With consumers keen to cut down on expensive heating bills, David Corscadden explains why it is important to keep a ready supply of firelighting and fuel solutions for the coming cold months
14 October 2013
AT A GLANCE: FUEL
- Zip is the brand leader for the ignition category in Ireland (Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)
The Zip wrapped firelighter is the number one wrapped firelighter in Ireland, growing 16% YTD (Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)
Zip Croí na Tine firelogs are growing by 40.2% (Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)
The total firelighter market is up +4.8% YTD (Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)
Homestead Fuels account for 53% of the total fuels sales within symbol groups and independent retailers
Firelogs account for 25% of total Homestead fuel sales
Bord na Móna is the largest supplier of solid fuel in Ireland
Bcosy achieved growth in sales through independent outlets in targeted areas of 130% in 2012/2013
Bcosy is forecasting this growth to increase by 55% in the next 12 months
While last year the winter months were relatively mild, customers quickly learnt that the threat of cold weather is never too far away when it comes to the Irish climate. An extremely cold start to 2013 has delivered a welcome boost to the ignition and fuel sector. It also created a desire in consumers to get ready for whatever the Irish weather throws at them coming into 2014.
As budgets become tighter, in an already expensive time for most households, it is no wonder people are shunning central heating in favour of more economical fuel solutions. With around 70% of households having open fires, companies within the ignition and fuel sector are keen to corner a growing market with NPDs and increased product marketing.
Zipping to the top
Standard Brands, manufacturer of Zip, invented the domestic kerosene firelighter in 1936 and today Zip is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the ignition sector. It is also Ireland’s number one firelighter and brand leader of the solid firelighter category. Safe, reliable, convenient and easy to use, Zip’s high quality firelighters are claimed to be ideal for all Irish homes.
Zip’s comprehensive range offers a wide variety of fire lighting solutions, including block, wrapped, firelogs and a range of ancillary and charcoal products to meet all home fire requirements.
70% of all Irish households have a fireplace, with 76% of those lighting a fire more than three times a week. The fuels used to make fires in Irish homes are notoriously hard to light and that is why Zip has designed its products to work fast and efficiently with all fuel types. The brand believes that its firelighters are so powerful; they deliver excellent value for money for consumers, and will light fires first time, every time.
Zip firelighters are made in Ireland, for the Irish consumer. Zip is supporting the Irish economy by continuing to manufacture its firelighters in Castlebellingham, with 90% of the ingredients being sourced locally. Zip states that its firelogs, including Croí na Tine, are the only firelogs that are wholly manufactured in Ireland, providing Zip consumers with a real Irish fire.
Zip puts innovation at the forefront of its agenda and only launches new products which adhere to the inherent core strengths of the brand – ensuring they are safe, reliable, convenient and enjoyable. For autumn and winter 2013/14, Zip will be launching a newly formulated wrapped firelighter and Croí na Tine firelog. This is helping to drive retailers’ rate of sale as well as build upon the strong brand awareness that Zip enjoys in Ireland.
The new sized, highly efficient wrapped firelighters have a powerful new formulation, whilst the latest Croí na Tine firelog is now claimed to be Ireland’s fastest lighting log. Zip provides Ireland’s leading wrapped firelighters with YTD growth of +15.5% against the wrapped category of +11.2%*. The brand maintains investment in strong retailer marketing activities to support its products, with well-designed and impactful merchandising units for easy display.
Zip products are available nationwide. Contact email@example.com or telephone 003531 4081400 for more information or merchandising support for the complete Zip range.
* (Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)
A new home
Following the launch of the Homestead brand in 1986, the brand’s stand-out staple product within its portfolio is its firelighter range; generating considerable sales in this category.
The Homestead philosophy is committed to catering for the wholesaler, retailer and consumer equally, while ensuring ongoing quality control and product investment year-on-year.
It is estimated that Homestead fuels account for 53% of the total fuels sales within symbol groups and independent retailers, while rivalling the two leading brands in Ireland. The Homestead fuels range consists of two SKUs of firelighters, 30s and 60s and a firelog which was introduced to the range in early 2005.
At the time of its launch, Homestead’s firelog was the first time such a product was produced for a private-label in Ireland. Homestead fuels continue to grow year-on-year, with firelogs being the largest contributor of this growth, accounting for 25% of total Homestead fuel sales. Firelighter sales now account for 51% of the total fuel sales in Ireland, and Homestead firelighters continue to grow in-line with the market.
This year, Homestead is celebrating its 30th year in business and to mark this occasion the brand has been given a face lift. Janice Gibney, Homestead brand manager is delighted to introduce the new Homestead logo. "The Homestead house remains the key icon of our brand and it was essential that it remained an integral part of the new logo," she said. "The new logo brings the brand into the 21st century and customers can rest assured that Homestead continues to bring value home".
Innovative and convenient solutions
For over 80 years, Bord na Móna, the largest supplier of solid fuel in Ireland, has led the way in designing an innovative and convenient range of quality fuel solutions for Irish consumers. The range offered includes coal, smokeless coal, peat briquettes and convenience products.
At the heart of the Bord Na Móna range is its authentic Irish peat briquettes. As relevant now as they were 80 years ago, there is no peat substitute that gives the same level of heat and burn time that customers get from briquettes. Bord Na Móna’s peat briquettes are clean smokeless fuel, suitable for stoves as well as open fires.
The company also offers a broad range of coals that are designed to meet a wide range of fire performance needs. Black Diamond and Suttons coals are both widely available and deliver on the high quality associated with the brand.
