The days when the confectionery companies each launched dozens of new lines for Christmas are long gone but there are still some new product extensions to look out for.
From Cadbury there’s a Wishes Gift pack and London 2012 lines. From Mars there are two new Galaxy products while Nestlé has an Aero Christmas Tree and a Yorkie Monster Truck.
Graham Walker, Nestlé UK trade communications manager, says; "Confectionery is key for retailers wanting to increase footfall and profits at Christmas. In 2010, confectionery sales in the convenience channel increased in value by 12% over the Christmas season and are now worth £27m (IRI convenience market data). This was driven by more households, buying more often and spending more over the festive period (Kantar Worldpanel)."
Those households are typically lured by big brand names, backed by big advertising spends. Here we take a look at what’s happening for Christmas 2011:
Following the success of Cadbury Wishes last year, a Cadbury Wishes gift pack containing 14 mini Cadbury Wishes stars is being launched. Ten per cent of the profits from sales of Cadbury Wishes will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The charity helps make wishes come true for children with life-threatening illnesses, and is aiming to grant 1,200 wishes in 2011. The launch of the gift pack will be supported by a £1m marketing campaign including digital activity and print advertising.
Also new are character bags which offer a variety of ’treatsize’ products inside either a Santa or a Rudy the Reindeer pack. And tying in with Cadbury’s status as the Official Treat Provider of London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, there are selection packs featuring London 2012 imagery and logos. Other London 2012- themed gifts for Christmas include a collectable tin in the shape of a London bus containing Cadbury Heroes.
Cadbury is, of course, now owned by Kraft and Kraft’s biggest Christmas success continues to be Terry’s Chocolate Orange. In fact 12 million Terry’s Chocolate Oranges were sold last Christmas (Nielsen data). Sales reached £22m and the limited-edition ball the white chocolate smasher was the number one new Christmas line.
For Christmas 2011, the new Terry’s Chocolate Orange variant is honeycomb crunch, which will join milk, dark, volcanic popping candy and white chocolate smasher.
Toblerone is another popular Christmas line and, according to IPSOS data, it was under trees, in stockings or part of festive spreads in 10% of UK households last year. Toblerone 400g was the top gifting tablet (Nielsen). This year, all four variants of Toblerone 400g (milk, fruit & nut, white and dark) have festive sleeves plus the entire Toblerone brand will benefit from marketing investment.
Ferrero is investing an extra £6m in supporting its brands in the run up to Christmas, which is 20% more than in 2010. Ferrero Rocher will have a new TV commercial which will run from November and, for the first time, Ferrero Collection will have its own standalone TV ad which will be on screen in December. In addition the whole Ferrero Rocher range will benefit from a packaging refresh. And new flat-pack display solutions are being introduced, designed to give retailers more flexibility on what they stock as well as drive even stronger visibility in store. These will be available on the company’s trade website from early October (www.ferrero-trade.co.uk). Plus the core T16 pack will have new coloured shelf-ready packaging to add further impact in store.
According to Ferrero, its T16 Ferrero Rocher, which is bought by 1.5 million households and is worth £11.3m at Christmas (Nielsen), represents the biggest growth opportunity for this festive season.
New Ferrro Rocher packs for 2011 are the T15 Christmas Tree and the T15 tin. Rrps are £5.49 and £6.49 respectively. There is also the new T24 limited-edition pack which includes a pistachio variety. Rrp is £6.99. New to the Kinder range is the Chocolate Minis tube which contains 13 individually-wrapped Minis. Rrp is £1.50. There is also a new Kinder Surprise four-pack, rrp £2.99.
According to AC Nielsen data, the Kinder Surprise single egg is the number one kids’ countline all year round, including at Christmas.
Maltesers is celebrating its 75th birthday with the launch of a limited-edition box, backed by a ’75 Years of Lightness’ campaign.
There are two new additions to the Galaxy range. The Galaxy Gift block is split into two halves one is chocolate, the other is caramel. Meanwhile, Galaxy Promises is a boxed chocolate line in two indulgent varieties: milk caramel and milk truffle. Each pack contains 18 individually-wrapped pieces of chocolate filled with either caramel or truffle.
According to IRI data, Galaxy has been in double-digit growth for the past five years and is now worth £400m. It is backed by a £11m media spend this year.
New to Mars’ tube range is Milky Way Magic Stars which joins Galaxy Minstrels, Revels and Maltesers.
Maltesers & Friends, new Galaxy Luxury Collection and Mars & Friends form Mars’ selection box line up with the Maltesers & Friends Box containing M&M’s for the first time.
