Rich’s adapts retail offering to meet changing shopper behaviours

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Rich’s, the UK’s leading supplier of premium bakery products, has outlined new projects to help retailers and out of home providers meet the changing demands of consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.

With consumers seeking more assurances on food safety and quality, Rich’s has accelerated its project to offer individually wrapped products for retailers to put on shelves. Starting with Cookies, all products will be available in individual-wrapping to help retailers cater for the increase in at-home indulgent snacking for both adults working from home and children off school, as well as providing solutions for safe product display for out of home operators.

Snacking has increased in recent weeks with 180m more weekly snack occasions – shoppers are also searching for exciting products where possible as they adapt to more eating occasions in the home. As a result, Rich’s is expanding its range of thaw & serve cookies in retail-ready bags, ideal for convenience stores without an in-store bakery or those looking to simplify their operations.

The demand for vegan products continues to expand in the UK – meat free and plant-based occasions were worth £3.4 billion in 2019, while dairy/egg intake during the Covid-19 lockdown period has reduced by 15%, with nearly half citing health, environmental or animal rights reasons as the driver. Rich’s Andover site has unique capability to produce high quality, great tasting vegan products at volume. Being able to provide individually wrapped vegan baked goods will help retailers with cross-contamination in their in-store bakeries.

Rich’s marketing director John Want says: “The last few weeks have changed our shopping habits dramatically, with the return of the big shop and consumers rediscovering local stores, as well a surge in snacking and a heightened focus on food safety. We know there is even more demand amongst consumers for a high quality sweet baked treat and we want to work with our retail partners and out of home operators to make it as easy as possible to bring these to shoppers.

“Our new state-of-the-art facilities gives us the flexibility to respond to these changes. We know this is a fast-evolving situation, and we’re working closely with our insight teams to offer future innovations that meet the shopper needs in grocery, convenience and out of home as we move towards a ‘new normal’.”