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Promo Dynamic – Multiples up promotions in preparation for festive fight

The Grocer

Confectionery, cakes and crisps: with Christmas just days away, the gondola ends of the nation’s supermarkets are more than ever focused on indulgence.

Eight of the brands in our table of the top 10 biggest promoters are essentially about treating, and seasonal lines have dominated featured promotional space such as aisle ends and pallets over the four weeks ending 8 December.

“With shoppers stocking up in the build-up to Christmas, it’s no surprise we see confectionery, spirits, biscuits, carbonates and crisps & nuts all up,”says Kay Staniland, MD of retail analysts Assosia. 

In the case of Mr Kipling, which has run 94 offers compared with 70 in the preceding four weeks, mince pies have been its most promoted lines, accounting for 8.5% of all its deals. And Walkers is focusing much of its attention on sharing bags, with Doritos, Sensations and Extra Crunchy accounting for 45% of offers.

Mars, meanwhile, has continued the surge of activity The Grocer reported last month, and has run almost three times the number of deals it offered a year ago. Mars bars made up a third of its 458 promotions, followed by Twix (28%) and Maltesers (21%) – with Christmas classic Celebrations appearing way down the list and accounting for less than 1% of deals. In contrast, rivals Cadbury and Nestlé – which are both running slightly fewer promotions than last month and last year – spread their deals relatively evenly across their ranges.

Own-label activity has been restrained – up fractionally month on month and down year on year – but this is likely to have changed by the time this article is published.

Retailers maintain the revenue stream of selling promotional space to brands until as close to Christmas as possible, when they switch some over to fresh products that will make their way into Christmas dinners. “Own-label Christmas deals tend to be more focused on the fresh meat, poultry and vegetables that are purchased much closer to Christmas Day,” says Staniland.

4 weeks to 08/12/2013
RankingRank last monthBrandNumber of promotionsIncrease / Decrease on previous monthIncrease / Decrease on previous yearAverage % savingAverage savings % change m-o-mAverage savings % change y-o-y
56Birds Eye21411.46%-13.01%37.68%-0.8%-0.5%
98Swizzells Matlow114-15.56%660.00%51.25%-1.0%17.9%
1018Mr Kipling9434.29%-33.33%30.39%2.2%-2.5%
Total o/l21241.63%-7.89%26.01%-1.2%-1.4%
Total brands9877-0.13%13.83%34.15%-0.2%0.4%

Published in The Grocer, 20 December 2013