Wall’s new snacking range for convenience stores

Unilever has unveiled a raft of NPD for the Wall’s ice cream brand as it targets growth in the convenience channel.

New products include a snacking range, in addition to two new Magnum Double SKUs and a new Calippo Combo, which combines vanilla ice cream and strawberry fruit ice.

The new snacking range aimed to enter into and compete in the growing under-£1 snacking market category and was due to launch next month, said Unilever vice president of brand building for refreshments & OOH sales Noel Clarke. It will feature smaller pack sizes, and consist of a Feast Sandwich, Solero Strawberry Smoothie, and Wall’s Duo.

All three products would go on sale in a single format (rsp: 80p), and will be supported by a £7m ‘Talking Ice Cream’ marketing campaign.

The push will consist of experiential and sampling activities in addition to out of home, online, social media activity and a range of PoS materials and stock offers, including the launch of new snacking-specific secondary freezers designed to be located at the front of a store.

The new freezers would be the “Trojan horse” in which convenience retailers would sell more ice cream, added Clarke.

“Last year was a very good year for the business where we saw a 10% increase in sales,” Clarke said, adding the performance was “incredible” for such a mature market as the UK. However, when compared with Ireland, which sells four times as much ice cream, there was still room for improvement, he suggested.

“The number one area we are looking to up our game for 2017 is in getting more availability in impulse,” he said. “We’re all out of the house more often and snacking is a bigger part of all our lives.”

Ice cream had not been hugely present in this market segment, added Clarke, with traditional ice cream priced much higher than snacks.

“We’re committed to helping our partners unlock the sales opportunities the category presents,” he said. “For example, 70% of ice cream purchasers buy other items in store , which is why we are investing significantly in attracting shoppers through OOH communication as well as providing retailers with the right tools in store to help maximise growth potential.”

Unilever said it would launch the new Wall’s Calippo combo in April (rsp: £1 for a single or £2.75 for a pack of five), while the two new Magnum Duo SKUs would start rolling out from the end of the month in raspberry and coconut flavours (rsp: £1.90/single or £3.69/three-pack).