From ensuring you are up-to-date with major trends to building a point of difference in store, there’s a lot for retailers to keep up with in the sugar confectionery category this summer. These key questions, along with some last minute advice for retailers who want to maximise the World Cup opportunity, were put to  Hancock’s purchasing director Jonathan Summerley.


Retail Newsagent: What are the major trends in the sugar confectionery category that retailers need to be aware of?

Jonathan Summerley: A young but fast-growing trend is sour flavours. Aimed at slightly older demographics than the rest of this sub-sector, new products such as Chewits Xtreme Sour and Rowntree’s Randoms Sweet ‘N’ Sour are at the forefront of this trend.

Retro flavours and packaging, meanwhile, continues to be a trend for customers looking for a nostalgic experience. Candyland embraced this trend by recently launching Candyland Old Town Gums.

Finally, sharing bags continue to lead the way in terms sugar confectionery formats, with pick and mix close behind.

RN: If a retailer wanted to get into pick and mix, how would they know if it was a right option for them?

JS: Knowledge of local competition is essential, and a retailer considering pick and mix might also wish to get feedback from customers. While the category engages children in a significant way, it’s also popular with adults and even OAPs. Proximity to a schools, cinemas, or even a residential home for the elderly, can all highlight opportunities to retail pick and mix.

Then there is the question of whether to adopt the traditional ‘jar’ approach or the more modern pick and mix display. That decision, alongside customer feedback, will also have an impact on the type of sweets stocked.

The cost of setting up pick and mix is relatively low, and can be flexible to your budget. Retailers can purchase a few empty bins or jars and develop a modest display without spending too much at all. If scales are not available, it is possible to sell pick and mix sweets by the cup instead.

RN: With the tournament already up and running, what last minute advice do you have for retailers wanting to take advantage of the World Cup opportunity?

JS: Firstly, develop your window display to support England. Choose red and white sweets plus plenty of creativity. Consider creating a range of filled bags or containers to share using a variety of colour themed sweets (red and white sweets being the obvious starting point). It’s also possible to stock football-themed products such as Hancock’s football lollies or chocolate flavour footballs. It’s also not too late to develop a promotion in your store such as a discount or giveaway on the days that England are playing or other major games are being played.