Andy Edwards, Business Unit Controller, Wholesale, RTM and C&C at Ferrero, explains what trends are driving boxed confectionery and how wholesalers can maximise sales.
How is the boxed confectionery market performing?
Boxed confectionery continues to play an important role in both the all-year-round and seasonal confectionery occasions. Total boxed sales are + 3.4%2 and this is due to its versatility when it comes to consumption occasions including gifting and celebratory moments.
What trends are driving the growth?
A challenging year and time away from loved ones during the pandemic has left many people feeling sentimental and more appreciative than ever. Chocolates present an opportunity for shoppers to treat family and friends and whether they are together or apart they are still looking to gift ahead of seasonal, celebratory and day-to-day occasions. This has led to Ferrero boxed being in +20% year-on-year growth and countlines +49%2. Even as restrictions ease, we expect people to continue treating loved ones as they meet up again for the first time or start to host occasions again.
Which occasions mark boxed confectionery purchase, e.g., gifting, sharing, etc.?
The pandemic has increased the occurrence of big nights in and sharing within households. Consumers have particularly been turning to the convenience retail sector for these purchases in a bid to avoid larger grocery stores which may be further away and have larger crowds of people, once people form a shopping habit which works this often continues so is a trend we could see post-pandemic. Wholesalers need to stock up to ensure they can support retailers in meeting this increased demand, ensure popular products, must-stocks and NPD are bought in, in the appropriate quantities. As well as this, the big night in occasion can often be an impulse decision, particularly during lockdown when there are limited other activities for shoppers to do. Boxed confectionery is ideal for this as it offers a treat which is perfect for sharing amongst family or housemates. Seasonal occasions are key for boxed confectionery in terms of both gifting and entertaining – Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day are core opportunities for boxed chocolate as well as all-year-round gifting and sharing options.
Has Covid-19 affected boxed confectionery sales? If people have not been able to meet in person, has that been detrimental to gifting sales?
Last spring boxed confectionery sales were impacted by heavy restrictions and people not being able to meet. The new vaccination and easing restrictions have created a sense of hope this year and people are looking forward to the possibility of spending more time together. Despite the varying restrictions, retailers have still been looking for high-quality, premium products for their shoppers to gift loved ones or to treat their households with. Particularly across seasonal occasions such as Christmas, there has been a trade-up of other sharing packs such as tins for boxed formats as a real treat.
How can wholesalers maximise sales of boxed confectionery?
Stocking premium boxed confectionery such as Ferrero Rocher and Thorntons Classic is a great way to maximise sales and support retailers by having recognisable, best-selling brands available. Confectionery is one of the few categories where shoppers are willing to spend money on the products that they love, in order to treat themselves and loved ones. Particularly since Covid-19, shoppers are looking for that extra special treat to lift morale and boost mood. Wholesalers should consider secondary displays and merchandising in-depot with products from other categories that would perform well with boxed confectionery. Items such as sparkling wine will support retailers in encouraging cross-category purchase in-store.
Which of Ferrero’s own products would you most recommend wholesalers stock?
Stocking a core range for retailers to choose from is key. Ensure there is versatility in flavour and format to cater for a wide range of needs. A year of uncertainty has led customers to opt for brands and products which they know and love so retailers will be looking to stock up on these in depot including Ferrero Rocher T16 and T24, Thorntons Classic T15 and our impulse Rocher and Raffaello T3 lines.
What marketing support does Ferrero have planned for its boxed chocolate range this year?
In depot we aim to combine the right distribution and availability with displays generated by our field sales team and promotions to support our brands. For further information on Ferrero UK products, POS and expert advice, head to our specialist trade website www.yourperfectstore.co.uk
Is there any NPD on the horizon?
At Ferrero UK we know that innovation is key to keep shoppers excited and so we have a constant pipeline of NPD where possible. However, it’s important not to forget the value of a core boxed confectionery range within this channel and encourage retailers to place sufficient focus on those well-known and trusted brands when looking at driving sales.