M&M’s also feature in Mars’ seasonal large pouch range as M&M’s ’green & red’ alongside Maltesers white. Maltesers is the UK’s number one-selling bitesize product (IRI). The brand will be supported by a £7m media spend this year while the M&M’s green & red large pouch will be supported by seasonal-specific TV advertising from November 14.
New for Christmas is the Aero Christmas Tree (rrp 65p). It’s a moulded novelty tree, filled with bubbly peppermint Aero. Its launch follows the success of the Aero Lamb last spring which generated £2.3m of sales, 83% of which were incremental to the category (Kantar Worldpanel data). The Aero Christmas Trees will come in a display outer ideal for placing at the till point.
Novelty products are vital to Christmas confectionery profits, with sales growing by 10% in 2010 (IRI). Last year, Nestlé’s Milkybar Polar Bear brought an additional 400,000 households into the category and generated £1.1m of sales, 65% of which were incremental to the category. On the back of this success, Nestlé reckons it has developed the perfect gift for ’hard to buy for’ men of all ages the new Yorkie Monster Truck moulded chocolate novelty.
According to Kantar Worldpanel data, over a third of the UK population will purchase Quality Street in the run up to Christmas. And last Christmas Quality Street grew by 12%, equating to £80.7m in consumer sales.
This year, to celebrate the brand’s 75th birthday, Quality Street cartons will feature an on-pack promotion giving consumers the chance to win presents every day for 75 days.
There will be 75 presents to be won daily from a prize fund including laptop computers, televisions, bicycles and games consoles. A limited number of flashed packs will be available from this month.
Meanwhile, Quality Street Matchmakers enjoyed significant growth in the convenience channel last Christmas with sales up by 64% (IRI). In a bid to continue this success, the chocolates will feature a promotion that will offer consumers a free gift on every pack. Promotional packs will contain a code to redeem a voucher from £2 up to £350 to spend at either zavvi.com or iwantoneofthose.com.
There is also a promotion on After Eight, giving consumers the chance to ’Win a Mint’ in cash.
Prizes of £88,888 and £88 can be won by finding a gold or silver envelope wrapped around one of the chocolate mints. Flashed packs will be available from this month.
According to IRI stats, the giant tube category performed well in the convenience channel last Christmas with value sales up by 7%. New to the Nestlé line-up for 2011 is the Munchies giant tube.
And, for consumers who prefer a sugar treat, Rowntree’s Randoms is available in a new carton. This joins the Rowntree’s Pick & Mix and Fruit Pastilles cartons.
Nielsen data places Bendicks Mint Collection as the best-selling premium after-dinner mint.
Brand owner Storck says the expertly-crafted dark mint chocolates are a ’must’ for all sharing occasions.
They come in boxes of 200g and 400g, rrp £4.07 and £8.16 respectively.
Also available in the Bendicks range are Bittermints an intense mint flavour fondant with chocolate made from 95% cocoa solids; and Mint Crisps dark chocolate studded with crisp honeycomb pieces infused with peppermint oil.
top tips for xmas
Know your shoppers’ needs. There are four key reasons that shoppers make seasonal confectionery purchases: seasonal thank yous, eg gift boxes; big family sharing eg large tubs; stocking fillers eg tubes; and a little piece of Christmas eg seasonal self-eat treats.
Allocate space to big brands. These continue to drive forecourt sales, particularly at Christmas as consumers look to indulge in their favourites.
Remember the importance of the impulse purchase. Christmas is a time for families and friends to get together and share in the Christmas spirit, so boxed chocolates such as Celebrations and Maltesers play perfectly to this impulse gift option.
Benefit from sales throughout the season by stocking up from this month.
Create Christmas-themed areas keeping the key Christmas trend of nostalgia in mind to encourage consumer purchasing.
Stock up on sharing products to capitalise on the continuing sharing trend
Maximise limited space within the forecourt environment with high-return items such as boxed chocolates, 65% of which are sold during the Christmas period.
Source: Mars Chocolate
Lata Gohil, Cosford Garage, Albrighton, Shropshire:
"We offer a wide range of Christmas confectionery. We don’t worry about the supermarket deals because our supplier, Budgens, offers similar deals. They help us quite a bit. Last year we had tins of Roses for £5 and Celebrations for £4. We put out the Christmas lines straight after Halloween, during the first week of November. We use the window for promotions so confectionery will be on display there. We also have a stand that shoppers can see as soon as they enter the store so we’ll use that too. And we put impulse/novelty items by each till they do well there."
Christmas Top 10
The top 10 brands account for
67% of all seasonal sales
1 Quality Street
8 Ferrero Rocher
9 Lindt Lindor
10 Dairy Milk
Source: IRI total market Christmas 2010 vs Christmas 2009