Easter is early this year with Good Friday on March 29 and Easter Sunday on March 31, and this means fewer days to sell chocolate eggs, which in turn means getting them out on display early to tempt shoppers. And we all know that many of those shoppers who buy early, also eat early and therefore need to come back for more!
It’s always tempting to look for something a little different to stock especially something the big superstores might not have. But unless you can get items in small cases it can be a bit of a risk. The best sellers sell well for a reason so not stocking them at all is another risk.
According to Nielsen data, Mondelēz International is the number one supplier at Easter time, responsible for nine of the top 10 shell eggs in the market, so it would be a brave retailer that doesn’t stock Cadbury eggs.
Charlotte Parkes, senior brand manager for Cadbury Easter, says Easter has always been a staple in the retail calendar, and is as popular as ever with 84% of shoppers celebrating the occasion in 2023 (Kantar).
Last year Mondelēz relaunched and repositioned its full range of shell eggs, dividing them into three categories: Surprise & Delight, Traditional Gift and Special Gesture. The company also put the chocolate ‘extras’ such as Buttons and Mini Eggs back inside its small eggs for the first time in a number of years, rather than having them separate within the box.
The categories for the shell eggs have been designed to speed up shoppers’ journeys by making it simpler for them to choose seasonal gifts for others and treats for themselves.
As an example, there are six different Cadbury eggs in the Surprise & Delight range: Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons, White Buttons, Freddo Faces, Caramel Nibbles, Giant Buttons and Cadbury Mini Egg Easter eggs.
Meanwhile, the Cadbury Worldwide Hide returns for Easter 2024, enabling people across the UK to hide an egg virtually – anywhere in the world – for someone using Google Maps. The brand will be visible through in-store pos as well as a fully-integrated campaign across TV, outdoor, social media and YouTube platforms.
At this time of the year, Parkes says retailers should still be focusing on self-eat treats such as filled eggs and mini eggs.
From Valentine’s day to Mother’s Day, she advises that retailers aim to build momentum by focusing on the ‘spirit of sharing’. This means ensuring you have plenty of treats which can be shared as ‘time together as family’ is ranked as one of the most important considerations for consumers during this period.
Retailers are further advised to finish their Easter planning with a ‘Gifting Finish’. “As everyone comes together to celebrate the occasion with a diverse mix of traditions and activities, retailers will need a range of shell eggs to offer shoppers, as these all-important weeks become defined by bulk buying and gift giving,” explains Parkes.
With Nielsen data showing that new products are key to driving growth at Easter, Mars Wrigley is in a good position with eight new lines for this year.
In the self-eat category it has new Galaxy Creamy Truffle mini eggs Hazelnut, while in shell eggs it has new GalaxyTruffles mini eggs extra-large Easter egg.
Other new shell eggs include Skittles milk chocolate egg with Skittles bag, Twix large egg, M&M’S Mix extra-large egg with Chocolate and Peanut M&M’s and Maltesers extra-large egg.
Nielsen data has giant eggs as the fastest-growing Easter egg category (+59% year-on-year). They proved so popular for Mars Wrigley last year that it saw a 6% increase in the volume of packs purchased per shopping trip. For 2024, it has a new Galaxy Caramel giant Easter egg, rrp £12.60 as well as a Maltesers Assorted Truffles luxury egg, rrp £12.75. Another new item is the Maltesers Easter mix, a new mix which is described as perfect for Easter egg hunts.
Florence Kayll, senior brand manager, Easter at Mars Wrigley, says: “Our portfolio is underpinned by the power of our brands which cover all key demographics, and all have their unique role to play within the Easter season.
“Last year saw a large growth in shopper consideration toward Mars Wrigley Easter products, with over 600,000 shoppers exclusively buying into our brands during the spring period. More Easter shoppers added Mars Wrigley to their repertoire, and existing shoppers were adding more of our products to their baskets. “
Specialist confectionery wholesaler Hancocks has lots of new products for Easter, including the Candy Realms Lucy Lamb Mallow Lollies, rrp £1.50. These are vanilla-flavoured marshmallow lollipops, shaped like lambs. They’re individually wrapped on sticks and come in a display box for easy merchandising.
New from the Bonds of London brand is the Easter-themed Chick n Mix Candy Cup which is filled with fruit flavour gummy bunnies, fried eggs, snowies and sugar-coated vanilla marshmallows. Chick N Mix Candy Cup is available in a medium or large cup, with rrps of £2.50 and £3.50 respectively.
Also new from Bonds are Easter share bags with an affordable retail price of £1.25. These include Jelly Bunny Faces and Duckling Marshmallows.
The popular Pez brand has launched Easter-themed dispensers, with four figures to collect: bunny, duck, sheep and Easter egg. The impulse pack including two refill packs has an rrp of £2 and a blister pack with one candy refill pack has an rrp of £1.75.
Finally, Popcorn Kitchen’s Bottled Up Popcorn range of ‘home popping’ products includes a chocolate egg variety.
Each bottle is packed with mushroom popcorn kernels, a generous helping of Belgian chocolate and the guest ingredient – in this case chocolate eggs.
Each bottle, rrp £12.99, contains 12-14 portions.