they don’t need an extra price label, and there’s no confusion for the shopper.

Impulse buys

Matt Collins

The £1 to £1.25 price-point continues to be a key format for independent stores to focus on, accounting for 50% of snacks sales. Matt Collins, trading director at KP Snacks, says: “KP Snacks is delivering the fastest growth in PMPs at 36.7%. Worth £129m, the KP Snacks PMP portfolio features a range of SKUs ranging from 40p PMPs to £1.25 PMPs. KP Snacks’ extensive PMP range caters to all tastes, occasions and budgets, perfectly positioned to engage shoppers and drive impulse purchases for retailers.”

Rival snacks manufacturer Tayto Group is sticking to its £1 price-point, believing it is an important method to draw in sales. Matt Smith, marketing director for Tayto Group, says: “£1 PMPs are growing more than twice as fast as the market.

Inflation pressure has forced many other brands to move above the all-important £1 price-point, but we are committed to putting consumers and retailers first. Having surveyed both retailers and consumers, it was clear how important the £1 price-point is to both groups. Independent retailers can really come into their own where they can offer great value for money.

“Instead of raising the headline price of our £1 PMPs, we have given retailers and customers what they want and kept with the £1 price-point to demonstrate our commitment to delivering great consumer value while offering strong retailer margins. Sixty-four percent of consumers are willing to switch brands for a lower price, so value for money is key.”

Driving growth
The company believes its commitment to £1 has been instrumental in Golden Wonder’s success, with Transform-A-Snack £1 PMPs growing at 39.9% and the recent launch of Pickled Bikers boosting the Fun Snacks £1 PMP range to deliver 11.9% growth.

“Golden Wonder understands how important PMPs are to both retailers and consumers in the convenience market, which is why our entire range of 20 products for this sector are PMPs, ranging from our entry-level 35p/two for 60p range to our great-value £1 PMP range,” adds Smith.

New products from big names such as Marmite are also being launched in PMP format, including Marmite Crisps and Marmite Tortillas, which were both recently brought to market in £1.25 PMP sharing bags.

Jolanda Wells, licensing manager at Unilever, says: “Shareable price-marked packs of Marmite crisps and tortillas offer a great opportunity for consumers to try something new with the assurance of paying a fair price. For the convenience channel, we know this format is one that drives growth and also taps into multiple snacking occasions like on-the-go and big night in.”

Crucial tool
Confectionery is one of the top five categories purchased on impulse in convenience stores and PMPs have become indispensable in the confectionery aisle within the sector, serving as a crucial tool for both retailers and consumers.

At a time when households are becoming increasingly budget-conscious and retailers grapple with mounting operational costs, PMPs offer a transparent and reassuring pricing strategy. As a result, PMP confectionery is outperforming total confectionery, growing at 19% in symbols and independents compared with total confectionery at 13.4%.

The sugar confectionery category is one of the best-suited categories to PMPs, as consumers often make impulse purchases in this category and clearly marked prices can help drive sales by highlighting good value for money.

Clare Newton, trade marketing manager at Swizzels, says: “Sugar confectionery is seen as a lighter, more affordable and handier treat that comes in small pack sizes, and PMP confectionery is even more appealing to consumers as they agree a price-marked pack reassures them they’re not being overcharged.

Hanging bags
She adds: “PMPs have become increasingly popular in convenience stores. While exact figures may vary, it’s not uncommon to find that a significant percentage of c-stores’ stock is price-marked.

This trend is primarily driven by consumer demand for transparency and value. PMPs present a huge opportunity to independent retailers. In fact, PMP sugar is worth £146m in symbols and independents, growing at 5%, highlighting just how important it is for retailers to be stocking a full range of PMP hanging bags.”

The addition of PMP hanging bags helps reassure consumers of the value for money, while PMPs also provide more pricing transparency. This helps to build trust with customers and encourages repeat purchases.

By offering products with visible pricing, independents can attract price-sensitive customers who may be more inclined to purchase items that are clearly marked. “They provide a clear indication of value, helping consumers make purchasing decisions swiftly while fostering trust between the retailer and the customer,” says Carmelina Mancini, marketing manager at Bobby’s Foods.

“At Bobby’s, PMPs reflect our commitment to accessible yet high-quality snacks. They build trust, attract footfall and embody our dedication to community support. In the coming year, expect PMPs to remain a cornerstone of success, driving growth and strengthening retailer-consumer relationships.

