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Promo Dynamic – Sweet sensation: Mars leads surge in confectionery deals

The Grocer

Mars has taken its promotional activity to stratospheric new heights –  running twice as many deals as last month and almost three times more than a year ago.

Data from retail analysts Assosia shows Mars ran 554 featured space promotions (such as gondola ends and pallets) in the top five retailers in the four weeks ending 24 November, compared with 261 last month and 206 a year ago. The business was offering deals on its brands – which include Maltesers, Galaxy and Celebrations– in multiple locations in store, with the majority on confectionery; cakes, biscuits and drinks accounted for less than 3% of all Mars offers.

Mars has also run deeper deals, with average saving 10.3 percentage points higher than in November 2012 and 15 points higher than the 33.4% average across the market this month. The brand has favoured straight money-off deals, which accounted for 87.4% of its offers as it reduced its use of x-for-y.

Cadbury has also upped its use of money-off, although its average saving was 32.8%. While Cadbury has run the same number of deals as a year ago, and Nestlé fewer, the Mars activity and a surge by Swizzels Matlow – 180 deals versus 24 a year ago –has increased confectionery’s share of total promotional space from 7.7% in November 2012 to 11.3% this year. “Halloween and Bonfire Night drove the increase in activity,” says Assosia MD Kay Staniland, “Sweets and packs off size chocolate were on offer well into November.”

Increased activity by brands – with major players including Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s running more deals year on year – has brought a drop in the number of total number of own-label promotions. This trend is likely to be short-lived, however, as retailers are expected to give more space to own-label lines including party food and meat, fish & poultry as Christmas approaches.

In the run-up to the festivities, stores are also keen to keep stocking moving, which has been a key reason for the slight increase in the average saving being offered, says Staniland.

4 weeks to 24/11/2013
RankingRank last monthBrandNumber of promotionsIncrease / Decrease on previous monthIncrease / Decrease on previous yearAverage % savingAverage savings % change m-o-mAverage savings % change y-o-y
66Birds Eye186-7.00%-19.83%39.05%1.2%0.8%
824Swizzells Matlow180282.98%650.00%52.65%3.5%17.2%
Total o/l21001.55%-9.37%26.71%-0.3%-1.3%
Total brands100204.11%13.35%34.74%1.0%0.9%

Published in The Grocer, 02 December 2013