An early start

The main festive sales period starts up to 12 weeks before the big day. How can retailers catch early shoppers?

One in five biscuit purchasers bought seasonal packs in the 12 weeks to 3 January this year according to biscuits firm Pladis. And the McVitie’s brand owner says retailers can maximise biscuit sales during this year’s festive sales period by following its tips.

Pladis says McVitie’s Victoria is the best selling premium sweet biscuit assortment and that it is a Christmas must stock along with McVitie’s Family Circle and Jacob’s Biscuits for Cheese.

First, it says, retailers should attract early festive shoppers by making seasonal biscuits impossible to miss.
Trade communications controller Hena Chandarana said: “Seasonal biscuits are worth £6.7m in the convenience channel alone.
“Keep your seasonal brands in highly visible displays to catch shoppers’ eyes as they start to stock up for the festive period. Biscuits alone should be given at least 20% of seasonal snacking space.”

Make festive packs catch the eye, says Pladis.
Make festive packs catch the eye, says Pladis.

Pladis also says retailers should ensure they have best-selling biscuit brands in stock at all times. And they should be aware, it says, that one in five festive biscuits shoppers are looking to buy biscuits as a gift.
The firm also recommends that retailers use biscuits in seasonal bays creating cross-category promotions along with sweet and savoury snacks or soft drinks, and that they stock novelty packs and make sure seasonal biscuits and prices and promotions are easy to see.
Chandarana said: “Last year, only three out of 10 shoppers were planning to do their big Christmas shop in a single retailer, with 56% saying they would be visiting two or more different retailers to stock up on Christmas groceries.
“A third of shoppers said when shopping for Christmas groceries they usually buy the best quality available.”
Pladis said that while the countdown begins for many shoppers 12 weeks before Christmas the big push should start immediately after Halloween.
• Burton’s Biscuit Company has updated its Cadbury Christmas Biscuits range for 2016.
As well as new look gift tins, the range includes new products such as Cadbury Snowy Fingers.
Head of category shopper management David Costello said Cadbury Snowy Fingers had performed well in consumer research.
It has also introduced the Cadbury Fingers Star assortment, which features four flavours of Cadbury Fingers in one pack.
And Cadbury Fingers Stackables is a range of three tins each containing a different flavour of Mini Fingers, milk chocolate and two new flavours – honeycomb and double chocolate.

Snowy Fingers is one of a range of new products Burton’s has introduced for this year’s festive period.
Snowy Fingers is one of a range of new products Burton’s has introduced for this year’s festive period.

Costello said: “The Cadbury biscuit tin has been the number one fully coated biscuit assortment tin for the last few years, with a pack refresh expected to create even more interest among seasonal shoppers.”