Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

Letter from America

24th July 2017

Having been to the Summer Fancy Food show in New York in June, I was struck by a statistic that the US Speciality (Fine Food & Drink) market is worth $120bn and enjoys c14% of the total retail market. I can well believe these numbers, particularly as US retailers stock many more brands and products in-store than their UK counterparts – an average 35-40k square foot US supermarket stocks 40,000 skus, approximately double its UK equivalent.

A feature of online retailers worldwide (and US bricks and mortar retailers) is that they offer more products to their consumers than their UK equivalents – only Ocado in the UK carries in excess of 40k skus, while Amazon Fresh already offers in excess of 30k skus having not long started trading in grocery. By virtue of its entry into the UK grocery market, Amazon is clearly setting out to offer unrivalled choice to its consumers as a major point of difference to conventional retailers.

While mainstream UK retailers’ reactive own label strategies are understandable given the success of the discounters, how long can it be before they return to putting consumer choice higher up their list of priorities? Only Morrisons are currently doing this with their Finding Local Solutions strategy, an approach currently benefitting regional UK Speciality producers from Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland, and the remainder of the UK.

Global trends point towards consumers increasingly wanting real products from real people and this is where Speciality producers come into their own. And yes, they are understandably more expensive than mass market equivalents from the Big Brands and Own Label.

However, history shows that consumers generally trade up over time and that this momentum fuels growth – let’s hope that retailers’ faith in consumers’ desire for newness and choice from real producers, as well as value for money, triumphs over their need to focus on range optimisation, reducing overheads, and own label led product strategies.

Fintan O’Leary


2019 Food Trend Roundup

9th January 2019
It’s crystal ball time of the year again. Food companies, journalists and bloggers all have a go at predicting the future of food in 2019. While some may predict the end of food as we know it and ch...
Read more

GSCOP – why it should mean a lot to you

13th December 2018
Did you know that there’s a legally binding set of regulations which govern the relationship between supplier and retailer in the UK? There is, it is commonly known as GSCOP, the Grocery Supply Code...
Read more

Joining a team of big-thinkers

28th September 2018
Well that was quick, it’s already nearing the end of my first full week working in Scotland as a full-time marketing consultant for Levercliff food & drink business consultants. I’m loving the...
Read more

The Power of Influencer Marketing

16th August 2018
Influencer marketing has risen in popularity among brands in recent years with the term ‘influencer marketing’ increasing by 325% in Google searches in 2017. Using social media influencers as part...
Read more

Has Scottish drinking culture gone Soft?

21st May 2018
Beverage companies in Scotland accounted for 31% of total Scottish Food and Drink turnover in 2015. Whilst alcoholic drinks have been a traditional area of focus with products such as whisky generatin...
Read more

Why GSCOP should matter to you

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) epitomises the ‘rules of the game’ for major retailers and their direct suppliers. GSCOP safeguards suppliers from unfair retailer practice and it is ...
Read more

To Plan or Not To Plan

9th April 2018
That is, indeed, a good question. In this lean, mean, fast-moving world what’s the point of a business plan? Who was it who said that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”? And haven...
Read more

Go Long

25th January 2018
As we all know, short-term pressures and market volatility impact on businesses of every type and variety in this day and age, with food and drink businesses no exception. However, has there ever been...
Read more

Confessions of a Welsh Learner

8th November 2017
I have lived in Wales all my life, have been through the Welsh schooling system but I am ashamed to say that despite all this I have little knowledge of the Welsh language.  I have rudimentary skills...
Read more

De-Risking NPD for SME’s

27th October 2017
NPD is a risky business for any company but SME’s can’t afford the luxury of having over 50% of their new products failing. That is why there are lessons for SME’s be learnt from the disciplines...
Read more
Scotland a land of food and drink

Showcasing Scotland

24th July 2017
The 3rd Showcasing Scotland event is due to take place in Gleneagles in October. This UK and international ‘Meet the Buyer’ type event for Scottish food and drink companies has proved very success...
Read more

Levercliff leads a visit to New York’s Summer Fancy Food Fair with 15 Irish micro businesses.

Levercliff are currently working with 15 Irish food and drink Micro/SME businesses based in the South East of Ireland, gearing them up to develop export strategies and sales. The programme which is be...
Read more