With sporting events, barbecues and get-togethers increasing in the summer, promoting your range of treats can increase sales. Chris Dillon finds out the latest trends in sharing confectionery.

stat-RE-confectioneryDespite the Government’s increasing focus on sugar, the confectionery market has remained as buoyant as ever, growing by 1.1% year on year, with chocolate boasting 1.7% growth.

Taking a closer look, it’s sharing formats that are the stars of the show. Formats such as treat bags and pouches, as well as boxed chocolates, have seen growth rates of 6.3% and 2.3% respectively, indicating to retailers that there is money to be made by investing in these areas.

There are many reasons for this spike in sales, the main being that the way consumers are spending their spare time has changed. “The rise in popularity of big nights in has resulted in sharing packs playing an increasingly key role in the confectionery market,” explains Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager for Mars Chocolate.

sharing-skittles
Wrigley claims Skittles Tropical will deliver 1.5% growth within fruit confectionery.

Large blocks of chocolate or tablets, have been the source of a significant amount of new products over the past few years, with Cadbury Dairy Milk Medley and Galaxy Duet being notable examples. Last May Cadbury Dairy Milk launched £1 price-marked packs for its range of tablets, allowing retailers to be more competitive. Susan Nash, trade communications manager for Mondelez, says: “The products aim to help independent stores make the most of shopper excitement surrounding these favourite products at the same time as capitalising on the advantages of PMPs.”

Sugar confectionery is also an important part of the sharing market, worth £701m. Mondelez kicked off this year by joining Maynards and Bassetts together and investing £4m in the category. Wrigley also brought a new flavour to the market, Skittles Tropical, which it claims will deliver 1.5% growth within fruit confectionery.

launches-promos-confectioneryIt's important to make sure your prices and range are as competitive as possible with other stores. PMPs are a crucial way to do this as these give the impression that your store offers value overall.

Dhaliwal says: “PMPs reassure shoppers they are getting the best value for money, and provide the perfect chocolate treat for nights in with friends and family.”

Like Cadbury, Wrigley added more £1 price-marked packs to its range last year, launching them for Starburst and Skittles hanging bags. Dan Newell, confections marketing manager for Wrigley, says the £1 RRP is a key sales driver for convenience stores as it provides consumers with the assurance that their purchase is good value. “We have seen an increase in sales of 82% in our PMP hanging bags since the launch of our latest PMP lines,” he added.

In comparison, products that are bought as a gift should never be price-marked.

At the end of last year and beginning of 2016, Cadbury spent £4m on a campaign for its Milk Tray and gave Cadbury Roses a new design. Cadbury Heroes has also launched a smaller 92g pack for independent retailers. Nash says sales of Cadbury Heroes have grown by 20% in 2016 so far.

If you’re looking to drive sales of your sharing confectionery, the first place to start is the fixture.

Like all areas of your store, the fixture must be set out as clear as possible, but with the number of brands and products in the category, this can be a challenge.

sharing-bags-confectioneryMondelez’s Susan Nash says to arrange sharing bags into four distinct blocks: traditional, indulgent, chocolate and family favourites. “The main confectionery fixture needs to be easy to shop, fully stocked and clearly priced, with bestsellers in the best locations,” she adds.

Once this is done you should then look at your EPoS data to identify the bestsellers and merchandise them in additional prominent places so consumers can’t miss them. Mars Chocolate’s Bep Dhaliwal says: “When merchandising pouch lines, core favourites should be displayed in a prime location, for example, at eye level on a wall display.”

Using PoS to draw attention to these products can also help ensure that busy shoppers don’t miss any offers that are available.

Increasingly, shoppers that visit your store are visiting without specific products in mind. This means that by implementing linked deals around a specific reason for visiting, you can increase sales. “Single price point big night in promotions are growing in popularity, allowing shoppers to satisfy all of their needs in one go,” says Wrigley’s Dan Newell.

Top tips

  1. Compete with discounters and pound shops with a range of £1 PMPs
  2. Talk to suppliers and reps about relaying your fixture to ensure the range you offer contains the bestsellers
  3. Merchandise your bestsellers at eye level to make sure they are not missed
  4. Create a linked deal with soft drinks and savoury snacks to help shoppers grab everything they need ahead of a party or gathering
  5. Promote your range online ahead of big summer events, such as the Olympics

Lawrence and his team have tested display units for events and seasonal promotions in 13 of their 27 stores.

spar-preston-lancashire-seasonal-promotions“We’ve got 27 stores around Lancashire and in 13 of them we have a front of house display unit, which we use for events and seasonal promotions.

“We’ve done Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and now we’ve got a display of confectionery, cards and presents for children to give to their teachers as they break up for summer.

“Summer is a lot like Halloween in the sense that it’s becoming bigger and bigger. Four years ago we had two stores that did it really well and we’ve just grown it from there. The point of the display unit is that if you put the idea in front of them, it might trigger them to buy it.”

Lawrence Hunt
Spar, Preston, Lancashire