Time to score this Christmas?

Christmas stocking

With the World Cup providing a neat pathway into Christmas, there’s plenty of scope for growth this festive period, even if Scotland won’t be in Qatar.

This festive period promises to be another strong one for local retailers in Scotland. Christmas is always a good trading period, but a little extra spice will be added to the festive season this year by the World Cup, with the first match due to kick-off in Qatar on 20 November.

Steve Clarke and his men might not be there to take part but there will nonetheless be enormous interest in the competition across Scotland, even if that’s fans following Andy Murray’s ‘anyone but England’ mantra.

The greatest interest is likely be generated by the matches involving the home nations who have made it to the finals – England and Wales – but most games are likely to generate footfall and sales. Likely to be particularly popular are the important ones like the first match, the semi-finals and, of course, the final itself on 18 December.

And let’s not forget the home nations clash on 29 November when Wales take on England.

Even if the home nations don’t make the latter stages, there is still bound to be huge excitement around the competition and that’s certain to translate into busy stores and a spike in sales throughout the entire month of the global festival of football.

And all of that is before we even start thinking about traditional Christmas celebrations that are likely to see people forget their economic woes and treat themselves as a way to brighten up the tail end of what has been another very difficult year for many.

Choc fest

Christmas means chocolate for a lot of consumers and the major suppliers have been working hard to refresh and update their ranges to give shoppers more reason than ever to visit their local store.

“Mondelez International is central to Christmas confectionery, leading the market with the number one SKU in seven sub-categories – seasonal sharing, advent calendars, selection boxes and tree decorations, just to name a few,” says Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager.

“It’s clear that shoppers trust Mondelez to bring them the products they love come Christmastime, with total seasonal sales growing over 6% last year [Nielsen, Jan 2021]. In seasonal biscuits, Mondelez also has a strong presence, growing over 3% last year [Nielsen, Jan 2021] with top-performing products from Cadbury Biscuits and Oreo.”

Cadbury’s range of sharing pouches such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Classics and Cadbury Roses are shopper favourites in the category, with the Cadbury Heroes pouch achieving the number one SKU position in grocery. Cadbury Puds made a much-anticipated return last year and was quickly a hit with shoppers becoming the season’s number one NPD. Additionally, the Cadbury Mini Snow Balls bag was the nation’s number one sharing novelty treat last Christmas.

So, what trends will be prevailing this time around? Nash advises: “White chocolate is increasingly popular among consumers. In response to this, Mondelez International has rolled out a raft of new Cadbury White products, including Cadbury White Jingly Bells and a Cadbury White Hollow Santa.

“Last year the advent category saw growth of 21% year on year. To cater to this, Mondelez International has launched the Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Bar. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate is sectioned into 25 individually-numbered chunks that can be broken off and enjoyed each day in the lead up to Christmas. Retailers can join in with the fun by encouraging their shoppers to take part in the ‘One Chunk A Day Challenge’!”


In addition, Mondelez has rolled out a redesign across its seasonal range, which will see shoppers’ festive favourites given new and elevated looks. These are sure to drive shopper excitement and engagement in-store, as well as stand out on-shelf.

Brand new for 2022, Cadbury Mini Snow Balls Bar sees the combination of the number Christmas sharing novelty product, Mini Snow Balls, with the nation’s top-selling chocolate, Cadbury.

“This unique treat comes in the iconic Cadbury heartland tablet format which is perfect for both sharing and self-treat occasions,” says Nash. “Retailers can use this irresistible proposition to drive their fast start to the season and repeat purchase rate.”

Also new in the market in 2022 is Cadbury Dairy Milk Winter Mint Crisp in a 360g block format, making it a great small gift for Cadbury lovers. It’s available in a new and impactful gifting design that is sure to stand out on-shelf driving incremental sales and encouraging shoppers to ‘trade-up’.

Oreo has brought a playful twist to Christmas with seasonally coloured cremes through the classic Original flavour. Oreo Festive Colours is perfect for sharing, with three 114g roll packs which include red, green and white coloured creme options.

The iconic Cadbury Heroes tin is a must stock for the Christmas season and this year, Mondelez has rolled out a new version. Cadbury Heroes Who Am I? features all the treat-sized shopper favourites you’d expect, but with a brand-new in-built game for all to enjoy while they share and indulge in the chocolates.

