Novelty is still a key sales driver

Ritter Sport recommends adding some variety

Ritter Sport bar
Ritter Sport has more than 20 variants.

THERE is no denying just how much UK consumers love a bar of chocolate.

Seen as a personal treat, something to share or to act as a ‘pick-me-up’, there are many reasons to make a purchase.

Ben Daniels, managing director at Ritter Sport UK & Ireland, reckons this opens up opportunities to grow the category in store, and he suggested that keeping the range fresh with new flavours is key to category success.

Mintel research from May 2019 that found 44% of consumers would be tempted to buy a new chocolate product if it had a new flavour. This shows the importance of offering convenience shoppers something novel, according to Daniels, who suggested Ritter Sport’s range is ideal for retailers aiming to add more variety to their offer.

Ritter Sport has a range of over 20 block chocolate varieties to choose from, each with its own distinct colourful packaging.

The firm also offers dedicated hanging units, which Daniels said were created for convenience and impulse.

And while many customers will be tightening their purse strings in the weeks and months ahead, Daniels claimed challenging economic times could actually be positive for the brand’s performance in convenience.

“In the current period of economic stress, we know that shoppers look for moments of affordable happiness in their lives, sometimes referred to as the ‘lipstick effect’.

“That small treat to lift their mood when more costly indulgences are out of reach. Equally, economic hardship can also prompt consumers to seek out comfort and nostalgia, which influence their purchase behaviours, especially regarding impulse purchases.

“Of course, ultimately quality, consistency, taste, and brand loyalty will always remain as the key drivers within the chocolate category.

“However, wider economic factors will impact shopper missions and retailers can effectively leverage the lipstick effect and desire for comfort and nostalgia by ranging and merchandising brands and products that hit these triggers – as Ritter Sport has proven to do over the last eight years – proving discounting isn’t the only way to engage consumers in the current times,” he said.