Festive favourites

Christmas spending among Irish households is set to top €2,700 according to Retail Ireland
Kantar's research shows the price of a Christmas meal for four now stands at €30.97, which is 4.3% higher than it was last year

From chocolate treats and sumptuous pastries to in-store services, here we round up the essential products all retailers want to stock in order to cater to any and every need that will arise during the Christmas shopping period


Brand Central

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16 November 2018

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No sooner has the excitement of Halloween died down that the focus shifts to Christmas – to gifts, to foody treats and the all-important drinks! There’s an unending list for customers to remember in the coming weeks, so it’s imperative that retailers provide everything that’s going to be needed, from ingredients and extras, to last minute gifts and treats. Read on for all the must-have Christmas essentials that will be flying off the shelves in the coming weeks…

Sparkling sales

This Christmas, Ferrero will launch an array of new products across its brands, including novelties, figures and advent calendars. These launches will be supported with a comprehensive multichannel campaign worth €256,000.

Levi Boorer, customer development director at Ferrero, says the company had a successful Christmas in 2017, with sales of boxed chocolate in Ireland alone amounting to €3.2m. “It is important as a leading confectionery manufacturer to offer retailers products and ranges that help them to cater for the different types of festive shopping needs,” Boorer says. “Whether it’s to gift, to share or simply to treat and enjoy with loved ones, we know shoppers love Ferrero products and that they are a staple at Christmas.”

As shoppers continueto look for new and seasonally relevant products from brands they know and trust, Thorntons is introducing a new figure to its novelties lineup. Joining the popular Jolly Reindeer figure (200g) and The Snowman figure (60g & 200g) is the new Cheeky Elf, carefully crafted to reflect the intricate detail that goes into every product. According to research, 80% of shoppers agree that the Thorntons Cheeky Elf stands out from other chocolate figures*.

To add further buzz and excitement, Thorntons will run an on-pack promotion across the Cheeky Elf 200g packs,offering shoppers the chance to win a magical trip to Lapland. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants must purchase a Thorntons Cheeky Elf and share a picture of it in a hiding place using #ThorntonsElf.

The Thorntons Christmas Selection Boxes will also feature a new design for Christmas 2018. The much-loved boxed chocolates will include limited edition flavours, among popular favourites such as the chocolate star and solidchocolate Thorntons Christmas tree. The Thorntons Seasonal Collection will feature a new design for Christmas 2018.

The Thorntons Star Collection will also include four new chocolates: a Milk Salted Fudge Star, a Dark Chocolate Truffle Star, aMilk Roast Almond and Hazelnut Star and a White Gingerbread Star.

Meanwhile, ‘advent calendars’ was the fastest growing sector at Christmas 2017 (+41%), with Kinder accounting for 26% of category growth** following the launch of its first advent calendar last year. Returning for its second year, Kinder is looking to maintain its number one spot in kids advent calendars with two new additions: the Kinder Mini Mix Advent Calendar (351g) and a Kinder Surprise Egg Advent Calendar (431g).

With the premium advent segment experiencing strong growth, Thorntons is continuing to push its four-strong advent calendar range, which includes a mix perfect for all the family.

The four Thorntons Advent Calendars for 2018 are: the Thorntons Continental 280g, Santa 93g, The Snowman 93g and The Snowman and The Snowdog 180g. Thorntons is also adding an element of surprise to traditional advent calendars, with some chocolates containing a fondant filling.

“Confectionery is one of the few categories where shoppers are willing to spend money on products they love,” says Levi Boorer, “especially at key seasonal trading spikes such as Christmas and spring.

“By investing in NPD supported by media activity,” he adds, “we can provide retailers with the perfect gift this Christmas in the form of fantastic sales! We are really proud of our brands’ scale, and we’re committed to developing an all year round range that also caters for the explosion of special occasions during the festive season.”

Finally, Raffaello’s support will continue to focus on highlighting the sweet, smooth and nutty flavours of the product through digital, social and sampling.

For further retailer information and advice, visit Ferrero’s trade website www.yourperfectstore.co.uk.