Toblerone is popular with premium chocolate shoppers, and Christmas is the perfect time for shoppers to ‘trade up’ and treat themselves and those around them. This year Mondelez has rolled out a Toblerone Selection Box, filled with three 100g bars and 14 treat-sized Tinies in milk, white, and dark flavours. This selection box is perfect for retailers who want to tap into the high-end seasonal gifting opportunity with a well-loved premium chocolate brand.

Finally, the brand-new Cadbury Favourites selection box is ideal for seasonal indulgence, offering shoppers several of their favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk treats in one, including a sharing bag of Buttons, a box of Fingers, a Twirl bar and 100g tablet.

The impactful design sets out the product proposition clearly for the shopper, and includes the label ‘for someone special,’ making it a perfect personalised gift for any festive occasion.

Stay at home

Irn-Bru is taking its usual leftfield approach to major events by launching a special ‘Stay At Home’ kit to mark Scotland’s non-appearance at the forthcoming World Cup.

Barr Soft Drinks says it will drive retailer sales this winter with an on-pack promotion urging shoppers to celebrate the footy at home.

Football tournaments provide a major profit opportunity for retailers, with a 74% uplift during the last World Cup in 2018 [IRI, 2018-2019].  Most football fans will not be able to attend matches this winter and may instead be watching the football at home, so these national packs will help fans feel part of the occasion with a competition offering shoppers the chance to win Irn-Bru’s official ‘Stay At Home’ kit.

The kits will include branded woolly jumpers, slippers and socks to keep fans warm while they watch the winter tournament.

Irn-Bru grew three times faster than the total carbonates category during the Euros last year [IRI, Jul 2021], so there is a huge opportunity for retailers to drive incremental sales with these limited-edition packs.

The on-pack promotion will be supported by a strong digital and PR campaign plus high impact in-store and in-depot displays and eye-catching POS.

The promotion will be available in the following format packs: 330ml multipack cans x 8 (6 + 2 free) £3 PMP (Reg, Sugar Free, Xtra); 500ml can (Reg, Xtra) 79p PMP; and 330ml x 24 multipack cans (Reg, Sugar Free, Xtra) plain.

Swizzels’ top three tips this Christmas

Swizzels sweets

1) Prepare for a ‘tight’ Christmas!

As over 53% of shoppers are having to reduce spending to pay their bills [TWC Trends, Summer 2022], value-for-money confectionery continues to be a hugely popular choice. It’s important to stock the right confectionery to appeal to the masses.

Over half (58%) of shoppers also prefer retailers that sell products with price on the packaging [TWC Trends, Summer 2022], so retailers should stock a range of value products from popular brands to boost sales.

2) Merchandise seasonal together

To make it easier to find, retailers should create a section in-store that highlights this range – in a high-footfall location.

3) Don’t underestimate the importance of displays

At the start November, retailers should create a Christmas-themed display in a high footfall area. This could include Christmas-themed confectionery and also sharing and gifting formats, as shoppers will be looking to take advantage of spending the festive period with loved ones.

Bullish approach

Also expecting a strong, World Cup-fuelled festive period is Red Bull, which is encouraging retailers to stock up on low and no sugar lines to keep in line with current trends. The company says sugar-free variants have been growing penetration by 48.8% and, in independent markets, low or no sugar variants have seen faster growth than full sugar, with 21.8% growth vs full sugar’s 16.9% [Kantar, Feb 2011].

The company is reminding retailers that Red Bull Energy Drink 250ml is not only Red Bull’s most familiar and best-selling SKU but it’s also the single most valuable soft drink in the UK. Red Bull Energy Drink 250ml alone is worth over £160m to the Total Sports & Energy category, delivering 10% of all Sports & Energy drink sales in the UK [Nielsen, Jun 2022].

Despite reduced shopper missions in the last 12 months, Red Bull has continued to resonate with consumers with single formats still in growth of 16.5% YTD [Nielsen, Jun 2022] and this festive season is another fantastic opportunity for retailers to capitalise on the strength of the brand.

World Cup Key Dates

World Cup opener

Sunday 20 Nov

  • Qatar v Ecuador, 4pm

Home Nations matches

Monday 21 Nov

  • England v Iran, 1pm
  • USA v Wales, 7pm

Friday 25 Nov

  • Wales v Iran, 10am
  • England v USA, 7pm

Tuesday 29 Nov

  • Wales v England, 7pm


3-6 December


9-10 December

Third Place Play-Off

17 December, 3pm


18 December, 3pm


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This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.

This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This website contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under 18 years of age.

This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.