Making the most of Easter

We gather some of the industry’s experts to gather their advice

Talking Point

For Stuart Johnston, managing director at confectionery manufacturer Kervan Gida UK, Easter isn’t just an opportunity for chocolate brands.

“Easter is one of the best periods in wholesale due to the volume of retailers coming into depot to try and get high-quality Easter products within the branded sector.

“Easter is a time when confectionery is at the forefront of consumer purchases. It’s critical for wholesalers to stock a balanced range that will appeal to a range of consumers; children and adults, men and women.

“Although it’s a time of year traditionally dominated by chocolate, as a sugar confectionery specialist, we look at this occasion as a growing opportunity for wholesalers to refresh their displays.

“Wholesalers stocking up on colourful branded chocolate items should also remember that retailers will be on the hunt for a wide range of sugar confectionery in order to cater for shoppers who may not be indulging in confectionery of the chocolate variety when Easter rolls around this year.”


Give shoppers the choice

Perfetti Van Melle Trade Marketing Manager, Mark Roberts, explains why it’s so important not to put all your eggs in one basket this Easter.

Despite the current decline in consumption, confectionery remains in the top four purchases within the convenience channel, only ranking behind the everyday essentials of bread, milk and soft drinks.

“Spring confectionery sales can often be dominated by chocolate, however novelty and innovative additions in sugar confectionery offer retailers the chance to bring new people into the category and can encourage a healthy growth in incremental sales throughout spring.

“The confectionery market has seen bags and boxes grow by £9 million in the last year, highlighting the increasing importance of sharing and gifting formats.”


Creating memories

Easter isn’t just about selling as much chocolate as humanly possible. For Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelēz International, it’s important for wholesalers to remember the consumer journey

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.

“According to OnePoll, the top activities for consumers at Easter are:

  • Eating chocolate
  • Seeing friends and family
  • Gifting chocolate
  • Going on egg hunts.

“Throughout February and March, shoppers are looking to buy gifts and sharing products for friends and family, especially their children, to enjoy during casual together time. They’re also looking to capture the spirit and tradition of Easter, while creating memorable moments through the egg hunt ritual, using a range of different products from brands their family knows and loves.

“Mondelēz was the number one manufacturer during Easter 2018 with a 44% share of the market, while 82% of the UK population ate a Mondelēz Easter product during the season with Cadbury Creme Egg being the number-one brand.

“In fact, Cadbury Creme Egg sales went up by 22% (IRI Total Market Value Sales to 11 February 18) last year thanks to the nation’s hunt for the white Cadbury Creme Egg. Cadbury Mini Egg remained a popular choice as the second favourite Easter chocolate brand for shoppers last season.”


Joining the dots

Chocolate may be the traditional favourite at Easter, but Foodservice Sales Manager at Brioche Pasquier, Jon Turonnet, explains how wholesalers can look to drive dessert sales in foodservice too chocolate nests, marshmallow chicks and pastel icing, so operators can see how good they look when served.

  1. Promote Easter sales by offering a good selection of premium frozen desserts, and making sure chefs and operators can easily locate them and taste how they meet the Easter theme.
  2. Create a dedicated Easter desserts section in your freezers. Sign the area well and make it look as attractive as possible with photography of new Easter-themed treats, ensuring that each different dessert is easy to see.
  3. Place a sampling station beside this section. Offer individual samples and if there is space, plate the complete desserts adding finishing touches, such as chocolate nests, marshmallow chicks and pastel icing, so operators can see how good they look when served.
  4. Add a touch of early Easter joy to customers’ days by offering them one of our pretty bite-sized Macarons “Classiques” when they arrive; the gorgeous pastel colours will match the Easter theme. Make sure you label well so they know what they’re eating and where they can pick up a box.
  5. Give your customers a leaflet of spring and Easter promotions as they arrive, complete with product details and aisle number so they can quickly find what they’re looking for.


Let us pick your brains

Wholesale News grabs five minutes with Mark Walker, Sales Director at Swizzels, to chat to him about this year’s big Easter opportunities


Q: What can wholesalers do to encourage retailers to upsell this Easter?

A: Wholesalers can encourage retailers to offer sugar confectionery alongside the traditional chocolate egg products, especially for consumers with dairy allergies. Additionally, wholesalers can encourage retailers to offer a broad range of products which cover a selection of price points, various consumer occasions such as self-treating, family sharing, Easter hunts and general gifting. Self-treat and sharing products, such as Drumchick Squashies should be stocked early in the year to encourage repeat purchases in the run up to Easter, particularly as the darker winter nights will ensure sharing confectionery bags remain a popular purchase. Merchandising at the till and other high visibility areas in store will also help to boost sales. Offering non-themed products which can be sold after Easter such as Swizzels’ spring selection variety bag will reduce the risk of waste/mark downs for retailers, so these are a must-stock.


