Now as you know, I’m not prone to hyperbole, or indeed for sticking my neck out when it comes to advising our valued customers about what’s hot and what’s not in the glamorous world of vending. Most of the time, you don’t need me to tell you what’s going to fly through your spirals; but every once in a while, a new product or a new deal crops up and I feel obliged to make sure everybody knows about it. As vending’s only dedicated wholesaler, it’s incumbent on us to make sure you’re ‘in the know’.
This is one of those occasions. ARN has agreed new terms with Kettle Crisps and we’re not talking ‘promo’ or ‘special offer’, this new deal is for keeps. From 2 February, Kettle crisps will be available in four varieties and for a case of 54 packets, we’ll be charging £16. Don’t bother reaching for the calculator: it works out at 29.6 p a bag, making Kettle the cheapest crisps that we sell.
Cheap they may be, but the public’s perception of this brand is anything but ‘cheap’. They see it as a premium brand. It was the first widely available ‘artisan’ crisp, kicking off in 1978 when the founder flogged them out of the back of a van. It was a bold move: they used whole potatoes, carefully sourced from named farms; they cut the crisps extra thick, they went with inspired recipes. And it worked. Forty-five ish years later, they have earned a reputation for quality and consistency that endures.
And now, believe it or not, they are the best-value crisps at ARN. The good folks at Kettle Crisps want to be in the nation’s vending machines and at this price, who’s going to deny them?
Next one: Lucozade has delisted its 380 ml bottle and replaced it with a 500ml. I think it’s a smart move: the smaller unit wasn’t perceived as good value, and besides looking like a good deal now, it’s also better value when you work out the cost per mil.
Also, get ready for a new-look Pepsi. Pepsi is unveiling a complete rebrand in March, with new pack designs for all formats. The rebrand will create a consistent identity across the Pepsi MAX®, diet, regular and flavoured cola ranges, with new packaging visuals, in-store materials and displays. So be ready for a spike in sales as the advertising spend kicks in.
And while we’re on subject of drinks, we’ve got a couple of other deals that’ll whet your appetite. We’ve got iPro 500m at £7.99 and in February, there’s a ‘buy five, pay for four’ offer on Carabao Sport.
My fitness consultant Mr. Walker tells me that his gym is still over-stuffed with ‘New Year’s Resolution punters’. Apparently, most of the newbies give up by the end of February and only the hardcore remains, so don’t delay – get them while they’re still there!
Ah well, that’s it for now, so it’s back to work for me.
Until next time, gan canny.
John Crichton is the CEO of ARN, Automatic Retailing Northern Ltd