4 ways brands can succeed in the Away from Home sector

28 February 2022
Author: Kirsty Whyte

Away from home is a broad sector with over 400,000 outlets across several channels. The sector’s ability to reach such a wide set of consumers means brands can use it to leverage additional selling opportunities. Whether it’s bars and restaurants, entertainment venues or offices, brands should identify the sales potential out with traditional retail.

We spoke to Avidity's Group Strategy and Marketing Director, Gordon Neil for his view on the sector:

“Away From Home presents a significant opportunity for FMCG brands in particular. With a high proportion of independent operators and decisions made at outlets level, the right strategy to grow brand distribution and visibility will unlock significant sales growth. It’s fair to say the channels within the sector with the biggest opportunity have changed since the first lockdown, the best example being the sharp decline in Business and Industry due to office closures and less staff on site, and the continuing rise of the aggregators like Just Eat in the Takeaway and Delivery channel.”

So, what do brands need to consider when approaching their Away From Home strategy? We’ve summarised it into 4 key areas:


1. Identify clear channels to focus on for your brand and get your pack strategy right

Is the opportunity in service led outlets, fast food establishments, in delivery or somewhere else? The key here is being selective based on your brand strength and not trying to tackle the whole market. The market is too big and too complex to go broad; be laser focused on the channels that will work best for you.

The right pack strategy is also key, a direct transfer of retail packs into the AFH sector rarely work, so you need to think carefully about whether your product is going to be sold front of house directly to the consumer or used back of house.


2. Get your Route to Market in place

Strong distribution and product availability is key. Focus on the areas identified above and the Wholesale operators to ensure distribution is achieved, and work to move the end users towards purchase. After all, sales cannot be achieved until stockists have been obtained. The Catering Operators are critical to success.

Essentially, having identified the right channel to target, you need to know the route to market for those end users and ensure your product is available to purchase in those wholesalers/distributors.


3. Get the contact strategy in place to influence end users

Different contact strategies work in different channels, it’s not a one size fits all approach in AFH. In some channels, field will work best, in others it’s telesales and in some, it’s a mixture of both.

It’s important to be clear from the outset exactly where the opportunity, and therefore the focus, lies.


4. Consider digital ordering platforms

The QSR and takeaway sector experienced significant growth during the pandemic, benefiting from the shift towards eating at home. Bars and restaurants also expanded their services with many introducing digital apps and online ordering. For brands, it’s important to recognise this shift in outlet and consumer behaviour as it opens the door to new opportunities to sell. Now is the time to make the move towards digital as big aggregators such as Just Eat and Deliveroo continue to conquer the takeaway market. Working with an agency like McCurrach can help you align your products across digital platforms to maximise sales.

With the sector experiencing further growth post pandemic, brands should consider their strategy for best results in the Away From Home Sector in 2022. 

For more information on the Away from Home sector, watch our LinkedIn page all week, or contact us for a one-to-one conversation to talk about how your brand can take advantage of opportunities in this sector this year.