With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday last year, retailers saw the largest-ever ‘final week’ of trading in 2016, resulting in increased performance across sales, according to HIM figures quoted by Heineken.
This year, the 25th of December will fall on a Monday, meaning stores can expect that additional Sunday for trading to push the pressure onto the final week more than ever before. Retailers are advised to ensure stock levels are ready for the last-minute shoppers as sales during the final week are expected to be even higher this year – and there are particular products that are expected to sell well.
“In the lead-up to and throughout the Christmas period, shoppers are often looking for items to create an extra special at-home occasion,” said Toby Lancaster, category and shopper marketing director at Heineken.
“With 39% of consumers more inclined to buy premium products during the Christmas period, there is a great opportunity to encourage shoppers to trade up: the average spend per trip for beer and cider rises to £8.45 in December vs £6.66 for the full year, so deep discounting isn’t necessary, especially within the impulse channel where most shoppers are looking to top up.
“More premium segments grew share during Christmas trading and are also the ones that delivered year-on-year Christmas trade growth. Ensuring your range includes a selection of premium options that are chilled and highlighted with POS is key, as this trend is expected to continue to grow through 2017 up to and including Christmas.”
While there is an increased demand for mid-packs within the impulse channel at Christmas, he said small packs and single bottles still account for the largest proportion of sales.
“Our advice would be to limit mid-packs to core brands only and ensure your chillers are fully stocked with the right promotions on the more profitable single bottle and small pack segments, for shoppers on the way home or en-route to visit friends,” he said.
Looking to Heineken’s own brands, Lancaster highlighted Old Mout and Heineken 0.0 as potential strong sellers for 2017.
“Due to the nature of the festive season, there’s a big opportunity to encourage customers to purchase more premium brands, such as the quirky Kiwi Old Mout range, which is building its fan base across the UK and is currently the fastest growing premium flavoured cider in the market. Brands such as Old Mout tend to over-index at Christmas vs the rest of the year,” he said.
“With 50% of people now choosing to moderate their alcohol consumption, it is important to provide alcohol-free alternatives that appeal during the festive period. Heineken 0.0 is a great option, responding directly to festive party goers looking to moderate their alcohol intake, but still want great tasting beer as they more frequently attend social events and parties.”
39% of consumers are more likely to buy premium products at Christmas time – HIM
£8.45 average spend per trip for beer and cider in December 2016 (£6.66 for the full year) – HIM
£500m more spent in the 2 weeks to Christmas 2016 than in 2015 – NIELSEN