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

 smarties santas workshop

Christmas is the biggest footfall driver for retailers, and represents a massive opportunity to boost sales and profits. This year the Nestlé Confectionery 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 must have family favourites that are enjoyed year after year.


For convenience retailers, ensuring the right range is stocked at the right time will be the key to sales success.



Leading the Nestlé Confectionery range for 2017 are the popular SMARTIES Little Choc Penguin (a chocolate shell with mini SMARTIES inside) and the white chocolate MILKYBAR Polar Bear Cub (both RRP 65p). This year these festive favourites have been updated and are set to be an even bigger hit with shoppers. Both characters have been made cuter than ever, and each features four new designs on its foil packaging, giving them added personality and enabling shoppers to choose their favourite. The MILKYBAR Polar Bear Cub will also benefit from the brand’s new ‘Milk First’ recipe which delivers thesame great taste that consumers know and love from MILKYBAR but now with milk as the No.1 ingredient.


What’s more, after receiving excellent consumer feedback when it launched in 2016, the QUALITY STREET Honeycomb Crunch impulse bar (RRP 65p) is back this Christmas. The combination of creamy tasting milk chocolate and crunchy honeycomb pieces makes an impulsively indulgent treat and attracted new, younger consumers to the QUALITY STREET brand.

 kit kat bites supertube design update

The early season is particularly important for seasonal impulse, as sales at this time are incremental to core confectionery[1]. Consumers love the novelty and excitement seasonal treats provide. 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 the most important confectionery category for retailers at Christmas, attracting over 14 million shoppers. Early season sales are critical as early season shoppers are the heaviest spenders, spending on average £8.95 versus £7.65 spent by those shopping only mid/late season[2]. The tub is the biggest selling format accounting for 69% of twistwrap sales[3].  

 quality street 750g tub

Consumers love the variety of sweets QUALITY STREET offers. There are thirteen different sweets in the mix, more than any other main twistwrap brand. Last Christmas, for the first time in nine years, QUALITY STREET launched a brand new sweet – the Honeycomb Crunch. The sweet consists of the same creamy tasting milk chocolate and crunchy honeycomb as the Honeycomb Crunch impulse bar; giving as many consumers as possible the opportunity to make it their new favourite!


The QUALITY STREET Tub (RRP £7.74) remains the key pack for convenience retailers, and those looking to maximise tub sales should stock up early in the season to capitalise on even more sharing occasions such as Halloween and Bonfire Night.


Ideal for decanting and sharing with the family, the QUALITY STREET 500g pouch bag (RRP 4.99) is the fastest growing format for the second year in a row; it has brought new consumers into the brand and is growing +18% YOY. The 265g carton (£2.99), which is a highly popular token gift, is also a must stock for retailers. It sold 15 million packs in 2016[4].


What’s more, highlighting its place at the heart of the festive season, 2017 will also see QUALITY STREET back on TV for the third year running as part of a high profile media campaign. The high performing TV advert will be on screen throughout November and December with a £1.5 million media spend. The advert has proven to have strong consumer appeal and relevance especially with mums. The brand will also benefit from social media and experiential campaigns.



19.4 million households buy into the boxed chocolates category[5]. It is worth £351 million and covers three main consumer needs: sharing, gifting and after dinner[6].

 dairy box 360g carton


Consumers are increasingly enjoying sharing boxed chocolates with their family and friends. Sales grew +6.3% in 2016 as more shoppers bought more boxes[7]. Retailers looking to capitalise on this segment should ensure they are stocking the big brands, as 72% of all sales are from the top six brands, which includes QUALITY STREET MATCHMAKERS.


Bringing interest and excitement to the category is an on-trend new launch – QUALITY STREET MATCHMAKERS Salted Caramel (RRP £2.24). There is a huge trend for salted caramel flavour products which looks set to stay, and consumer feedback for the new product has been sensational. The launch will be supported by a social media campaign as well as product sampling. The new salted caramel flavour joins the ever popular Cool Mint and Zingy Orange varieties to complete the range.



Inlaid boxed chocolates represent the most personal of Christmas gifts. They are considered a gesture gift which says as much about the giver as the receiver, therefore shoppers prefer to buy into brands and packs they know that will deliver them high quality.


This Christmas DAIRY BOX shoppers will be excited by the brand’s fresh new design as well as the introduction of seven brand new chocolate flavours to the mix: Cookies and Crème Sundae, Caramel Heart, Raspberry Kiss, Orange Surprise, Crispy Caramel Truffle, Hazelnut Dream and Rose Bliss. The DAIRY BOX Deluxe Collection (RRP £6.00) caters for consumers looking for a giftworthy, luxury box of chocolates. It also features a new chocolate, exclusive to this pack, for 2017. The Deluxe Caramel Truffle.



