Outdoor eating is big business in the UK. The summertime trend that sees delis, farm-shops, restaurants and wine specialists offering anything from a freezer of ice lollies shoved optimistically in the corner to pre-packed deli lunches, picnics to go, and even ready-made hampers that come with their own butler service. After all, you can fine dine on gastronomic loveliness in the cooped up confines of an overpriced restaurant, or you can break free and take it to the great outdoors.


Of course, there’s always a “but” when it comes to outdoor dining in the UK, and that’s the weather. It’s unpredictable, and that unpredictability has an effect on sales at the till.


“Weather” accounts for around 4.5% of overall sales in the UK. We are weather dependent shoppers, and if you’ll excuse the pun, whether it rains or shines, your profit or loss can often be determined by the temperature outside. Too hot and we stay outside, too cold and we stay home. So it’s always worth planning for all eventualities.


Tesco supermarket uses a system that cross-checks an accumulation of 5 years’ worth of data with information about every product in every store, every day of the week. Treeva Fenwick, Head of Broadcast and Consumer Communications at Tesco‎ says that this allows them to accurately predict what people want, enabling them to appropriately stock their stores. Their weather system is so specific it can even indicate the temperature at which sales of burgers will go up!


Now very few of us have Tesco's budgets, but there are still principles of seasonality that we can take note of and opportunities to be maximised whatever the weather.


The worldwide pandemic has created the circumstance that’s forced new ways to shop in-store or from the comfort of our homes. As the weather in the future starts to become even less predictable, retailers will again need to think outside of the box and embrace omnichannel retailing, new services and experiences and fresh ways to shop – online and offline.


Regardless of the weather, one summer trend that’s a great profit booster but also easy to implement is taking advantage of our love for a good old-fashioned picnic, and it’s the perfect opportunity to cash in on the benefits that add-on picnic services can have on retail sales. WBC has all the outdoor picnic packaging you need to make a successful start.

1 - Target Your Audience

Know your customers!


- Who is buying your products?
- What types of foods do they like?
- How big are their families?

By knowing the answers to these questions, you’ll not only target a wider demographic, but you’ll prepare the perfect picnic that through word of mouth will have them coming back for more. And that’s more sales for you.

2 - Food To Go Packaging

Two hampers on top of each other, the top one open with its content on show

If you’re a specialist food retailer, it’s likely that your produce has been handpicked and specially chosen by you. You have a pretty good idea of what your customers are looking for. So why not offer it as part of a picnic takeaway service or BBQ pack?

It’s a competitive market so it’s important that your business stands out and services like this can help you do just that. Enticing customers by offering the very produce you already have on sale, neatly packed in a ready-made out-door hamper.


Read more about WBC’s range of food to go packaging and how it’s changing the way we serve. 

3 - Offer A Free Hamper and Blanket Service

Two boxes on a rug, one open with content on show, the other is closed but with a transparent lid

Create price points for set menu options. Customers can call in advance to place orders and choose a picnic hamper within their budget.

Then it’s as simple as them leaving a deposit, picking up the picnic, and returning the hamper at a later date.


Throw in a returnable picnic blanket or accessories and the BBQ picnic service really comes alive.


Here is an actual real picnic service listing we spotted in our local farm shop:


"Spend over £15 on a selection of fine food deli items, and you’ll receive full use of our luxury hamper basket, complete with blanket and everything you need to create your perfect picnic day out. Just leave a deposit of £25 which will be refunded on return of your basket. Leave it with us and we’ll even do your washing up!"

4 - Set Your Hamper Price Point

Six hampers on top of each other, largest at the bottom, smallest at the top

WBC’s range of wicker hamper baskets and food to go boxes come in a variety of sizes, which makes it instantly easy to offer ready-made takeaway hampers at a variety of price points that appeal to your widest customer base.


Create a starter picnic pack, then offer a mid-range and luxury dining out experience and see which works, tweaking the contents as you go.

5 - Tote Bags, Shopping Bags & Paper Bags

Two tote bags with some wicker baskets to the left side

First off, bags make an excellent alternative hamper if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to traditional wicker baskets.


The added benefit of course is they can be personalised with your company brand name and logo using our 7-10 day UK personalisation service. Your brand will be seen wherever it travels.


Some other uses for personalised fabric bags:


- Sample bags
- Promotional gifts
- Picnic Services
- Medical Practitioners / Medical travel bags
- Door to door sales rep bags
- Restaurant home delivery service
- Promotional drink-ware bags

Published: 1st Sep 2021