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The eggs factor

There'll be something missing from some Cadbury Creme Eggs this Easter their 'x-factor', or rather their goo! But don't worry it's all for a good cause brand owner Kraft Foods is running a special Gooless Eggs promotion, exclusive to convenience outlets, including forecourt stores.

The promotion will encourage consumers to hunt for a Creme Egg without its trademark 'goo' for their chance to win cash prizes. The 'gooless' eggs will look and feel like normal Creme Eggs but they will entitle consumers who find them to prizes of up to £1,000. For 90 days from January 1 until Easter Sunday, one Gooless Egg will be placed into a convenience store each day, giving 90 consumers across the country the chance to win.

The activity will be supported extensively via POS kits in participating stores, including dumpbins, counter barrels, wobblers, shelf strips and posters. All POS will carry the Twitter hashtag #nogoo to encourage consumers to talk about the activity in social media and spread the excitement.

This is a big deal for the industry as, according to Nielsen data, Cadbury Creme Eggs followed by Cadbury Mini Eggs are the best-selling Easter brands through independent and symbol stores. Kraft says they act as signposts to the Easter fixture for consumers, and between them make up 35% of all Easter SKU sales (Nielsen). Kraft recommends that all independent retailers stock them for the entire Easter period, even if they don't have space to carry an extensive seasonal range.

Interestingly, Stephanie Sarantakos, brand manager for Creme eggs and Mini eggs, says the revival and growth of baking at Easter has seen these brands become popular as ingredients or decorations, which is another reason why retailers should maintain stock levels throughout the season.

Hancocks Cash and Carry's purchasing director, Jonathan Summerley, says that as soon as Christmas is over, retailers should start to think about stocking a range of impulsive self treats including filled eggs and mini eggs.

"These are generally not planned purchases and because they are not available all year round, their fresh presence from January commands plenty of attention," he says. "Forecourts have an advantage over supermarkets here in that they can serve the impulsive nature of shoppers far better."

In January Hancocks will be running a special offer on Creme Eggs receive a counter bin free when you buy two standard cases.

Occasions

According to Kantar data, since 2009 total Easter shopping occasions have grown by 12% from 57.7 million to 64.5 million in 2012. The average convenience shopper is also now buying more packs (+8%), more often (+6%) and spending more (+22%) across the season.

And according to IRI data, the key area of growth within Easter confectionery is immediate consumption (up 60%).

Nestlé UK trade communications manager, Graham Walker, says: "Seasonal treats are the main driver of Easter sales for convenience retailers, with products acting as a signpost for Easter confectionery and offering retailers the opportunity to generate early season sales. In fact a whopping 97% of early season Easter sales come from seasonal treats, making visibility in store essential to sales success. Within seasonal treats the key area for retailers to focus on is seasonal impulse.

"Seasonal impulse products offer retailers an incremental sales opportunity on top of their existing singles confectionery sales, and with filled egg sales continuing to decline this is a must-stock area for retailers. The novelty element of these products has proven hugely popular with consumers, resulting in fantastic sales growth of 452% since 2009 (IRI), as Easter shoppers buy more seasonal impulse packs, more often and spend more on them compared to filled eggs."

With novelty being the key to success this season, Nestlé has launched a new chocolate character for 2013 the Milkybar Bunny (rrp 65p).

Says Walker: "As the only white chocolate seasonal impulse offering on the market this product brings a real point of difference to the category that is certain to capture shoppers' attention."

Containing all natural ingredients, the new Milkybar Bunny is a foil-wrapped, hollow white chocolate rabbit. To aid retailers, it comes in a 24-count display outer.

Smarties Little Choc Chick (rrp 65p) returns following its successful launch last Easter.

Apparently, 50% of shoppers who bought the product were new to 'seasonal impulse,' which, Walker says, means that on its own it brought an additional 230,000 households into the category.

"Novelty products are absolutely key to a successful Easter 2013 season," continues Walker. "This is where the growth across the Easter category is coming from.

"For convenience retailers with impulse products as their heartland the Milkybar Bunny and Smarties Little Choc Chick characters are must-stock products. They both really deliver on the novelty factor and are from known and trusted brands loved by mums and kids alike."

In addition, the Aero milk chocolate lamb (rrp 65p) is back with a new pack design for improved standout in store. For the fifth year running the Malteaster Bunny, with its crunchy and creamy Maltesers centre, will be making a return for Easter. Mars reports that it's been a huge success since its launch and is now worth £10.4m (IRI). There is also a Malteaster Bunny luxury egg and a bag of Mini Bunnies.

