This Christmas Nestlé Confectionery will help retailers capitalise on their busiest time of year with a range full of festive treats from some of the UK’s best-selling confectionery brands.

Christmas is the biggest footfall driver for retailers and represents a massive opportunity to boost sales and profits. The popularity of confectionery at this time of year continues to grow, and in 2017 the category sold more than ever before with £24.6 million more value sales than in 2016. Sales in the early part of the Christmas season were key to this, accounting for £18 million of the growth[1].

This year Nestlé Confectionery has given its range even more of a festive feel, with new seasonal designs aimed at making the products extra special for consumers. The range will once again feature an array of products for the whole family from well-known and loved brands such as KITKAT, MILKYBAR, SMARTIES and QUALITY STREET. There is a mix of both new products to excite consumers and drive interest in the category, as well as the family favourites that are enjoyed year after year.


Seasonal impulse products mark the start of the festive season for retailers, and drive excitement into the confectionery category for shoppers.

This year the big news is that the much-loved white chocolate MILKYBAR Polar Bear will be joined by three new Christmassy character designs – a snowman, a seal and a snowy owl. Whilst the popular milk chocolate SMARTIES Penguin, complete with mini SMARTIES inside, will be joined by Rudolph, a robin and Santa. All RRP 65p. Each MILKYBAR Winter Friends outer will contain all four festive designs, as will each SMARTIES Winter Friends outer, and are certain to capture shoppers’ attention in-store. The mix of characters also allows parents and children to really interact with the product and pick out their favourites. What’s more, each outer has been reduced in width by 12% to improve efficiency on shelf for retailers.

The early season is particularly important for seasonal impulse, as sales at this time are incremental to core confectionery[2]. Retailers should therefore look to capitalise on off-shelf opportunities, as visibility is critical to ensure shoppers do not miss these products when they launch in store.


Twistwrap remains a key Christmas confectionery category for retailers, generating over £220 million and accounting for 28% of all sales[3]. It attracts over 50% of shoppers during the seasonal period, with 52% of households buying into the category (over 14 million households)[4]. In 2017 Twistwrap grew more than it has done for the previous five years with value and volume sales up 6%[5]. It also brought in more incremental shoppers to the category than any other brand, with 80% of shoppers and £6 million in sales incremental[6].

Confectionery tubs are synonymous with Christmas. In 2017 sales of the QUALITY STREET 720g tub (RRP £7.74) grew by an impressive 11%[7]. This year the tub has been revamped with an improved assortment and now features even more chocolatey sweets and fewer toffees and cremes. It remains the heaviest tub in the market, offering shoppers great value for money.

Designed to bring festive fun and excitement to the brand this Christmas, QUALITY STREET is launching a brand new premium Advent Calendar (RRP £5.00). Each calendar contains two of every QUALITY STREET sweet. Its premium design enhances its gift appeal and ensures it stands out on shelf. The advent category has grown by 45% over the past five years, with premium advent sales almost trebling[8]. Combining the popularity of this format with a much-loved brand is certain to capture shoppers’ attention.

In addition, the QUALITY STREET 1.2KG Tin (RRP £8.99) will launch its fourth edition of beautiful and collectable festive designs. Last Christmas, sales of the tin grew 10%[9] as it drove category value and brought in younger consumers to the brand.

This Christmas the brand will once again be supported by a high profile communications campaign aimed at bringing to life the magic of QUALITY STREET. Last year the media campaign saw excellent results, with TV advertising reaching 17 million people and social media channels connecting with 16 million.


Boxed chocolates is the biggest segment at Christmas, worth £374 million and covering three main consumer needs: sharing, gifting and after dinner. The category continues to increase in value in the long and short-term[10].


KITKAT Senses, Nestlé Confectionery’s biggest innovation of 2018, will be launching two new packs especially for Christmas. With an eye-catching Christmas tree shaped design, the first new pack makes an ideal festive table centrepiece. It contains the three KITKAT Senses flavours, with 24 chocolates in total (RRP £4.99). The second pack is the perfect stocking filler or tree decoration; it contains five chocolates also with a mix of all three flavours (RRP £1.49).

The launch of KITKAT Senses in February this year saw the KITKAT brand move into a more indulgent, sharing format. KITKAT Senses are individually-wrapped bite-size chocolates, available in hazelnut, double chocolate and salted caramel flavours.

The launch has been supported by a £7 million campaign across 2018 and will be back on TV in the build up to Christmas.

QUALITY STREET MATCHMAKERS is a favourite with consumers at Christmas. The brand is benefitting from a strong six-year growth spell, and in 2017 achieved its highest ever Christmas sales, up 11%. What’s more, last year 6% of shoppers who bought MATCHMAKERS were totally new to the brand[11].

Whilst for convenience retailers, Cool Mint and Zingy Orange remain the core flavours to stock, those with space on shelf should capitalise on MATCHMAKERS Salted Caramel which performed extremely well in 2017.  This on-trend flavour also brings in younger consumers to the brand and category. All RRP £2.24. 


