On Valentine’s Day (February 14), while most romantics prefer to ‘say it with flowers’, chocolate is the second most popular gift. According to Giftrak data, Valentine’s sales increased by 9% in 2005, to reach £342m and average spend per gift was £25.42. For forecourt retailers wanting their piece of the action, convenience is the key as 91% of all Valentine’s Day gifts were bought at the last minute, in the seven days before the event. This means you need big, bold displays in the path from the door to the till or even right next to the till, to jog the consumer’s memory and get them to spend.

Mike Tipping, head of customer relations for Cadbury Trebor Bassett, says: “Forecourt retailers are recognised as some of the most innovative exponents of leveraging additional basket spend from their shoppers. The spring season allows them to really develop this to the full. In partnership with their Cadbury Trebor Bassett account management teams and sales executives, they are building great displays of the top-selling products from Cadbury Trebor Bassett which include Roses Luxury Collection, Flake Moments and Roses. These products are really what their shoppers are looking for, to meet the special gifting occasions of both Valentines Day and Mother’s Day.”

According to Kraft, men receive more confectionery gifts on Valentine’s Day than women, so it’s important that retailers stock a balanced range to attract both sexes. There are plenty of chocolate lines out there that appeal to women but not so many for men. However Toblerone is a favourite for men and for Valentine’s Day its popular removable sleeves give consumers the chance to personalise their gift by choosing either the ‘To my love’, ‘I love you’ or ‘Lover boy’ message.


- Bendicks has a gorgeous new boxed chocolate line that would make a particularly nice Valentine’s Day gift. Called Gorgeous, it is an assortment of five individually-wrapped milk, dark and marbled chocolates. To encourage trial, it is available in a 30g pack, rrp 69p, which is ideal for placing next to the till to encourage impulse purchases. In addition, Bendicks has developed a display solution for this small pack that clips onto magazine displays and other fixtures. The simple – but effective, cardboard tray, clips onto the shelf and holds 10 units. Gorgeous also comes in a 200g pack, rrp £3.49, in display trays of six.

- For Valentine’s Day, Nestlé Rowntree offers the Yorkie ‘Yor my man’ 300g bar, rrp £1.99. In boxed chocolates, Black Magic 420g is available with a removable Valentine’s Day sleeve.

- Guylian’s Praline Seashells are available in a special sleeve for Valentine’s Day, while for Mother’s Day, they come in daffodil-decorated sleeves.


Confectionery is the second most popular gift on Mother’s Day (March 26), after flowers. And it’s men who buy almost two-thirds of this confectionery. Sarah Petts, channel and communications manager at Kraft Foods, says retailers should therefore merchandise Mother’s Day confectionery in big, bold displays to capture their attention.

“As well as catering for the male purchaser, the range on offer should reflect the profile of the recipient – nearly 65% of all confectionery purchases for Mother’s Day are for mums aged 55 and over. With this in mind, inlaid chocolates are particularly popular.”

Cadbury Trebor Bassett says that together, its Roses (275g and 480g) and Milk Tray (227g and 454g) represent four out of five of the top-selling boxed chocolates within the fixed present market. In addition the company claims that Flake Moments (185g) and Roses Luxury Collection (200g and 400g) are currently the best sellers in the boxed chocolate category and are responsible for driving the majority of growth in this market.


- Consumers wanting to treat their mums will love Bendicks Chocolate Confections, an assortment of hand-finished milk, dark and white chocolates. Bendicks reckons the product sets a new standard in premium boxed chocolates. The 215g packs retail at £6.99 and come in display trays of five.

- Dairy Box is available with a removable Mother’s Day sleeve on the 420g box while 480g cartons of Quality Street feature a removable ‘Love you mum’ sleeve.

- Kraft reckons Terry’s All Gold is ideal for Mother’s Day as it meets the needs of the more traditional consumer. This year, the brand’s packaging has been revamped and the quality of the chocolates has been improved.


Despite the growth in popularity of both Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, Easter remains the single biggest spring occasion. According to Cadbury Trebor Bassett, more than 68 million shell eggs and 200 million filled eggs were sold last year.

Cadbury reports that an early Easter in 2005 coupled with aggressive price promotions led to a slight decline in the overall market of just over 4%. However all is not lost because the luxury egg segment saw huge growth, with sales up 124%.

