Insights for Retailers

View from the High Street – how owners see their future

A poll of 300 high street independents reveals that almost half expect good times ahead. The survey by Liberis, which provides alternatives to business credit cards, has revealed 46% of SME owners with a physical location view their future on the high street as “booming”.

Health and beauty retailers were among the top three sectors that plan to add online shopping to their bricks and mortar stores, the other two being restaurants and fashion outlets.

Read the full story here...

UK to see growing demand for natural and local beauty products

Sales of certified organic and natural beauty products in the UK reached £75.9m last year, according to the Soil Association Organic Market Report 2018. And a second report by a major analytics firm says 50% of beauty shoppers want the ingredients to be natural.

The Soil Association report reveals an increase of 24% and the seventh year of consecutive growth for the UK certified organic and natural cosmetics market.

And according to Mintel’s Beauty & Personal Care Trends Report 2018, half of UK consumers who buy beauty products are looking for natural ingredients.

Read the full story here...

Independents shine in organic success

Encouraging figures emerge from the Soil Association 2018 Organic Market Report, which shows UK independent retailers leading the way in new sales. Year-on-year growth of +9.7% saw independent retailers organic sales reach £359.3m in 2017 compared with 2016. That’s 16.3% of the market compared with supermarkets at 67%.

Only food service businesses did better with +10.2% growth for last year, with home delivery on +9.5% and supermarkets +4.2%.

The biggest surge came in the chilled and deli sector with +21.3% followed by beers, wines and spirits at +8.2%. Frozen was up 6.7% and fresh produce 6.5%.

However, bakery declined -10.3% and babyfood and drink -2.3%.

Read the full story here...

Plastic packaging – small steps in a big problem

Consumers awakening to the problem of plastic packaging, especially its effect on our oceans, is an issue brands are going to have to grapple with. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish.

Shocking forecasts like that ought to inspire the packaging industry to go beyond token gestures – Mintel’s Packaging Trends Report 2018 applauds companies such as Ecover which uses plastic recycled from the sea, “but it won’t solve the problem”.

“Using plastic recovered from the sea to create new packaging has been used by ‘eco’ brands such as US-based method and Belgium-based Ecover to draw attention to the issue,” says the report.

Read the full story here...

Europe’s probiotic sales held back

Europe’s fixation with its anti-probiotic health claim stance has held back this obvious opportunity for UK health stores. While probiotic sales have rocketed in the USA by a staggering 138%, the European Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) has caused uncertainty with its refusal to allow health claims applications.

Statistics research company Euromonitor believes this has cost the European probiotics sector more than €1bn in sales between 2009 (when NHCR was introduced) and 2017.

Peter Nählstedt, Europe President of the International Probiotic Association, is quoted by William Reed’s as saying: “The overly stringent scientific requirements for probiotics and the de facto prohibition to use the term ‘probiotic’ resulting from the NHCR interpretation by the European Commission is depriving the EU of innovation and investment in research in a promising sector that is growing everywhere outside Europe.”

Meanwhile, global research continues to show the benefits of probiotics for everything from digestive health to mental wellbeing and weight loss.

Plant-based yoghurt will trend this year

Dairy-free yoghurt, especially beyond soy, is the next disruptor in the plant-based boom, according to The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation, 3rd Edition by (US market data).

“To an even greater degree than Greek yogurt in its pure, plain incarnation, dairy-free yogurt chips away at the premise that yogurt is at heart a good-for-you product category,” says the report.

“Non-dairy yogurt takes probiotics and high protein, both hot nutritional trends, and transfers these trump cards to the plant-based product trend’s bag of tricks.”

Just as in the UK, Packagedfacts notes that younger and trendier Americans are switching lanes from “leaning more vegetarian” to “leaning more veganish” and thereby cutting back on or foregoing dairy.

Use of the term “yoghurt alternatives”, now becoming mainstream, will complicate any dairy industry efforts to ban the use of “yoghurt” for dairy-free products in the way it has tried to enforce regulatory restrictions against the use of “milk” for plant-based milk alternatives such as almond, coconut or cashew.

More on the Packaged Facts report on yoghurt.

One in 12 parents are raising their children vegan

Eight percent of UK parents are bringing up their children as vegans, new research shows. Half of these parents confessed that their children had expressed a desire to eat meat or animal products before, with the majority stating that ‘health benefits’ associated with the vegan diet was the driving force behind their decision.

The team behind carried out the study for Veganuary following an increase in the number of searches on-site for discounts relating to vegan and vegetarian products.