Irish icons

Chocolate is synonymous with the traditions of Christmas, and with its leading range of selection boxes, novelties, boxes and sharing bags, Mondelez will set up Christmas 2018 for retail success. Mondelez’s delicious range includes the much-loved Cadbury, Green & Blacks and Toblerone brands, all offering exciting NPDfor consumers across a wide range of needs and occasions at Christmas 2018. Outside of chocolate, the company’s winning biscuits range spanning Cadbury, Oreo and Ritz, offers treats from stocking fillers to dinner table favourites – and not forgetting Maynards Bassetts and its fantastic range of festive goodies!

From the new Premier League Advent Calendar – the perfect gift for any football fanatic, to the Cadbury Selection Box with Plush Toy in a choice of Cadbury Freddo or Monkey, to new formats of classic favourites like the Fry’s Collection, Mondelez’s range of NPD is sure to excite shoppers of all ages. 2018 has also seen the launch of the new Cadbury Secret Santa Campaign, which will encourage consumers to take part in a nationwide Secret Santa movement.

With huge support including a brand new TV ad, out-of-home advertising and experiential marketing, along with innovative new point of sale solutions, the Secret Santa campaign will ensure Cadbury remains at the front of consumers’ minds when it comes to Christmas treating and gifting.

Merry Blissmas!

With a mission to create magical family moments for its shoppers, Lindt continues to ‘Bring theMagic Home’ this Christmas with lots of exciting creations to choose from. Lovingly created by the Lindt master chocolatiers, shoppers can look forward to seeing the adorable Lindt Teddy as well as a selection of new products to the Lindt range this season.

Maintaining its position as the number one boxed chocolate brand, Lindt Lindor continues to outperform the market, with double digit growth and a market share of 12.6%. Lindor’s success comes not only from the much-loved classic Lindor Milk recipe but through its continual innovations to the market that areguaranteed to excite and delight shoppers.

Leading the innovation this year is the delightful Lindt Snowmen. The 40g Lindt hollow figures are the perfect stocking filler and with an array of three colours, shoppers will have their choice of novelty. Also new to the range this year is the Lindt Christmas Sharing Pack 166g. Containing a selection of Lindt’s most iconic Christmas novelties, the milk chocolate selection is perfect for the party season, to share with the family or as the perfect gift for little ones.

The newest addition to the Lindor cornet range is the most anticipated one yet: that same smooth melting milk recipe with the added infusion of mint! The new Lindor Mint is the perfect blend of milk chocolate and rich mint flavour, skilfully created by the Lindt master chocolatiers. Lindor Mint is predicted to be the biggest new launch for the Lindor brand in recent years.

And that’s not all for 2018 – also launching is the new Lindor Gift Box 287g. A beautifully crafted gift wrapped box embellished with red bow and containing the classic Lindor milk truffles – this ready-made gift is perfect for Christmas.

As market leaders, Lindt aims to deliver a massively up weighted national support plan behind the Lindor brand this Christmas, with Lindor TV advertising returning to screens, and a strong push in-store with premium point of sale and display.

With a format for every occasion, give your shoppers the gift of bliss this Christmas! Lindt Lindor 200g RRP €6.99; Lindor Gift Box 287g RRP €12. *(Source: AC Nielsen 52 weeks; Market Pralines – Data to 15th July 2018 – MAT)

Flower fans

Ahead of the busiest shopping season of the year, SuperValu and Centra have predicted they will sell more than 120,000 ponsiettas this festive season. The iconic plants are available in all SuperValu and Centra stores across the country in a number of formats, from the best-selling €3 variant right up to €13.

This Christmas also sees SuperValu and Centra provide even greater customer choice and add some extra festive sparkle, with the introduction of the new ‘glitter poinsettia’, retailing for €5. All poinsettias sold by SuperValu and Centra are Bord Bia-approved and carry the Bord Bia Quality Mark.

North Dublin-based grower Uniplumo has grown and supplied poinsettias to order for SuperValu and Centra for the past 22 years. The Christmas period will see 60 staff deliver more than 120,000 ponsiettas, a centrepiece of many Christmas decoration.

Eamon Howell, trading director, SuperValu and Centra, agrees that ponsiettas are extremely popular during the Christmas period. “We are proud to source all of our poinsettias locally from Uniplumo,” Howell says. “Their passion and expertise for growing, together with their extensive plant knowledge, means that SuperValu and Centra customers have the highest quality, locally sourced poinsettias this festive season.”

