Shoppers buying items for a family night in have never had it so good thanks to two huge promotions from major convenience brands. Nestlé Confectionery has teamed up with Sky Store for a deal where consumers receive a £5.99/7.99 Sky Store Buy & Keep movie voucher in return for collecting four promotional packs from its range of sharing bags. When you ’Buy & Keep’ a movie from Sky you get the digital copy to keep on your TV or other devices, and the DVD sent direct to your home. You don’t have to be a Sky customer to use Buy & Keep and the Nestlé vouchers expire at the end of September 2018.

The promotion will receive £2m-worth of media support including TV, digital video and cinema advertising as well as social media activity.

Meanwhile, Walkers is tapping into the family-sharing occasion by offering movies to shoppers from Rakuten TV. Running until December 31 across all Walkers sharing bags, Bugles and Mix Ups, the Movie Nights promotion requires consumers to have two unique codes (there’s one on each promotional pack) to claim a movie. There is a choice of nearly 3,000 films at Rakuten TV, which can be streamed through your chosen device.

Thomas Barkholt, marketing director at PepsiCo, comments: "Research shows that over 50% of crisp snacking occasions happen while watching TV at home. Our latest on-pack promotion capitalises on this trend and gives families the opportunity to sit and enjoy time together while watching one of the great movies available."

He adds that sharing bags are responsible for one-fifth of all savoury snacking occasions within the UK (Kantar) and so has huge confidence that this promotion will drive sales within the sharing sector.

Mars, of course, has for years run its Sweet Sundays promotion which gives consumers the chance to get their hands on free cinema tickets more of a big night out, than a big night in.

However, Bep Dhaliwal, trade communications manager at Mars Chocolate, says: "Entertaining at home continues to be enjoyed throughout the year by shoppers of all ages, as friends and family choose to spend time together in their own homes. This broad appeal means that the Big Night In presents a great opportunity for retailers to tap into additional sales, providing the right snacking solutions for consumers."

She says the rise in popularity of the Big Night In occasion has resulted in sharing packs playing an increasingly key role in the confectionery market. Dhaliwal picks out the M&M’s brand as a great opportunity for retailers as it has outperformed the chocolate category by recording over £7m in sales (an increase of 9.2% Nielsen) and growing by 4% versus last year.

Meanwhile, Nick Widdowson, Partners for Growth merchandising and creative controller, says sales of ice cream consumed for ’special’ or ’treating’ reasons have soared in recent years. "Demand for ice cream as an evening treat grows, as the weather gets colder, so stocking the best-selling lines is crucial. NPD drives excitement into the category when people are ’treat-focused’ so make sure pos material is displayed so that customers can see it," he advises.

Ben & Jerry’s caters for this demand with its limited-edition winter variants: Minter-wonderland and One Love; which are available again after proven sales success over the past three years. According to H&A data, 70% of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is consumed on the sofa while watching TV so retailers are advised to stock up.

Sweet and savoury

Pladis offers a range of shareable snacks both sweet and savoury. Its Jacob’s Cracker Crisps range, launched last year to target the fast-growing evening sharing occasion, is already worth £11m (Nielsen). Hena Chandarana, trade communications controller at Pladis, says consumers are choosing this product on a regular basis as part of their repertoire, demonstrated by a strong repeat rate at 33%, higher than its closest competitor (Kantar).

She advises that retailers consider creating a dedicated Big Night In display in-store based around the most desirable products and pack formats for this occasion.

"A well-merchandised display with paired products and cross-category promotions will always encourage incremental purchases and help drive up profits. Locating this in high footfall areas at the front of the store will help draw shoppers’ attention to the fixture, increasing impulse sales.

"The appearance of a display is often underestimated in terms of the influence it has on shopper purchasing decisions.

"Making Big Night In features attractive and easy to spot will have a positive impact, not only on the sales of products included, but potentially on other categories as shoppers are shown to spend more time in-store as a result. Shoppers want themed space and signage so offering secondary sightings, for example at the point of sale, can also significantly boost retailers’ sales."

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