As the second biggest confectionery event of the year, Easter is a major opportunity for wholesalers. And with 76% of gifts being chocolate, it’s crucial depots have their spring confectionery ranges correct ahead of time.
Easter and the spring season offer wholesalers who know their confectionery the chance to make big profits, writes Tan Parsons.
Big brands sell best: Stock the top products to get top sales
Spring confectionery is all about big brands and it’s vital wholesalers get behind the products that will have strong media support during Easter.
Mondelēz International’s Cadbury Creme Egg is the number one countline at Easter and the supplier is bringing back the Gooless Egg promotion, which helped to drive 40% growth in value sales last year.
The company is also helping the trade with its Seasons Made Simple initiative. Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelēz, says: “For a successful Easter in 2015, wholesalers should encourage their retail customers to stock up early with self-eat products to ensure they get off to a fast start in this shorter season.
“This should be followed by a focus on family sharing products to drive momentum through the season, and then end the season by maximising gifting for top-up shopping in the final three weeks.”
For its part, Mars is launching the MaltEaster gift pack, the Galaxy Three-pack and the Celebrations Egg. Mars Chocolate’s trade communications manager Bep Dhaliwal says: “We are helping wholesalers by providing point-of-sale material they can use to create theatre, both in the front of the depot and also in the aisles. The key thing for wholesalers to get right is availability on key brands – make sure you are letting your retailers know these products are available.”
Gifts and ‘self treats’: Self-eats can be presents, too
Mars Chocolate’s Bep Dhaliwal says gifting and shell eggs will become more important as the Easter weekend approaches, but self-eat products will be a huge focus from January 1.
“People will indulge with self-eat products but they will also buy them as gifts. Wholesalers should get stocked up early and use this to drive sales. It’s important to maintain visibility with prominent displays – both for retailers in their stores and also for wholesalers in-depot.”
Unilever UK has teamed up with novelty confectionery manufacturer Kinnerton to introduce Marmite and Pot Noodle Easter Eggs. “By broadening the appeal of the Easter egg fixture, we anticipate that the new additions will drive sales for retailers by offering an exciting new product from brands that consumers know and love,” says Julie McCleave, head of licensing at Unilever UK.
Alternatives to chocolate: For those who want something different
While chocolate tends to dominate at Easter, wholesalers need to make sure alternative confectionery is available for retailers. Mondelēz is introducing Bassetts Jelly Bunnies – bringing one of the nation’s favourite brands an Easter theme.
“Kid’s sugar confectionery has been growing ahead of total sugar and chocolate for several years, and this is being reflected at Easter, as consumers look for an alternative to chocolate,” says Sarah-Louise Heslop, marketing manager at Swizzels Matlow, which is offering an Easter-themed Spring Selection tub.
Don’t forget other events: Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day
Spring confectionery does not just mean Easter, however. Valentine’s Day is the largest mini-season at £33.3m, and the fastest growing at 6%, while Mother’s Day is worth more than £31.5m and growing at 6%.
“To make the most of these mini-seasons, independents and symbols should concentrate on two best-selling SKUs – Cadbury Milk Tray and Cadbury Roses,” says Mondelēz’s Susan Nash.
Swizzels Matlow’s Sarah-Louise Heslop says wholesalers should stock limited edition products such as the company’s Love Hearts tin, which is back for 2015 with a new design.