Staying relevant
“Independents should embrace PMPs as more than just a pricing strategy: they’re a gateway to staying relevant in a dynamic market. By offering PMPs, independents not only cater to financially conscious consumers but also showcase their commitment to transparency and value. In a landscape where every purchase decision is scrutinised, PMPs act as beacons, guiding customers to stores that prioritise their financial well-being.

“Moreover, PMPs aren’t just about attracting footfall; they’re about fostering a deeper connection with the community. When independents offer PMPs, they signal their dedication to understanding and meeting the diverse needs of their local clientele.

“It’s not just about making a sale, it’s about building trust and loyalty. In essence, PMPs empower independents to stand out among their competition, ensuring they remain not just stores but invaluable pillars of their neighbourhoods.

Economic uncertainty
“PMPs will be critical over the coming year as economic uncertainties persist. They will remain a vital tool for independents to attract customers, drive revenue and differentiate themselves in a crowded market. As consumer demand for value and transparency continues to rise, PMPs will prove indispensable for success in the convenience sector.”

Steve Moore, head of retail at wholesaler Parfetts, adds: “PMPs are very important in the convenience sector. They act as a valuable tool for both consumers and retailers, providing transparency, value and convenience in a competitive market environment. They are also a great way of building consumer confidence and helping increase individual basket spend.

“Transparency and trust are vital in the convenience sector and essential in the building of long-term customer loyalty. PMPs display a clear price on the packaging, providing transparency to consumers. Transparency establishes trust, as customers can easily and instantly see they are getting good value for their money.”

Fostering trust
In a convenience setting, categories that are price-sensitive and are frequently shopped tend to benefit the most from PMPs. Snacks, soft drinks, confectionery and basic grocery items are prime examples of categories where PMPs excel. PMPs signal value and transparency, resonating well with consumers in these categories, driving sales while fostering trust.

However, premium or niche products may not see as much benefit from PMPs, as their appeal lies more in their uniqueness rather than price. Retailers should evaluate their customer base, market dynamics and product assortment to determine which categories are best suited for leveraging PMPs effectively.

Lauren George, external communications manager at Mars Wrigley, believes the cost-of-living crisis has deepened this need for reassurance. “Consumers are looking to save money so turn to PMPs, which offer guaranteed and consistent pricing that doesn’t fluctuate every time they shop.

“This breeds invaluable trust – in the product and the retailer – and drives repeat purchases,” she says. “PMPs display price prominently to provide the reassurance consumers are craving – and they make it undeniable. But, perhaps most importantly, the price on the packet of a PMP product is a fair price.

Reduced risk
“Moreover, in the confectionery category in which convenience is key, PMPs offer a quick price comparison and are often positioned in easy-to-grab locations or display units. This pushes impulse purchase (which in turn promotes repeat purchases) and as a result half of convenience baskets include PMPs. And it’s not just familiar PMPs that are popular. When applied to new products, PMPs foster a positive price perception and a reduced sense of risk, encouraging consumers to reach for them.”

PMPs allow shoppers to feel in control of their spending, quickly highlighting a product’s value to a shopper presented with a multitude of confectionery options. What’s more, consumers are more likely to come back to those brands that offer PMPs for repeat purchase, as they see the clear pricing as transparency and a trustworthy tactic.

Rising prices
The alcohol aisles are also seeing increasing numbers of PMPs, from single-serve cocktails to one-litre ciders.

Calli O’Brien, head of marketing at Aston Manor Cider, says: “With rising food and drink prices being the top concern for almost half (49%) of shoppers, Aston Manor Cider has introduced a new range of Frosty Jack’s pack formats.

“These come in at a number of different recommended retail price-points to help provide shoppers with better value without trading down on quality as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.”

The Frosty Jack’s range includes a one-litre bullet bottle price-marked at £2.99, a 1.5-litre bottle price-marked at £3.99 and a larger two-litre offering price-marked at £4.99. “The PMPs provide reassurance that shoppers are not being overcharged, further strengthening Frosty Jack’s reputation as the market leader in high-strength cider,” O’Brien says.

Energy drinks
Soft drinks, meanwhile, maintains its spot as a top three category in convenience. Within the soft drinks section, sports and energy account for £1bn. Manufacturer Boost says it is dedicated to fostering transparent and collaborative relationships with wholesalers and retailers and continuously tracks changes in the retail landscape and consumer trends to offer guidance across all areas.