This month will see the introduction of Bord Na Móna’s new pack designs. The new design combined with a diverse quality range, is hoped will further copper fasten Bord Na Móna’s position as the market leader in solid fuels in Ireland.
When choosing Bord Na Móna products, consumers can be assured that they are purchasing the best quality and most economical fuel solutions to suit their lifestyles and budgets. Bord Na Móna continuously strives to bring the best in innovation to its consumers a fact which is illustrated by its ongoing commitment to provide Irish shoppers with a variety of choice and value when it comes to home heating.
On the spot heating
As central heating costs continue to rise, retail customers will be seeking cost-effective solutions to control their home heating bills. Superser heaters offer customers the opportunity to spot-heat a room quickly and cost-effectively. With a suspected harsh winter ahead, the company believes the product will be in high demand this year.
For homeowners who want instant heat that’s both stylish and useful, Flogas supplies two contemporary looking and stylish mobile heaters, the Superser Radiant and Superser Catalytic. In particular, the Superser Catalytic burns without a flame and has lower touch temperatures, making it safer to have in a room. Its easy glide castors make for trouble-free moving from room to room. This allows users to heat exactly where they want to and when they want to.
Economical bottled gas
Flogas cylinders are a familiar sight at retail outlets throughout the country. The butane cylinder is a clean and economical choice for consumers and the company believes it is hard to beat as a low cost, versatile energy package.
Propane direct dealers have been reporting strong annual sales growth and many customers want the benefits of gas at home for fires and cooking. However they are either not on the natural gas grid or don’t want to go through the hassle of changing, so people find propane cylinders in a discreet corner of their back garden a very practical alternative.
Flogas was the first company in Ireland to introduce the Securiseal (gas cylinder seal) for propane cylinders. Similar to the butane seal, the Securiseal is a solid, tamper-proof cylinder seal made from a resilient polyethylene material of the highest quality.
Flogas has an excellent distribution system, with maximum coverage. The company has three marine gas terminals, at Drogheda, Cork and Belfast, and a land terminal at Ballyhaunis. Flogas operates a nation-wide network of distributors who fill cylinders and deliver bottled gas to dealers in their area. Distributors are strategically located all over the country to ensure constant and speedy delivery of bottled. For further information on Flogas products and services, contact 041-9831041 or visit www.flogas.ie.
Consumer demand is growing rapidly for greener and more efficient fuels in particular for use in stoves. Bcosy, manufactured in Wellingtonbridge, Co Wexford, has filled this need and has become a household favourite both locally and nationwide.
According to the company, customers have been attracted to its products because they are clean, convenient and easy to handle, environmentally friendly, offer value for money and are most importantly are guaranteed Irish. They are suitable for use in any appliance; wood-burning or multi-fuel stoves, along with conventional fire-places and open grates.
The company’s briquettes are made from a specially developed mix of hard and soft woods and Miscanthus grass. The optimum mix was determined through extensive research carried out in conjunction with the Wood Energy Research Group at Waterford IT. They contain just 12% moisture, compared to 30-40% moisture of other wood-based fuels and are a direct replacement for traditional coal or peat briquettes.
As the briquettes, which come in bales of 12, are made from compressed wood, they are clean and easy to handle. Their shape and weight make them ideal for adding to open fires and stoves. Generating a small amount of ash, they save time and energy cleaning out the fire the following day.
Unlike other brands, which add a fire accelerant, here the briquettes are said to ignite better due to the optimum mix used and low moisture content. As the product also produces less smoke than traditional fuels, it is said to be more environmentally friendly.
Since its launch on the market in 2011, Bcosy has steadily grown its sales through independent outlets in targeted areas by 130% in 2012/2013. It is forecasting this growth will increase by 55% in the next 12 months.
For more information on Bcosy products or to make an order, call 051-561169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sally Johnson, marketing manager, Standard Brands
What do you believe to be at the core of the Zip brand?
The core to the Zip brand is the ability to enhance the pleasure and convenience of a real fire for all consumers. Zip firelighter products are consistently safe and reliable, whilst being powerful enough to light fires with a minimum number of cubes versus competitor firelighter products. This makes the actual cost to light a fire with Zip considerably lower. Even hard to light fuels can be lit easily with Zip firelighters. Consumers know that when using a Zip branded product, their firelighters will light first time, every time.
How has the brand tackled innovation over the past 12 months?
Zip puts innovation at the forefront of its agenda and only launches new products that adhere to the inherent core strengths of the brand – safe, reliable, convenient and enjoyable. For autumn and winter 2013/14, Zip is re-launching both its Croí na Tine firelogs and wrapped firelighters.
Zip continues to invest heavily in its brands and recently conducted extensive consumer research in order to improve the formulation of the Croí na Tine firelog. 95% of consumers who have tried the CNT log say that they would repurchase*. Its recently launched new packaging has contributed to significant Croí na Tine YTD growth of +40.2%*.
A powerful, new sized wrapped firelighter has been developed which has a new formulation and a highly efficient new shape. Zip remain the leading wrapped firelighters with YTD growth of +15.5%* against the wrapped category of +11.2%*.
What plans have you to help retailer’s maximise their sales for winter 2013/14?
We are very excited to exclusively launch our new advertising campaign here in ShelfLife for autumn and winter 13/14 – ‘Come home to Zip’. This campaign has been developed to promote and express the powerful and long lasting benefits of using Zip. The ‘Come home to Zip’ is centred on returning home to a warm and welcoming real Irish fire. The promotional campaign will launch with a regional radio campaign starting in October, followed by outdoor press and in-store advertising.
*(Source: Nielsen – 16 June 2013)