Give Your Health Category an MOT

The health category is a promising one. It has the potential to drive footfall and shoppers tend to be less price sensitive as these products are often seen as a necessity. Our latest deep-dive into the health category, which looks at shopper behaviour across convenience stores and discounters, identifies some of the areas retailers and suppliers should focus on in order to maximise sales in this category.

Our study identified several differences between the convenience and discounter health shopper. Unsurprisingly, the convenience shopper is much more likely to be on a distress mission when purchasing health products, often consumed immediately. Price therefore plays a much less important role for them than for discounter shoppers who tend to buy health products for later and to top up their shelves. Convenience store retailers therefore have greater flexibility when it comes to the pricing of health products.

Pack size is another factor that needs to be considered separately for each channel and mission. While smaller, portable pack sizes appeal to those on a distress mission, shoppers on a top-up mission will more likely aim for competitively priced and larger packs to get the best value for money.

health category stats

Price and range are both key to driving category growth, but they can both be redundant if the category is not merchandised in the right way. Many convenience retailers opt to stock the category behind the till, with the fear of theft the main reason for this. However, our research shows that 45% of shoppers find it inconvenient to have to ask for health products and 18% find it embarrassing. With 67% of retailers stocking the category behind the till, there is a strong possibility that they are missing sales and they will never see the full potential that the category can offer.

With this in mind, there is a huge responsibility on suppliers and wholesalers to educate retailers on how to merchandise and operate the category in the correct way in order to maximise sales. Retailers need to understand shopper trends better and the importance the category can play in increasing overall basket size and spend for a store if executed right.

Find out how our latest health deep-dive can support suppliers and retailers build a strategy that helps the health category succeed in the convenience and discounter channels.