The Start of the Grocery Year


I have always felt that September is the real start of the Grocery year. Traditionally, January has always seen retailer launches focused on the health area and latterly it heralds the start of the seasonal Vegan ranging arms race. However, September’s launches are more varied and give real clues about the trends that likely to be with us for the next few years.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed hitting the stores at this time of year to see what new products and brands have been listed. Beyond the initial curiosity, it’s always interesting to see what the new listings tell us about the back story of what’s happening in the category. Which suppliers are up, which have taken the hit and what do those changes tell us about the retailers sourcing strategy? What’s happening on salt and sugar reduction, which flavours are ‘in’ and how is the sustainable packaging revolution playing out on shelf? And which of this year’s disruptive brands with all their hustle will end up with genuine category staying power?

We’ve been busy ourselves over the summer and made time amidst all the project work to start a building project, with plans to turn our downstairs area into a large meeting and conferencing area and relocating our food photography area. The joy of owning your own place is that you can knock it about as you see fit.

We’ve also been reflecting on our first Grocery Insider Podcast series. Each episode was great fun to make and I’ve been delighted with the response – over 200 downloads on average for episode. Apple iTunes promoted us to ‘New and Noteworthy’ which we were very chuffed with – quite an achievement for a new podcast. Acting on our own and listener feedback, we have made some improvements for Series 2. We’ve got some great high profile guests lined up so keep your ears peeled for the new series of the Grocery Insider which is out in October.

So, I hope your batteries were fully recharged over the summer and look forward to seeing you out and about in the trade this autumn. Feel free to drop me a line on [email protected] if you want to talk anything through over a coffee, I’d enjoy catching up.

Regards

Hamish

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