With Spring containing Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, the season is a key one for confectionery. Retailers need to be ready from January 1, Asian Trader discovers.

Up to 300 million seasonal product units are sold from January to Easter, making it one of the most important times of the year for chocolate sales (Nielsen).
Given Easter falls late this year, the run up to Easter is even longer and, as a result, the products that retailers prioritise throughout the season should vary.
“Early on in the season it is important to focus on treats,” says Chirag Shah, Seasonal Brand Manager, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK.
68% of shoppers who bought Easter treats agree that they like to treat themselves in January even if they’re trying to be healthier at Christmas and 70% of shoppers like a sweet treat to pick them up in January, according to Mars Wrigley.
The cream taste sensation of the Malteaster Bunny is perfect for retailers looking to boost their sales at Easter and it introduced 165,000 incremental households to self eat in 2018, making it the second most popular product in the self eat category (Nieslen).
However, there is still an opportunity to grow this best-seller by placing it within arms reach of a shopper in an impactful display alongside the Malteaster Mini-Bunnies sharing pack – the number four sharing bag at Easter (Nielsen).
The Malteaster Bunny is available at a RRP of £0.62 whilst a pack of five is RRP £2.39. Malteaster Mini-Bunnies sharing bag is available at an RRP of £1.29. According to Mars Wrigley, 47% of shoppers feel excitement when Easter treats hit the shelves so it’s vital retailers are ahead of the game to meet this excitement.
This year there is a seasonal NPD from the world’s number 1 confectionery brand, M&Ms.
M&Ms Eggs are proven blockbusters in the USA and Australia and now the new product has arrived in the UK it is sure to fly off shelves.
Victoria Gell, Regional Seasonal Brand Manager, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK, said: “We have seen how popular M&Ms Eggs have been in other markets and are very excited to now be bringing them to the UK. We are thrilled to launch the world’s number 1 confectionery brand in Easter Treats and it’s definitely one for retailers to stock up on early.”
Since its launch in 2016, Galaxy Golden Eggs have generated strong sales and become the number two small sharing bag during the Easter season (Nielsen).
Featuring a combination of gold-coated Galaxy chocolate eggs and crunchy caramel pieces, Galaxy Golden Eggs are on sale at a RRP of £1.29.
Mid spring is all about those special gifting occasions: Valentines Day and Mother’s Day.
Maltesers Truffles are a totally new format of Maltesers, special enough to gift to family and friends.
Maltesers Truffles provide a more indulgent eating experience for consumers through their creamy truffly consistency, while still retaining the brand’s familiar crunch.
Maltesers Truffles are Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK’s first step into a premium chocolate offering and both product and packaging extend Maltesers into an all-year-round premium gifting experience whether its Mother’s Day or Valentines Day.
The RRPs for Maltesers Truffles are: 4g Token Gift Box – £1.99, 200g Medium Gift Box – £4.99, 336g Large Gift Box – £7.49.
As occasions like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day come round in February, the focus turns towards boxed chocolate.
Shoppers spend +3.5% YOY on Valentine’s related items while one in five shoppers spend extra to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Alongside NPD, the Maltesers brand returns with consumers’ Easter favourites. The Maltesers Small (100g) and Large Box (360g) are the perfect gift for a loved one and have been a proven hit year after year. The Large Box has an RRP of £4.49 and the Small Box has an RRP of £1.90.
With something to cater to all tastes, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK’s Celebrations range, the number one Boxed Twistwrap brand (Nielsen), is great as a gift for a loved one.
The Celebrations range also includes the crowd-pleasing Gift Box which is perfect as a gift for an individual or to share amongst friends or family.
It also includes the best-selling carton which delivers incremental sales and scale as it fits both gifting and gift-to-share shoppers’ needs. These are available for £4.99 and £3.31 respectively.
Consumers often leave it to the last minute to buy their Easter chocolate gifts. 50% of sales occur in the final three weeks making it particularly important for retailers to remain stocked up on gifting chocolate as the season draws to a close (Nielsen).
Retailers should be aware that shopper decisions are based on whether a product is from a recognised brand, whether it is in either a favourite or premium format, whether the price is right and how special the packaging appears.
Maltesers Truffles egg is sure to be popular this holiday season following the much talked about launch of Maltesers Truffles in 2018. The Maltesers Truffles egg has an RRP of £8.
Laura Edwards, Maltesers Brand Manager, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK, said: “We were extremely excited to launch Maltesers Truffles last year. We are convinced the new Maltesers Truffles egg will grow the category through being perfect for those special gifting occasions, of which Easter is one of the most important. Retailers won’t want to miss the first Easter opportunity to drive sales with what is set to be a consumer favourite for years to come.”
This Easter, Mars Wrigley Confectionery will be supporting its brands with three new campaigns to keep Easter treats front of mind. These are backed by over £1.2m in spend, which is quadruple last year’s media budget, and will ensure that products are front of mind when going in-store.
The success of the sugar confectionery category is the result of a combination of successful marketing initiatives, a host of innovative NPD and excellent category management advice, all of which Mars Wrigley Confectionery looks to continue in 2019 and beyond to maintain lasting category growth.
