Nestlé Confectionery aims to ensure a very merry Christmas for shoppers and retailers alike, as it launches its new Christmas range packed with a host of festive favourites as well as exciting new launches from its iconic brands.

KITKAT AND AERO BUILD ON SELF-EAT SUCCESS OF CHRISTMAS 2020

After proving a smash hit with consumers when it launched last Christmas, KITKAT Santa is back to lead Nestlé’s 2021 Christmas range complete with a brand-new product. The KITKAT Festive Friends Bag 220g (RRP £3.50) comes filled with individually wrapped, fun, festive shapes and is ideal for sharing with friends and family. There are 12 mini KITKAT Santas and a mix of 10 other shapes (including a Christmas tree, elf, gingerbread man, snowman and reindeer) in every bag. The new bag joins the 29g impulse bar (RRP £0.65), a 5 bar multipack (RRP £3.00) and a 55g bag of individually wrapped mini Santas (RRP £1.00).

The launch of KITKAT Santa – a Santa-shaped chocolate bar filled with a rich chocolatey centre and crunchy wafer pieces – was a huge success with consumers and it became the No.1 product launch across the market at Christmas[1]. Sales of the impulse bar were highly incremental, driving growth in the self-eat category and attracting over 450,000 new shoppers[2] . Media support, including out-of-home advertising and social media, will ensure KITKAT Santa is once again at the front of shoppers’ minds in 2021.

2020 also saw an increase in consumer demand for seasonal bags and blocks. Indeed, in the Convenience channel sales of seasonal blocks grew an impressive 43%[3]. This Christmas, AERO aims to capitalise on this popularity with its brand-new AERO Festive Snowy White Block (RRP £1.00). The new block follows the successful launch of AERO Dreamy White Snowbubbles last year and features the same white and milk bubbly taste sensation, with a white centre enrobed in milk chocolate. The AERO Dreamy White Snowbubbles 80g bag (RRP £1.00) also returns to the range for 2021, after becoming the No.1 new bag launch at Christmas last year[4].

MILKYBAR is also set to unveil its brand new MILKYBAR Festive Friends Sharing Bag (RRP £1.00) containing an array of white chocolate festive shapes with a creamy white filling and crispy pieces, individually wrapped to retain freshness and quality. Each bag contains seven pieces from an assortment of seasonal shapes such as a gingerbread man, bauble, Christmas tree, stocking, snowman and Santa. This new launch offers shoppers a totally unique white chocolate product and makes an ideal treat for sharing, as an advent filler, baking decorations or stocking filler.

Retailers should be sure to stock the seasonal impulse treats early in the season as an eye-catching introduction to Christmas.

CAPITALISE ON FESTIVE TRADITIONS WITH GIANT TUBES & SELECTION BOXES

Giant Tubes are the ultimate traditional stocking filler, loved by shoppers for offering something fun, festive, and great value for money. Brand new for Christmas 2021 is the AFTER EIGHT Giant Tube (RRP £1.38) filled with bitesize pieces of dark chocolate filled with refreshing mint fondant. 60% of shoppers say they want to see more adult confectionery gifts in the market under £5[5] and this new product is designed to provide just that, making a great token gift, stocking filler or secret Santa present.

AFTER EIGHT joins a giant tubes range packed with family favourites and there is something for everyone including ROWNTREE’S, SMARTIES, MILKYBAR and ROLO. All giant tubes RRP £1.38. This year SMARTIES Giant Tubes will move to fully recyclable paper packaging.

Another festive tradition loved by families is the selection box. This year Nestlé is bringing together its wealth of iconic brands to launch the brand-new Christmas Selection box (RRP £3.00). Research has told us that consumers love a selection box which contains a variety of brands and types of confectionery. The new Christmas Selection includes some of Nestlé’s best-selling singles: KITKAT 4 Finger, KITKAT Chunky, AERO Peppermint, AERO Milk, YORKIE and ROWNTREE’s Fruit Pastilles, packaged in an eye-catching, festively designed box.

QUALITY STREET LEADS THE WAY AT CHRISTMAS

Twistwrap confectionery continued to be the biggest seasonal segment with 60% of all households buying into it, demonstrating the crucial role it plays for the category and consumers[6]. Formats increasing in popularity in 2020 were tins +28% and pouches +7%[7].

QUALITY STREET was once again the No.1 brand at Christmas in 2020[8]. It is an essential part of the season and much loved by the nation, as demonstrated by the incredible PR and media coverage last year which generated 2.6 billion opportunities for consumers to see the brand. This year the brand will benefit from a £2 million media spend and will continue its successful advertising campaign focusing on QUALITY STREET’s role in bringing together loved ones, enjoying special moments as they share their chocolates. The advertising will appear on TV, video on demand and social media.

This year QUALITY STREET will introduce a new mix of sweets across its range of formats to include more consumer favourites. The QUALITY STREET tin’s annual new design will make it even more premium and gift worthy than ever before, with beautifully designed jewel-like sparkling colours bringing a modern feel and ensuring impressive standout on-shelf. A new QUALITY STREET 2kg Tin (RRP £18.99) will be available nationally for the first time. Its fantastic size impression is certain to catch the eye in store and offers consumers the opportunity to buy a bigger gift or for gifting to share occasions. Plus, the QUALITY STREET Purple One and Strawberry Delight novelty gift boxes (RRP £6.00 each) will benefit from a makeover which sees them reduce their plastic packaging and move to fully recyclable cartons.

Convenience retailers should focus on the must stock QUALITY STREET 240g carton (RRP £2.99), QUALITY STREET 450g pouch bag (£4.99) and 650g tub (RRP £7.74) which is a format synonymous with Christmas.

