Holiday madness. Christmas and New Year TOP

Holiday madness. Christmas and New Year TOP

The December sales demonstrated how important it is to keep up with consumer habits. Shopping patterns are actively developing before Christmas and New Year holidays. Let us look at the current trends.

Hot season

Research from confectionery giant Ferrero found that more than a quarter of consumers (28%) are ready to start their seasonal shopping trips from the beginning of December. Another 42% of shoppers plan to restock at their nearest store in the final days before the New Year.

Already in November, buyers turn their attention to planning and purchasing gifts before the main winter holidays. This is a great opportunity for retailers and brands to showcase their range of seasonal products and strategically introduce new products, creating a festive environment that encourages strong sales.

Usually, by December, shoppers will have purchased most of their seasonal essentials. Now is the time to grab their customers’ attention and inspire them to switch into holiday mode of buying souvenirs and gifts. Now is the time for retailers to focus on driving impulse purchases to capitalize on shoppers’ emotional connection during the holiday season.

Typically, stores have a real opportunity to drive gift buying and entertainment sales at this time of year in confectionery, boxed chocolates and gift sets. However, there are a number of other less traditional Christmas sales products for those tired of the ‘bored of gifts’.

In addition, we have some useful data on customers’ shopping habits, as well as some tips for merchandisers from leading brands, so that manufacturers can better present their products on store shelves.

Chocolate box

Chocolate box

In 2022, boxed Christmas confectionery products were worth £4.4 million, up 24.8% on the previous year. This is one of the most popular formats of Christmas confectionery products. And so this is a big opportunity for retailers.

In terms of assortment, more than half of consumers prefer traditional products. Every Christmas and New Year they continue to buy the same confectionery brands. This demonstrates the power of trusted brands and consumer loyalty.

Looking at seasonal cookie sales, the category grew 6% (based on 16-week sales) until December 25th, 2022 compared to the same period the previous year. This £7.7m increase made the sector worth £137.4m over a 16-week seasonal period, highlighting the huge opportunity for «holiday cookie» sales.

Gingerbread continues to be a key flavor of the season. Its sales grew 16% over the 2022 festive period compared to 2021, significantly outpacing the sweet biscuit’s 10.7% growth over the same period.

4 tips for sweets and confectionery merchandisers

According to manufacturer Mars Wrigley, there are four key factors to consider when merchandising Christmas offers to customers:

  • Visibility: Place popular Christmas SKUs at the “buy level” – just below eye level. This is an ideal way to grab customers’ attention and encourage purchases, maximizing product visibility to take advantage of upsells.
  • New Products: Retailers should introduce new products to stores as early as possible to boost sales and capitalize on early consumer demand. Placing Christmas confectionery items at checkout can increase both awareness and sales, along with displaying POS materials featuring new items.
  • Strengthen merchandising: Retailers can increase awareness of seasonal campaigns and new products by maximizing in-store point-of-sale display.
  • Packaging Sizes: Retailers should consider offering as wide a range of products as possible to appeal to all customers with varying packaging sizes while meeting a range of needs and opportunities.

Source: Mars Wrigley


52% of confectionery products are consumed with other people

42% of shoppers plan to visit stores in the last days before Christmas

60% of consumers say holiday shopping is part of their holiday plans

Say cheese

Say cheese

Cheese is synonymous with Christmas in many countries. It is included in Christmas food traditions in various cultures.

For example, in France there is a long tradition of eating various types of cheese during Christmas dinner. In Switzerland, it is also common to use cheeses in various dishes during festive gastronomic gatherings.

In Italy, cheeses play an important role in many traditional Christmas treats. For example, the popular holiday cheese dessert pandoro or panettone, which is often served with various types of cheese.

Cheese sales rose last Christmas season in the UK to peak in December at £90.6m. The cheese category is set to benefit throughout the December period, which is why we’re urging retailers to stock up on popular cheese ranges as early as possible in the run-up to Christmas to capitalize of this significant opportunity to increase sales.

Winter salads

Winter salads

The Florette brand is a prepared salad specialist. The manufacturer emphasizes that salad mixes are no longer a “summer only” product. The manufacturer claims that more than 10 million customers buy salads in December.

Martin Purdy, commercial and marketing director at Florette UK, says: “Many retailers are finding that there is a real year-round appetite for the category. But especially at Christmas, as a side dish or in shrimp cocktail.”

Salad mixes never lose their relevance. In addition, the product is very versatile as a tasty and colorful dish in vegetable salads, as well as an addition to sandwiches and burgers.

Price Promise

Price Promise

Price-marked pouches (PMPs) are a proven way for independent brands to demonstrate greater value, so with the cost of living crisis on the rise, it’s no surprise that 57% of consumers say PMP snacks are more relevant to them now than ever.

Matt Smith, Marketing Director at Tayto Group, said: “VfM (value for money) is now the third most important reason for purchasing snacks (after taste and quality), with more than 90% of consumers reconsidering their budgets during crisis.»

Shoppers fear that they will pay more for their purchases, but PMPs give them peace of mind that they won’t be ripped off. This is why sales of PMP products have grown to 77% of the snacks segment.

Customers’ budgets also include packaged salty snacks such as Golden Wonder chips or Mr Porky pigskin «crisps», the manufacturer says. “They are much more likely to be an impulse purchase and consumed on the day of purchase (65% of shoppers eat them on the day of purchase vs. 40% of other savory snacks,” Smith adds.

Buyers’ spending habits

Buyers' spending habits

The study, commissioned by confectionery giant Ferrero, revealed the following insights into consumer spending for the 2022 holiday period:

  • 90% of shoppers like to stick to chocolate brands they know and love as part of their Christmas traditions
  • 56% planned to spend the same or more than they usually spend on gifts
  • 55% intended to spend more or the same amount on home entertainment
  • 52% will spend more and choose more premium chocolate during the festive period
  • 35% of consumers like to celebrate at home to save money
  • Alcohol is purchased together with chocolate in 68% of cases

Source: Ferrero/KAM