The Profit-Boosting Power of Unique and Exciting Products for Retailers.

Unique and Exciting Products such as savoursmiths, tonys and other specialty items from epicurium

While it’s possible to run a successful shop solely with traditional convenience store staples, retailers can elevate their range by finding profitable unique and exciting products. These are the products that present shoppers with a point of difference and tie into key trends. The bonus for the store owner is that many of these niche, unique products offer higher margins because they must work harder to earn their shelf space.

Unique and exciting products can be found locally, through a specialty wholesaler—like Epicurium, on social media, or by simply creating a new product yourself.

Adopting a DIY Approach

Nishi Patel, of Londis Bexley Park in Dartford, Kent, began making his own baguettes in-store to help customers with the rising cost of fresh sandwiches.

“The cost of buying sandwiches was becoming an issue because customers couldn’t afford them,” Patel explains. “So, we decided to make our own and offer them as part of a meal deal.”

Although a meal deal isn’t a new phenomenon, offering a homemade solution has become a hidden gem for Patel, especially as shoppers buy on the go and are after comfort food in the winter. Hot food has also become a key profit driver.

“Customers want hot food to warm up in the winter, so that’s what we offer. Our challenge was getting the right codes and highlighting all the ingredients, but Country Choice helped us with this to make sure we are compliant with Natasha’s Law,” he adds.

In addition to this, Patel has invested in high-end tequila. “Gin is declining for us, so after doing some research, we invested in two tequilas: Don Julio and Reposado,” he says. “It’s too early to tell, but with Christmas coming up, we’re expecting them to perform well.”

Looking Local for Global Appeal

Alan Mannings, from Shop on the Green in Chartham, Kent, has found success with frozen ready meals sourced from a local supplier. “They are curry meals, made up of fresh meat and vegetables and take 45 minutes to cook,” Mannings says. “They are a huge seller.”

Mannings’ strategy is to target shoppers who would otherwise order a takeaway—often waiting up to an hour for delivery and paying more than the cost of a shop-bought meal. In fact, the average household spends £31 on takeaway every week, and Mannings feels these ready meals offer the takeaway experience at a lower cost—and calories.

“More people are concerned about the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, but this provides a cheaper alternative that can be picked up on the way home.

“We stock 20 varieties, so customers can really replicate a takeaway experience, and it’s healthier for them, which is an ongoing shopper mission—especially as we approach Christmas,” he says.

How to Find Unique Products to Sell

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Patel, for example, sourced some hard candies that are suitable for people with braces. “They cook them over a day or two so they’re almost powder, but because it’s slow-cooked, the shape remains,” he explains. “And because the inside is powder, those with braces can have them without getting them stuck.”

Patel sourced them from a Luton wholesaler and charges £3.99. “It’s quite a high RRP, but we’re on our fourth case in a month, so it’s been worth the investment,” he says.

Finding unique products for your store could come from word of mouth—by talking to other retailers—or from simply scrolling social media accounts, like TikTok.

Alan Mannings often uses Epicurium to elevate his offering. “We need to increase turnover and bring in new customers, so we’re currently researching how to do that,” he says. “We use specialist wholesalers, including Epicurium, because you never know what you might find.”

Do you want your own curated range
of unique and exciting products?

At Epicurium, unique and exciting products are a specialty. Many of the brands on offer meet the demand for multiple trends, such as health concerns, protein, or sustainability. Register an account to shop with us today or share your story with us for a chance to feature on our site.

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