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The Two Phases That Drive Christmas Confectionery Sales

The Two Phases That Drive Christmas Confectionery Sales

The two key phases of Christmas

It’s something that everybody knows is coming every year, but getting your stock and decorations out in store is an obvious signal that cannot be missed. Not only will this nudge shoppers to start thinking about the festive season, but it also kickstarts their Christmas shopping process.

Christmas is a time of year when various shopping patterns emerge. Being aware of these and catering to your customers gives any store a boost and helps to lay the foundations for a successful seasonal period. For Christmas, there are two key phases that, if you get them right, will help to grow your festive confectionery sales.

The first phase of Christmas sales - the fast start!

In recent years, shoppers have hit the stores earlier for their Christmas supplies in a bid to spread the costs of the festive season2. This fast start is the first phase that retailers need to be prepared for. The majority of shoppers, 70% in fact, have already begun their Christmas shopping by November3. Not only does this highlight the impact that introducing festive stock can have, but that shoppers are receptive to seasonal stock and don’t hold out. This saw the share of seasonal stock sold grow 51.2% across Christmas of 20221.

What you stock for this phase can help performance, too. Introduce your festive stock with festive novelties and impulse favourites, as well as seasonal staples such as sharing tubs and advent calendars. As expected, advents are commonly the first festive items that shoppers hunt for, with the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar unsurprisingly proving the most popular last year. Last Christmas, seasonal novelty stock – and self-eat festive novelty – grew +19.6%1, highlighting the influence they have on sweet-toothed customers. Seeing as Christmas is a time of sharing, novelty sharing options are also an important asset, with variations of the Cadbury Mini Snow Balls and Puds resonating with shoppers.

And then you've got to be ready for the frantic finish!

As the first phase finishes, shoppers creep towards the second – the fanfare finish. With a mix of customers who have intentionally spread their shopping efforts and those who have left it late, the Christmas crunch is always going to happen. Maintaining your supply of festive stock throughout the season is an important factor too, with more than a third of confectionery customers confirming that the seasonal treats were the motivation behind visiting the shops4.

This period of the seasonal period sees much more purchasing of gifting options. To make the most of this, make sure that you’re carrying sufficient stock of popular lines to cope with the demand. Selection boxes performed brilliantly last time around, growing +26% in the process1 with the Cadbury Santa Chocolate Selection leading the way. Reliable best-sellers are also important to keep on your shelves. Even though many of them are available year-round, they are still favoured by so many, which is why they continually hold their own against newer lines that grab the headlines. Cadbury’s Milk Tray was the best-selling everyday brand last Christmas. But, as always, the newest lines do catch the eye of shoppers in store and can be the reason that draws them into your seasonal offering. For example, the brand new Toblerone Truffles Box makes a wonderful gift for anyone who appreciates the Swiss chocolate. Having only just been released, you know it will catch plenty of longing glances in store!

Coming once a year and a boost for retailers of all kinds, Christmas provides fantastic opportunities to increase sales performance and customer satisfaction. Whilst it is a period of the year that can easily seem manic, your plan to boost sales doesn’t have to be complicated. There have been signs over recent years that despite shoppers being more savvy with their festive spending, many key areas of seasonal sales have been showing growth. With knowledge of these two key phases and ensuring that you have the required stock throughout the period, seasonal sales can be simple to grow.

1 Nielsen, Indies & Symbols, Total Christmas, 20 weeks to we 24.12.22 vs YA.

2 Source: Statista Christmas Survey, 2017, Insites Consulting SnackChat Community Christmas Survey Dec ’22, Streetbees Deck the Halls How Shopping Habits are Evolving, October 2022.

3 Source: Insites Consulting SnackChat Community Christmas Survey Dec ’22.

4 Lumina Christmas 2022 in Convenience Stores – Lumina Intelligence Convenience Tracking Programme, 4 WE 08/01/2023.

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