Levi Boorer is Customer Development Director at Ferrero. The Ferrero portfolio includes some of the UK’s favourite confectionery products, extending beyond confectionery into spreads and other sweet packaged foods. The core ranges enable wholesalers to offer market-leading products all year round, with Ferrero launching seasonal lines of its Ferrero Rocher, Collection, Thorntons and Kinder ranges to support wholesalers when category sales peak.

How would you sum up the Ferrero brand’s history?

Present in the UK since 1966, Ferrero is a leading family-owned global company and is the third-largest player in the global sweet packaged foods market. The long-term success of each of our brands is based on quality products which are carefully crafted, and supported with significant investment, to deliver great tastes for customers and strong profits for retailers, with price-marked packs available across the portfolio to support the channel.

Can you talk us through your brand portfolio?

Our unique and iconic brands are well-loved throughout the UK and include Kinder, Tic Tac, Ferrero Rocher, Thorntons, Nutella B-ready and Nutella. Across each of those brands, we have products that meet different consumption occasions and audiences, such as premium gifting (Thorntons Classic and Continental boxed, Ferrero Rocher, Raffaello and Ferrero Collection), on-the-go snacking and countlines (Nutella B-ready and Kinder Bueno) and breakfast with our popular Nutella spread. Beyond that, our Tic Tac and Kinder Surprise ranges suit varied audiences including families, and present significant opportunities to impulse retailers and wholesalers.

How is the UK chocolate confectionery market developing?

There are a number of product formats and occasions that are helping to drive sales and bring growth to the category, but we are seeing that the move towards more premium products is having a positive impact across the board. When looking at boxed chocolates alone, premium options are growing more than five times the rate of the category overall, as shoppers are looking for quality over quantity when it comes to confectionery. Delivering high-quality products in controlled portion sizes ties in with this trend perfectly and has been an important part of Ferrero for many years now, as underlined by our ‘Quality at Heart’ approach.

Beyond that, gifting continues to be a compelling driver of confectionery sales too, particularly with premium products and boxed offerings. Those factors have always been underpinned across the Ferrero boxed chocolate portfolio, where our ranges are recognised as high-quality products that present an ideal gift for a wide range of occasions throughout the year.

To better meet the demand for premium gifting options, we recently revitalised our Thorntons Classic range to give it a premium and contemporary look and feel, as well as offering a range of pack sizes to suit every gifting occasion. The update champions Thorntons’ long heritage in crafting premium and high-quality chocolates, and offers an improved assortment that represents the UK’s most-loved flavours, including the introduction of three new delicious chocolates.

How are you helping your wholesale customers grow their business?

We understand how important it is for wholesalers to implement visually-striking displays in depot, to encourage retailers to stock up, educate them about new occasions and opportunities, and to contribute to the overall appearance of the space. It is therefore important that we work in partnership with wholesalers and support them with tailored category plans, while also helping them to understand how retailers shop and how to replicate that in depot and online.

Confectionery as a category has a number of key annual peaks – such as Christmas, Easter and Diwali – but there are many all-year-round opportunities and occasions that wholesalers can support too, such as the Big Night In. By helping wholesalers understand these opportunities, and by using our shopper insights to educate retailers in depot, we can help wholesalers with their ranging decisions, supporting the best sellers with seasonal products as appropriate.

How can wholesalers maximise sales of your products?

It is well known that retailers are exceptionally short on time, so anything in depot that helps them to keep their visit efficient and productive is a positive option. That can mean stocking seasonal lines or items on promotion close to the depot entrance to capture attention straight away, but also extends to the aisles themselves. For example, having key brands signposted in depot helps retailers find the products they need quickly. We have seen at previous occasions – particularly at Easter for Kinder – that having relevant POS materials in depot is a great way to remind retailers of the upcoming opportunities, encouraging them to stock up with products from leading brands around those peaks.

What are you doing to promote Ferrero brands to consumers?

We work closely with wholesalers to ensure we help them to get the right products in front of retailers in the most effective ways. This support includes providing effective signage in depot to help retailers find the categories, brands and products they are looking for. Depots present a number of opportunities to capture retailers’ attention and encourage them to stock additional lines, so we also work to provide impactful end-of-aisle displays to provide secondary space to feature special promotions and multibuy deals. We also work with wholesalers to share sales insights and industry trends to share via digital screens, which are an impactful way to capture attention in depot, with great flexibility to inform retailers about new lines and the potential value to their store.

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