AFTER EIGHT is the UK’s No.1 After Dinner Mint brand. It continues to drive growth in the category, with sales value up more than 7% in 2016[8]. The key packs for convenience retailers are the classic AFTER EIGHT 300g carton and Mint Straws sharing packs perfect for the Christmas season.  

 after eight 300g carton


The seasonal confectionery category is huge and growing, worth £186 million and bought into by 15.5 million households in the UK. It is also a lucrative segment as 76% of shoppers who bought seasonal confectionery in the early season returned to buy again[9].



Giant Tubes are the ultimate traditional stocking filler and for shoppers of this area brands are key.

80% of Giant Tubes sales come from the top 10 products.


Nestlé’s winning range will once again return for 2017 and features the top three best-selling giant tubes: SMARTIES (the No.1 giant tube), MILKYBAR (the No.2 giant tube) and ROWNTREE’S Fruit Pastilles (the No.3 giant tube)[10]. All RRP £1.38.


Joining the range for 2017 is a brand new giant tube from CARAMAC. The CARAMAC brand has seen a huge resurgence in sales and grew an impressive 41% in value in 2016[11].



In 2015 Nestlé Confectionery launched its first ever festive chocolate blocks from two of its favourite brands SMARTIES and AERO. This year sees the return of the SMARTIES Festive sharing block (RRP £1.29), which features a Christmassy twist by including red and green mini SMARTIES embedded in each bar as well as specially designed festive packaging, whilst AERO will introduce a new Festive Orange sharing bar to the market (RRP £1.29) which also features eye-catching festive packaging.



Within the novelties segment innovation is important and, in 2016, 23% of value sales came from new product launches[12]. Last year Nestlé Confectionery introduced two new novelty products. Firstly, the SMARTIES “Penguin in Penguin”. This treat gives consumers double the fun with two treats in one. Inside each milk chocolate penguin is a milk chocolate penguin chick complete with mini SMARTIES inside. The SMARTIES Penguin is back for 2017, and will once again be joined by the MILKYBAR Polar Bear, which comes with its own white chocolate MILKYBAR cub inside. RRP £2.55. Both treats offer something novel, fun and interactive for consumers.


Back with a new design for 2017 is the SMARTIES Santa’s workshop. This gift comes complete with six hollow milk chocolate figures with mini SMARTIES inside, including Santa, reindeer and elves. This year it will also be joined by the brand new MILKYBAR Santa’s workshop, which contains hollow white chocolate versions of Santa, his reindeer and elves. Both RRP £4.00.


And there’s more! Also new for 2017 are three novel products aimed specifically at adults. The KITKAT Bites, AERO Peppermint Bubbles and ROWNTREE’s Pick & Mix Supertubes all include three sharing bag size packs from their respective brands in eye-catching, gift-worthy packaging (all RRP £4.00). Each makes a great gift from a known and trusted big brand.  



Finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional advent calendar and selection box! The MILKYBAR Advent Calendar remains Nestlé Confectionery’s must stock pack and the market’s No.1 white chocolate advent calendar worth £1.7 million in value sales. Last year sales grew +149% in the convenience channel as it proved popular with shoppers[13]. This year the calendar will benefit from a fun new design, and, along with the rest of the MILKYBAR brand, also features the new ‘Milk First’ recipe.


The Nestlé Medium Selection box once again returns to the range complete with a host of favourite brands including KITKAT, SMARTIES and MILKYBAR. This year it features an eye-catching new design to improve its stand out to shoppers even further, as well as an interactive activity on the back of pack.


[1]Source IRI – 2016

[2] Source: Kantar Twist Wraps | Early Shoppers (12 w/e 06 Nov 16) | Total Market | 20 w/e 01 Jan 2017

[3] Source: IRI – Twistwrap Value £ sales 20 WE 31.12.16

[4] Source: KantarWorldPanelOnline / Twistwrap Demographics 20 WE 01/01/2014

[5]Source: Kantar Penetration (%) by sector | Total Market | 2016

[6]IRI Infoscan 20wks to 31st Dec 16

[7]IRI Infoscan 20 Weeks w/e 02 Jan 2016

[8]IRI Infoscan 20wks to 31st Dec 16

[9]Source: KWP 20 w/e 01 Jan 2017

[10] Source: IRI Total Market 20 w/e 31/12/16

[11]IRI 52 wks to 31.12.16

[12] Xmas Novelties | IRI | Total Market | 20 w/e 31st Dec 16


[13]IRI 20 w/e 31.12.16

Author: kimbarnard

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