Make Christmas one to remember

For local retailers, visibility is key to success with confectionery at Christmas and that means ensuring sharing, gifting and instant consumption products are all catered for and in front of the shopper for the entire festive season.

by Kevin Scott

Key to a successful Christmas is an increase the purchasing frequency of your customers, and to do this local retailers must ensure that their displays are inspirational. Simply putting a few boxes of seasonal chocolates on the shelf isn’t enough. Success at Christmas is about driving sales through excellent in-store theatre and merchandising; it’s about ensuring the best-selling products are visible at all key times in the run-up to Christmas; it’s about getting the right NPD in the right place and ensuring that customers are coming back time and again, for both gifts and treats from themselves.

There are a number of missions that will drive sales of Christmas confectionery so for retailers it’s crucial to ensure that the confectionery fixture caters for larger sharing products, gifts and Christmas countlines. So, as confectionery’s biggest seasonal event approaches, Mars Chocolate has unveiled its plans for Christmas 2013. Mars’ new and reinvigorated Christmas offering includes brand new products such as the Merryteaser, a reindeer-shaped countline with a crunchy and creamy Malteaser centre. This year, as well as launching new additions to its line, Mars is reformatting a number of bestselling classics, from tubes and selection boxes to advent calendars. Nicola Lacey, Central Sales Director, Mars Chocolate UK, says: “Christmas is one of the most important times of year for the confectionery market. At Mars Chocolate, we work hard to help customers optimise sales during the festive period, tailoring our offering to meet new consumer trends and demand. This year we are delighted to re-launch a range of Mars Chocolate seasonal bestsellers that continue to perform well year-on-year, as well as unveiling some exciting new products which we’re confident will become seasonal favourites.” Lacey says that the immediate consumption category would be crucial to 2013 Christmas.

“This category thrives throughout other seasons, such as Easter, and we believe that there is an opportunity for retailers to build on this at Christmas too with our new fun and innovative range additions,” she added. Mondelez International has announced a number of innovations across its Christmas portfolio for 2013.With new festive offerings and a packaging re-design across the range, there are great opportunities for retailers this season, according to Rick Lawrence, Marketing Manager for Cadbury Dairy Milk. He says: “2013 is set to be our best Christmas offer ever with our extensive range of traditional self-eat, giving and sharing products, and our first ever festive TV advertising campaign. We have the number one seasonal range, the top three best selling SKUs at Christmas and exciting innovation to drive growth – we are looking forward to bringing true magic to stores this season.” Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director, Ferrero UK, says that boxed chocolate comes into its own at Christmas: “Purchases for special sharing and gifting on nights-in with friends or family increase over the festive period, creating lucrative sales opportunities for retailers. These purchases have 89% higher value sales on average than everyday confectionery.

As the leaders in ‘special’ and the only brand of scale that caters for all ‘special’ shopper missions, Ferrero needs to be on shelf all year, so by the time Christmas comes around, shoppers can be sure which local store they can rely on to pick up that last minute gift.” Self-treats Mars has a number of new products launching for this year’s Christmas, starting with Merryteaser, which builds on the success of the Malteaser brand, and the Malteaster bunny. Following a hugely successful first year for Galaxy Gift For You Truffle, the product will be available in a creamy white chocolate variant for 2013. Mars says that the treat product will be a success for retailers as consumers look for a luxurious individual gift either for themselves or for friends and family over the festive period.

This season the Cadbury Christmas range gets a modern makeover with the brand putting on its Christmas jumper, with new “knitted” packaging across its entire seasonal range – including the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Wonderland tablet, which is made up of white and milk chocolate tree-shaped chunks. Supporting its new launches will be Cadbury Wishes, the number one Christmas countline. As in previous years, 10% of all profits from Cadbury Wishes will be donated to Make-A-Wish, helping consumers to give something back when they enjoy their confectionery treat. Mars has introduced two new tubes to its range. M&M’s and Mars twist wrap have been added while in addition, Milky Way tubes have also been updated, now containing individual twist-wrapped treats that can be easily shared amongst family and friends. Kids Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) is also launching Cadbury Dairy Milk Mousse Snowman, which features a vanilla mousse filling encased in chocolate. Also new for Christmas is Freddo Popping Candy. Kinder is giving its popular chocolate Santa figure a new and improved makeover this Christmas. The new look Santa will now be Kinder Surprise branded and include a surprise toy inside. The 75g Surprise Santa is set to be the perfect gift for children during the Christmas period with an rrp of £2.50.

The Kinder Seasonal range grew 138% last Christmas and contributed to 10.5% of category growth , boosting festive sales for retailers. Selection boxes Some of Mars Chocolate’s best-selling brands are returning for Christmas 2013 as part of the ever-popular themed selection boxes. This year, Mars will introduce a Maltesers-led fun size selection box. Joining the classic Maltesers selection box, this will further build on the Maltesers brand and its visibility among consumers over the Christmas sales period. Sitting alongside these will be the new M&M’s themed selection box, as the brand and it’s iconic Red and Yellow characters embrace the cold weather with the brand’s new Christmas range. Mars is also introducing the M&M’s-led selection box.

Mondelez International is offering a typically strong range including the number one selection box, and offers free child entry to Cadbury World when accompanied by an adult with every Character Bag. Sharing Adding a festive touch to the big night in, Christmas gives this thriving trend an added boost, as consumers stock up on seasonal treats to enjoy with friends and family. A guaranteed bestseller for 2013, Celebrations was the number 1 in boxed brands last year.

With Mars Chocolate’s ‘8 famous brands’ in one box, the Celebrations brand is worth £78m with further growth expected in 2013, supported by a £45m media spend. Terry’s Chocolate Orange will also be available in a festive sharing bag as Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis. Featuring bite-size wedges of Terry’s Chocolate Orange, this limited edition variant of a Christmas icon will appeal to loyal fans and those who prefer something a little smaller. Cadbury Wishes will be joining Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the bitesize market with a 128g Little Wishes bag, featuring mini stars made of pure milk chocolate or with a truffle centre. Another Christmas favourite is Toblerone, which once again features specially designed festive sleeves for the existing Milk, Fruit and Nut, Dark and White 400g colourful Christmas lights, a sprinkling of snow and a waving Sant At Ferrero, new Mini cubes are being introduced for both Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello. The luxurious shiny gift boxes are exquisitely presented with a neat bow, designed to tap into the demand for Boxed Chocolate at Christmas. Both boxes have an rrp of £2.99.

The launch of a new glittering pyramid-set, offers consumers the chance to create their very own Rocher pyramid. Aimed at family gatherings, the pyramids can make centre pieces on any festive table or at any special occasion and have an rrp of £19.99.

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