By Stuart Gates
Published 9th March 2021
Well, Valentine’s has been ticked off the list and I hope all the love nibbles of canapes, kebabs et al were well received and did the trick.
Next food related event on the foodie calendar is Mother’s Day. In previous years, for a lot of people, this entailed a visit home for lunch, a bottle of something chilled and bubbly with a bunch of flowers or a nice lazy lunch out with a lot of the family and Mums everywhere having some well-earned praise and loved showered upon them. This year will be different and if Valentine’s online sales are anything to go by, Mother’s Day will be busy – so it’s best not to hang around.
If Valentine’s Day online sales are anything to go by, Mother’s Day will be busy – so it’s best not to hang around.
For food retailers, think laterally and add, perhaps, some scented candles or a book as combination offerings so to make more of any gift. If you are offering tea, then perhaps you could source cups that come with tea or biscuits or scones and jam, all with the aim to make any gift purchase look more impressive. All will increase sales prices and margin.
I was discussing online sales with Morgan at Cheeses of Muswell Hill recently, she’s a food retail specialist who is being highly creative with her offerings and says she’s encouraged by the huge interest from online customers. And more importantly she has seen a rise in many new customers. Another producer I was working with mentioned they were even busier this recent Valentine’s Day than at Christmas (it seems cosy ‘Night in’ hampers are still selling well so Spring must be in the air!!)
For artisan producers, again combination offers can be made easily and I suggest you join forces with another friendly local producer and promote each other’s goods and vice versa, all of which is good for everybody.
Next will be Easter and I am already in discussions with many producers about Christmas as we hope, pray and cross everything retail will return soon. However, online is here to stay (which is good news) and strategies for online and store-based services should be made in tandem. This includes meals to be collected or delivered, something that I noted Farndon Fields Farm shop and others are doing, clever people.
If you’re at a loss what gift you should wrap for your Mum, then an artisan gin might be a welcome gift to be relished in the evening. I can recommend the gin produced by my friends at Dunnet Bay Distillers or the many great producers up and down the land. Here’s a toast to Mums everywhere!
Illustration: Ailbhe Phelan
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