Continuing WGB's European store tour series, Anne-Marie Roerink shares findings from health and beauty retailer Boots UK, which operates about 2,500 health and beauty stores across the U.K. The retailer estimates that 90% of Britain's population is located within a 10-minute drive of a Boots store.
Boots runs many different formats, focused on giving customers what they want and need for each place. The retailer runs local pharmacy formats, health and beauty stores, large flagship stores and very small travel and airport stores. The latter have very targeted assortments to meet the last-minute needs of customers when traveling through airports and train stations.
This airport store in Manchester is located in the Departures lounge.
Meal Deal: Buy Before You Fly
In addition to last-minute travel needs, the airport Boots has a very extensive meal deal program. For £3.99 or less, travelers can pick one main, one drink and one snack. Signage points out that travelers can discover “millions of tasty meat deal combinations.”
So Many Tasty Ways to Eat Well
While available in millions of combinations, the program is clear and simple with the use of color-coded dots. Any larger portion, salad, sandwich or the like is coded with a red “main in meal deal” dot. A wide array of small items are color-coded with a blue “snack in meal deal” dot.
Snacks Include Traditional and Contemporary Options
In tune with how much consumers have expanded their definition of snacking, a wide array of small items are color-coded with the blue snack dot. These are items ranging from fruit, traditional salty and sweet snacks, small portions of sushi, eggs, side salads and desserts.
Sandwiches, Wraps, Salads and More
Mains consist of a wide variety of sandwiches in boxes that allow shoppers to see the item clearly while taking up minimal space and packaging material. Flavors and types include traditional ham and cheese sandwiches as well as hip and on-trend combinations such as chicken and chorizo, duck and Mediterranean dishes.
3 of Your 5 a Day
Larger fruit packages are offered as the main in the meal deal. All carry very clear front-of-pack labeling with fat, saturates, sugars and salt. Green, orange and red colors indicate good or bad performance in each. Calories are called out prominently as well. For anything containing produce, the packaging includes a leaf symbol that shows the number of steps toward the five-a-day recommended consumption. For instance, in this case, it’s “3 out of your 5 a day.”
Smaller Fruit Options for Sides
If shoppers want fruit as a side instead of a main, there are ample options. In this case, the blue dot shows these fruit options count as snacks in the meal deal and list the same type of information as their main counterparts.
Packaged perhaps even more attractively are a wide variety of wraps, under the “shapers” brand. Here too packaging shows a wide variety of nutrition information and additional callouts such as no MSG and gluten-free.
Salad-based dishes range from traditional greens to eating adventures such as this Moroccan-style chicken couscous salad. Icons show the meat in the dish, in this case chicken, and whether it is a source of fiber. The very visual versus wordy-style labels are right on par with the latest trends in labels.
Much like in the United States, bowls are making inroads into retail foodservice. This salmon and prawn poke rice bowl is particularly on trend with young travelers.
Sushi as a Main
Ever-popular sushi makes a good-looking appearance as well. In this case, it’s a main size offering, at 15 pieces.
Or Sushi as a Snack
For those who want sushi as a snack, five-piece options at less than 100 calories are available as well.
Or Sweet Baked Goods as a Snack
For those looking for a dessert to go along with their main choice, there are ample options. All of these are coded with blue dots and count as the snack in the meal deal.