AFTER EIGHT BRINGS A NEW FLAVOUR TWIST

AFTER EIGHT is the No.1 After Dinner Mint brand. Established in 1962, AFTER EIGHT is as relevant today as ever and the 300g pack remains the no.1 best-seller and a must-stock for retailers.

In 2020 flavours drove the growth in the After Dinner Mint category, adding £3 million in value sales[9]. Last year’s AFTER EIGHT Gin & Tonic flavour generated £2 million of this value and was bought by over 1 million people, 50% of whom were new to the After Dinner Mint category[10].

Capitalising on this trend, AFTER EIGHT plans to generate more buzz this year with its brand-new AFTER EIGHT Mojito & Mint flavour (RRP £2.00). Did you know that mojito was the most popular cocktail to make at home in 2020[11]? Mojito is a natural flavour fit with mint, and this new flavour will continue to drive the category’s relevance a with younger audience.

Finally, this year’s annual new design for the AFTER EIGHT Christmas tin is an eccentrically British design. The eye-catching 400g tin (RRP £6.00) is ideal for trading shoppers up. A PR and social media campaign across the festive season will also keep AFTER EIGHT front-of-mind with consumers.

BOXED CHOCOLATES OFFER RETAILERS LUCRATIVE FESTIVE SALES

Sharing boxed chocolates had a great Christmas in 2020, with sales growing 7.2%[12]. Despite being launched in a turbulent year, QUALITY STREET Intrigue performed well with excellent in-store execution driving sales success. This Christmas, an Orange Truffles flavour (beautifully blended orange truffles wrapped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with dried orange segments) will be available nationally and joins Salted Caramel Truffles (a silky-smooth chocolate centre with a milk chocolate coating, each one is dipped in crunchy salted caramel chunks). Both RRP £5.00. The orange flavour is extremely popular in the UK, with sales of products growing 24% in 2020[13]. QUALITY STREET Intrigue will also benefit from a substantial £2+ million media and shopper spend targeting key gifting occasions across 2021 including Christmas.

Also brand new for 2021 is AERO Bliss Peppermint – velvety, whipped peppermint bubbles wrapped in delicious milk chocolate. The new launch is expected to be a smash hit with consumers as total mint sales are growing, up 5.7%[14], and, as the No.1 chocolate mint brand which better brand to launch a new mint chocolate offering than AERO! After launching as an exclusive in one retailer last year, it became the No.1 new boxed chocolates product, with a strong repeat purchase rate and loyal shopper, whilst also recruiting incremental shoppers to the range[15].

AERO Bliss bridges the gap between luxury and mainstream sharing boxed chocolates and proved extremely popular in 2020 with sales growing 48%[16]. AERO Bliss Peppermint joins the AERO Bliss Mixed Selection, which includes milk chocolate, salted caramel and praline flavours (RRP £5.00). The brand will be supported by its biggest media spend to date across the path-to-purchase, including out-of-home advertising, social media, PR and in-store media, encouraging shoppers to ‘Gift a little Bliss’. Whilst AERO Bliss and QUALITY STREET Intrigue are all year-round brands, retailers should maximise sales by siting in off-shelf displays or on their Christmas fixture.

QUALITY STREET MATCHMAKERS has had amazing growth over the past 5 years, up 5.8% in value[17]. Cool Mint and Zingy Orange remain the core flavours for convenience retailers to stock. Both RRP £2.24. This year the brand will benefit from a contemporary design refresh and will now use 20% less packaging. Fun to crunch and nice to nibble, these crunchy flavoured sticks are the perfect match for sharing occasions.

Finally, something special in formal gifting. DAIRY BOX has been an iconic, heritage gifting brand since 1936. This year a brand-new design will bring to life the quality and indulgence of the sweets it is known for, making the brand more gift worthy than ever. The sweet range has also been revamped to include Salted Toffee for the first time, juicier and tangier flavours in the Orange Surprise and new Strawberry Kiss, and new shapes for the Chocolate Velvet and Cookies & Crème sweets. What’s more, the box and tray are now fully recyclable. The DAIRY BOX Winter Collection (RRP £8.00) 388g box will also return to the range with a refreshed design. Launched in 2020, it became No.1 new product launch in formal gifting, bringing younger shoppers into the category.

BLACK MAGIC, an iconic heritage brand since 1933, has also been revamped this year with a strong new look which impressed in shopper research. It retains its iconic colours of black and red whilst bringing to life the premium values of the brand so that even more consumers can be encouraged to discover the secrets of the BLACK MAGIC box.

1 Source: IRI 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value sales
2 Source: KantarWorldPanel 20 w/e 27th Dec
3 Source: IRI, Symbols & Independents, 20 w/e 26th Dec 2020 YoY
4 Source: IRI, Symbols & Independents, 20 w/e 26th Dec 2020 YoY
5 Nestlé Blueroom Study for Xmas 2020
6 Source: IRL 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value & Unit sales
7 Source: IRL 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value sales
8 Source: IRL 20w/e 26th December 2020
9 Source: IRI 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value sales
10 Source: KantarWorldPanel 20 w/e 27th Dec
11 Source: Google Trends
12 Source: IRI, 12 & 4 weeks to 26 December 2020
13 Source: IRI 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value sales
14 Source: KantarWorldPanel 20 w/e 27th Dec Source: IRI 5.12.20 MAT
15 Source: IRI 29.12.20 4 wks Value Sales Tesco Segment
16 Source: KantarWorldPanel 20 w/e 27th Dec Source: IRI 29.12.20 4 wks ROS SIG
17 Source: IRI 5 x Xmas 20w/e 26th December 2020, Value sales

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