Putting your shelves to work for Christmas

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The snacking fixtures in a store don’t have to radically change over Christmas, but a subtle refinement and a focus on themed product and seasonal launches that offer value to customers is critical so sales success over the holidays.

by Kevin Scott

When it comes to organising your store for Christmas, there aren’t many categories that see as many seasonal launches as confectionery. From gifting, to sharing products to the growing appetite for so-called ‘self-eat’ seasonal countlines. The major confectionery companies are already rolling out products and Mars is hoping to entice consumers with both new and exisiting lines that have been well-received in the past.

Bep Dhaliwal, Trade Communications Manager, Mars Chocolate UK, says: “2011 had some key highlights and we are building on these achievements with our 2012 plans. Our bestselling Christmas portfolio, favourites with a modern twist, caters for a range of seasonal occasions. Retailers should be looking forward to a strong seasonal period as shoppers look to treat themselves as well as others.”

Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Kraft Foods, adds: “Our line-up for Christmas 2012 certainly does contain something for everybody but more importantly we are particularly focused on helping retailers to plan and manage their seasons. Getting their range right to maximise sales, reduce residual and ultimately drive revenue by simply stocking more of what sells. The Autumn season can be confusing and complex for retailers, it is easy to be diverted into acquiring a large range when a focused approach will help to drive overall revenue further.”

To help ensure you’re in the best place, we’ve taken the many categories of Christmas confectionery – and snacks, for you to peruse…

Sharing

The prevalence of the sharing trend is continuing, and the festive season gives the category an added boost as consumers look to stock up on treats to enjoy with friends and family and to gift to others.

Celebrations from Mars has been redesigned for 2012 with a modern ‘Christmassy’ style look and an ‘8 famous brands message’ clearly communicated on pack. The brand is available in multiple formats, suitable for a range of sharing and gifting occasions and representing huge sales potential for retailers. The mini box is also perfectly suited to a till point display unit to capitalise on footfall and encourage last minute purchases.

Maltesers Small and Large boxes represent the ideal top up gift or stocking filler for Christmas and are star performers in the boxed category as the number one and number three Classic Single Flavour formats. The brand is instantly recognisable with shoppers, especially with a £7m media spend support throughout 2012 in the same year that the brand has been celebrating its 75th anniversary.

To keep its Terry’s Chocolate Orange brand fresh for consumers, Kraft Foods is introducing a new Toffee Crunch flavour to the range. In addition to this new product, Kraft is evolving the whole look and feel of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange range this Christmas, modernising the brand and bringing consistency across the portfolio to help the whole range stand out on shelf.
Another traditional Christmas favourite in the Kraft Foods portfolio is Toblerone. For 2012, Kraft Foods is unveiling new festive sleeves for the existing milk, fruit and nut, dark and white 400g SKUs. The new designs incorporate cues to the season such as snow and silhouettes of Santa.

With an important anniversary this year, over three million limited edition ‘30 years’ celebration packs of Ferrero Rocher have been launched. Available on Ferrero Rocher three piece treat packs (37.5g) and 16 piece gifting boxes (200g), the 30th Birthday celebrations will be supported with online and social media investment.

The confectionery brand has also invested in new premium ‘gold standard’ POS to showcase the special nature of the range and ensure that displays dazzle capturing impulse sales opportunities in the run up to Christmas.

Ferrero Collection has helped evolve the in-laid boxed chocolate category. The Collection 16 pack alone has added £1m to category sales (+65% yoy), driven predominantly by heavyweight TV investment and retailers maximising the opportunity to drive something special into the Christmas occasion. The assortment this year has changed in line with Raffaello joining Rocher and Rond Noir in all Ferrero Collection packs.

Sharing products are also on offer from Tangerine Confectionery. Marshmallow Snowmen from its Princess brand are available in a 150g bag with a £1 rrp for the seasonal period. Sharing formats such as the Barratt I Love Sweets bag of bags, a multipack which contains all of the favourites from the brand, is an ideal addition if there are kids looking for a treat at home.

Lisa Sullivan, Seasonal Brand Manager at Tangerine Confectionery, says: “During the six week lead up to Christmas, traders should make sure that the confectionery aisle features the top selling items at eye level, with slower moving items just below eye level. Products like our Princess Marshmallow Snowmen should be used within Christmas promotions and there should be a variety of highlighted treat items, items nominated as best gifts, store gift cards and items to have in for unexpected guests.”