“It’s evident that PMPs are an effective strategy for driving repeat purchases and cultivating a loyal customer base,” says Adrian Hipkiss, commercial director at Boost Drinks. “Clear pricing eliminates the need for customers to inquire about prices, streamlining the decision-making process and potentially resulting in more impulse buys.

“With prices clearly marked on the packaging, customers are more inclined to make purchases, particularly when they feel confident about the value they are receiving. What’s more, when consumers see market-leading brands like Boost communicating great value on-fixture, this presents a compelling reason to purchase – driving rate-of-sale.”

Mix of formats
Amy Burgess, senior trade communications manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, is also in favour of PMPs in the soft drinks category. She says: “Price-marked packs give shoppers the feeling of getting better value. They also offer a point of difference that consumers can’t get in larger stores. Our best-loved brands, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Monster, Relentless and Reign, are all available in PMPs and plain packs, so retailers should make sure to stock up on these.

“Last year, we expanded our PMP range by introducing price-marked Schweppes one-litre PET bottles. This enabled more convenience customers to enjoy the advantages of PMPs with the best-selling mixers brand in retail.”

PMPs also account for a huge 70% of sweet biscuit volume sales in independent stores. Colin Taylor, trade marketing director at Fox’s Burton’s Companies, says: “PMPs cater to multiple occasions and missions too – whether it is a pack of biscuits to share at work or a shop for last-minute packed lunches – it is key that retailers stock a mix of formats and brands.

“By not only siting sweet biscuit PMPs in the main fixture, but also placing in on-the-go impulse locations, retailers can ensure they are making the most of these occasions.”

Grouping by price-point

Matt Smith, marketing director, Tayto Group

Manufacturer Tayto Group, owner of the Golden Wonder brand, recommends retailers stock a comprehensive range of PMPs, grouping them together to give shoppers a clear view of what’s on offer.

Marketing director Matt Smith says: “Grouping snack PMPs together enables consumers to see the full range and choose the snack for their mission – whether it be a ‘grab and go’ or a sharing pack for a ‘big night in’.

“Grouping by price-point rather than brand really makes it easy for consumers to make quick and easy decisions about what to buy.”

What do retailers think of PMPs?

❚ 57% of retailers say PMPs increase sales.
❚ 80% of retailers think shoppers like PMPs.
❚ 87% of retailers are worried about the cost-of-living crisis affecting their shoppers.
❚ 71% of retailers say that PMPs give shoppers confidence in the price.
❚ 71% of retailers say that with PMPs, shoppers do not blame the retailer for the price.
❚ 78% of retailers think PMPs demonstrate good value for money to shoppers.
❚ 62% of retailers say PMPs mean they don’t need to think about what price to set on products
❚ 63% of retailers say price-marked packs stand out on shelf.
❚ 58% of retailers say PMPs look like promotions.
Source: DCS

What do shoppers think of PMPs?

❚ 58% of shoppers believe that a price-mark is usually there because there is a promotion or discount.
❚ 63% of shoppers say a price-marked pack reassures them they’re not being overcharged.
❚ 48% of shoppers say they tend to shop in places with lots of PMPs.
❚ 43% of shoppers say they are more likely to shop in a convenience store that sells PMPs.
❚ 35% of household, health and beauty shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product if it’s offered as a PMP.
Source: DCS


Carmelina Mancini, marketing manager at Bobby’s Foods, offers the following advice to independent retailers:
❚ Strategic placement: position PMPs to maximise visibility and drive sales.
❚ Streamlined signage: simplify PMP promotions by using clear signage or point-of-sale materials for consistent messaging and increased visibility.
❚ Visual vibrancy: create captivating displays, enhancing the appeal of PMPs and stimulating impulse purchases.

Price-marked confectionery

Lauren George, external communications manager, Mars Wrigley

Confectionery is a key impulse category and one where price-marked packs play a vital role. Lauren George from Mars Wrigley offers the following advice:
• Place price-marked confectionery at key impulse zones, such as at the end of aisles or next to tills and on eye-level displays in-store.
• Capture shoppers’ attention in otherwise redundant areas of the store using creative POS such as shippers and free-standing display units.
• Consider cross-category purchases. For example, bigger-bag sharing options naturally suit the ‘big night in’ occasion, so situating a sharing PMP chocolate or sweet display near beverages will drive purchases.


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