Mars Chocolate UK set to get consumers into the festive spirit this year with returning seasonal favourites and exciting NPD under the Christmas tree


Three treats are bought every second during Christmas in the UK, but in an impulsive and expandable category, there is always room for treating chocolate to grow. As the number one and number two selling treat at Christmas, the MALTESERS®Merryteaser Reindeer and MALTESERS® Merryteaser Mini-Reindeersharing bagscan be an impulsive purchases or a perfect top-up gift, and look set to fly off the shelves once again![1]

MALTESERS®Merryteaser Reindeer is available at an RRP of £0.65 and the Mini-Reindeer sharing bag is £1.29.



However, it is not just self-treat items that drive sales during the festive season. Chocolate for sharing is the number one food and drink category shoppers are willing to spend money on at Christmas, making boxed chocolate a great option for consumers looking to buy a ‘safe’ gifting option that everyone will love, or that extra special gift for a loved one.

Maltesers Tube


New for this year, Mars Chocolate UK has given the much-loved MALTESERS® TEASERS its own box, providing a perfect gift for someone who just can’t get enough of MALTESERS® famouscombination of chocolate and crunchy honeycomb pieces. The MALTESERS® TEASERS has an RRP of £4.99.

Boxed value sales grew by £2.6m last Christmas making up over three-quarters of total Christmas Confectionery sales in the final week leading up to Christmas Day, and CELEBRATIONS® led the way as the number one selling tub and pouch brand [2]. The Celebrations Tub is available at a RRP of £10.99 and the Pouch is RRP £4.99.

Alongside the tub and pouch, the CELEBRATIONS® range also includes the crowd-pleasing Gift Box which is perfect as a gift for an individual or to share amongst friends or family. It is the best-selling Carton with sales 22% ahead of its nearest competitor. These are available for £4.99 and £3.31 respectively.


The strong performance of the CELEBRATIONS® range will be further aided by Mars Chocolate UK’s new and improved display materials which are sure to help drives sales of these best-sellers even further.

As well as MALTESERS® TEASERS and CELEBRATIONS® boxes, Mars has boxes covering three of the top ten blockbuster brands, including M&M’s® Peanut and the original MALTESERS® box. Both have an RRP of £4.49.

Advent Calendars

Mars Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are great way of building buzz and excitement in the build up to Christmas and Mars have a strong selection across their portfolio of world-famous brands. Three of the top 10 SKUs[3] have advent calendars including the MALTESERS® MERRYTEASER calendar, the third best-selling calendar last year[4] and the GALAXY® advent calendar, which delivered 30% growth to the advents category last year[5]. The MARS® calendar was also in the top 10 and this year is given a boost by new pack artwork to increase visibility on-shelf.



All advent calendars have an RRP of £2.79.

Tubes Tubes are a must-have stocking filler and a huge part of the Christmas Confectionery category making up 15% of total Christmas gifting sales last year[6].

The number one chocolate brand in the world, M&M’s® Treat Tubes cater for a variety of occasions – from a stocking filler to a perfect option for a child’s gift.


Alongside M&M’s®, other Mars Chocolate have a range of other favourite tubes returning this year including GALAXY® Minstrels and MALTESERS®, both of which are supported with new pack artwork in order to drive stand-out on shelf.

All tubes have an RRP of £1.70.

Selection Boxes

Now an established tradition at Christmas, selection boxes are another great option for stocking fillers and top-up gifts. Selection Box growth has been driven by more shoppers trading up to large selection boxes and with two of the top three large boxes in GALAXY® and MALTESERS®, Mars Chocolate is a must-stock for retailers looking to capitalise on this trend. Both have an RRP of £4.49.

Alongside the large selection boxes, traditional gifts like the M&M’s® & Friends and MARS® & Friends Selection Boxes are proven winners in this category, and a great option for families with different tastes. Both have an RRP of £3.29.



Additionally, Mars has launched a new SNICKERS® selection box to provide a relevant gift for men which further taps into the trend of consumers trading up on selection boxes.


Novelty Chocolate Large novelty gifts really deliver ‘the wow factor’ and the GALAXY® Giant Bar is a great option providing 56% incremental sales to the category last year.[7] With a strong stand-out on shelf factor, it’s set to be a huge hit amongst consumers this Christmas who are looking to treat their loved ones with smooth and silky GALAXY® chocolate. The GALAXY® Giant RRP is £10.99.

Bep Dhaliwal, Trade Communications Manager, Mars Chocolate UK: “Chocolate is intrinsic to Christmas and a time when shoppers are willing to spend that little bit more. Therefore, it is no surprise that last year the confectionery category grew by £6m[8] and Mars Chocolate mirrored this, growing its share of the market by 2.6%[9]. “This year Mars looks set to continue its strong seasonal performance, with a wide range of products across different formats and price points, as well as brand new innovations that provide a seasonal twist on consumer’s favourite best-selling brands.”

Mars Chocolate’s Top Tips for Retailers:

  • Seasonal innovations are 9% incrementally higher to the Confectionery category on average so retailers should be sure they stock up on NPD like the MALTESERS® TEASERS box to maximise their sales over the Christmas period.
  • Early promotions on Boxed earlier in the season can help kick start the season to drive a fast start, however it is important to capitalise on sales opportunities in the final week. Promotions should be held at this point to drive value sales.
  • The final week leading up to Christmas is worth £127m and the last two weeks represent almost a third of total season sales, so retailers should ensure they are fully stocked with a range of chocolate products right up to Christmas Day.
  • Consumers are willing to spend and indulge more at key calendar events like Christmas, leading to a trend in more premium purchases. This has been evident in the strong performance of Gift and Boxed segments so retailers should ensure they are fully stocked with these products early in the year.
  • Use all the PoS available to you to create in-store theatre that makes iconic products like MALTESERS® MERRYTEASER Reindeerunmissable in-store.
  • Confectionery at checkout contributes up to 11% of incremental sales[10] at Christmas so retailers should prioritise this location during the festive season.
  • Tubs are a critical part of the Christmas range with many saying that the Christmas season doesn’t really start until they see them in-store. They should be pushed early on in the season in order to drive a fast start and generate category growth.

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[1]Nielsen Chocolate Total Coverage, Self-Eat and Small sharing Mini/Business segment MAT WE 24th December 2017

[2]Nielsen Total Market Coverage 20 WE 24th December 2016

[3]Nielsen Total Coverage Value Sales WE 24.12.16


[5]Based on Galaxy being number two ROS and distribution

[6]Nielsen Total Coverage Value Sales WE 24.12.16

[7]Nielsen Total Coverage value sales WE 24/12/16

[8]Nielsen Scantrack data 20 WE 24.12.16 vs YA

[9]Nielsen Scantrack data 20 WE 24.12.16 vs YA

[10]Shopper Retail & Ipsos Mars Research 2014

Author: kimbarnard

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