Stunning centrepiece

This festive season, Butlers Chocolates has something special for chocolate lovers of all ages. The chocolate assortments feature stylish presentation boxes with elegant ribbons and stunning gift wrap, not to mention the exceptional taste experience consumers expect from Ireland’s premier family-owned chocolatiers, dedicated to the craft of chocolate-making since 1932.

Beautifully presented in stylishpackaging, Butlers Chocolates make a striking on-shelf display, which helps to maximise retail sales. The centrepiece is the stunning new Chocolate Collection – an irresistible assortment of luxury chocolates in three sizes, presented in elegant ivory gift boxes. The chocolates are crafted with the finest of ingredients, including Salted Almond Crocant, Spiced Chai and Chocolate Flake Truffle.

Butlers ever-popular Chocolate Selection Ballotins now feature a timelessly beautiful new look, while each double-layered assortment comprises a luxurious collection of mouth-watering chocolate truffles, pralines and caramels.

Finally, let the festive times begin with Butlers Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Chocolate Collection – the perfect fusion of chocolate and gin which continues to capture the hearts and minds of chocolate and gin lovers in Ireland and beyond. Butlers Chocolates are distributed by Richmond Marketing.

Joyeux Noël!

Whether it’s for Santa leaving presents under the tree or houseguests for a Christmas get-together, Cuisine de France has just the thing for those expecting a little more than the standard snacking fare. The beloved bakery brand has released a lip-smacking limited edition seasonal range including festive favourites the Trifle Muffin, Brandy Mince Puff, Cinnamon Pastry and Pastel de Nata.

The multi-layered Trifle Muffin (€1.75) offers a moist sponge with mixed fruit throughout, topped with light vanilla crème patisserie, chocolate flakes and a raspberry garnish, enticing traditional trifle lovers to try their favourite Christmas desert in a new freshly-baked format.

Another twist on a traditional dessert is the rich Brandy Mince Puff (four for €2.50), made with buttery puff pastry and a sweet and lightly spiced fruit filling. A drop of brandy and dusting of sugar on top perfects the pastry.

Meanwhile, what would Christmas be without the scent and taste of a Cinnamon Pastry? This crisp, flaky pastry combined with swirls of the aromatic spice is a party pastry essential. RRP €1.50.

The famous Portuguese Pastel de Nata (two for €3) also has a festive twist; its custard tart is filled with a sweet mincemeat filling and dusted with cinnamon,providing a decadent alternative to common festive favourites.

Simon Madden, marketing manager at Aryzta Food Solutions, said Cuisine de France is delighted to bring the new Cuisine de France Christmas range to market. “We aim to pleasantly surprise our customers by adding a new twist to some of their favourite festive desserts,” Madden said. “We are confident that the limited-edition range strikes the balance between much-loved Christmas favourites and daring creations, offering a tasty treat for all taste buds.”

The Cuisine de France festive range is available now for a limited time in retail convenience stores nationwide. To find out more, visit Cuisine de France on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Nuts about nuts

After a popular launch last year, dried fruit and nut producer Forest Feast has extended its exclusive festive range with the introduction of a classic shelled Brazil nut pack, adding to the firm’s strong existing selection.

Retail insights reveal that shoppers believe Christmas is a time to splash out on food and groceries. These luxury snacks from Forest Feast tap into these interests of 82% of consumers who are willing to spend more for better quality products at Christmas.

Deirdre Burns, trade marketing manager at Forest Feast, says that the festive selection is intended to cater for consumers who are keen to experiment with new products and flavours over Christmas. “This year we have added Brazil nuts,” Burns says, “which are synonymous with Christmas and perfect for those who like to keep with tradition and want a high-quality product as part of their festive hospitality.”

The Christmas assortment offers a real flavour innovation for festive entertaining, with a seasonal twist on Forest Feast’s year-round product range including a warming Sweet and Spicy Caramelised Nut Mix, a Vanilla, Cashew and Cranberry Fruit & Nut with nuggets of Dark Chocolate covered Cranberries (200g, RRP €4) as well as a Luxury Hickory Smoke Mix (250g, RRP €4); perfect for pairing with a favourite seasonal tipple.

