With just over three months until Christmas, Toby Hill reveals how you can own the season and boost your sales
Drive seasonal impulse
Encouraging unplanned purchases is a vital part of the confectionery market at any time of year, with as many as four in five purchases made on impulse in the category.
This becomes especially true at Christmas, when customers are in the mood to treat themselves or someone close to them. People are likely to be feeling a little looser with their wallets than at other times of the year, too.
“Confectionery is one of the few categories where shoppers are willing to spend money on products they love, especially at key seasonal trading spikes such as Christmas,” says Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero.
To nudge customers into making those impulse purchases, retailers can use clever merchandising tactics to boost sales. Anita Nye, owner of Premier Eldred Drive Stores in Orpington, Kent, thinks carefully about where to position confectionery in her store.
“We’ll have confectionery on a promotional display opposite the tills, with all the PoS provided by Booker,” she says. “And we have three shelves positioned just before the tills where we display boxes of chocolate, so people pass them as they go to pay or wait beside them if there’s a queue.”
Susan Nash, trade communications manager for Mondelez International, says: “Retailers should prepare early and start the countdown in October with impulse lines, such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Mousse Snowman.”
Christmas launches and promos
- The latest innovation under Ferrero’s Thorntons brand, Thorntons Pearls has a delicate chocolate shell encasing a centre of either Salted Caramel or Nutty Crunch.
- The Kinder Surprise Egg calendar is one of two new designs from Kinder for Christmas 2018, alongside the Kinder Mini Mix calendar.
- Joining the Jolly Reindeer and the Snowman, Thorntons’ Cheeky Elf is the latest novelty figure from Ferrero.
- Maynards Bassetts Frosted Wine Gums comes in 165g packs and contains festive shapes such as a star, cracker, stocking, snowman, Santa and Christmas tree.
- Earlier this year, Mars entered the premium sharing sector for the first time with Maltesers Truffles.
Retailers should prepare early and start the countdown in October with impulse lines
- Ferrero Rocher has been in growth for six consecutive years, making it a must-stock for Christmas 2018.
- Raffaelo continues to go from strength to strength, growing by 13% last year.
- Alongside The Snowman, Thorntons’ Jolly Reindeer leads the market in the chocolate standing figure category.
- Available in four designs, Kinder Joy includes eight seasonally relevant toys, perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree.
- An iconic British classic, Cadbury Roses chocolates can be shared among all generations.
- Dusted with sugar, Cadbury Snow Bites look great piled in a bowl at a Christmas party – or as a sample in your store.
- Synonymous with a British Christmas, the bestselling Cadbury Selection Box contains six products, including Wispa, Crunchie and Double Decker.
- With more than 1kg of creamy Galaxy chocolate, retailers report that the Galaxy Giant Chocolate Bar was a huge hit during Christmas 2017.
Time for sharing
The biggest trend in confectionery in recent years is sharing, and the increase in social occasions at Christmas provides a range of opportunities for retailers.
Sharing packs of sugar confectionery are key. Lauren George, trade & brand manager at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, says: “Boxed chocolate is a great option for consumers looking to buy a safe gifting option that everyone will love, or that perfect treat to bring to the Christmas get-together.”
Mark Roberts, marketing manager for Perfetti Van Melle, adds that retailers should also cater for people seeking to cut down on their sugar intake. “People are more aware than ever before about what they are feeding their families,” he says. “At PVM, we offer a range of sugar-free and reduced-sugar products.”
Sharing packs of chocolates are essential, as Big Bear’s marketing manager, Andrew Ovens, explains.
“Research shows that sharing occasions with five or more people consuming sharing bags of chocolate have risen 27% in recent years and, with winter weather and much-loved Christmas movies, this only increases during the festivities,” he says.
Creating displays around these products is essential later in the season.
“Continue the Christmas countdown into November with advent calendars and novelty sharing lines,” says Mondelez’ Susan Nash.
Finally, the after-dinner mint segment continues to grow. Storck UK managing director Andy Mutton recommends the firm’s Bendicks Mint Collection as a premium option, ideal for customers looking for a classy way to round off their festive dinner parties.