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Light my fire

02 March, 2010
Whatever the weather, you'd better get ready for barbecues, says Linda Harrison
Page 35 

One thing's for certain this summer: nobody knows what the weather will bring. But whether it's a heatwave or a wash-out, forecourts are perfectly placed to profit from the unpredictability of the great British summer. And that includes having products for those impromptu barbecues.

According to the National BBQ Association, one in two UK households owns a barbecue grill, and most consumers spend £35 on food per barbecue, up from £19 three years ago. Jay Banerjee, category marketing manager at lighter company BIC, comments: "This love of barbecuing is great news for the retail sector as it creates a seasonal platform that lasts from May to September."

In addition, Carter points out that the World Cup will give people an extra excuse to entertain at home this summer. Barbecues could provide the perfect match-day meals.

Walkers is also urging retailers to stock up for the World Cup. It recommends Doritos along with other sharing packs such as Red Sky and Sensations.

Its advice is to place a range of sharing crisps and snacks close to other impulse products such as beers, wines and spirits.

Steve Mounty, director of distributive and convenience at Kraft Foods UK, says retailers should stock best sellers, and this includes toppings and accompani-ments as well as the usual burgers and buns. According to Mounty, Kraft Singles are currently showing strong growth in the impulse sector, rising 10.2% in value over the past 12 months (Nielsen, impulse, MAT to w/e Aug 29, 2009).

Mounty adds: "Kraft Singles are a popular choice thanks to the individually-wrapped slices and convenient size. Retailers should concentrate on stocking them in packs of five, which are price-marked at 79p."

He says Dairylea Slices are another good bet, growing at 7.6% in value in the impulse sector (Nielsen).

Meanwhile, Spar has its own summer eating range which includes quiches, bagged salads and barbecue meats such as sausages as well as premium Our Very Own burgers.

Birds Eye is launching Reggae Reggae beef quarter pounders which are infused with red peppers and Reggae Raggae jerk seasoning (rrp £2.49).

Nisha George, brand manager at Birds Eye, says: "Our burgers are made with the best quality ingredients and are incredibly convenient as they can be cooked straight from frozen, so we expect them to sell particularly well through the barbecue season."

Barbecue accessories

On the non-food side, new for 2010 are HotBlocks briquettes, described as a greener fuel ideal for barbecues.

HotBlocks are said to offer specific benefits to forecourts, such as ease of handling and display, reliable availability and realistic margins.

Unlike typical barbecue coals, HotBlocks are clean so are more convenient for shoppers.

Manufactured by Yorkshire-based Recycling Resources, they are made from clean waste wood with no additives, glues, MDF or chipboard.

And don't forget the lighters.

The Bic MegaLighter is described as a "handy alternative to matches or regular lighters".

Its features include a curved body shape for comfortable handling, a medium-sized wand for convenient use, a hanging mechanism for easy storage and a visible level for gas.

It offers 750 lights under normal conditions. Recommended retail price is £2.49.