Home' Convenience and Impulse Retailing : October 2009 Contents 55
October 2009 | C&I | www.c-store.com.au
new looks for
some old fames
Swap'n'Go. "These help increase customer
Underlying demand for bottled gas is
still growing, with uptake of new appliances
such as gas-fired pizza ovens and fan
heaters, as well as continued growth in
the use of pole heaters in outdoor areas.
However, these other appliances are only a
small part of the market and the seasonal
surge at Christmas is still as strong as
"Bottled gas is an 'all-year-round'
product," said Darren Free. "There is still
Suppliers of gas estimate that somewhere between 50% and 60% of cylinder gas volume is now
delivered to consumers by cylinder swap programs. Retailers themselves – as well as changing
regulations are hastening the trend.
Source: Nielsen ScanTrak (www.au.nielsen.com), courtesy Swedish Match Australia
Solid BBQ fuel unit sales, Tier 1 & 2 stores, 2008–09
AT A GLANCE
• The BBQ has long been one
of Australia’s most popular
activities; even more so during
tougher economic times.
• Bottled gas is still the most
common fuel, and the trend
towards cylinder swap
• Solid BBQ fuel options are still
making inroads, and a new
player in this subcategory aims
to convert more Australian
consumers towards the
• As with all consumer markets,
‘green’ products are making
their mark in BBQ fuel, and
2009 sees the introduction of
important new products.
• With BBQ fuel on the forecourt,
retailers can make additional
sales and returns with a well-
selected range of accessories
a peak over the Christmas period but now
the rest of the year is on the increase;
some service stations have doubled sales
over the past six years."
Seasonality is a striking feature of sales of
solid BBQ fuel products in the convenience
channel (see graph).
The key period of Christmas and New Year
is a clear peak. "The season kicks off on
Father's Day and goes through to Greek
Easter," said Nicole Brook, Managing
Director, Australian Char.
Australian Char's range of Heat Beads
is the leading brand in the overall market.
The other feature of the BBQ fuel market
overall is positive growth. "There is a
definite shift towards cooking at home,"
said Ms Brook. "Although this is partly due
to the economic downturn, consumers
do want quality BBQ outcomes. They are
prepared to invest in quality ingredients
and quality fuel, and the Heat Beads
brand is the perfect fit -- its reliability and
consistency makes it the number one
choice. The popularity of TV programs,
such as Masterchef Australia, reinforces
Australian Char targets the 'committed
and passionate' BBQ user through
alliances with the likes of Melbourne Food
and Wine Festival and the Good Food and
"We have also invested a lot in our
website (www.heatbeads.com.au) to make
it more interactive," said Nicole Brook. "We
communicate directly with our customers
with lots of tips and recipes and general
information about barbecuing. The
time viewers stay on our web pages has
"This has implications for retailers," she
said. "When the weather is good and we
are out there communicating the benefits
of cooking over Heat Beads briquettes it is
an easy sale for a retailer; you just have to
have it in stock and placed where it can be
seen on the forecourt."
Visibility and making it easy for
customers and retailers are behind the
development of the Redheads Forecourt
"The stand was specially developed
for Convenience & Impulse outlets," said
Dorothy Lee, Brand Manager, Swedish
Match Australia. "It offers consumers a
complete one-stop for their fire needs,
including Redheads Wood Charcoal BBQ
Fuel. The stands are painted red and
carry the iconic Redheads logo. Instant
recognition of this trusted Australian
brand can help drive impulse purchases.
It can withstand most weather conditions;
it is rust-proof and UV-proof, with strong
durable wheels that enable retailers to
push it onto (and off) the forecourt with
Swedish Match believes that the
stand is part of the reason for the above-
average growth of its solid BBQ fuel in
the channel. Unit sales doubled (MAT
YTD 5 July 2009), albeit from a small
"Redheads BBQ fuel is made from
natural wood sawdust, which maintains
an average temperature of 200°C for about
three hours," said Ms Lee. "It is ideal for
kettle BBQs, spit roasts and pizza ovens
(as well as potbelly stoves and braziers).
Consumers who use wood charcoal prefer
the original taste of barbecued food."
New to the Australian market, international
company LOKKII is tapping into the
consumer trend towards natural products
with its range of innovative and convenient
BBQ products. The core product in the
range is the LOKKII Instant Light BBQ
Briquette, which includes a plant-derived
self-igniting panel for easy lighting.
"Being self-lighting and thus eliminating
the need for firelighters is only one of
the briquette's selling points," said Abe
Waisman, Managing Director, LOKKII
Australia. "LOKKII BBQ Briquettes are
compact and reduce to a brick of white
ash that can be safely disposed off in the
garden. They take only 10 minutes to heat
up and two briquettes are enough for two
hours cooking. The fuel -- a blend of Lanhua
anthracite coal, charcoal, natural product,
and organic material -- burns clean, giving
food a traditional BBQ flavour."
Based in Hong Kong, LOKKII has
made significant inroads into the BBQ
fuel market in the United States, where
Walmart promotes it as one of its
sustainable 'green' products.
"The Australian market is lagging
behind the international BBQ trends," said
Mr Waisman. "Grilling over an open flame
is very popular in Europe and America,
but we are starting to see the shift here
in Australia too. This style of cooking is
very popular with 'foodies', because it is
healthier and the food tastes better."
LOKKII Australia launched its briquettes
along the eastern seaboard in May and
June of this year, with a heavy outdoor
"We will be advertising widely in the
lead up to summer," said Abe Waisman.
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