Saturday, January 31, 2015

Drum roll please

I've been looking at sales figure for 2014 and thought this would be a good opportunity to give a little mention/fanfare to some of our best sellers. This is a highly unscientifically researched list as it includes all sales from 1st Jan - 31st Dec and is not weighted in any way to take account of new products introduced during the year, or seasonal lines. I think there are also some spurious sales which skew the results (like the French Sticks being used in buffets in great quantities). So any shopkeepers out there might not want to use this as a buying guide. But for those who want to give a little round of applause to our caveat-ed 2014 best sellers, here they are...

Most Popular Bread: French Stick, followed very closely (57 fewer) by the small white farmhouse (sliced).

Most in Demand Breakfast Cereal: Midfields Granola, original granola. Although by weight we sold more of the wheat free version as we have that in 500g and 1kg bags. See, this research lark is highly dubious!

Most Purchased Cake / Biscuit: In a packet the Gingerbread man was the best selling, from our counter, the Marathon Flapjack won. I might need to develop a cross between those two items. It's bound to be a runaway success! (sorry)  "Run Run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the marathon gingerbread man".

Most Favoured Chutney / Pickle / Mustard: Raydale Preserves Goats' Cheese Lover's Chutney / Biona Cornichons / Tracklements Strong English Mustard (closely followed by German Mustard which actually sold more online). We've seen a huge increase in sales of Strong English Mustard recently. I've no idea why, but according to Tracklements we aren't the only shop to notice.

Most Appropriated Coffee: Beanberry Coffee Company Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans. A really problematic category to study "properly" as our coffee beans are freshly roasted and therefore not all of them are available at all times of the year.

Most Requisitioned Cooking Sauce: Anila's Spicy Medium Curry Sauce continues to outsell all the other curry sauces, and all the pasta sauces as well. Always has done.

Most Sought After Confectionery: Licorice Log. I'm pleased to see RJs are still doing well here. The bags of licorice were the first line we carried to sell 100 units, way back in 2007.

Most Crowd Pleasing Crackers: Stockan's Thin triangular oatcakes. Also, the cheapest item in this list at just 65p per pack. They have to sell well to pay the rent on their tiny bit of shop!

Most Popular Crisps/Nuts: Tomato & Basil Pastinos, which was a surprise to me. I would have said Piper's Anglesey Sea Salt crisps would have been the best seller in this category, but they weren't even second; that was a tie between the Lemon Pastinos and Piper's sea salt and cider vinegar crisps.

... Cheese: Snowdonia Cheese Company Black Bomber (beating the second place cheese by more than 67kg).

... Ice Cream: Salcombe Dairy Madagascan Vanilla.

... Jam / Marmalade / Honey:  Susie's Strawberry Jam and Susie's Three Fruit Marmalade / Berkshire Honey. The honey statistics are really unfair as months go by when I don't have some of our honey varieties whilst I wait for the weather to warm up and the bees to produce more.

... Milk: Semi-skimmed one litre. The second most popular milk was the one litre non-homogenised organic milk. But it was more than one thousand units behind, so not exactly a close contest! I suspect that this year we might sell more of the non-homogensised full fat milk as customers are seeking it out for toddlers and to make their own cheeses.

... Oil/Vinegar: Not a level playing field. Technically the best selling oil was coconut oil. But we only have two varieties of that and more than a dozen different plain extra virgin olive oils (and plenty of flavoured ones as well).  So I'm also going to declare Zaytoun's Palestinian Extra Virgin Olive Oil a winner as well. Even though it was actually 4th after coconut oil, rapeseed oil (which we had 2 versions of) and ghee (we only have one variety).

Similarly, the best selling vinegar was Raw Health Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother, but that is used in far more ways than any of our balsamics, and we only offer one cider vinegar.

... Olives/Antipasti: Our best selling product in a jar was the Sun dried tomato meze from Olive Branch. The versatility of this product sort of gives it a head start in the sales figures. Antipasti, dip, sandwich filling, pasta sauce, salad dressing.... I'm not exactly comparing like with like so it's hard for a jar of olives to compete.

... Pasta: A tie! We sold exactly the same quantity of two pastas last year. Both were penne! Seggiano organic penne rigate and Biona wholemeal penne.

... Prepared Meal: In first place the single portion Cottage Pie. In second place the twin portion Cottage Pie. That's a good cottage pie!

... Soft Drink: Luscombe Farm's Wild Elderflower Bubbly (by one single bottle!), in second place was Whole Earth Sparkling Cranberry.

... Soup: Amy's Kitchen organic Rustic Italian vegetable soup sold one more unit than Mouthful's fresh Chicken and Corn Soup (but we only stock the fresh soup in the winter so really the chicken soup is the winner here).

 ... Tea: Another definitive winner. Darvilles of Windsor's 25 English Breakfast tea bags were in first place, with Darville's 50 English Breakfast tea bags in second place. Same tea, different packaging. So I can confidently say my customers love Darville's English Breakfast!

Maybe one day I can have a little awards ceremony. I'll need to think of more synonyms for popular before that.