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Rural pub the Rose & Crown in Selling, near Faversham in Kent, is a typical, food-led, rural outlet catering for a wide customer profile - from...

Rural pub the Rose & Crown in Selling, near Faversham in Kent, is a typical, food-led, rural outlet catering for a wide customer profile - from regulars enjoying a pint after work, to families expecting a good value, traditional pub-grub style meal.

Our Sell More, Save More snacks champion Walkers is looking forward to working with the licensees at the pub, Tim and Vanessa Robinson, and all the other four pubs, over the next year to advise them on the correct snacks range and display for each pub's individual customer base.

With crisps, nuts and snacks sales truly integral to the pub experience, Walkers can provide a wide range for all consumers whether they are for sharing with friends, hungerfill between meals, or healthier options.

Appealing to the masses

Tim and Vanessa inherited their crisps and snacks range from the previous licensee at the pub. However they are now looking to broaden their offer to cater for regulars who like a snack with their drinks, but don't want to order from the pub menu.

Phil Childs, Walkers' customer business manager, is leading the Walkers' involvement in Sell More, Save More.

He says: "The Rose & Crown currently stocks only Real crisps - a brand with a strong, premium USP that is selling well - despite poor displays and lack of customer visibility. There's also the issue that Real's premium position means it doesn't necessarily have the wider appeal of a mass market snacks brand such as Walkers."

Childs says licensees should stock a range of crisps and snacks for all occasions and customer demographics. "Strong displays should be used whenever possible to raise awareness and visibility. If customers can see that a pub sells crisps and also see what flavours are on offer, it will help drive impulse purchase."

Childs adds: "We'll be working with The Rose & Crown over the course of the next 12 months to help the landlord grow his crisps and snacks sales. However, our initial advice is that while he should keep the Real brand as a point of difference, he needs to expand the range to appeal to a wider audience. Walkers is the UK's No 1 crisps and snacks brand with sales now totaling £436m and as such offers something for everyone."

Core range

Childs adds that the Rose & Crown should also consider adding a couple of snacks brands, such as Quavers and Doritos, to add depth to the offer and alternatives to crisps.

"While products such as Frazzles, Bacon Fries, Scampi Fries and Cheese Moments are traditional pub snacks with a great heritage in the licensed trade and very popular with consumers, we believe that 95 per cent of customer demand can be met by having a range of just six or seven products," he says.

"We recommend all licensees should start with our three main standard-flavour crisps: Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar and Cheese and Onion, followed by Nobby's dry-roasted nuts and Nobby's traditional salted nuts."

Display should also be a key consideration for pubs selling snacks - the issue should be just as important for pubs as it is for convenience stores.

"Customers won't buy if they don't know the product is there," continues Childs. "Clip strips that hang close to the till are a useful storage solution if space is at a premium and they're also good for prompting impulse purchasing."

Walkers is supplying the Rose & Crown with Clip Strips and monitoring their success over the months to come.

"We've also supplied a unit for the back of the bar. This is a good solution for pubs with limited space, and once again ensures products are easily visible when customers are buying drinks."

Child's also points out that other display material can also encourage or remind pub customers about the snacks on offer. "We've provided the Rose & Crown with a range of beermats, bar mats and staff t-shirts to ensure the Walkers brand stands out."

Door-to-door delivery service

Licensees looking to stock the right range of crisps and snacks can take advantage of Walkers Snacks Services, a direct-to-door van delivery service covering the entire UK. With a sales force of more than 250, it offers weekly, fortnightly or monthly calls, free display equipment and PoS, along with critical merchandising advice. Walkers representatives also ensure pubs are kept fully up-to-date with new products, with everything offered on a sale or return basis.

Walkers also puts major marketing investment behind its brands, with consumer promotions such as the currently popular Brit Trips on-pack push.

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