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All about the trends: do I need to jump on-board to grow?


A quick look around the supermarket shelves and you’ll find more high-protein products on the shelves than you can shake, well, a protein shaker at! If protein flapjacks, protein cereal, protein ice cream or protein chocolate bars are your thing, you’re catered for. Worth noting that consumers need to be willing to shell out for protein products- they don’t come cheap; a protein-enriched Snickers bars sell for around £2 compared to the standard, 70 pence bar.

Consumers of pharmaceutical, self-care, home and baby products are increasingly seeking out paraben-free, sustainable, natural, non-synthetic products without colourants, fragrances or ingredients you can’t pronounce!

You couldn’t fail to miss the ‘plant-based’, vegan products that have popped up on our shelves and in restaurants over the past few years. January 2019 saw retail stalwarts M&S introducing their own, much-anticipated vegan range ‘Plant Kitchen’ and Greggs launching a vegan sausage roll which “flew off the shelves” according to the bakery company’s Chief Executive. Perfect timing to coincide with the inevitable new year’s resolutions and Veganuary?

Are these examples of retailers throwing themselves into the healthy-living, eco-friendly, vegan markets a sign that you need to jump on board and add your own trend-led products? Or can you stick to what you know works for you?

The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no (sorry!) and probably more ‘it depends’! Particularly if you’re a smaller retailer, you might not have the luxury of being able to quickly add a trend-led line to your offering and you can’t be all things to all people so, think about who you’re trying to appeal to and what you’re trying to sell.

For every person worrying about whether their shoes are made from vegan leather or if their moisturiser is scent-free and made from all-natural products, there’s someone else who loves nothing more than the rich smell of a brand new pair of leather brogues or enjoys the long-lasting, perfumed smell of the new bubble bath they treated themselves to on their last shopping trip. Of course, some consumers will embrace the healthy-living, sustainable and new-trend ranges but others, to be honest, might want to spend their hard-earned cash on something a bit indulgent or, might not give too much thought to the environmental impact of the product they’re treating themselves to… to each, their own.

It goes without saying that it’s important for your business to innovate and to move with the times, but that might not always mean jumping on the latest trend. Innovation could mean thinking about how you communicate with your customers, sourcing new stockists for your product, considering your packaging or finding a way of efficiently shaving a day off your delivery turnaround times.

Our advice? Whatever you do: find your niche, do it your way and do it well.