Chris Dillon speaks to retailer Andy Howell to discover how you can drive success this summer with sugar confectionery.

Make sure you offer value and brands

In Andy Howell’s store, Loch Lomond News in West Dunbartonshire, he changes his approach to confectionery as the weather warms up.

“Confectionery is very important to our store as we’re located in a tourist location. In the summer the shop gets too hot for chocolate, so we cut down on our range and put those lines in the chiller,” he says.

Sugar confectionery is enjoyed by adults and children so it’s crucial to offer brands and prices that appeal to both groups. Brands, in particular, are essential for driving sales.

In February, Maynards Bassetts launched Wine Gums Tangy to attract more adults to sour sweets. Susan Nash, trade communications manager for Mondelez International, says retailers should make sure they stock the bestselling brands and put them in unmissable locations.

Value is an essential part of drawing shoppers to your store, particularly in sugar confectionery. Value can be communicated through price-marked packs, says Dan Newell, confections marketing manager for Wrigley. “Sixty-eight per cent of retailers stock pricrange,” he adds. If you are in the 32% that don’t, you might be missing a trick.

As well as price-marked packs, multi-buy deals are an important way of increasing your shoppers’ spend. Mark Roberts, trade marketing manager at Perfetti Van Melle, says: “Drive basket spend by creating multibuy deals like ‘three for £1’ on popular pocket money lines.”

Create bold displays

Once you have identified the right brands at the right price, the next step is creating displays that catch a shoppers’ eye. “My advice to retailers is to create big, bold displays for sugar confectionery. You can often use the outers for displays if you need as these can be quite eye catching,” says Howell.

Mondelez’s Susan Nash agrees. “Use manufacturer PoS to help products stand out and help shoppers spot what they are looking for,” she explains. In summer, you could add PoS that encourages shoppers to get everything they need for a car journey on holiday or a night in.

Creating displays around a specific theme is another way you can drive sales. Retailers could bring sugar confectionery, slush puppies and pocket money toys together to create ‘kids’ zones’.

Perfetti’s Mark Roberts says: “Children are involved in 70% of purchase decisions so it’s important to ensure that dedicated kids’ zones are accessible, colourful and fun.”

Stock new products that tap into trends

Keeping your display updated with new products ensures your shoppers stay interested in the fixture.  “Make the most of brand investment and have displays when the consumer is most aware of them,” says Nash.

Sugar confectionery launches usually benefit from advertising campaigns and backing by suppliers. “In order to raise sales and capitalise on early consumer demand, it is vital that retailers champion new products in store,” says Newell.

Sugar-free and reduced-sugar confectionery is currently an area of investment for suppliers. Perfetti Van Melle kicked off the year by launching sugar-free and reduced-sugar Fruit-tella, while Nestlé Confectionery is aiming to reduce 10% of the sugar in its range by 2018 and has released new recipes for Rowntree’s and KitKat to provide customers choice.

Charlotte Mountford, Rowntree’s brand manager, says 92% of consumers are looking to manage the amount of sugar in their diet.

“More than half of consumers say they would be willing to try a reduced sugar version of their favourite sweet.” she adds.

Howell says he’s really interested in stocking sugar-free confectionery. “It’s hard to get hold of through wholesale at the moment, but we stock sugar-free gum and Sugar Free Polos so I think it would do well,” he adds.

Top tips

  • Make sure you stock quality brands at different prices to appeal to a broader range of shoppers.
  • Use sugar-confectionery outers and PoS to create bold displays.
  • Talk to your wholesaler about sugar-free confectionery. Stock these lines next to full-sugar products to provide choice.
  • Put chocolate bars in the chiller and extend your range of sugar confectionery in the summer.
  • Stock sharing confectionery next to soft drinks and snacks to help shoppers grab what they need for a night in.