British Food Fortnight (17 September to 2 October 2011), which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, presents a massive opportunity for grocery retailers to increase sales, claim event organisers.
Retail promotions during previous British Food Fortnights have proved the event has a serious impact on sales:
· Retailers taking part increase sales by up to 34% per store, as a direct result of the event
· 25% increase in footfall in participating outlets during the event
· Sales of British food increase by up to £2,000 per store during the Fortnight.
Commenting on the sales increases he has enjoyed, Jonathan James, owner of Spar and Budgens stores in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, said: “You really need to get behind British Food Fortnight. The customers love it and it’s a superb platform for media coverage.”
Londis Uxbridge store owner Atul Sodha agreed.
“Sales on one day during British Food Fortnight were up £400,” he said. “Sales on the first week were up £1,000. You’d be crazy not to get involved.”
Peter Heanen, who owns independent butcher HG Walter, said: “We can’t rely on labels alone to promote British produce in-store.
“Campaigns like British Food Fortnight are essential to explaining to the consumer why they should buy British food.”
At Budgens Fakenham, owners Brett and Maria Corder, have found the event to be a winner in driving sales, reported: “We normally sell about 12 packets of local sausages a week but during the first two hours of our British Food Fortnight tasting we sold eight packets and then doubled the sales that week.”
British Food Fortnight is described as the biggest national celebration of the food Britain produces. Every year over a thousand independent retailers, many medium-sized retailers and some of the multiples take part, all enjoying the commercial benefits participation brings.
Organiser of the event, Alexia Robinson, said: “Ten year’s of British Food Fortnight have seen 10 years of success for retailers. Shops from across the retail spectrum have taken part – independent butchers and greengrocers, farm shops, post offices, petrol forecourts, medium-sized chains and major supermarkets. All have consistently enjoyed sales increases, strengthened relationships with existing customers and attracted new ones, and confirmed British Food Fortnight is a proven profit opportunity.”
Robinson said this year’s food fortnight was the prelude to the 2012 Olympics for producers and retailers.
“The greatest prize is still to come,” she said. “The countdown to 2012 is upon us. And for retailers, the opportunity to seize a piece of the Olympic commercial cake with patriotic British food promotions is huge.
“British Food Fortnight is planning the biggest ever promotion of British food during the Olympics and this year’s event is a rallying cry to everyone to start planning their promotions now.”
Organisers are also giving retailers the opportunity to become a Love British Food member. Members will receive free advertising on a dedicated website, promotional material, member’s certificate and logo and entry into a new annual award for those doing the most to promote British food.
Membership packages for all sizes of organisation are available. See www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/members for details.