Q: What advice would you give to wholesalers?

A: Front-of-depot and tower-end pallet displays can capture the attention of retailers on entry, especially where suppliers have strong offers, as in-depot theatre can help capture the fun of the season and inspire purchase. If online ordering is becoming increasingly important, wholesalers should ensure key products are flagged on websites/apps as well as through social media channels and e-newsletters. Continuing to promote Easter-themed products up until the event will also encourage retailer top-up purchases.


Q: What insight has led your campaigns leading up to it?

A: Squashies is the UK’s fastest-growing brand at 23% (within the top 10) and the third-best-selling sugar confectionery brand in the UK. Therefore, the development of Drumchick Squashies as a seasonal variant to excite consumers was a natural step. The launch is supported by an on-pack and social media campaign to continue the excitement – consumers are encouraged to guess the Chick Flick from an image to be in with a chance of winning DrumChick movie hampers.


Sharing and Premiumization

Ferrero Business Unit Controller, Jodie Wood, gives her thoughts about the key points wholesalers should be aware of this spring

In the early weeks in the lead up to Easter, we see increases in self-treat/ impulse purchases as consumers get themselves into the spirit of the occasion.

“Therefore, wholesalers need to make sure they have the right products available as soon as Christmas sales end because retailers tend to start stocking up in January to meet shoppers’ needs for spring. In addition, we know that the six weeks leading up to Easter are crucial for spring purchases, so wholesalers should place an even greater focus on the occasion ahead of this period.

“We’ve heard from retailers that confectionery is the main category that they would like more support on. The top brands should be signposted with eye-catching POS, making it easy for retailers to find what they need. Seasonal products should also be amplified, so retailers need to know about what is available and be able to locate it when stocking up.

“There are two main trends we believe wholesalers should be aware of for spring; sharing and premiumisation.”

  1. Sharing

“Almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers say that spending time together over Easter is important to them (Easter Omnibus 2016) and two in five shoppers claim to celebrate Easter (HIP Easter Omnibus 2016), so there are no surprises that chocolate gifting is a significant part of this with £210m spent in total (HIP Easter Omnibus 2017).

“42% of families say they often have a family meal at home over Easter and 66% of people tend to spend the holiday visiting family and friends. During these occasions sharing and gifting products such as Ferrero’s boxed-chocolate range play a huge part.”

  1. Premiumisation

“With 76% of shoppers valuing quality of chocolate over quantity (Easter Omnibus 2016), they are more willing to spend more on premium products; and confectionery is one of the few categories where consumers are willing to trade up to more premium treats.”


Take advantage of promotions

Claire James, Trade Marketing Manager at Haribo, shares her top tips on how you can drive egg-cellent sales with seasonal promotional campaigns.

Brand promotions are a win–win for shoppers and retailers. They are developed to be fun and exciting which not only generates interest, but also increases shopper appeal and creates extra reasons to buy – ultimately driving sales both in store and at the depot.

“With Haribo’s Hunt the Double Yolker promotional campaign, shoppers get to enjoy Haribo while also having the chance of winning a UK family holiday. Meanwhile, retailers get to leverage the popularity of Haribo Starmix.

“Promotional campaigns receive additional investment as brands work hard to keep their activity and product front of mind with shoppers, creating a huge opportunity for retailers and wholesalers, who can benefit from this extra shopper engagement.

“In just a few easy steps, wholesalers can maximise promotional activities:

“Always take advantage of the POS materials created by brands. They are designed to stand out in the depot, to showcase just how exciting the promotion is and how it can attract shoppers when in store – helping you deliver your sales messages quickly and effectively.

“Retailers should not have to hunt for opportunities that will help them to drive their sales. Help them to identify and locate promotions by placing them in a prominent spot within the depot.

“Dual siting always helps. Where possible utilise secondary feature space that will put the spotlight on the product and its promotion.

“For example, Haribo’s Hunt the Double Yolker looks just as good on the confectionery aisle as it does as part of Easter feature displays.”


Brioche Pasquier confectionery Easter Ferrero Haribo Kervan Gida UK Modelez Parfetti Van Melle Swizzles