With over 40% of battery sales happening between October and January, batteries come into their own in the darker months of the year as business builders in retail. When it’s gloomy out there, torches and flashlights are important household items, but Christmas is the peak time. More consumers in the UK are opting to give their loved ones electronic presents such as battery-operated toys, handheld gaming devices or high tech gadgets, but many forget to purchase the batteries to go with them, hence the all too familiar dash by Mum or Dad to the local shop on Christmas Day.

Batteries present a valuable opportunity for distress purchases and impulse buys for independent retailers and the wholesalers who supply them, says James Tuck, Marketing Manager for GP Batteries UK.

One of the top five manufacturers worldwide, GP Batteries is a supplier of primary and rechargeable batteries, producing over four billion batteries a year. GP’s range includes single use and rechargeable batteries suitable for a large variety of products and appliances, including electronic toys, handheld video games and electronic gadgets, as well as specialist batteries for watches, car keys, hearing aids and smoke detectors.

GP Ultra alkaline batteries are available in AA, AAA, C, D and 9V sizes. Specially designed for the most popular portable electronic devices, they have an extended operating time in all kinds of devices and a shelf life of up to 7 years.

Appealing to eco-conscious consumer, GP’s ReCyko+ rechargeable NiMh range offers 11 batteries in AA, AAA, D, C and 9v sizes. The GP ReCyko+ Pro batteries are one of the best performing rechargeable batteries on the market. With an incredibly long service life, they are not only cost efficient, but much kinder to the environment.

Available in standard sizes AA, AAA, 9V and CR2 and CR123 for digital cameras, GP’s Lithium batteries offer a shelf life of 10 years and come with a built-in safety mechanism. The GP Lithium range is lighter weight and suited to extreme temperatures – unlike alkaline batteries, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts out in the hot or cold.

GP’s button cell batteries are used for a wide-range of devices and come in a wide range of sizes. Button cells are found in watches, hearing aids, car key fobs and other devices. More recently coin cells have been used in some of the last few years’ must-have Christmas Toys like Fingerlings.

GP are launching an improved range of rechargeable batteries at the start of 2020. New products for 2019 were the Discovery range of torches and head torches. GP continues to invest in new and existing retail partners to ensure POS drives sales in store and champions rechargeable batteries as the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries.

Impulse purchases are key in the battery category, says Darren Judd, Senior Trade Marketing Manager at Duracell, with only 40% of battery purchasers interviewed saying they planned to buy them before they entered the store:

“Duracell is well placed to unlock this opportunity, being front of mind with the largest year-round advertising campaign. The brand’s new packaging, introduced this summer, also improves standout and makes it easier for shoppers to shop the fixture.”

Toys & Games – typically high-drain – are the top driver of total battery consumption, says Darren, representing 25%, while remotes or zappers, which are mainly low-drain, contribute only 15% of battery consumption, in spite of being the devices most largely present across households.

Shoppers will not only pay more for, but also purchase more Duracell batteries than any other brand. 86% of the Category is made up of 5 types, AA, AAA, C, D and 9V. Specialty batteries are growing with miniaturisation of devices. The Lithium 2032 coin is 52% of Specialty, while LR44 and 2025 account for 26% of Specialty

The UK battery market is highly seasonal, says Vicky Raman, European Brand Marketing Manager, Panasonic Energy Europe NV. Over 40% of Panasonic’s yearly volume is bought between October and end January, with Christmas toy and gadget sales contributing to the steady increase in sales. 70% of all batteries are alkaline, but as miniaturising appliances gain popularity, more specialty batteries are required, causing the market for AAA batteries and coin batteries to grow too, with coin batteries up 6%. The overall battery market is expanding, 2% in volume and 1% in value.

Batteries are bought between 3 to 4 times a year. Worldwide, around 40 billion alkaline batteries were disposed of in 2016: here, the potential for rechargeables is good, with 46% of shoppers saying they would ‘definitely consider buying. Panasonic’s Eneloop rechargeable batteries are produced in Japan and meet the highest quality standards.

Movie promotions are also important to the UK marketing for torches from VARTA Batteries, Germany’s no.1 battery brand, says Mona Chan, UK Trade Marketing Manager.

VARTA has launched a range of children’s battery powered technology under its ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ licence. The film sequel from Illumination followed in the footsteps of the 2016 box office hit, which took $875.5m worldwide. The series of Pets lights from VARTA comprise three different styles of nightlight showcasing the film’s main characters, and a flashlight with a colorful printed image.

The Pets plush nightlight features miniature Pomeranian Gidget and her fluffy coat of fur. The rosy light up heart is activated by pressing her left paw, and turns itself off after 30 minutes meaning there’s no need for parents to worry.

The Pets nightlight allows the movie’s main character Max the dog to shine from his paws to his floppy ears with a simple press of the bottom of his bowl. Users can choose between a high and a low mode, and the light automatically switches off after either 30 minutes in high mode or 60 minutes in low mode. Depending on the mode, this night light will keep watch for up to 200 hours without a battery change.

The Pets nightlight with a movement sensor has been designed for children who leave their bed in the middle of the night. This nightlight reliably detects every movement within an angle of 120° and a radius of up to three meters and makes the pets shine in response. With a luminosity of 25 lumens, longer distances are no problem too. If the sensor detects no motion within 90 seconds, the light automatically switches itself off.

VARTA’s “Secret Life of Pets” flashlight features a cheery colour combination of pastel blue and bright yellow, with Max and Gidget on the handle. It has a light range of 13 meters and a runtime of 16 hours.

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