The total candy category is worth over £893m, while the total Mars Wrigley Confectionery Fruity Confections portfolio is worth over £52m.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery is launching its first true texture innovation in 18 years across two of its best performing sugar confectionery brands, Skittles and Starburst. Designed to overcome barriers to purchase, new Skittles Chewies and Starburst Minis are the latest additions to Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s £48.7m candy portfolio.
With customers proactively requesting texture innovation in order to grow incremental space, Mars Wrigley Confectionery has created the biggest NPD launch for SKITTLES for nearly 20 years.
An underdeveloped segment within the confectionery category, ‘chewy’ candy will be the latest creation from Mars Wrigley Confectionery to drive category growth, by growing incremental space.
The Big Night In trend is showing no signs of slowing. The popularity of confectionery share bags continues as consumers continue to keep a tight hold on their purse strings, spending less money on evenings out and instead staying at home to enjoy a Big Night In.
With 47% of consumers spending less money on out-of-home entertainment and 50% eating out less, the Big Night In remains a key sales opportunity, as consumers are more conscious of their spending.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s Skittles are a vital offering for Big Night In with 60% of Skittles being consumed as an evening snack, over indexing against total sugar confectionery.
Dan Newell, Confections Marketing Director says: “Creating a clear display that communicates the ‘Big Night In’ occasion draws shoppers into the fixture and cross category promotions will certainly encourage incremental purchases. Remember to focus the display on products that are ideal for sharing such as Starburst ‘Tear and Share’ Pouches, which are great as they are individually wrapped and offer a variety of flavours for everyone to enjoy.”
Another current trend is the growing consumer demand for confectionery products to enjoy on the go.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery bottle format for Skittles Fruits enables consumers to enjoy Skittles whilst on the go and features an easy to open resealable lid – perfect to enjoy when on the go or in the car. With bottles being the most impulsive confectionery purchase format (55%), this innovative pack offers a great sales opportunity for retailers.
Spring mini seasons
Spring gifting occasions, including Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, provide a key opportunity for retailers to drive sales. Mondelēz International offers a number of consumer favourites, ideal for gifting during this time.
An ultimate favourite for Valentine’s Day is the Cadbury Milk Tray which enjoyed £17m last year.
The much-loved product, which was launched in 1915 and features the favourite Milk Tray Man in its adverts, offers the consumers a range of exciting chocolates which make for an ideal gift.
“It’s important that retailers stock a balanced range of personalised or themed confectionery gifts from favourite brands that appeal to both men and women. This should include tablets, inlaid and straight lines being the most suitable for gifting. They should also encourage retailers to create eye-catching displays for this occasion to attract shopper attention and maximise sales.”
The number one ‘Thank You’ brand, Cadbury Roses, which turns 80 this year, makes a classic gift for saying ‘Thank You’ to Mum on the special day.
To coincide with its 80th birthday, Cadbury Roses unveiled a new £2.8 million marketing campaign celebrating the brand, which began rolling out in September.
The new creative draws attention to how a thank you is more meaningful when you give a thank you, rather than just say ‘thank you’, making it ideal for thanking a mother on their special day.
“There should be a range of different brands stocked by retailers to match consumer age range profiles, this is because the majority of mums receiving confectionery as gifts are over 55+.
“Mother’s Day gifts are often bought last minute which provides an ideal opportunity for retailers. As these gifts are usually bought last minute by men, retailers should advise use big, bold displays in male shopped areas at the front of the store to drive sales.”
Easter is all about creating memories with your loved ones through treats and traditions.
Consumers are seeking more experiences during the season, both in experiential and consumption. The top activities for consumers at Easter are: eating chocolate, seeing friends and family, gifting chocolate and going on egg hunts.
This Easter, Mondelēz International is bringing families together and driving value into the category with great tasting chocolate and egg-citing new experiences.
As the market leader at Easter, Mondelēz plays an important role throughout the season, holding the leading share of shell eggs and the number one position in miniature eggs, and single serve.
Mondelēz was the number one manufacturer during Easter 2018 with 44% share of the market (IRI). 82% of the UK population ate a Mondelēz Easter product during the season with Cadbury Creme Egg being the number one brand.
Four Cadbury Creme Eggs were sold every second in 2018, bringing with it £57m in brand sales – up by 22% (IRI) thanks to the hunt for Cadbury’s White Cadbury Creme Egg. The nation also went mad for Cadbury Mini Eggs, as 157 units of Cadbury Mini Eggs were sold per minute in 2018.
Mondelēz drove the absolute largest value into the shell eggs category year-on-year and grew the subcategory by £10m year-on-year. On top of this, it also remains number one in the single serve category with a 64% share.
For Easter 2019, Mondelēz’s ambition is to remain a leader of the season and help bring families together, through its cracking portfolio of brands and products. It will be bringing new innovation to all segments and investing £10m during the season, to help retailers and consumers have egg-ceptional Easter.
Marketing support will begin on the 1st of January with the launch of a national Cadbury Creme Egg promotion ‘Hunt the White Creme Egg’ – which involves a convenience channel exclusive promotion, where the retailer could win £1,000 if a White Creme Egg is found in their store. Plus, Cadbury Creme Egg hunting season will return to TV, supported by a far reaching digital media campaign.