UCB Stores campaigns to ‘Make Your Hot Box Great Again’

Kevin Azzopardi, Business Manager at UCB Stores, says that food is the shining light within the P&C channel with continued year-on-year growth. He highlights that fried foods have always been a staple within the channel, and as such, UCB Stores has launched a ‘Make your Hot Box Great Again’ campaign, to help lift quality and awareness across their network of stores. 

“We want to bring focus back onto the Hot Box, improving awareness, display, and quality of product.

“Fresh does not necessarily mean just healthy or salad. It’s more about good value and quality, presented and enjoyed like it has just been cooked. Snacking remains a strong food mission driver, so having delightful, hot snacks such as Wing Dings, Dim Sims and Potato Cake/Scallops is mission solver and margin builder,” he explains.

Like in every retail environment, everyone’s disposable dollar is more important than ever. Shoppers are happy to spend but are demanding more in quality and value, so Azzopardi offers the following advice on how P&C retailers can improve their food strategy.

“Food is a hard category to win, it takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. We need to remove the mindset that food is just one more contributor to the bottom line, and instead treat it as its own profit centre,” he says. “We need to think that we are now café owners, and the food we sell is all we have to feed to our family.”

His advice is to keep your offer simple and uncomplicated, with high quality and fresh products tailored to your customer demographic.

“Give your customers the best food experience they can have, in a way that is operationally sensible for you.

“Look at your food display from your customers eyes and don’t be afraid to sample some of your food. Always ask yourself, if you wouldn’t eat it, what make you think anyone else would?”

Advice for retailers

Kevin Azzopardi from UCB Stores offers the following advice for retailers when deciding what hot food to range in-store:

  • Think about quality over price when placing your order.
  • Know your customer and understand what they would want to eat.
  • Understand your daypart menu.
  • Ensure your products are cooked at the right time to ensure that are at their best when eaten.
  • Understand how to do all of this safely.

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