Independent retailers can attract the best Christmas sales by investing in the growing sharing chocolate category, says Ferrero

Alex Paulson, category development manager at the company, said sales of products given as gifts to share grew by 6.4% year on year.

“Around 60% of shoppers now plan a purchase within this segment, compared with 40% who buy on impulse,” he said.

Speaking at the chocolate supplier’s annual Christmas event last week in London, Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero, said: “The premium part of the sharing category is growing even faster, at 15% year on year.”

Ferrero intends its new product, Thorntons Pearls, to tap into this premium trend and target younger shoppers. 

“Thorntons Pearls is designed for sharing, with the category worth £84m and growing at 6% year on year in the UK. Plus, during Christmas 2017, Ferrero’s boxed portfolio grew by 7.3%.

“We attribute this to the Thorntons brand, which returned to double-digit growth, at 12%,” added Mr Boorer. 

Ketul Desai, who runs Leiston Londis in Leiston, said during Christmas, his sales of chocolate sharing formats grow by 60%, and on average he sells 1,200 tubs, compared with 10 to 15 tubs
a month.

“Sharing chocolate formats always pick up around seasonal events such as Christmas, and last year, Londis offered some good deals,” he said.  

However, growth in premium isn’t limited to sharing formats, with premium advent calendars growing at 48% year on year, according to data from Nielsen Scantrack.

“With the premium advent segment growing at 48%, Thorntons had a 21% share of value sales in the category last year,” Mr Boorer added.

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