According to the study of 2,177 parents of children aged 0-12 in the UK, 13% of parents have vegetarian children with the majority of these being raised vegetarian, rather than eating a meat-free diet through personal choice.

Read the full story here...

Stress factors – it’s a youth problem

A whopping 85% of Brits suffer from anxiety or stress at least sometimes, with three in 10 (29%) suffering at least three times a week and 15% every day. But it is the young who are experiencing the highest levels of anxiety and stress – 25% of 16-24-year-olds feel anxious or stressed every day.

Meanwhile, it seems that age brings an element of calmness, as just 9% of over-55s say they feel anxious and stressed on a daily basis and a quarter (25%) experience no stress whatsoever.

These are the findings in Mintel’s stress report with Richard Caines, the company’s Senior Food & Drink Analyst, noting: “High incidence of anxiety and stress and not finding enough time to relax suggest untapped space for brands to promote ways of relaxing. These can include products such as mindfulness apps, teas, bath and shower products, as well as adult colouring books.”

Some of these apply to independent health food retailing though colouring books might remain peripheral.

The report adds: “Just over half (51%) of the population describe their general health as somewhat or very healthy for a person of their age, while just 15% of Brits believe that they are somewhat or very unhealthy for their age. Getting enough sleep (69%), eating a healthy diet (68%) and regularly exercising (65%) are ranked as the top three habits for staying healthy.”

Mintel's Managing Healthy Lifestyles UK 2017 report is available to purchase priced £2195.

Genetic testing to help women lose weight?

Almost 60% of UK women who have tried to diet say they are yet to find a successful way to manage their weight, despite over a third admitting to having tried four or more different diets. Research by LloydsPharmacy discovered that over a third say it doesn’t matter what they do they can’t lose weight, while one in three say that diets may work initially but they put the weight back on.

And one in seven say that every diet they have ever tried has failed.

The research revealed that diet failures are leaving a quarter of British women feeling like they have no control over their weight, while a further 20% say they are at the end of their tether.

LloydsPharmacy Pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat commented: “In their attempts to lose weight many are often following fad diets and 59% have admitted to giving up a particular food group without consulting a dietitian.

“It can often be hard to know what approach is best as it can vary so much between individuals. Decoding our genes aims to demystify that by helping people understand how their genetics impacts their weight, therefore allowing them to make choices based on their individual body type.”

Genetic testing for weight management is a relatively new concept which until now hasn’t been as widely available or as affordable. LloydsPharmacy’s ‘myDNA’ uses a simple cheek swab to analyses genes known to influence body size and weight, our ability to maintain and lose weight, the way the body stores and processes dietary fats and the risk of elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels. This helps to tailor a personalised diet plan.

See for more.

Healthy means natural says GlobalData

Today’s wellness revolution is developing rapidly and positioning products as ‘healthy’ is no longer enough for discerning customers. In order to effectively resonate with consumers through health claims, firmly identifying what this term actually means to them will be essential, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s primary consumer research, when asked what consumers believed healthy to mean, the factor which most resonated with consumers globally was ‘natural’, highlighting the popularity of unprocessed whole ingredients as a route to better health and the continued impact this claim has among a global audience.

Jamie Mills, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This is further strengthened by ‘fresh/raw’ which also ranked within the top five claims resonating with consumers. Positive claims such as these fit in with consumer desire to achieve optimum health through their lifestyle and are particularly evident as balanced nutrition was ranked the second most ‘healthful’ claim.”

Read the full story here...

Some old wives’ tales and (possibly) some smart remedies

Is turmeric a cure for baldness?

Does sleeping in socks filled with onions shake off a cold?

Well there have been some bizarre health remedies down the years but we are grateful to an online pharmacy website for clearing up a few old wives’ tales. surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults to reveal the common, obscure and downright strange health remedies people put their faith in:

  • 56% of UK adults – 29 million people – have gargled salty water to get rid of a sore throat, and 68% of those believe it works (it might!).

  • The other most common health tricks people rely on are: sweating out a cold (47%); having a nightcap to help them sleep (44%); and “hair of the dog” (36%).

  • A third of people (32% or 16.6 million) admit to eating carrots to improve their eyesight, but just 25% of those actually think it helps.

  • Some of the more bizarre health remedies people try include: applying butter to burnt skin (19%); sleeping in socks filled with onions to shake off a cold (8%); and rubbing turmeric on their scalp to combat baldness (7% of men).

See the research results and the pharmacy’s opinions in this table and send your opinions – and your obscure remedy ideas – on Facebook or Twitter.