Customer Case: Func Food Finland / FAST Sports Nutrition
The product category of sports nutrition has been developing rapidly during past few years. Looking at last year’s sales within the K-group, the second largest grocery trade operator in Finland, the category has experienced heavy growth. The distribution channels for sports nutrition products have also evolved: whereas a few years ago the products were mainly available through specialty stores and sports clubs, we now find a vast selection even in the smallest grocery stores.
When taking a closer look at the category’s performance, there is one segment that really stands out. Over the past year, sports bars have been leading the category growth and account for more than a quarter of the increase in total category sales.
Func Food Finland has been one of the most successful companies in this category and is leading the sports bar segment with their FAST brand. Despite the fact that several new brands and a multitude of new products have entered the segment during the past couple of years, FAST has been able to develop its market share within the K Group nearly at the same rate as the entire segment has grown.
Having a comprehensive overview of the market plays an essential role when aiming to strengthen your brand’s position. For this purpose, Func Food is using A² Category Analytics reports which make it easy to efficiently process and utilize market and retailer data in everyday work.
A² Category Analytics provides a reliable overview of the market situation and segment growth, as well as clear indications of what is driving the growth. “Our achieved market leadership and the impact of our products on the overall segment growth has been easy to demonstrate, which provides great support when negotiating with the retail” says Func Food’s key account manager, Sanna Mäkinen. “Getting new products listed in the assortment is easier when you have real market facts supporting your proposals.”
"Our achieved market leadership and the impact of our products on the overall segment growth has been easy to demonstrate, which provides great support when negotiating with the retail."
Sanna Mäkinen praises the central buyers’ genuine interest towards the analyses FMCG brands make based on retailers’ data. In joint meetings the buyers and the brand’s key account manager usually review past campaigns and their contribution to the category’s development. These meetings and especially the insights that the supplier is able to bring to the table have a huge impact on the development of the category and brands, making these meetings a top priority. "Since there is a lot to do on many levels, it is extremely important that we get the best possible support to our products from the retail chain’s central buying." Ms Mäkinen also sees many opportunities in the future for deepening the retail cooperation by utilizing the data and reports provided by A² Category Analytics.
"Since there is a lot to do on many levels, it is extremely important that we get the best possible support to our products from the retail chain’s central buying."
In addition to reviewing the product category’s overall performance, key people at Func Food also study campaign performance and how different campaign mechanisms work. They also compare their own and competitors’ campaign performance and examine how competitors’ campaigns affect the sales of FAST products. For Func Food it is also important to see where brand specific sales figures settle after each campaign period.
Detailed and more comprehensive reports help in setting goals regarding store coverage, assortment depth and campaigns. In the case of new products, the change in store coverage and how well the product redeems its position in the portfolio are closely monitored. It is also interesting to see how a new product compares to and challenges other, existing products.
The possibility to create and view your own product series on A² Category Analytics is also a much used feature at Func Food. It allows them to review the performance of a set of products which don’t belong to the same product category but for which there is some common denominator, e.g. “superfoods”.
Integrating standardised reports from A² Category Analytics into continuous workflows enables FMCG brands to use data more efficiently. The solution offers versatile opportunities for developing and challenging the market, while making it easier to attract new consumers to try your products.
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