SPECIALIST confectionery wholesaler Hancocks considers Christmas to be the industry’s “shining star”.
The company says its Christmas sales grew by 16% year on year in 2013 and it’s aiming to repeat that success this year with a range of big brands and own-label products.
“Confectionery is so closely aligned with the Christmas season nowadays and we all expect to give and receive some sweet treats,” said Hancocks purchasing director Jonathan Summerley.
“Then of course there are all the other opportunities for confectionery across the season: advent, tree decorations, stocking fillers and seasonal treats. The net result is a key opportunity for local retail stores, especially as much will be purchased as shoppers see it in the weeks and months up to the date.”
It also sees seasonal treats and stocking fillers, £1 and under, as an important area to consider.
Hancocks views Lindt Gold Bears (RRP 50p), Reeses Christmas Tree (RRP 59p), Lindor My Melting Moment (RRP 69p) and Freddo Popping Candy (RRP 25p) as must-stock branded impulse items this year.
However, with 49% of its surveyed customers saying that own-label confectionery is very important to their business, the company is also developing its Kingsway own-label range.
New for 2014 are a Christmas Card Chocolate Bar (RRP £1), seven-piece Christmas Mallow Tree (RRP £1) and a variety of non-branded tins including Coconut Roll, Jelly Button and Flying Saucers (all RRP £5.99).
The wholesaler also has its own range of confectionery pops for the festive season, offering margins of up to 50%.
It reckons there’s no better time for novelty than Christmas, and suggests products like the new Millions Pizza or Beano Sweet Shop could prove as popular as more traditional fare like its range of candy canes tree decorations.
However, no matter what products a retailer chooses to stock, the key to a successful Christmas, Summerley suggests, remains the same – start early.
“The biggest mistake to make with Christmas confectionery is to miss out on the early season opportunities,” he said.
“Making time for careful planning really can reap big rewards.”