Mars Chocolate's trade communications manager, Bep Dhaliwal, says: "The milk chocolate Bunny is the perfect self-indulgent treat and offers consumers light-hearted fun in the run-up to Easter.  As a result of consumer demand in 2012, the range will be advertised on TV for twice as long in 2013 from four to eight weeks.

"Retailers are advised to stock up early on the full range to extend the sales opportunities and appeal to the different consumer shopping missions.

"For example, implementing secondary sites within high footfall areas of the store for the Malteaster Bunny and Malteaster Mini Bunnies allows retailers to capitalise on impulse purchases."

Also returning are the Galaxy Bubbles and the Galaxy Caramel filled eggs.

Brand news

New from Cadbury is Egg 'n' Spoon. This sharing novelty comes in packs of four and features individually wrapped milk chocolate egg shells filled with a light fluffy mousse. This new line is packaged in traditional egg cartons and the product includes spoons.

Each egg has to be peeled from its foil wrapper and the top bitten off before scooping the mousse out with one of the spoons provided.

Kraft Foods says Egg 'n' Spoon is designed for occasions when families sit down and enjoy seasonal treats together such as following a meal or during a family night in.

New from Nestlé is the Rowntree's Randoms Insider Egg (rrp £5.41), designed to appeal to teens and young adults. The confectionery company says Randoms has proven a huge success since its launch in 2009. Aimed at 16-24 year olds it has already contributed £48m to the category.

The new Kit Kat Chunky giant egg (rrp £7.49) comes complete with milk chocolate, peanut butter and white chocolate Kit Kat Chunkys.

Joining the Chunky egg is the new Aero selection giant egg (rrp £7.49) which includes peppermint, orange and milk chocolate Aero bars.

Also new from Nestlé is the Smarties spring animal gift pack (rrp £1.99). This contains an Easter lamb, bunny and chick all hollow milk chocolate figures filled with mini Smarties.

New lines from Hancocks include milk and white chocolate egg-shaped lollies, rrp 75p and Easter Jelly Pops, rrp 49p. There is also a new range of foil-wrapped chocolate shapes packed into £1 gift boxes. These include six foil-wrapped chocolate carrots or foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and chicks.

Plus there's a chocolate fried eggs three-pack (£3.99); chocolate sheep, chocolate hot cross buns and chocolate daffodils all at £3.99.

Ferrero is launching a premium moulded bunny in January, with crunchy hazelnut pieces in the chocolate shell. Recommended retail price is £2.99. Also new is the £4.49 Rocher Heart, which comes in a contemporary golden heart-shaped box.

Advertising for both Kinder Surprise and Kinder Chocolate will be on TV in the run-up to Easter and, for the first time ever, there will be a 10-second tag on the Kinder Surprise ad to support Ferrero's Easter range.

According to Nielsen data, Kinder Surprise delivers £5.9m-worth of sales during the spring season alone, and is worth £21.3m annually as the number one children's single choccie product.


Don't forget the BOXED chocs

Spring occasions such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day shouldn't be forgotten as they offer sales opportunities.
Ferrero recommends its Ferrero Rocher five-pack as a key 'small treating' SKU for Valentine's Day (it grew by 40.7% last spring (Nielsen) while Ferrero Collection 16-pack (which is showing growth of 52.6% annually) is the perfect gift for a loved one.
For Mother's Day, the company recommends Ferrero Collection 32-pack, and the 48-pack.
Mars says Maltesers' small and large boxes represent an ideal "gifting and sharing option" throughout the year, and particularly during the spring period.


Retailer view

Jonathan Tarran, Exelby Services, A19 Southbound, Northallerton, North Yorkshire:
"For Easter 2013 we will only stock the mini eggs and filled eggs like Creme Eggs the real impulse lines. Last Easter we stocked shell eggs too but were left with a lot of unsold stock so we'll leave that part of the market to the supermarkets.
"We'll put the mini eggs and filled eggs out just before Christmas in a display unit near the till."


Key dates

Valentine's Day Thursday, February 14
Mother's Day Sunday March 18
Easter Sunday March 31

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Weekly Fuel Prices 17 July 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East115.6457.40123.16114.76
East Midlands115.23124.22114.53
London115.7059.90124.68114.90
North East114.4759.90124.57113.84
North West115.48124.36114.65
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Wales114.95121.22114.15
West Midlands115.37125.48114.77
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