Christmas comes to the crunch

Brands giant Mondelez International broke new ground when it brought the best of confectionery and biscuits together – blending Cadbury Dairy Milk with the likes of Oreo, Ritz and Lu. Now Nisa suggests taking a similar strategy into the festive sweets, treats and sharing gifts aisles.

Think Christmas sweets and you’d normally picture selection boxes from chocolate manufacturers. But Nisa reckons biscuits can help c-stores offer a festive sweets and treats difference.

WELL-organised retailers will be well into Christmas planning and, perhaps, pre-ordering. Sweets and treats are hugely important to the festive season and we asked suppliers and wholesalers which lines, packs and formats do best in the different retail channels and which, in particular, are likely to be best for c-stores.

Buying group Nisa came back with a slightly surprising reply: don’t forget the biscuits!
“With the multiples concentrating their efforts on promoting Christmas confectionery, biscuits give c-store retailers a good alternative to carve a niche with,” said Nisa trading controller, Graham Holbrook.
“Our Nisa members will stock the lines available on the consumer leaflet such as Grandma Wild’s 12 Days of Christmas embossed 300g gift tin of six varieties of traditional biscuits, retailing at £3.99. This pack is probably the most stunning Christmas tin of luxury biscuits we’ve listed.
“There is also the Fox’s Vinnie sweet and chocolate assortment 370g tin- this is an annual favourite with Nisa members, but it has had a radical change to the design of the tin this year.
And there are biscuits lines that can also complement confectionery novelty lines and festive gifts, he reckons.
“Fox’s has introduced Vinnie and Party Rings 100g tubes,” he said.
“And there’s a range of Grandma Wild’s ceramic packaged biscuits including a blue and red 150g camper van, to mark the end of production of the vehicle last year.”
Nisa says drawing shoppers to seasonal biscuits – using secondary sites and shippers can almost double sales.


Back with traditional established confectionery sharing lines Nisa trading controller, Trevor Standing suggested Christmas is a good time to go large.
“The larger 1.275kg Quality Street tin could be a good line to consider because of its gifting potential, with the premium line retailing at £8.99,” he said.
And his Nisa trading controller colleague Brian Porter, said: “Jars have a nostalgic, old-style sweetshop feel and are to be given a boost this season with the introduction of Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts and Bassetts Jelly Babies 570g jars. Both are new for 2014 and have quirky packaging which makes them ideal for kids gifting, with a £3.99 retail price point.
“Tubes retailing at £1 also continue to show significant growth in Nisa’s seasonal confectionery business and a strategy at £1 retail through the season clearly works as opposed to manufactured high/low promotional activity.
“I advise retailers to experiment with branded lines- the Nisa range has increased to include Haribo and Maoam.”
Last year Cadbury medium selection box was the top-selling selection box in Nisa, Cadbury Advent 90g was the number-one advent calendar, and Cadbury brand owner Mondelez International had a 35% share of Nisa’s traditional Christmas confectionery sales.