Traditional in-shell and family favourites complete the range including Mixed Nuts, Walnuts in-shell, a classic Nut Mix as well as Roasted & Salted Pistachio Nuts, plus the recently-added Brazil Nuts (RRP €4).

Retailers keen to stock the seasonal product range should get in touch with the Forest Feast sales team on 028 3835 0934.

Inspired by an Irish legend

Legendary Irish chocolatier Lir draws inspiration from another Irish legend, Children of Lir, the epic tale of love, beauty, magic, passion and transformation. Some 30 years ago, Lir started out in humble fashion on the kitchen table of co-founder, Connie Doody, with a simple vision of creating joy and happiness for lovers of fine, chocolate confections.

Since then, Lir has been devoted to the magic and the craft of turning the finest chocolate from around the world into handfinished and hand-decorated works of art, a combination of traditional recipes and exotic new combinations.

As part of the brand’s 30th birthday celebrations, Lir’s master chocolatier has created the beautiful ‘Discovery Collection’.  The new range brings together Lir’s delicious chocolate exteriors with mouth-watering interiors, using ingredients sourced around the world, from Madagascar and Tahiti.

The Discovery Collection includes exciting new flavours such as Persian Lime Truffle, Raspberry and Pistachio Duo, Dark Chocolate Torte and Chewy Pecan Caramel, alongside classic, muchloved favourites like Praline and Coffee. The Sea Salted Caramel was also recently awarded a highly-coveted Great Taste Award 2018 from the Guild of Fine Food.

Lir has also created a delightful ‘Dessert Collection’ and three irresistible flavours of cocoadusted truffles: Salted Caramel, Marc de Champagne and Milk Chocolate. The Discovery Collection has an RRP of €13 (180g) and €24 (360g).  The Dessert Collection’s RRP is €9 (145g) while the Truffles (168g) are priced at €9.50. The Lir Collection is available in selected Tesco and SuperValu stores nationwide; customers can also purchase directly from the Lir online store at www.lirchocolates.com.

Fairtrade flavour

The award-winning Propercorn range has added another innovation to its collection just in time for Christmas: Propercorn Chocolate flavour.

Made using Fairtrade cocoa and containing just 126 calories per serving, this bitter-sweet chocolate popcorn provides shoppers with a healthy moment of chocolate indulgence. As with every flavour in its collection, Propercorn’s Chocolatepopcorn is gluten-free, suitable for vegetarians and made using simple ingredients. Propercorn’s unique blend contains less than half the sugar of a traditional chocolate bar but with no less sweet satisfaction*. “The universal love of chocolate makes this one of our most exciting launches yet,” says Propercorn co-founder Cassandra Stavrou. “After months of tasting and tweaking, we’re very proud to have created a healthier product which genuinely satisfies the sweet-toothed among us.” Find Propercorn online on www.propercorn.com or in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Spar, Centra, Fresh and independent retailers. RRP €1.20 single serve, RRP €2.69 sharing bag. *Per 100g vs. standard milk chocolate bar: 104% less sugar, 510% less saturated fat, 26% less fat.

Baked delight

Andrew Ingredients is a food and bakery ingredient supplier to many sections of the Irish food industry including retail, wholesale and in-store bakeries, as well as hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, and other foodservice customers.

With 75 years’ experience, Andrew Ingredients is an expert in the field of baking, sourcing and stocking the highest quality ingredients and providing hands on technical support to its customers. The company has a state-of-the-art test bakery and kitchen at its premises in Lisburn, Co. Antrim from where it supports customers with product development projects,overcoming technical challenges and providing insight on market trends with regular presentations and seminars.

Andrew Ingredients supplies over 2,000 high quality bakery products including bread, cake and confectionery pre-mixes, flours, chocolate products, gluten-free, speciality products, cream alternatives and much more.

All products are tested thoroughly for efficacy, value, and quality, from leading manufacturers throughout Europe, including Macphie,IREKS, Sonneveld, Carrs, Meneba, Renshaw, Martin Braun, Dobla and Südzucker amongst many others. Quality assurance is key at Andrew Ingredients, and its stringent procedures, which are BRC AA Grade accredited ensure optimal performance when delivering solutions to customers country-wide.  Based in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, the company distributes widely throughout Ireland and Scotland. To learn more about the company, visit www.andrewingredients.ie.




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