In 2017, DAIRY BOX was the fastest growing inlaid boxed chocolates brand, up 17%[12], as shoppers enjoyed the brand’s revamped design and seven new chocolates that were added to the mix. Whilst BLACK MAGIC continued to be the leader in dark inlaid chocolate with a fiercely loyal customer base.

This Christmas the brands will add two new packs to complement their range of gift boxes: DAIRY BOX Temptations and BLACK MAGIC Temptations. The ideal size for a token gift, both packs contain a selection of twist-wrapped sweets and have an RRP of £1.00. DAIRY BOX Temptations will include the delicious milk chocolates: Orange Sensation, Nutty Truffle and Dreamy Fudge. Whilst BLACK MAGIC Temptations contains the dark chocolates: Midnight Truffle, Orange Sensation, Dreamy Fudge and Raspberry Heaven.


AFTER EIGHT is the UK’s No.1 After Dinner Mint brand. The key packs for convenience retailers are the classic AFTER EIGHT 300g carton and AFTER EIGHT Mint Straws.

This Christmas the brand will unveil a new limited-edition design for the AFTER EIGHT MINT Tin (RRP £6.00). This year the tin uses gold to highlight the premium nature of the pack, as well as ensuring the brand stands out in the sea of green typically seen on the After Dinner Mint fixture. The tin also features a festive illustration on pack to add to its seasonal specialness.

Brand new for 2018 is the AFTER EIGHT Advent Calendar (RRP £10.00). This special clock tower shaped advent calendar is designed to appeal to adults looking for a premium, gift-worthy advent calendar. It features seven different sweets, five of which are brand new and not found in any other AFTER EIGHT pack. All sweets are individually wrapped.


The seasonal confectionery category accounts for 24% of Christmas sales and is worth £203 million, up 1.6%[13]. This year the range from Nestlé Confectionery has undergone a redesign aimed at highlighting the festive magic the Christmas season brings.


Worth £17 million to the category, Giant Tubes are the ultimate traditional stocking filler[14].

This year the giant tubes range, which includes family favourites SMARTIES, MILKYBAR and ROWNTREE’S Fruit Pastilles, has been redesigned to look more Christmassy than ever with the aim of standing out better on shelf and sparking that special festive feeling in shoppers.

Brand new to the market for 2018 is the Orange SMARTIES Giant Tube. Consumers have long been demanding an orange SMARTIES tube and this year they will be able to get their hands on one.  All giant tubes RRP £1.38.


The total Novelty market is worth £71 million[15]. Brand new for 2018 are the 100g MILKYBAR and SMARTIES dress-up hollow chocolate figures (RRP £2.55). The MILKYBAR Polar Bear character is dressed either as a superhero complete with detachable cape, or a ballerina complete with detachable tutu. Whilst the SMARTIES penguin comes complete with a detachable brightly coloured bow tie. These new dress up figures are designed to really stand out in store and, with 70% of mums saying they would buy them[16], they look set to bring the fun factor for children this Christmas.


The advent calendar category has grown by 45% over the past five years, with premium advent sales almost trebling[17]. Completing the 2018 Nestlé Confectionery Christmas range, and aiming to tap into this growth, is the brand new SMARTIES 3D Advent Calendar pack (RRP £10.00). This is a truly novel and innovative pack, which contains four different SMARTIES products, from mini cartons to twist-wrapped chocolate characters. Both children and adults alike with love the specialness of this new launch.

[1] Source(s): IRI & KantarWorldPanel 20 w/e 31st Dec 2017

[2] Source IRI – 2016

[3] Source: IRI – 20 WE 31.12.17:, Kantar | Twistwraps | Shopper KPI’s | Total Market | 20 w/e 31st Dec 2017

[4] Source: IRI – 20 WE 31.12.17:, Kantar | Twistwraps | Shopper KPI’s | Total Market | 20 w/e 31st Dec 2017

[5] Source: IRI Scantrack – 20 WE 31.12.17

[6] Source: Kantar World Panel Online 20 WE 30.12.17

[7] Source: IRI Scantrack – 20 WE 31.12.17

[8] Source: IRI – Advent Value £ sales 20 WE 31.12.17 vs 5YA

[9] Source: IRI – QS Tin Value Sales 20 WE 31.12.17

[10] Source: IRI InfoScan 20 Weeks to 30-Dec-17

[11] Source – IRI Infoscan 20 w/e 31 Dec, 17

[12] Source: IRI InfoScan 20 Weeks to 30-Dec-17

[13] Source: IRI Scantrack – 20 WE 31.12.17

[14] Source: IRI Scantrack – 20 WE 31.12.17

[15] Source: IRI – Novelties Value £ Sales 12/04/2018

[16] Source: / Mums of 5-15 year olds | % of people who would probably buy shares in this idea

[17] Source: IRI – Advent Value £ sales 20 WE 31.12.17 vs 5YA

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