Light up sales at Diwali


Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most important festivals on earth and presents retailers with a great opportunity to grow sales and meet the needs of the many who celebrate the event every year.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is among the most widely celebrated festivals on the planet and during the traditional five day course of the event, celebrants enjoy a wide range of activities – many of which offer opportunities for local retailers. Celebrated by more than 1.2m people in the UK, Diwali traditionally brings together family and friends to celebrate the festival of lights. After more than 18 months of restrictions on gatherings and events, Diwali 2021 is set to be an even bigger celebration, with food and drink playing a key part in this.

One fantastic opportunity is for retailers to leverage the popularity of Rubicon, a brand that typically sees big growth during Diwali. In fact, last year saw sales of Rubicon’s 2L packs grow by more than 62% [IRI].

Barr Soft Drinks is encouraging retailers to stock up on Rubicon ahead of Diwali celebrations this year, as the top sales driver of soft drinks during this key seasonal occasion.

Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at Barr Soft Drinks, comments: “With around 35% of shoppers spending more during an event [ShopperVista 2017], bold, bright and fruity Rubicon is perfectly placed to help retailers maximise the sales opportunity around this occasion.

“Traditional shoppers will be looking for brands that they know and trust, and our research shows us that Rubicon is perfectly paired with many popular Diwali food dishes. New shoppers use events and celebrations as inspiration to try something new, so Rubicon’s wide range of flavours and formats, available in still and sparkling variants, has broad appeal for every shopper.”

Diwali is getting bigger and more profitable for retailers each year, with soft drinks sales up a considerable 16% last year vs. 2019 [IRI/Kantar]. Spend per shopper more than doubled for Rubicon stills alone, with the Deluxe range accounting for 35% of total sales [IRI, Nov 2020], highlighting a clear opportunity for incremental sales.

“We recommend that retailers stock a wide range of Rubicon flavours in 2L packs, with a variety of sparkling and still SKUs,” says Troy. “Having a range of flavours is important, as shoppers will be catering for a number of different tastes amongst family and friends, but so too is ensuring availability of larger pack formats.

“Retailers should also utilise impactful POS where possible, to create in-store theatre and attract shoppers to fixture.”

Red Bull is also encouraging retailers to stock up for Diwali, with a particular focus on larger formats and multipacks. A spokesperson said: “With the reduction of organic on-the-go sales, multipacks and larger formats have been vital in bolstering the category, with Red Bull 4-packs bought at a rate of 2.5-per-second over the last year [Nielsen, Jul 2020].

“Average sales price per unit shifts have been driven by increased shopper demand for multipacks due to a change in purchase behaviour over the last year, along with more demand for different sizes in the Red Bull portfolio. Therefore, Red Bull recommends stocking both single and multiple can formats, to appeal to a broader range of shopper behaviours. Around Diwali, retailers’ focus should be on Red Bull across all channels as Red Bull delivers 20% of multipack sales during the winter period [Nielsen, Jan 2021].”

Around a third of shoppers drink Red Bull socialising and at parties, and 30% of functional  drink multipacks are enjoyed socially by shoppers [Kantar, May 2021]. With a variety of flavour and pack sizes, Red Bull multipacks make a strong functional option for consumers to enjoy and celebrate together with family and friends during Diwali.

Red Bull says its core range is an essential product range to stock and includes Red Bull Original 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and Red Bull Sugarfree 250ml. Red Bull’s Editions range also consists of both PMP and non-PMP cans with flavours including Tropical, Coconut & Berry, Red Edition and the latest Summer Edition in a Cactus Fruit taste all available.

But it’s not just soft drinks that present an opportunity at this time of year, as Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director at Ferrero, explains: “When it comes to celebrating occasions in uncertain times, shoppers tend to rely on the brands they know and love, which we expect to be the case again at Diwali this year. This is great news for our boxed chocolate range, which offers the perfect solution to shoppers looking for a gift to share with loved ones.

“We would encourage retailers to stock up on those lines to ensure the range appeals to a variety of shoppers, such as Ferrero Rocher or Thorntons Classic. Core lines also have the benefit of retaining their relevance after the event has passed, so retailers can continue to benefit from the sales they encourage.

“At Diwali, shoppers are on the lookout for items that “look fancy” & “further the festivities” [Consumer Connect Studies, 2018]. Ferrero Rocher has always performed really well at Diwali, as the brand is loved by people of all ages and its golden uniqueness makes it the perfect gift. Having become synonymous with the festival, Ferrero Rocher is a must-stock for retailers. We would recommend retailers stock up on Rocher T16 (200g), Collection T15 (172g) & Rocher T24 (300g), as these are the core, all-year-round SKUs that work perfectly as a gift for loved ones at this seasonal occasion.”

Diwali takes place just as consumers will start preparing for other seasonal spikes towards the end of the year – Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night and Christmas. With this in mind, it’s even more important that retailers ensure they are stocking a versatile strong core range that will appeal to shoppers during these celebratory occasions, and maximise the presence of each occasion in-store through eye-catching POS and displays.

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