Mars’ top tips for retailers this Christmas

  • Stock up from September to make the most of the extended sales window throughout the season
  • Create seasonal displays and in-store theatre to maximize sales and encourage impulse purchases
  • Keep in mind the growth of the self-eat category as Christmas shoppers look to treat themselves as well as stock up on gifts and sharing products for family and friends
  • Make best use of the till point to further capitalise on impulse purchases – for example Celebrations Mini Box makes for a great stocking filler or little gift
  • Nostalgia is a key theme at Christmas – stocking clear best sellers from brands which consumers know and love is a winning strategy for retailers

 

Advent Calendars
This year, Kraft Foods is ramping up the magic of its Cadbury Wishes brand and adding star quality to its advent range with a new premium Cadbury Wishes countdown advent calendar containing a mixture of shapes that are either solid Cadbury chocolate or truffle filled, with an extra special mini Wishes star for Christmas Eve. This is ideal where stores have additional space and shoppers are looking for a premium advent offering, however for convenience stores with space for just one line, Kraft recommends its 90g Cadbury Diary Milk Advent Calendar.

With an impressive 8% growth for Mars Advent Calendars in 2011, the festive favourites make a popular return for Christmas 2012, to capture the excitement of counting down to Christmas with two of the nation’s best-loved chocolate brands.

 

Selection Boxes
Mars’ much loved brands return for Christmas 2012 in seasonal selection boxes, which all featured in the top ten bestselling selection boxes of 2011. This year also marks the arrival of a new selection box – Galaxy Luxury Selection Box featuring Galaxy Gift for You – the perfect indulgent choice for chocolate lovers from the UK’s fifth most loved brand.

Selection gifts is another key subcategory and a popular tradition in homes up and down the country at Christmas time. This year, Kraft Foods is introducing two new selection SKUs that offer consumers the opportunity to buy recipient-specific and giftworthy selection gifts containing a combination of countlines to meet a variety of consumer profiles.

 

Seasonal Countlines
Kraft Foods is referring to Cadbury Wishes as the “jewel” in its self-eat portfolio and orders should already have been placed. The company says it is important for retailers to ensure strong off-fixture display in November and December. As in previous years, 10% of all profits from Cadbury Wishes will be donated to Make-A-Wish. Maximising visibility of these novelties from early in the season is crucial to maintaining this momentum for Christmas 2012. Kraft Foods recommends Cadbury Wishes as a top priority for convenience stores and offers a range of POS suitable for display in every size of store.

In addition to Cadbury Wishes, other self-eat products retailers should focus on this season are Cadbury Magical Elves, Cadbury Snowbites and Cadbury Dairy Milk coins, merchandised either on counter or in dump-bins, where space allows.

Mars Chocolate’s Christmas Self Eat category experienced a very impressive 60% growth rate in 2011. With the huge success of Galaxy Gift for You caramel, Mars Chocolate is proud to introduce new truffle variant to drive further growth. The indulgent treat is in an elegant present shape, with one half solid Galaxy chocolate and the other filled with delicious caramel or truffle. The addition to the range is sure to be a hit with consumers, and Galaxy fans in particular; retailers are advised to stock up from September.

Savoury…

It’s not just sweets that are savoured over Christmas. Crisps and nuts are also must buys for most homes. In 2011, sales were resilient, and KP Snacks expects much of the same in 2012, which is good news for retailers. Ivan Cross, Snacks Market Strategy and Planning Director at KP Snacks, says: “It’s no secret that we are still in the middle of a difficult economic climate, but the good news for snacking is that people are willing to splash out on affordable luxuries. In fact, we know that consumers do more snacking and look for extra ‘special’ or ‘treat’ products in the lead up to and throughout the festive period.”

He describes savoury snacks as functional, as opposed to the gifting opportunity that surrounds sweet snacks. “KP Snacks research into consumer purchasing habits also shows us that shoppers buy snacks roughly twice over the holiday season and existing consumers who already have snacks in their weekly basket, show an increase on this average.”
Onto the products on offer then and from mid-October, KP Snacks is introducing a new stackable case format to some of its best selling sharing bagged snacks (McCoy’s, Hula Hoops and Twiglets) to help retailers boost their winter and Christmas sales.

The company will also bring back its array of Christmas snacking products that are great to share, offer big value to consumers and, in turn, will crack Christmas sales for retailers. Key sharing range from KP include McCoys, Hula Hoops Big Hoops, Mini Cheddars and Twiglets Drums and Sharing Caddies performed well over the holiday season 2011. The KP Snacks Christmas range includes drums and caddies of family-favourites such as KP Dry Roasted Peanuts, Cheese Footballs and Twiglets.

 

Stocking Fillers
Tubes are a festive favourite and Mars says they represent the ideal stocking filler. The square format also offers retailers great shelf utilisation and strong consumer stand out, especially with Mars’ Maltesers and Galaxy Minstrels which are two of the top five sellers in this category.

Kinder is also looking to accelerate seasonal kids confectionery sales by extending its hugely successful range with three new & unique novelty products; Kinder Chocolate colouring activity kit (150g); Kinder Chocolate Minis Tube (78g) & Kinder Surprise themed Christmas Egg. As with all Kinder products these have been invented for kids but come in controlled portion sizes favoured by mums, making them the perfect stocking fillers.

 

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