"Partners for Growth advice is unbiased. It’s what’s best for the retailer and ultimately best for your customer."

Jonathan James, James Convenience Retail

Our range of key convenience categories

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in shopper behaviour, resulting in many more people shopping locally at Independent and Symbol stores, which has driven average basket spend up to £10.53 and value sales up by 33%.

As retailers adapted to cater for the increase in sales during the pandemic, they must now adapt to cater for the gradual return to pre pandemic lifestyles and shopper behaviour, meaning the return to shopping “little and often’.

We’d urge you to review your categories against our updated category advice to ensure you are allocating enough space to the best sellers and are merchandising so as to avoid missed sales through out of stocks.

Non-food categories


With 91% of shoppers buying into the laundry category and brands being top of their list, it’s a crucial part of your customers’ everyday shop. And with the ‘Need for Today’ mission accounting for over 50% of laundry shopping missions but walkaway levels at over of 63%, it’s important to get ranging and availability right. 

Home Cleaning

With 72% of households increasing their frequency of cleaning in 2020 due to the pandemic and 700,000 new shoppers buying into the category in convenience, Homecare sales have experienced significant growth over the last year. Reflecting these changes in shopper behaviour on your fixture is key to getting the ranging and merchandising of your Homecare category right.


Personal Care

Health and Beauty sales have been growing exponentially over the last 10 years and are worth £277M in convenience. The channel performed strongly during lockdown, but the 5.7% decline this year can be attributed to the strong sales during lockdown. Hygiene in particular has seen unprecedented growth, especially anti-bacterial hand-gels.

Refreshment & impulse snacking categories

Ice Cream

Get it right and the Ice Cream category can be a year-round treat for a retailers’ bottom line. It offers both a hugely valuable impulse opportunity worth over £120M and is the jewel in the crown for frozen food consumption, accounting for the largest segment of the growing Frozen Desserts category.


It is an exciting time for tea. ‘Occasions’ are at a five-year high in this high penetration category, driven by an increased number of households spending more time at home, working and socialising, consuming more tea, along with speciality teas as part of their daily ‘wellness’ ritual. 

Pot Snacks

Snacking presents a short and a long-term sales growth opportunity in convenience; more people are lunching at home due to the pandemic, and in 2021 more people will be returning to office environments and will be looking to save money on their lunches. This category is key for shoppers, students and workers wanting quick, easy, and affordable lunches.

Refreshment & impulse snacking categories

Cooking Ingredients

Over the last 5 years, as a nation we have become more engaged with scratch cooking and like many in-home behaviours, Covid has helped accelerate this, driving 708 million more ‘Scratch cooking occasions’ (+6%).  As we return to normality, shoppers will be looking to cut back on grocery spend, and scratch cooking is an easy way to do this. To make the most of this, displays need to communicate ‘quick meal solutions’ along with meat free options which are growing in popularity

Condiments & Sauces

With more and more shoppers working from home, lunch has been the biggest benefactor with in-home eating occasions increasing by 88%. With sandwiches being the single most important food occasion for Table Sauces and dressings and the nation gradually returning to work, follow this advice to optimise this growth opportunity.

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