Ensuring the confectionery fixture has a strong offering of hanging bags and other sharing products is critical in a category that is growing more used to sharing. From chocolate to sugar confectionery, hanging bags are a major draw for consumers on a number of different missions.
One of the subtle changes to have taken place in confectionery fixtures recently is the increasing space given over to sharing bags. Whether down to the overarching trends for sharing, or the growth of the Big Night In mission, bagged confectionery is big business and retailers not making the most of this are missing out – that’s the message from suppliers.
Within this sub-category, sales of £589m have been recorded in the last year, with growth in independent stores of +5.5%.
Mars, which has four of the top five best-selling chocolate bag lines, says its £1 Treat Bags – which include Maltesers, Galaxy Minstrels, and M&M’s – are a key component of growth in this category.
“Bitesize chocolate has proven to be particularly popular with consumers, and is a major growth category for retailers,” says Bep Dhaliwal, Trade Communications Manager Mars Chocolate UK. “This positive trend across bitesize confectionery offers retailers a great opportunity to boost sales. Mars’ selection of bagged confectionery is a must-have, so make sure to stock-up on the best sellers. Ensure you have strong availability of these key lines and they are displayed in a prominent location to encourage sales.”
Cadbury is another name frequently seen in the hanging bag fixture and it recently moved two of its top-selling bitesize products into a new 80g £1 PMP. Giant Buttons and Bitsa Wispa have had a strong start and Declan Duggan, Brand Manager for Bitesize at Mondelez International, comments: “We believe that the launch of the two new 80g PMP packs will help to increase consumer confidence and drive impulse purchasing.”
It’s not just chocolate that fills these shelves either and Mondelez is therefore a strong performer thanks to its Maynards brands, and more recently, the ongoing success of Marvellous Creations.
Wrigley too is a major player in this area. A major development coming from the Skittles and Starburst brand owner is the launch of a new bottle format for its original Skittles Fruits variant. In what could be considered as a natural evolution of the hanging bag sub-category, Wrigley says the new bottle taps into the growing demand for confectionery products on the go. The red container is designed to stand out on shelf, with a re-sealable lid. The thinking from Wrigley comes with bottles being the second most impulsive confectionery purchase format (55%), meaning that the innovative new pack offers a great sales opportunity for retailers.
This on the go consumption certainly provides a new revenue stream and it is one that retailers must be aware of. Wrigley spearheaded the development of chewing gum bottles, with its Extra brand, predominantly.
“A complete night in solution is crucial. Remember to focus on products that are ideal for sharing such as Starburst ‘Tear and Share’ Pouches, which are great as they are individually wrapped and offer a variety of flavours for everyone to enjoy,” says Wrigley. “Building a clear display that communicates the ‘Big Night In’ occasion will also draw shoppers into the fixture and cross category promotions will certainly encourage incremental purchases.”
Away from the main manufacturers, a host of other brands have products well suited to a hanging bag fixture. One of these is Candyland from Tangerine Confectionery.
Gillian Clarke, Senior Brand Manager at Tangerine Confectionery, comments: “Hanging bags are important to retailers, as they offer a great value options for consumers, looking for their favourite products at keen price points. Good visual merchandising and positioning of these hanging bags is key to supporting sales and maximising product visibility. Impulse lines should be positioned in a prime location with items clearly visible and attractively displayed.”
As Clarke says, hanging bags can fit anywhere from car journeys to those treats to have in the cupboard, for when you just want a little something and so with hanging bags available in a range of sizes and all different product types, the demand is there on a number of other occasions.
Candyland is tapping into the growing consumer demand for sour confectionery products by launching a new version of the classic Wham bar.
The new Wham Super Sour Minis (200g, rrp £1.29) come in a sharing bag and boast miniature, sour versions of the traditional Wham chew bars, bringing a mix of super tangy flavours to the market for consumers. Containing three different flavours – original, sour apple and sour raspberry – the sharing bags capitalise on the growing popularity of taste bud-tingling flavours, along with the ever expanding chew market.
Sarah-Louise Heslop, Marketing Manager at Swizzels, agrees that more consumers than ever are looking for sharing bags as they offer more variety and value for money and are perfect for a ‘Big Night In’. “Swizzels boasts a wide selection of leading variety packs and bigger sharing bags that meet consumer needs when it comes to sharing bagged confectionery,” she says.
Overall, Gums and Jellies account for 45% of total sales and is growing by £1.5m year on year. And, one for retailers to note is that thanks to the strong growth of its Squashies range, Swizzels is the fastest growing manufacturer within Gums and Jellies.
The bagged range sees retro brands such as Love Hearts, Drumstick Lollies, Double Lollies and New Refreshers transformed into a softer gum version. Sales have grown continually since launch and a bag of Squashies is sold on average every 2.6 seconds. Swizzels has recently extended the popular Squashies range with the launch of a new Drumstick Squashies Sour Cherry and Apple variant.
Squashies are available in a variety of formats from £1 price marked packs to countline bags to meet all consumer eating occasions. The £1 price-marked bags make it easy for customers to work out how much they can spend, and are perfect for sharing.