Food items, especially sweet treats and candy, have become a prime gift-giving staple over the last five years, and the period of time between Halloween and Christmas has become the unofficial “candy-buying season.” By understanding the shopping habits of your customers and creating eye-catching displays during this busy season, your business may see increased revenue.
Consumers choose candies and similar items as go-to Christmas and holiday gift staples for several reasons. Confections are widely available and make for a convenient gift choice for family, friends and co-workers who are difficult to shop for. With today’s vast array of available specialty products, dietary restrictions don’t keep consumers away from food-related gifts. Gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan treats have become increasingly common in recent years.
Crunching the Numbers
Candy’s revenue numbers are pretty sweet. An August 2016 industry report revealed that, in the last 12 months, boxed chocolates and candies were chosen as gifts by just under 30 percent of consumers. A separate report conducted by the The National Confectioners Association (NCA) indicates that confectionery sales showed a growth in dollar sales of more than 3 percent in 2015.
Data also indicates that there’s a big market in healthy yet sweet snacks. According to the National Confectioners Association (NCA), 41 percent of shoppers looking for a healthier option choose mixes of candies and dried fruit or nuts.
So how can you reap the benefits as more and more consumers splurge on treats during the candy-buying season?
Stocking up for Halloween
Your Halloween game-plan should include plenty of the top contenders: The NCA reports that chewy candy is the most popular overall, but sales of gourmet and premium chocolate showed an 11 percent growth over 2015. It would be a mistake to ignore this niche market, so make sure to stock items for those who want to feel good about their purchase of fair trade or organic chocolate and tree nuts.
Placing candy displays near costumes rather than in a separate aisle or area may generate more up sales. Adults may indulge this time of year and pick up a multi-package of their childhood favorite Halloween candy for personal consumption as they browse for costumes.
Variety is Key During the Winter Holidays
Data shows that food items are chosen by about half of gift-giving U.S. consumers during the winter holidays. You can make the most of this fact by stocking up on both large, creatively packaged boxes of specialty chocolates and small, novelty candies that make for perfect stocking stuffers or bulk gift items. Create displays that cater to the two main types of winter holiday season consumers: Those who plan well in advance and tend to make more thought-out purchases, and last-minute shoppers.