It’s almost here!
The UK celebrates National Picnic Day every year on June 18. This year, that also happens to be Father’s Day – it’s the ultimate twofer! So, if you haven’t yet stocked up with a delicious selection of alfresco treats to tempt your customers, there’s no time to waste.
We all know the British public loves a good picnic. In fact, as a nation, we take around 94 million picnics every year. With most of these happening in the summer, retailers only have a relatively short window to take advantage of this national passion for picnics.
Although we’ve been celebrating National Picnic Day for over 10 years, the activity grew significantly in popularity during the pandemic. Happily, this shows no sign of slowing down.
Picnics can be as simple or elaborate as people choose, and this presents fine food retailers with a huge area of potential growth. This is why getting in your pre-picnic season orders well in time is so important.
The good news is many of the foods you stock year-round are already picnic foods – they just need to be creatively displayed during the summer to draw in picnic shoppers’ eyes.
Studies show that deciding to have a picnic – especially among the over-55s age group – is spontaneous, so having an attractive display is the perfect way to help people select all the delicious goodies they need quickly and with minimal effort.
With that in mind, what do people love to pack for picnics?
Over the years, we’ve found that whether they’re doing a posh picnic with all the trimmings or simple sandwiches and a couple of bags of crisps, people want three essential things when it comes to the food they choose to take with them into the great outdoors:
Portability, convenience, and value for money.
There’s no doubt customers aren’t averse to spending a little more to make their picnics special because it’s still a less expensive alternative to eating out in a restaurant.
There is a flip side to that, however:
With the cost of living still biting, offering a range of quality foods to satisfy all tastes and budgets is very important.
But whether they go low key or decide to push the boat out with hampers of fine food and a few bottles of the Continent’s best fizz, British consumers agree that a picnic is a fun way to have a lovely day out with family and friends.
Typically though, most people choose the simple approach. In fact, whereas a few years ago our favourite picnic pack-up was a cheese sandwich, it’s now a humble packet of crisps.
Although, it has to be said that with the vast variety of crisps available today, they’re perhaps not quite as humble as they once were!
Our delicious range of Brown Bag Crisps, for example, is available in a tempting choice of flavours – from traditional Cheddar and Onion or Smoked Bacon to the more exotic Prawn with a Hint of Chilli and Lime.
For a heartier crisp, we’d have to say Burt’s Potato Chip Ridges are hard to beat.
Of course, if you’re looking for an alternative to the potato, Eat Real offers delectable Lentil Chips, Hummus Chips and Veggie Straws.
And don’t forget Manomasa’s limited edition Pineapple & Habanero Chilli Corn Chips. The combination of sweet pineapple and spicy habanero chilli, combined with the crunch of red quinoa, is irresistible.
But no matter how delicious a crisp or chip is, it’s always made better by the accompaniment of a creamy dip.
Do Goodly’s dips are perfect for picnics because they don’t need to be kept cold – they can be enjoyed as they are, straight from their pots. And with flavours such as Mighty Beetroot Borani, Smashed Pea Guacamole, Tomato and Bean Hummus and the 100% dairy-free Nacho Cheeze, there’s something for everyone.
But while traditional picnic foods are always firm favourites, many customers are also now looking for vegan options.
They also have a wide range of other cookies that are suitable for vegetarians, including Gingerbread Men (made using a traditional, all-butter recipe), Rainbow Cookies, Oat and Raisin Cookies, Chocolate, Chocolate and Ginger Cookies, and Macaroon Cookies.
We believe it’s important to highlight ranges that are vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, as, with so many customers now following a more flexitarian lifestyle, it’s important for retailers to keep up with new flavours and brands – and create engaging displays that show them off to their best advantage.
As a fine foods wholesaler, we’re finding it very exciting to watch the anatomy of the Great British Picnic evolving over time to accommodate changing tastes and expectations.
There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way from the early days of picnicking – in 18th Century Europe, for example, picnics were always taken indoors and were accompanied by music and dancing. It was only after the French Revolution that the concept of “Le Pique Nique” came to our shores. Thankfully we decided to adapt this fun form of feasting by taking it outside.
The rest, as they say, is history.
But however your customers plan to celebrate Father’s Day and National Picnic Day on June 18th, they will want to make sure their hampers, baskets, plastic containers and cooler bags are full to the brim with delicious goodies.
We’ve only given you a brief look into some of the delectable picnic must-haves we have in store; Click here to see our full range.