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How the Big Freeze affects the FMCG sector

As the winter snap arrives in the UK this week, we reveal the extent to which extreme weather conditions affect certain categories within the FMCG sector, plus how brands need to have a strategy or “thermal plan” to ensure they meet any increased demand



Cathy Evans, managing director of Tactical Solutions comments: “Extreme winter weather conditions such as the Big Freeze can have a substantial impact on FMCG retail sales, especially when it comes to the sale of certain categories of food goods.


“It can be predicted that any weather condition will result in a surge in sales, and with severe snowy and icy conditions – such as what is predicted this winter the UK – there is a significant trend that demonstrates an increased demand towards ambient products, especially soups.


“Over the past few years we have followed a clear trend, which revealed that for every degree the temperature drops, soup sales increased consistently by three per cent. Other food categories that also show a significant increase during these cold periods are roasts, oven chips, beer and ready meals.


“During these short, sharp bursts of product demands, it’s essential that a brand can easily and rapidly add lines and meet the heavily increased demand at short notice, ensuring it is the brand’s products that are most products are the most visible, well merchandised and thoroughly stocked across all on and off fixtures to maximise potential sales in the brand’s targeted category.


“This is what is referred to as ‘Thermal Planning’, meaning that if there is a sudden change in temperature whether in deepest depths of winter or the peak of summer sunshine, our field sales team is able to respond to this efficiently and effectively by adding additional lines and stock within a 24 to 48 hour period.


“We created the ‘thermal plan’ concept to support these extreme situations. Consumers are expected to have different needs during these times, which will result in particular brand purchases to match these rare and uncertain occasions. The programme can be implemented effectively across both extreme cold or heat weather patterns.”

Speak to our team to learn more about thermal planning.