Small Stores Face a Healthy Future
The sugar tax appears to have raised the profile regarding food content and dietary concerns. Lactose intolerant, gluten free, vegan regimes et al have been around for a long time but now they are quickly becoming mainstream.
The soft drinks manufacturers are in a good place overall. They have been taking sugar out of their products for some years. Their plans to reformulate are well advanced and I'm confident that they will emerge from the sugar tax requirements in good shape.
Now the trade overall needs to look critically at the other major ranges that currently drive sales. Most of which are in "bad" places: alcohol, confectionery, crisps and snacks and tobacco. Too many independent small stores are still not retailing fresh food effectively. This continues to be the key challenge.
And now a new opportunity is emerging for "good for you" ambient ranges, which wholesalers and retailers will have to embrace. Particularly snacking where there will be a consumer demand to provide low or no refined sugar-based products for young children. The trade faces a healthy future in the coming years and the first movers will profit.
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