Mike Tipping, CTB’s head of customer relations, comments: “This clearly represents an opportunity for future profits for retailers – particularly as these products command a price premium and are not subject to the deals which have impacted negatively on other areas of the market.”



New – Gorgeous egg. This includes a 120g milk chocolate egg, a selection of Gorgeous chocolates plus a chocolate-scented teddy bear. Rrp is £9.99 and the eggs come in threes.

New – Chocolate Confections egg. This is a 300g egg with a 130g box of chocolates. Rrp is £14.99 and the eggs are packed in outers of two.

Redesign – Mingles egg. This is a 180g milk chocolate egg, which contains honeycomb pieces and a hint of mint, plus a 190g box of Mingles chocolates. Rrp is £7.99.

New – Bendicks Dark Mint Collection egg . Expected to be a popular gift for men, this is a 300g dark chocolate mint egg made with 60% cocoa solids. It comes with a 110g box of Bittermints, Mint Crisps and Victorian mints. Rrp is £12.99 and it comes in threes.

Cadbury Trebor Bassett

New – the 2005 launch of the Cadbury Easter Egg Delight premium shell egg range was such a success that the range is being extended to include eggs at a £4.99 price point. There are three new eggs: milk chocolate, white chocolate and orange chocolate. Each one contains six truffle eggs, and comes in an organza silk bag. This means the Egg Delight range now takes in three price points: £4.99, £6.99 and £9.99.


New – the Guylian Twist Egg combines a chocolate egg with 200g of Twists (a selection of bite-size chocolate pieces, containing six flavours – original hazelnut praline, orange cream, crispy caramel, mild cappuccino, smooth truffle and creamy strawberry).

New – Guylian Luxury Egg comes with three boxes of chocolates: Seashells, La Trufflina and Opus.


Redesign – Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segsations egg has been given a makeover with a stylish new packaging design. Rrp is £2.99, and the eggs come in cases of six.


New – Lindor filled eggs and Lindor mini eggs. The filled eggs retail at 55p each and come in display units of 48 while the mini eggs come in packs of four and retail at £1.49. There is also a new Lindor assorted mini eggs egg.

New – Petits Desserts, a new luxury egg, joins the Lindt range. It comprises four milk chocolate eggs and a box of dessert-style chocolates. Rrp is £14.99.

New – In dark chocolate, there are the new Lindt Excellence mini eggs.

New – Lindt Gold Bunny soft toy and the Gold Bunny mug.


New – Galaxy Promises egg. Each egg includes Galaxy Promises roast hazelnut and caramel crunch bars.

Redesign – the Maltesers Easter egg range invites consumers to enter the ‘World of Maltesers’.

New – & Friends. Following its success last Christmas, the ‘& Friends’ format is available for Easter. So the Mars & Friends Easter egg features Mars, Mars Delight, Snickers and Twix bars, while the Maltesers & Friends egg comes with full size bags of Maltesers, white Maltesers, Galaxy Minstrels and Revels.

Nestlé Rowntree

New – the company aims to fill the gap between £4.99 eggs and the heavily-discounted cheaper eggs, with a new five-strong standard £3.99 egg range. The first two new eggs are what Nestlé calls ‘Fun Inside’ eggs – they feature Disney characters and contain Smarties and a toy. One ties in with the new Disney film Chicken Little while the other has the Disney Princess licence. The other three new eggs are the Aero Latte cup egg, which comes with an Aero-branded latte mug; the KitKat Keeper mug egg, which comes with a mug that has a special holder for a KitKat two-finger; and the Smarties Colour Changer mug egg, where the mug changes colour when filled with hot water.

Special Deal – Nestlé Rowntree has introduced a mixed outer of its filled eggs. The outer, which has been designed specifically with small shops in mind, contains 72 filled eggs: 28 Smarties, 28 Milkybar and 28 Nestlé Double Cream. With a rrp of £27.36, it reduces the outlay for retailers who would otherwise have to shell out £54.72 for individual outers. Eggs retail at 38p each.

New – the Milkybar Buckaroo fun egg, rrp £4.99. This combines the UK’s number one white chocolate brand with a popular game. There is also the Yorkie Subbuteo egg (rrp £4.99) which comes with a mini Subbuteo kit, plus a 2006 World Cup wall chart. The Yorkie Subbuteo egg was a huge success last year, and the addition of the World Cup wall chart this year will make it even more appealing to shoppers and consumers.